Hidden Gem: James Barker Band’s ‘Game On’ EP

The James Barker Band, a Canadian group hailing from Barrie, Ontario, released their debut EP Game On in April of this year. The 7-song collection is jam packed with potential singles, with stylistic nods to the best of Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, and Sam Hunt. From the backyard island vibe of “Lawn Chair Lazy” to the honky-tonk lilt of “Living The Dream,” the band covers their bases and then some. “It’s Working” is an ultra-catchy bluegrass-tinged track (to which you’d be crazy not to clap along), and “Throwback” is a hip-hop coated ode to old school that’s reminiscent of Chesney’s “American Kids.” Overall, the songwriting and production combine tried-and-true storylines with genre-crossing instrumentation to present a fun, diverse EP.

Lead single “Chills” – written by James Barker, Gavin Slate, Donovan Woods and Travis Wood – is a clear standout, with its rolling rhythm and fast-paced chorus. (The track hit No. 1 on Canadian Country Radio this week.) The concept is simple but well-executed, and the EP also features a sweet acoustic version. Watch the video below:

Find more information about the James Barker Band, including socials and upcoming shows, on their website.