Peterborough, ON Singer/Songwriter celebrity, Barry Haggarty, reflects on love & ‘Moments’ in time as he moves a NEW single.
Raised from humble beginnings, Barry Haggarty grew up in Peterborough taking to rock and roll music at the very young age of 10 but, learned guitar through practice for years before making their first public appearances. Barry engaged in guitar lessons at Rawson’s, with a wonderfully talented guitar player, Tony Hignett, who played in the sixties with Joey Henderson and Jawbone.
Before kicking off his own solo career, Haggarty played guitar for the legendary Ronnie Hawkins — where he also had the pleasure of playing with Bob Dylan and the Band, as well as with The Family Brown. Come 1999, he formed his own touring band, began recording his own music, and released the single ‘Come To Me”, with Ixtland Records. Barry later joined Bentwood Rocker, and with this talented group, released an album with Quality Records entitled ‘Take Me to Heaven.’ Barry released another single with Capitol Records called ‘Second Wind’ which was produced by Ian Thomas. Barry has co-written a number of songs with fellow Peterborough native and seasoned musical veteran, Cyril Rawson and played sessions in Nashville for Lucille Starr, and a then up-and-coming young singer, Shania Twain. After releasing an independent single, ‘ Doesn’t Mean A Thing’, Barry toured with ‘The Family Brown’ and was the guitar player on the television series, ‘Ronnie and the Browns”, starring Ronnie Prophet and The Family Brown. Barry was voted one of Canada’s top guitarists during the 1970s and has made a living from full-time music during the last 40 years.
Barry was nominated for Guitar Player of the Year three years in a row, 1990-1992 at the CCMA’s, and in 1991, he opened his own recording studio that same year, Haggarty Sound Studio, in Peterborough, Ontario. Barry has since produced independent artists such as Montana Sky, ELISE (EUROPEAN SUCCESS), Mark Ekins, and Danny Bronson. Global Television’s Popular Mechanics For Kids uses your studio for voiceovers with one of the young stars being Tyler Kyte. Over one hundred CDs and Cassettes have been released by independent artists, companies, and organizations from Haggarty Sound Studio, more than a dozen with Barry as the Producer. Barry’s passion is producing acts for radio, from hiring all involved, including only the best musicians (most of whom can be found locally due to our very rich natural resource – local talent par excellence!) to project completion, and CD production.
1999 marked a milestone for Barry as a singer, songwriter, musician, producer, and studio owner with the release of his premiere independent CDs, ‘Old Days.’ This CD is a collection of works of the heart, and a culmination of many years of experience, honing his craft and talents as a multifaceted artist/producer. “Give Me A Break”, the first single release from ‘Old Days” has been nationally charted by RPM, followed years later with his 2nd solo album where Barry fulfilled his dream of recording at Abbey Road Studio in London, England, and The CD is called “Barry Haggarty Unplugged at Abbey Road Studio – If These Walls Could Talk.” The CD and video DVD are online!
In 2003 Barry produced a compilation CD of various artists to raise money for the Peterborough Humane Society. A benefit concert featuring 12 of those artists was held at Showplace. The show was hosted by Ric Johnson and Mike Melnik, (more fun than you can stand!) and was amazingly well produced.
Barry has had the pleasure of working with Valdy and Natalie McMaster in the studio. Barry, along with Ed Arnold, has written a song for the Hockeyville contest called “Peterborough is Hockeyville” which will be aired on CBC TV.
2008 – Barry is also part of the house band and entertainment line-ups for the fundraising evenings with the Gainey Foundation. Barry was also inducted into the Kenner Collegiate Hall of Honour that Nov. 7th.
2013 – Barry Haggarty Project and CD featuring “IT’S A LONG ROAD BACK”, a single released to radio that Feb. 2nd and in September 2013, Barry felt truly honored to be inducted into the Peterborough Walk of Fame! As well, in 2013, Haggarty was later inducted into the Peterborough Pathway of Fame,
2016 – Haggarty Sound Studio worked on a CD featuring local performers who rocked the stage at Showplace on April 8th. Barry is also more involved in publishing original works along with his son Adam, making connections in Nashville and LA.
2021, Two months after this year’s long-awaited release of his third-ever solo studio album, Consider Me Undecided, Canadian pop-rock country artist Barry Haggarty has released a touching new music video for the single “Moments” — available now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn_kuTbCV1o
Co-written with Cyril Rawson, “Moments” is a quick and powerful, classical-inspired folk ballad that contains a myriad of beautiful acoustic guitar arrangements; it features a haunting, Led Zeppelin-esque flute melody, and endlessly visceral vocal harmonies by not just Haggarty, but well known Peterborough songbird and sensational award-winning singer, Kate Suhr. Because the music itself is so emotionally enticing and speaks for itself, its accompanying music video is simple and stripped back — all it really needs to be. The two-and-a-half minute short sees the Peterborough, Ontario-based musician, in all black and white, singing along in a studio, as he stares pensively into the camera’s eye.
Though Haggarty has yet to disclose exactly what inspired him to write “Moments,” his lyrics are telling and vulnerable enough to give at least a vague idea. It’s all about love, and a reflection on it — whether that be all the good times shared with a lover or the bad; many of the branches and intricacies that, over time, managed to keep an intimate bond so strong.
Throughout the video, shots of candlesticks and old family portraits — as well as the typed-out lyrics to “Moments” — are interlaced with footage of Haggarty and the magnificent Kate Suhr. performing their hearts out in respective recording rooms of the veteran musician’s home studio: Haggarty Sound Studio.
To make things even sweeter, Haggarty enlisted different session musicians, with a variety of different sonic expertise, to record the songs live in his studio. Live off the floor? Wow! Right? Impressively enough, too, Haggarty kept all the editing and post-production to a minimum, to maintain an “old school” vibe on this album. “That’s what this project is: real live players in the studio making music,” he says.
Q. 1) DEB: The love of music struck you at the age of 10 thanks to the Beatles. You first garnered attention at an early age upon the Peterborough music scene, and you have never been idle since, Back when you 1st started, did you ever imagine that your career would unfold the way it has and that your songs would impact the world at large as they have?
A. 1) BARRY: “I’m really happy to have made a living in the music business.
That alone is success to me, It’s nice to know that I’ve touched a few people with some of my songs.
When someone comes up to you and says they’ve heard your new song, and it’s touched them in some way…. that’s pretty special!“
Consider Me Undecided serves as your first record in more than 15 years Barry and was born from the ambition to create a project that oozed “musical diversity.” From rock to pop, to country, and then back to folk, classical, and jazz, all 13 original tracks offer something completely different for your fans and is filled with a collection of your most personal songs to date and is an album that dives deep into your masterful musician’s extensive talent.
Q. 2) DEB: Take us on a stroll through your iconic songwriting process inside this, your 3rd solo album, and how your single, Moments, came to be.
A. 2) BARRY: “When I started this project, I had no idea where it was going to take me.
I had snippets of ideas hanging around and soon realized that there were a lot of different musical genres. I came up with 13 songs ranging from rock to classical pop, country and what I call cinematic tunes. There are instrumentals along with vocal songs. It’s quite a mixture. Hence the title…. Consider Me Undecided. I had music hanging around for Moments. The idea was to talk about moments in people’s relationships that made them who they are. I talked to Cyril Rawson about it and he came up with a great lyrical concept that struck a chord with me. It’s one of those songs that I feel the music and lyrics are like a marriage…they work really well together.”
Q. 3) DEB: Playing guitar for some of the most notable iconic names in music history, like Cyril Rawson, Jersey Joe Henderson, Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, The Band, and The Family Brown just to name but a few, what would you say was your favorite concert memory and why?
A. 3) BARRY: “My favorite concert memory…that’s a tough one. When I was 18, I was just happy to be on stage anywhere. I would say the …Rolling Thunder Revue… was a good one.
I was with Ronnie Hawkins at the time and shared the stage with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and Roger McGuinn from the Byrds. Quite the memory! My first gig with The Family Brown was in front of 50,000 people, nerve-wracking but great!”
Q. 4) DEB: Never idle since your love of music began well over 5 decades ago, pre-COVID-19, had you felt pressure or a major shift in the music industry compared to when your career began at age 10, in 1964?
A. 4) BARRY: “Things are always changing in the music business. The only pressure is trying to keep up with the times. Whether it was recording or the style of writing it is always changing.
I soon learned that you had to follow your musical heart and try not to jump on all the new fads. Try to keep up with the times but with your own twist.”
Q. 5) DEB: As well, if you could include who inspires or influences you and your songwriting the most then and now.?
A. 5) BARRY: “It would have to be the Beatles then and now. The songs were so well crafted.
The Eagles were great writers also…Don Henley…what a voice! There’s a band out called ..Lickerish Quartet…very old school, great writing in my opinion.”
Q. 6) DEB: What was the best advice you were given about the ins and outs of the music industry back in the day, as well, what advice would you offer to up-and-coming artists trying to break into the biz in this day and age?
A. 6) BARRY: “Love what you do and try to stay true to yourself, and that holds true today.
I understand wanting to be the next big thing but if you don’t love what you do it makes it tough.
I tell people if you work at something long and hard enough you will get a certain amount of success.
It’s not all about commercial success, there are different degrees of that. Someone could be in a band that plays weddings…that could be success to them! Sometimes people will say to me that they want to sound like this person or that person. What’s wrong with sounding like yourself?”
Q. 7) DEB: What would you say is your claim to fame and secret to longevity?
A. 7) BARRY: “Claim to fame I’m not sure about…just try to do a good job. I think longevity is just being stubborn and persistent.“
Q. 8) DEB: What does success mean to you?
A. 8) BARRY: “Whatever your success is, it means being happy with what you’re doing in life.
It means getting up each day and enjoying what I’m doing, and hopefully, make a little money along the way.“
Q. 9) DEB: Some of the most historical and revered music always plays a deeper role in the transformation of societies. Some consider how their work relates to the current sociopolitical landscape or how the music can address these themes. Do you think some of your masterpiece originals touch on current social or political issues?
A. 9) BARRY: “My songs are pretty straightforward. All though there is a song on my new album called …The Lion They Tame…which could have a few different meanings. When I wrote it, I was thinking about the last Administration south of the border. I do like songs where the lyrics make you think and they don’t really need to make sense.”
Q. 10) DEB: Some artists seem reluctant to speak of just how frustrating and baffling the whole experience of navigating the general music realm is, let alone add in Covid-19 and how hard they try to still be ambitious about getting their artwork seen, heard, and or sold. Outside of your new album, what are some other unique ways you chose the last 18 months, to engage with your legions of fans, whether that’s within the top echelon of international art circles or based on your involvement with your local community, despite the challenges throughout COVID-19?
A. 10) BARRY: “Finishing the album was a big part of it. I was also working with…Bentwood Rocker…We as a band have had a certain amount of success also. We released a few videos and singles, which you can find on all the platforms. Luckily the studio stayed busy throughout with people sending me material to work on.”
Q. 11) DEB: What is next up on the horizon for Barry Haggarty?
A. 11) BARRY: “I will certainly keep the studio rockin” Plan to keep on recording and release new material. I’m thinking I might retire when I’m 95…but maybe not!”
Thanks for your time today Barry, stay safe and keep the musical faith. ~ Deb Draper The Wire MEGAzine.
Fans can stay in touch by visiting Barry Haggarty’s social platforms below: