NEXT STAGE #10 April 22 2005

An Intimate Evening With
Kim Barlow
The Boiler Room, is what I fantasize my den would be like if I won the lottery. A stage set at one end, comfy couches at the other end, room for several hundred of my closest friends and smack dab in the middle, a bar. It’s dark like a den should be and has the right kind of red ambience that I like in a room.
I had been looking forward to seeing Kim Barlow since I saw her perform her “luckyburden” multimedia performance at Frostbite last winter. Having her play “my den” was a special treat.
When I arrived, Daniel Janke was noodling around on the piano. I was chatting with friends hardly noticing the music in the room when a familiar phrase of notes wafted from the stage.
The song “Helpless” was forming around these phrases and being a “north Ontario” boy, I was instantly transported by the ambient quality of this most Canadian of anthems. After a few atmospheric tunes Janke departed the stage.
As Barlow rose to take the stage, I could see Kim Beggs, Rob Hunter and Heather Loewen, sitting at her table.
Only in The Yukon could you see that sort of talent gathered in such great concentration, a veritable Yukon summit of talent.
Barlow’s performance was low key and intimate. Daniel Janke sat in on various tunes throughout the evening to add some acoustic bass styling for added texture.
Barlow plays a mean claw hammer banjo. Many of the songs she played this evening incorporate this style of playing and gave a percussive point to her songs without the need of a drummer. Barlow easily switched between electric guitar and banjo to play through the evening’s repertoire that consisted of old favourites as well as some newly minted gems.
“It’s nice to come to the Boiler Room and mess around and try out new things”.
A new song about the ginger man was particularly interesting. It relates a story involving an inebriated friend scampering in the buff, while on tour in Australia. Oh, those wacky Yukoners let loose on another continent.
Another of Barlow’s songs to debut was a song about Madeline and Jake the Sailor. Lovers at first then Jake sails away and sadness ensues.
From hardship and heartbreak as witnessed in “Madonna Mia” and “Lonely Mountain” to hope, heroic and heartache in “Silver Under The Ground”, “Bush Pilot” and “Slim Pickins” Barlow paints with emotions both in her music and prose.
Not a lot of people were in attendance for this evenings show. Poor turnout by the public for such a performer as Kim Barlow really mystifies me.
This evening was pure gold. This music was just what I needed after a long Saturday in The Yukon sun. I was totally relaxed by the laid back evening spent listening to Kim Barlow and Daniel Janke. Total sonic shiatsu.
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