Dave Barber | Molly’s Eyes: Exclusive Premiere

The guitar slinger's swinging single celebrates Django Reinhardt & his best friend.

Dave Barber celebrates a guitarist’s best friend in his jazzy new instrumental single Molly’s Eyes — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.

The first single and title cut from the Saskatchewan six-stringer’s upcoming debut album, Molly’s Eyes is a zippy, gently swinging ditty inspired by the legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt — and Barber’s favourite canine friend, of course. It’s also a warm, welcoming introduction to an album that showcases the fleet-fingered picker’s impressive skill set, tasteful musicianship and influences that encompass Chet Atkins, Bill Frisell and many others.

Molly’s Eyes is an album that feels like it’s been a long time coming,” Barber says. “My first love in music was bluegrass and classic country. All I wanted to do with life as a youngster was release albums of music I had written for the rest of my life.”

Born and raised on a farm in Saskatchewan, Barber picked up the five-string banjo at the age of 12. His precocious talents soon gave him opportunities to travel and play gigs around Western Canada. After high school, he moved to Alberta, studied jazz guitar and began backing up country artists. “I was lucky enough to find work as a sideman,” he recalls. “Next thing you know, 15 years of travel, learning and wonderful experiences had passed in what seemed like a blink of an eye.”

In addition to working with Colin James, Dallas Smith, Chad Brownlee and The High Bar Gang — to name a few — Barber was lucky enough to supply banjo on the Coleman Hell’s multi-platinum hit Two Heads. During those days, he won British Columbia Country Music Awards, a Canadian Gospel Music Award and received Canadian CCMA and Juno nominations. Dave and his wife Kirby Barber — also a musician — then moved to Nashville, where he worked with The Chieftains, Heidi Newfield of Trick Pony, Jordan Smith and High Valley. When the pandemic hit, the couple moved back north to Penticton, and Dave began crafting Molly’s Eyes.

“Nearing the end of the pandemic, I found some inspiration to write music,” he says. “For fun I thought I would record some of it to see how it sounded. Next thing you know there was an album.”

Check out Molly’s Eyes above and find Dave Barber on his website, Instagram and Facebook.