Joanna Barker
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Joanna Barker

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | SELF

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"February Short Listed for the Atlantis Prize"

FLAVOURS: Intimate, textured, charming
OBLIGATORY GENRE CLASSIFICATION: Classy, classic roots
When I was Joanna Barker’s age I was proud of myself for having learned to play the four chords of ‘Gouge Away’ by the Pixies without messing up, and the best original song I had written at that point was about sandwiches. So there’s a little jealous part of me that’s kind of annoyed by how mature and beautiful this debut album is, but it’s only a small part, really. Most of me is just enchanted by the songs.
February contains plenty of obviously personal narratives (“Four Oceans Wide” and “Empty Boat At Shore” are standouts for me), but Barker manages to tastefully avoid the sort of navel-gazing that often plagues equally folksy songwriters, proving that it’s possible to wear your heart on your sleeve without drowning in cheese.
Every track on this record is well constructed, with tightly arranged upright bass, drums, banjo and viola complementing Barker’s acoustic guitar without ever overwhelming the narrative power of the songs. And that power is rooted deep in Barker’s breathy, smoky, gorgeous, and totally distinctive voice — a voice that could sound magical just singing the phone book, let alone the captivating songs on February. This is a totally astonishing debut that reveals new textures and beauty with every spin.
MATHIAS KOM - The Scope


"Joanna Barker on the Weekend Arts Magazine"

Everyone in the music scene now are saying that Grand Falls -Windsor musician Joanna Barker, “is the one to watch”. With the recent release of her debut CD,” February”, Joanna has been all over the music media map.

She has garnered air time here on CBC Radio. Lots of ink in lots of local papers has been “singing” her praises. And believe it or not the twenty something musician has only been on the local music scene literally for months. - CBC


"February on 'The Performance Hour'"

And I've not completely grown
into the woman that I'm supposed to be.
But hell I'm a lot closer than I was last February.

That's the closing line from the debut album by Joanna Barker.

It's not meant as a status update on her growth as a singer and songwriter.

But it could be.

A little over a year ago, Joanna Barker was taking her first steps as a performer on the St. John's bar scene.

Now she has a debut CD chronicling a year's worth of life and experience.

The album is called February - referring to the 12-month period from one February to the next - and it establishes her as a singular voice in Newfoundland's burgeoning singer-songwriter community.

Joanna Barker joins us on the show this Saturday (June 2) to talk about the album and how she found her voice as a songwriter. - CBC


"February on 'The Performance Hour'"

And I've not completely grown
into the woman that I'm supposed to be.
But hell I'm a lot closer than I was last February.

That's the closing line from the debut album by Joanna Barker.

It's not meant as a status update on her growth as a singer and songwriter.

But it could be.

A little over a year ago, Joanna Barker was taking her first steps as a performer on the St. John's bar scene.

Now she has a debut CD chronicling a year's worth of life and experience.

The album is called February - referring to the 12-month period from one February to the next - and it establishes her as a singular voice in Newfoundland's burgeoning singer-songwriter community.

Joanna Barker joins us on the show this Saturday (June 2) to talk about the album and how she found her voice as a songwriter. - CBC


"Track of the Day"

So this is your first official album? Have you been collecting these songs over the years or did you write most of them specifically for the record?
Yes! The bulk of the tunes on it were written between two Februaries, with no intention of recording and releasing them. There are one or two songs that were written post-February 2011, but they were inspired by events that happened along that same timeline.
How would you describe the new record to someone who’s never listened to your music before?
Well, it’s not a hip hop album or a house album… not to say I wouldn’t ever experiment with either. At their core, my songs are guitar and vocal based folk, folk-rock songs with blues, jazz and country influences. The album features an incredible lineup of talent musicians who all gave so much to the project so it also includes some very intricate string arrangements, a very strong drum beat & some funky bass and banjo riffs.
Was this your first time in the studio? How was the whole experience?
Not exactly, I recorded some backing vocals for John Cossar’s (amazing) Another Bridge to Burn. In February 2011 I recorded a 3-track demo at Henge Productions with Leo Bruce & Matthew Hornell. Henge is where I recorded February so first time recording a full length, second time with Leo and third time in the studio. It was an incredible experience –- and very much a learning one. I learned so much from everyone in the band, Leo and Michael (Dalton -– ye olde Producer). It was definitely stressful at times. But I think that is expected and normal. I sometimes felt shaky about whether or not I was still doing what I wanted to be doing; still focused. But I am very happy with how it all came out in the end, so the stress was worth it! I love working with Leo. He is a very talented and patient man –- professional, but easy going.
You have an amazing cast of musicians playing on the album. Did their input lead to re-imaginings of any songs or does the delivery stick pretty to close to what you had in mind when you wrote them?
I do have an amazing cast, hey? I am a very luck lady. Rehearsing and recording February was very much a creative process where everyone contributed. Every band member gave something along the way, be it strongly or subtly. Some of the re-imaginings I knew I wanted, but wasn’t sure how to create it. Others were on the spot bursts of creative energy that I just loved and went over well. For instance, I knew something about “Empty Boat at Shore” wasn’t right. I liked it, but the original felt kinda “cute”, and that wasn’t the sentiment I was going for. I presented that to the band in the basement one night and it was Jake Nicoll who had the idea of dropping the tempo way back. We started there, and it grew on its own with the gorgeous talents of everyone on board.
How does it feel to have this little piece of you out there in the world now with people listening to and being affected by it?
Pretty nerve-wrecking. It’s all so very personal. Every song started as a journal entry, so sharing that leaves me feeling a little exposed. The other side is that I can be pretty critical of the music I hear. Maybe that’s got to do with my four years of working in independent radio, or the 10 years of Kiwanis Music Festival performances. Either way, I’m always pretty leery about ‘Is this good enough to share? Should I even be doing this?’ and other questions of self-doubt. But I love sharing. And it got a point where my love of writing & sharing was stronger than my fear of not being good enough. Which is good! I think…
What’s next? Any tour plans or other big shows coming up?
I’m currently working on a tour to Montreal and back with Ben Rigby (banjo) & Dave Bridger (bass). Katie Baggs and I are hosting Folk Night at The Ship on March 21st. Katie and I along with Sherry Ryan, Rebecca South (a killer band) and the brilliant director/performer Natasha Hartery are also performing in a Joni Mitchell tribute Shadow’s and Light at LSPU Hall, March 23 & 24th. - The Scope


"Track of the Day"

So this is your first official album? Have you been collecting these songs over the years or did you write most of them specifically for the record?
Yes! The bulk of the tunes on it were written between two Februaries, with no intention of recording and releasing them. There are one or two songs that were written post-February 2011, but they were inspired by events that happened along that same timeline.
How would you describe the new record to someone who’s never listened to your music before?
Well, it’s not a hip hop album or a house album… not to say I wouldn’t ever experiment with either. At their core, my songs are guitar and vocal based folk, folk-rock songs with blues, jazz and country influences. The album features an incredible lineup of talent musicians who all gave so much to the project so it also includes some very intricate string arrangements, a very strong drum beat & some funky bass and banjo riffs.
Was this your first time in the studio? How was the whole experience?
Not exactly, I recorded some backing vocals for John Cossar’s (amazing) Another Bridge to Burn. In February 2011 I recorded a 3-track demo at Henge Productions with Leo Bruce & Matthew Hornell. Henge is where I recorded February so first time recording a full length, second time with Leo and third time in the studio. It was an incredible experience –- and very much a learning one. I learned so much from everyone in the band, Leo and Michael (Dalton -– ye olde Producer). It was definitely stressful at times. But I think that is expected and normal. I sometimes felt shaky about whether or not I was still doing what I wanted to be doing; still focused. But I am very happy with how it all came out in the end, so the stress was worth it! I love working with Leo. He is a very talented and patient man –- professional, but easy going.
You have an amazing cast of musicians playing on the album. Did their input lead to re-imaginings of any songs or does the delivery stick pretty to close to what you had in mind when you wrote them?
I do have an amazing cast, hey? I am a very luck lady. Rehearsing and recording February was very much a creative process where everyone contributed. Every band member gave something along the way, be it strongly or subtly. Some of the re-imaginings I knew I wanted, but wasn’t sure how to create it. Others were on the spot bursts of creative energy that I just loved and went over well. For instance, I knew something about “Empty Boat at Shore” wasn’t right. I liked it, but the original felt kinda “cute”, and that wasn’t the sentiment I was going for. I presented that to the band in the basement one night and it was Jake Nicoll who had the idea of dropping the tempo way back. We started there, and it grew on its own with the gorgeous talents of everyone on board.
How does it feel to have this little piece of you out there in the world now with people listening to and being affected by it?
Pretty nerve-wrecking. It’s all so very personal. Every song started as a journal entry, so sharing that leaves me feeling a little exposed. The other side is that I can be pretty critical of the music I hear. Maybe that’s got to do with my four years of working in independent radio, or the 10 years of Kiwanis Music Festival performances. Either way, I’m always pretty leery about ‘Is this good enough to share? Should I even be doing this?’ and other questions of self-doubt. But I love sharing. And it got a point where my love of writing & sharing was stronger than my fear of not being good enough. Which is good! I think…
What’s next? Any tour plans or other big shows coming up?
I’m currently working on a tour to Montreal and back with Ben Rigby (banjo) & Dave Bridger (bass). Katie Baggs and I are hosting Folk Night at The Ship on March 21st. Katie and I along with Sherry Ryan, Rebecca South (a killer band) and the brilliant director/performer Natasha Hartery are also performing in a Joni Mitchell tribute Shadow’s and Light at LSPU Hall, March 23 & 24th. - The Scope


"A Chat with 6 Atlantic Songwriters"

Joanna Barker: "Whale Song"

Generally, if I share a song of mine with an audience, I am happy with it. There are 10 songs on my soon-to-be-released debut album February and I’m happy with all of them. But when you posed the question, ‘What is a song you are happy with and why?’, I immediately chose Whale Song. Perhaps this is because of all of my songs, it’s the one that I feel is more ‘mine’ than any other, if that makes sense.

All my life I’ve wanted to be a whale. It’s that simple. They fascinate me. There are depths of the ocean that we know nothing about; corners of our planet that we have no real way of ever exploring. Blue Whales reach those depths and know them well. The sheer size of these creatures excite me. And then there’s the songs of the Humpback whales. So haunting, eerie – and completely beautiful.

The lyrical content of this song outlines all of that rather frankly. I’d just like to be a whale. I’d like to swim and sing all day long. However – not only can I not swim, but I have a deep seeded fear of swimming. So this song is also about fear and overcoming it. Or trying to, at least.

My fear of swimming cripples me. I’ve completely broken down when faced with a public swimming pool. But if I could, I would be a creature that lives it’s life comfortably in deep sea. I daydream of overcoming that fear; of being as comfortable and free in the water as a whale. I believe that if we re-frame our fears, and learn to create and associate a sense of liberty and affection with them, we can truly overcome them. Easier said than done, I know. But I’m working on it. And this song helps. Every time I sing it, I feel I’m closer to overcoming my fear. I’m singing out that I want to let go of the fear; I want to swim freely.

Musically, I aimed to create that same sense of free-flowing liberty in this song. I play with the tempo and the dynamics quite a bit. And then on top of it, my good friend Ilia Nicoll performs on the album version. Along with her violin, she also plays the stro-violin which is a violin with a brass horn attached to it. She was able to create some very whale-esque noises and I love them! They make me very happy. This song makes me happy.

I also dedicate this song to my nephew Benjamin who would also love to be a sea creature. He’s always making up new sea creatures with his imagination and acting out for his family what they sound like, how they move, who their predators are… Whale Song is for Ben.

Check Out Joanna’s Website: http://joannabarker.ca/ - Salty Ink


"A Chat with 6 Atlantic Songwriters"

Joanna Barker: "Whale Song"

Generally, if I share a song of mine with an audience, I am happy with it. There are 10 songs on my soon-to-be-released debut album February and I’m happy with all of them. But when you posed the question, ‘What is a song you are happy with and why?’, I immediately chose Whale Song. Perhaps this is because of all of my songs, it’s the one that I feel is more ‘mine’ than any other, if that makes sense.

All my life I’ve wanted to be a whale. It’s that simple. They fascinate me. There are depths of the ocean that we know nothing about; corners of our planet that we have no real way of ever exploring. Blue Whales reach those depths and know them well. The sheer size of these creatures excite me. And then there’s the songs of the Humpback whales. So haunting, eerie – and completely beautiful.

The lyrical content of this song outlines all of that rather frankly. I’d just like to be a whale. I’d like to swim and sing all day long. However – not only can I not swim, but I have a deep seeded fear of swimming. So this song is also about fear and overcoming it. Or trying to, at least.

My fear of swimming cripples me. I’ve completely broken down when faced with a public swimming pool. But if I could, I would be a creature that lives it’s life comfortably in deep sea. I daydream of overcoming that fear; of being as comfortable and free in the water as a whale. I believe that if we re-frame our fears, and learn to create and associate a sense of liberty and affection with them, we can truly overcome them. Easier said than done, I know. But I’m working on it. And this song helps. Every time I sing it, I feel I’m closer to overcoming my fear. I’m singing out that I want to let go of the fear; I want to swim freely.

Musically, I aimed to create that same sense of free-flowing liberty in this song. I play with the tempo and the dynamics quite a bit. And then on top of it, my good friend Ilia Nicoll performs on the album version. Along with her violin, she also plays the stro-violin which is a violin with a brass horn attached to it. She was able to create some very whale-esque noises and I love them! They make me very happy. This song makes me happy.

I also dedicate this song to my nephew Benjamin who would also love to be a sea creature. He’s always making up new sea creatures with his imagination and acting out for his family what they sound like, how they move, who their predators are… Whale Song is for Ben.

Check Out Joanna’s Website: http://joannabarker.ca/ - Salty Ink


"The Integrity of Songwriting"

“There it is!” Joanna Barker is excited as she points to the old apple tree she was talking about on the ferry, the one that marks the grown-over plot of land in Wabana where her mother’s childhood home once stood.
It’s Sunday evening just before dusk and we’ve made the trek to Bell Island because it seemed an appropriate place for the 23-year-old Grand Falls-Windsor native to share some thoughts on her debut album, “February,” which she celebrates the release of this weekend with a pair of performances in central and St. John’s.
At 12, her mother, Dianne, became the woman of the household when Barker’s grandmother, mother of nine children, passed away.
The story is recounted in the folk songstress’s tune “Dianne,” a solemn number that seeps into the subconscious with candor, like most of the songs on “February.”
“It was overnight that she became a lady,” Barker explains. “It floors me to think how that would affect my entire life. For my mom to turn around and have nine children of her own, like her mother — she’s something else.”
Growing up in a large family was a humbling experience, she says, as we return to the car and continue our drive around the island.
Influenced by her five older siblings’ diverse musical preferences and her parents’ encouragement, in retrospect Barker realizes she was on a path to songwriting all along.
But it wasn’t until she left home for university that the creative drive to make her own music began.
A series of experiences with relationships, losing a close friend and learning of her Innu heritage sparked in her a compulsion to turn her bricolage of “feelings” into song.
Barker reunited with high school friend and rising Newfoundland star Matthew Hornell in the spring of 2010 when he and his band The Diamond Minds spent five days with her on their tour through Nova Scotia.
The visit came just two months after her first public performance, and the encouragement she received from the band, she says, stirred a new level of confidence in her.
“We’d stay up late jamming cover tunes every night,” she recalls. “Matthew was so instrumental in encouraging me to pursue songwriting.”
It seems fitting that when she returned to Newfoundland and settled in St. John’s, Barker eventually moved into Hornell’s old bedroom and took over the basement jam space of his Cabot Street apartment as he packed his bags for Halifax.

Her first notable St. John’s performance came that fall when she opened for Hornell, Dead Language and The Dardanelles at The Ship for the Diamond Minds’ national tour kickoff show.
“I played a packed Ship of people listening attentively, and they had no idea who I was,” she recalls.
The ensuing year precipitated a period of songwriting, but with no intention of making a record, she says, although in the summer of 2010 she had read a book that inspired the eventual concept for her album. It was Lisa Moore’s novel “February.”
“I read that book in a day, on my birthday, and spent two days crying and walking around St. John’s thinking, ‘I felt all of that?’
“Even though the actual story isn’t at all what I went through, a lot of the themes and parallels of what that character was feeling is what I was feeling. So I realized (my album) was my February, and it was kind of a shout out to Lisa Moore and the incredible novel she wrote, and what I got out of it.”
In February 2011 she revisited one of her first songs, which alludes to “a list of stuff I need to do before I’m able to accept (adult) life decisions,” she explains.
“And that’s where the song ‘Closer’ comes from,” she continues, citing the album’s closing track, a retrospective song written a year after the opening number.
“It’s me revisiting, verse by verse, with the same chord progression and a similar melody — I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was,” she says.
“I’m not who I’m supposed to be, or who I have the potential to be, but I’m closer. And then I started thinking about the album — here’s track No. 1, track No. 10, and the other eight, which were already written, go in between.”
The album is a timeline of events and experiences Barker wrote between February 2010 and February 2011, so she called that first track “February” and subtitled the closer “February Reprise.”
Poignant and sombre, the songs in between introduce us to Barker’s distinct thick, folky contralto voice and might resonate with listeners as one of the strongest recent efforts by a Newfoundland female songwriter.

We pull into Lance Cove on the island’s south shore at dark and, continuing our conversation, stare across at Topsail’s illuminated shoreline.
“Empty Boat At Shore” is one of the album’s more stunning tracks.
Conjuring sentiments from a past relationship, it both epitomizes the talent of her string section, which includes Ilia Nicoll (Hunter Gatherers) on violin, Billy Nicoll (All The Wiles, Hunter Gatherers) on cello and Dave Bridger (formerly of Pilot to Bombardier and Duane Andrews’ band) on standup - The Telegram


"The Integrity of Songwriting"

“There it is!” Joanna Barker is excited as she points to the old apple tree she was talking about on the ferry, the one that marks the grown-over plot of land in Wabana where her mother’s childhood home once stood.
It’s Sunday evening just before dusk and we’ve made the trek to Bell Island because it seemed an appropriate place for the 23-year-old Grand Falls-Windsor native to share some thoughts on her debut album, “February,” which she celebrates the release of this weekend with a pair of performances in central and St. John’s.
At 12, her mother, Dianne, became the woman of the household when Barker’s grandmother, mother of nine children, passed away.
The story is recounted in the folk songstress’s tune “Dianne,” a solemn number that seeps into the subconscious with candor, like most of the songs on “February.”
“It was overnight that she became a lady,” Barker explains. “It floors me to think how that would affect my entire life. For my mom to turn around and have nine children of her own, like her mother — she’s something else.”
Growing up in a large family was a humbling experience, she says, as we return to the car and continue our drive around the island.
Influenced by her five older siblings’ diverse musical preferences and her parents’ encouragement, in retrospect Barker realizes she was on a path to songwriting all along.
But it wasn’t until she left home for university that the creative drive to make her own music began.
A series of experiences with relationships, losing a close friend and learning of her Innu heritage sparked in her a compulsion to turn her bricolage of “feelings” into song.
Barker reunited with high school friend and rising Newfoundland star Matthew Hornell in the spring of 2010 when he and his band The Diamond Minds spent five days with her on their tour through Nova Scotia.
The visit came just two months after her first public performance, and the encouragement she received from the band, she says, stirred a new level of confidence in her.
“We’d stay up late jamming cover tunes every night,” she recalls. “Matthew was so instrumental in encouraging me to pursue songwriting.”
It seems fitting that when she returned to Newfoundland and settled in St. John’s, Barker eventually moved into Hornell’s old bedroom and took over the basement jam space of his Cabot Street apartment as he packed his bags for Halifax.

Her first notable St. John’s performance came that fall when she opened for Hornell, Dead Language and The Dardanelles at The Ship for the Diamond Minds’ national tour kickoff show.
“I played a packed Ship of people listening attentively, and they had no idea who I was,” she recalls.
The ensuing year precipitated a period of songwriting, but with no intention of making a record, she says, although in the summer of 2010 she had read a book that inspired the eventual concept for her album. It was Lisa Moore’s novel “February.”
“I read that book in a day, on my birthday, and spent two days crying and walking around St. John’s thinking, ‘I felt all of that?’
“Even though the actual story isn’t at all what I went through, a lot of the themes and parallels of what that character was feeling is what I was feeling. So I realized (my album) was my February, and it was kind of a shout out to Lisa Moore and the incredible novel she wrote, and what I got out of it.”
In February 2011 she revisited one of her first songs, which alludes to “a list of stuff I need to do before I’m able to accept (adult) life decisions,” she explains.
“And that’s where the song ‘Closer’ comes from,” she continues, citing the album’s closing track, a retrospective song written a year after the opening number.
“It’s me revisiting, verse by verse, with the same chord progression and a similar melody — I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was,” she says.
“I’m not who I’m supposed to be, or who I have the potential to be, but I’m closer. And then I started thinking about the album — here’s track No. 1, track No. 10, and the other eight, which were already written, go in between.”
The album is a timeline of events and experiences Barker wrote between February 2010 and February 2011, so she called that first track “February” and subtitled the closer “February Reprise.”
Poignant and sombre, the songs in between introduce us to Barker’s distinct thick, folky contralto voice and might resonate with listeners as one of the strongest recent efforts by a Newfoundland female songwriter.

We pull into Lance Cove on the island’s south shore at dark and, continuing our conversation, stare across at Topsail’s illuminated shoreline.
“Empty Boat At Shore” is one of the album’s more stunning tracks.
Conjuring sentiments from a past relationship, it both epitomizes the talent of her string section, which includes Ilia Nicoll (Hunter Gatherers) on violin, Billy Nicoll (All The Wiles, Hunter Gatherers) on cello and Dave Bridger (formerly of Pilot to Bombardier and Duane Andrews’ band) on standup - The Telegram


"‘Ship of Sirens’ hoping to lure you in"

“Sirens are very powerful, mythological creatures. These beautiful women with their smoky voices lure sailors and sea-faring men,” says Joanna Barker, embodying the enthusiasm of a seasoned storyteller. “Do they die? Do they take them down to the sea? Do they live on an island somewhere? It’s never really quite said what happens to them.”
The young songwriter and Grand Falls-Windsor native moved to St. John’s last January after graduating from university in Nova Scotia. Between volunteer gigs and a her job working with people with autism, her heart is in many places. But the spot you will find it most melodiously revealed is on the stage.
For months Barker has been writing, performing and carving her niche in the city’s rich but populated folk music scene.
After befriending and performing alongside other young songwriters she decided to create an event where she and her friends could share their music in a unique and intimate way.
Sunday at “The Ship of Sirens” songwriters’ circle, Barker and local musicians Katie Baggs, Ilia Nicoll, Andrea McGuire and Danielle Smith will perform alongside Newfoundland folk music matriarch Pamela Morgan.
“Growing up, I knew Pamela as a local artist,” says Barker. “My parents had Figgy Duff records and they would take me to the Arts & Culture Centre if they were coming through town, so it’s a bit of a childhood dream to be in the position be able to actually ask her (to play), let alone have her say ‘yes.’”
Baggs, a St. John’s native who fronted the folk band Dead Language, is among the more talked-about emerging songwriters and has recently shared the stage with notable acts like Bahamas, John K. Samson and Dan Mangan. Her new band, All The Wiles, will release its debut album in the fall.
Nicoll, a travelling spirit from Southern Ontario via New Brunswick and The Netherlands, landed here in 2008 to attend university. With few public performances under her belt she still found herself swept up in the local music scene, though she says she enjoys playing in solitude at home just as much.
“I like that it has enough of a bare-bones structure that people can interpret it however they want,” she says of the event. “They can focus on the contrast between us ... and the level of skill and maturity that Pamela Morgan has reached ... or on the differences between our individual styles.
“I’m excited because it will be kind of a mix-tape performance, but all of us has a style that fits together in a way. We’re all connected by the fact that we’re singer-songwriters who sing and play guitar, but we do it differently.”
Nicoll is a member of The Hunter Gatherers and is working on her first solo record.
Andrea McGuire is a member of The Drows, a female folk trio of ukuleles, Celtic harp and three-part-harmonies who debuted with their 2011 RPM Challenge recording “Take An Apple And Go To The Mountain”.
And Danielle Smith, a young songwriter from C.B.S. with a country-folk sensibility, will round out the bunch.
Barker says she is going into the studio next month to record her debut full-length CD, which she hopes will be released sometime in the fall.
“I think it’s important for women to be represented everywhere, and the arts is no exception,” she says. “There was no point to make this about women — it just kind of happened that way because we’re all young, female songwriters and we’re all friends.”
And with respect to the Sirens, “There’s six of us, so we’ll lure ya in to The Ship,” Barker jokes. “The Ship will not be accountable that night for any lost men.”
“The Ship of Sirens” takes place at 8 p.m. Sunday at The Ship Pub. Tickets are $10 in advance at Fred’s Records and The Ship or $15 at the door. - Justin Brake for The Telegram


"New Music 2011: Joanna Barker, "Empty Boat at Shore""

Joanna Barker has been writing songs since she was in grade nine but only started performing them live last January. “Other people who have heard my music tend to use the words ‘folk’ ‘folk rock’ ‘unique’ and ‘jazzy’,” says Barker. “I think I can sound pretty country sometimes though.” Indeed, Joanna’s music contains traces of country-style acoustic strumming and picking, but her rich, soulful vocal inflections indicate some obvious of jazz and blues. Lately, when she’s not performing live downtown Barker has been working with some friends on her debut album Closer, which is due out in February. Today’s track is the beautiful “Empty Boat at Shore”, the first takeaway show video shot by the superb Heavyweather crew. Joanna has a number of live shows lined up for this month including this Friday (Nov 18th) at The Ship with The Dave Picco Band and Pilot to Bombardier. She’ll also be playing Distortion on Nov 23rd and The Ship again on Nov 30th. - Damian Lethbridge for The Scope


Discography

'February' Debut Full Length Album Released Feb 2012
'A Sudden Flame' EP To Be Released Sept 14, 2013

Photos

Bio

Few young songwriters pack more integrity and soul into their music as Newfoundland newcomer Joanna Barker.

Her debut album "February" was shortlisted for the 2012 Atlantis Music Prize and received two nominations for Music NL's 2012 award show (Female Artist of the Year and the Telegram Folk/Roots Artist or Group of the Year).

Before February's release in early 2012, Barker was already slated by The Newfoundland Herald as one of 2012 'Artists to Watch'.

Her ofttimes painstakingly earnest songs draw from various influences in folk, jazz, blues and country.

She calls downtown St. John's, Newfoundland her home.