If you're the kind of person who enjoys eclectic music that doesn't really sound like anything you've ever heard before, then you probably spend a great deal of time searching for new bands to broaden your musical palette. This is where I'll introduce you to Barika a "deep groove music, soaked in psychedelic West African resonance."
Local to Burlington, VT, Barika began in 2008 after Craig Myers, Mike Gordon Band percussionist, went on a trip to Mali, West Africa. It was there he fell in love with the N'goni. He then spent three months learning about it and decided to start a band revolving around the instrument. They began as more of a traditional West African band substituting a half gourd instrument called the Calabash for a drum kit.
"After about a year or so of the traditional outfit, I decided I wanted to add a drum set to the equation. We brought on Caleb Bronz to play with us who has been our drummer ever since as well as our recording engineer, co-producer and long time friend."
Once the drums were added to the band they continued to work on their sound to create something unique and deep, but also fun to dance to. They then began to tour more often, playing in different venues around the country. Craig enjoys playing at different venues for different reasons.
"Sometimes it's the sound of the room. Sometimes it's the staff and how easy it is to put on the production. Sometimes it's the friends or family I have in that particular town. As far as when I'm on stage. It's about the connection with the band members and the audience for me. I tend to like the 200-cap room the best because you can see and feel everybody and their energy, that's most important to me."
Of course, stemming from Burlington, Barika considers Nectar's their hometown venue. It will also be the site where they drop their new album titled "When the Time Comes" on February 17th. This new album sets itself apart from Barika's previous albums featuring several artists such as Kat Wright, Daby Toure, Craig Mitchell, Stephanie Lynn Heaghney, and Mathew O'Brian.
"Beyond the natural evolution of the band's sound instrumentally, the collaborations with the singers really sets this one apart from all the other albums."
With the release of their new album, Barika is ready to take on the New Year. Along with promoting "When the Time Comes" they will be touring and playing as much as possible to give the band "the energy and effort it deserves." So if you'll be in the Burlington area on February 17th and want to here a unique band with a lot of heart and an overwhelming amount of talent, head over to Nectar's and check out Barika's album release. You'll be happy you did.
Some last words from Craig Myers on the subject: "We have a solid group of dedicated musicians and look forward to seeing everyone out on the road!"