oday, GB Roots announces the upcoming release of their sophomore album, Tumbleweed. Collectively produced by the band and Mitch Merrett, Tumbleweed is set for release March 2, 2018. Comprised of JUNO-nominated musicians Kirby Green and David Barber, Tumbleweed follows the blues-Americana duo’s 2012 debut release The Key, which was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and charted on the Roots Music Report in both the United States and Canada. Based out of Vancouver, the band has been nominated multiple times at the British Columbia Country Music Awards and won the Covenant Awards’ Jazz/Blues "Song of the Year" for the single "Swing Low". Tumbleweed highlights GB Roots love of Americana and Blues music, while staying true to their small town roots.
GB Roots, aka Kirby Green and Dave Barber, were both brought together by their unusual love of bluegrass and Americana — well, unusual for Western Canadians at least. "There aren’t many opportunities to play bluegrass in Canada, but it was my first love," says Barber. The two met in Edmonton at Grant MacEwan University, where Green studied bass and Barber studied guitar. While in college, both began freelancing with Canadian artists and establishing themselves in the Alberta music scene, but ultimately wanted to start a musical project that would allow them to write and perform their own original music.
Consequently, GB Roots was born. They recorded an unreleased three-song demo and started touring regionally, which led to the band being awarded a Rawlco Radio Grant. The grant funded the duo’s 2012 debut release The Key, which was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and charted on the Roots Music Report in both the United States and Canada.
Soon after recording the album, Green and Barber decided to move to Vancouver to pursue music together and to freelance as skilled instrumentalists. Since then, Green has won the British Columbia Country Music Awards’ "Bass Player of The Year" three consecutive years in a row and frequently plays with artists like Barney Bentall, Shari Ulrich and Aaron Pritchett. Barber was nominated for "Instrumentalist of the Year" at the Canadian Country Music Awards and The British Columbia Country Music Awards, where he was also a nominee for "Guitar Player of The Year". He regularly plays with artists like Chad Brownlee and Colin James and is noted for the popular banjo hook on Coleman Hell’s 4x platinum-selling single, "2 Heads". Both were nominated for a JUNO at the 2017 Juno Awards for their work with the group The High Bar Gang.
On Tumbleweed, Green and Barber combine forces to create an Americana sound that features their highly-skilled instrumentation, as well as contemplative songwriting backed by soulful vocals. This can be heard on the album’s first single, "Better Get Your Gun", a narrative seemingly about an outlaw that is universally relatable. "On the surface, it’s about this guy trying to get out of his hometown and how that turns him into an outlaw. But it’s also about a lot of other things — dealing with leaving home when you’re young and things not always turning out the way you wanted, the battle of good over evil, addiction. Sometimes in life you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, you feel like things aren’t going right, you make the wrong decisions. It’s a dark place to be," says Barber.
The second single, "Halfway" is a electric guitar-heavy ballad about running from the devil and being "halfway between dead and alive". However, the album’s title track is energized, catchy, centered around bright horns, and slightly reminiscent of a Texas cantina. "We wrote ‘Tumbleweed’ because we wanted a happy groove for the album," explained Barber, "We were thinking if Bonnie Raitt were to sing a western, what it might sound like, and ended up with the title track." Between Green and Barber’s individual skill sets, diverse songwriting, and notes of varying influences, Tumbleweed packs a little bit of everything with a ‘wild-west’ punch.
"They played catchy, riff heavy original music and even brought out the banjo for a more country/bluegrass tinged number."
— L.A. Beat
"Get some GB Roots Down You! Get it on your record rack!"
— Whiskey Blues Radio in Australia
"The album is an organic blend of Kirby and Dave’s musical backgrounds, drawing from Rock, Blues, Country, and Bluegrass roots."
— PopVulture Entertainment Network
"Joe Bonamassa eat your heart out, that’s all I’ve got to say"
— Whiskey Blues Radio in Australia
This track was sent to Americana, Non-Commercial, NPR radio on January 16, 2018 with an impact date of January 12, 2018.
Label: GB Roots Music
The audio is not yet up on YouTube.
This is one of their latest songs taken from their previous album: The Key