Matt Barber Means and Ends

Matt Barber Means and Ends
While nobody disputes the timeless combination of a voice and a guitar, most musicians envision a full-band backing their songs. Many so-called "solo" musicians will enlist a cast of players to help flesh out their sound, sacrificing a portion of their spotlight to make room for the additional members. For Kingston (now Toronto) singer/songwriter Matthew Barber, it all boils down to time management. "It's not so much that it's more appealing to be a solo artist," Barber insists, "but it's been a lot easier for me to organise and plan for gigs when I know that it's just me involved." So when it came time to record Means and Ends, his first official CD release (not counting the limited release of some home recordings in 1999), Barber took a little extra time to get a few more people involved, including sister Jill Barber on backing vocals. "I consider myself a student of production, and I wanted to look at every song and say, 'Ok, what does this song need to make it really take off?' I wanted to make a complete album that would hold its own against my favourite records." And Means and Ends certainly holds court against the best of them (think Jeff Buckley or Ben Harper), as Barber proves himself to be another of this country's unsung pop gems. As the word spreads, Matt Barber should soon receive the accolades he deserves, whether he shares the spotlight or gets to keep it all to himself. (Independent)