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The band’s name comes from the 15th century term bailiwick, a reference to someone’s area of authority. It’s a place where someone can have their say, and Barley Wik’s members have their say as a collection of individuals with wildly eclectic musical influences.
Barley Wik’s sound reflects a musical style as diverse as their individual histories. The groups’ roots in the Saskatchewan prairie, small town Ontario, 1960s British styles, and a strong tie to the land merge to create a singular sound that incorporates a range of musical forms. Old-time country, folk, blues, bluegrass and spirituals inspire Barley Wik’s songs. All members are songwriters, and each brings a creativity and honesty to their music-making which keeps it real.
Since forming in 2002, the Victoria-based band has produced two independently recorded, critically acclaimed CDs. Monday Magazine chose Triangle Mountain the “most listenable CD” in 2004, while Barley Wik’s latest CD, Dusty Lullaby, was chosen album of the year at the Vancouver Island Music Awards.
Barley Wik have made two successful cross-Canada tours and are a fixture on Victoria’s vibrant music scene. The band’s music was featured on Village 900’s World Music Vol. 2 and Grrrls With Guitars, a Vancouver-based independent label showcasing west coast women singer songwriters. Last spring, Barley Wik was one of 15 bands chosen in a cross-Canada competition to appear on the Dig Your Roots compilation CD, a Canadian talent development initiative of the National Campus and Community Radio Association.
Jane Siberry recently chose the band for IndiEclectic.com, the artist-run on-line music showcase. Siberry describes Barley Wik’s music as “heart, spirit, wide, dusty (but clear), great energy.”
Barley Wik is working on a new CD that will be released in early 2006. Then they’ll take the new songs and the band’s hoe down, foot-stompin’, country-folk fun on the road.
“heart, spirit, wide, dusty (but clear), great energy.” - Jane Siberry