The Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s two months of blood curdling, high intensity hockey to determine who will be the Champions of the National Hockey League.
What better way to celebrate the once great game, than have a Manitoban Troubadour sing a collection of hockey classics. Hockey has become a rich boy, corporate shill of a game. But Del Barber takes us back to an easier time when hockey was real and the game wasn’t some trumped up garbage.
“I had this idea to do hockey songs but thought it a long shot, I went to legal and my label (True North Records,) and they said, ‘brilliant idea, here is a bag of money go make it.’ I about fainted but I was tickled and that’s how The Puck Drops Here came to be,” stated Barber.
The Puck Drops Here, is definitely not a parody record. It’s equal parts tribute record tonally magnificent attempt at perfection.
The album starts with the iconic, “The Hockey Theme,” from Hockey Night in Canada. Under the magnificent guidance of CCMA guitarist and general badass of the year, Grant Siemans, the song takes a Dickie Dale theme.
Classics like “The Hockey Song,” and “Clear The Track, Here Comes Shack,” are included. The highlights though are Barber’s heartfelt take on the Ron Hynes “Sawchuk,” (which is a biographical song about the Greatest goaltender ever, Terry Sawchuk). “Hudson Bay Rules,” a Barber penned song about how hockey is played on the ponds and rinks across Canada when 10 guys get together for a little game of shinny.
“Man I had to do a song in french. I was born in an area that has the largest population of french speaking folks outside of Quebec. There is this book called The Hockey Player, which was really the only french I knew so that’s where this song came from.” Barber is referencing “Mon Chandail De Hockey,” a terrific tribute to that old children’s book.
The Puck Drops Here, closes with an outro version of “The Hockey Song.”
“I just love with the vibe we came up with this version. Sorta Hawaii 5-0 meets James Bond. I think we’ll play it like that on the road.” Barber stated.
A fun, sonically pleasing record. The Puck Drops Here, needs to be on your playlist and might be one of those records you’ll remember for years to come.