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Rik Barron & Duncan Wells

Call it what you want. Americana, Canadiana or Maritime folk. Veteran musicians Rik Barron and Duncan Wells have put together group of songs and tunes which are both an eclectic and traditional at the same time. Wonderfully fulfilling.

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The Quiet Faith of Man

Rik Barron

Maritime folk songs and tunes sung and played with gentle power.

Rik Barron was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The veteran musician has performed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. A consummate performer, Rik entertains his audience with a seamless blend of great baritone singing, expert playing and irreverent humour.

It's perhaps best to see what other people say about the recording to get a better sense of what's inside.Two of the CD's reviews are reprinted below.

Rik Barron. The Quiet Faith of Man

Here is a recording that is a real pleasure to hear and to have out in the world! Included on this eleven-track CD are three equally represented categories: Canadian compositions, American-authored pieces and traditional material. Six of the tracks are songs (with vocals) and the remaining five are instrumental tunes featuring Rik on mandolin, mandola or 5-string banjo.

One thing that impresses me about Rik’s vocal presentation is that he places on each song a stamp of gentle power, whether it be on a light-hearted offering or on something quite serious. Barron has a voice capable of soothing the ears while at the same time holding the listener’s attention to the lyrical content.

The material is very effectively ordered on this recording, and the flavour of the title track, by Bill Staines (“The Quiet Faith of Man”) permeates most of the entire album. However, Rik does surprise the listener two-thirds of the way through with a powerful rendition of “No Place For Children” (by Daniel Master), which is a hard-hitting song about some of the world’s more serious social and justice issues. Following this track up with an instrumental version of “ Come Thy (Thou) Fount of Every Blessing” is a masterful way to carry the listener into some reflection time for the preceding song.

I was impressed by Rik’s use of the 5 string banjo on three of the instrumentals- another surprise; he features the banjo on the three pieces with slower tempos, and reserves the fast playing for the mandolin and mandola on the two remaining instrumental tracks. Barron’s respect for banjo player Tony Ellis is evidenced by coverage in the liner notes and inclusion of two of Ellis’s original compositions on the CD.

It was somewhat refreshing to discover a CD on which the artist did not write or compose any of the material, thereby concentrating the creative process on the arrangements of other people’s works. From this practise Rik Barron makes his musical statements, and this has helped him become a very effective song and tune agent.

This album features a good balance of instruments on each track, with none of the clutter that results from overproduced recordings. The instruments used on various songs and tunes are guitar, electric bass, mandolin, mandola, 5-string, tenor banjo and accordion. Barron’s side musicians include Dave Panting, Brian Bourne and Geoff Panting, and they are to be commended for tasteful playing and good backup singing.

I discovered that on successive listenings, the total package of music really grew on me as new surprises found their way into my ear. If one wants to hear terrific music by a talented music agent with great baritone power, Rik Barron’s Quiet Faith of Man is a sure bet. Barry Luft, Calgary, AB Canadian Folk Music Bulletin Fall 2004 Vol 38.3

Rambles: Rik Barron, The Quiet Faith of Man Rik Barron, The Quiet Faith of Man (independent, 2004)

Rik Barron's CD The Quiet Faith of Man is the kind of record that uplifts the spirit and renews one's faith in simple independent recordings. A simple yet

accomplished project, this collection of mostly-traditional folk songs is enjoyable from start to finish. Clocking in at just over 32 minutes for 12 songs, it never overstays its welcome and leaves the listener wanting more. Rik Barron comes across as a warm and genuine person, with a rich and weathered voice that's well-suited to simple love songs and traditional odes to his home of Newfoundland. He sings all lead vocals and plays guitars, mandola, mandolin and 5-string banjo with confidence and precision. Perhaps not a songwriter himself, he chooses to showcase the songs of others, including those of his colleague on guitars and mandolins, Dave Panting. Other songwriters represented on the album are Duncan Wells ("From Hopkins Wharf to Havenside," "Sittin' Next to You"), Bill Staines ("The Quiet Faith of Man") and Daniel Master, whose award-winning "No Place for Children" is particularly thoughtful and affecting. Barron skillfully combines songs and instrumental tracks on the CD, and the instrumental pieces are just as satisfying as the songs. Tony Ellis's "Cherry Blossom Waltz" and "Hand in Hand" are lovely. In addition to Barron and Panting, the band consists of Brian Bourne on bass and backing vocals and Geoff Panting on accordion. Barron's thoughtful liner notes provide more insight into the project and how it came together. The Quiet Faith Of Man was clearly a joy to produce and that positive spirit carries through to the listener.

Rambles written by Joy McKay published 13 August 2005

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Shine

Rik Barron

Shine is a folk roots family recording that parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, neighbors and friends can all listen to at the same time.

Winner of the 2009 East Coast Music Award
Children's Recording of the Year

Nominee 2008 "Canadian Folk Music Awards" Children's Album of the Year

2009 Indie Awards ( Canadian Independent Music Awards) Favorite Children's Artist

Rik Barron is an award winning children’s entertainer. The Newfoundland based singer has been performing for young audiences for nearly 25 years. His style is unique in the children’s market borrowing heavily from his day job as a folk singer and instrumentalist. On Shine, Rik uses his traditional laid back approach to deliver a recording that is itself also traditional and laid back. A year in the making, Shine is a labor of love. It features the subtle sounds of 5 string banjos, mandolins, and acoustic guitars at their most relaxed while never straying from their roots origins.

Rik's liner notes on the back cover of the CD state the intent and focus of the CD

“When our children were young Sarah and I searched for all sorts of music. One of the things we looked for were recordings that would allow us to relax. What I’ve tried to do here is create a recording that grandparents, aunt’s, uncles, mothers, fathers, friends, babysitters and children’s can all listen to at the same time. I want to thank Duncan Wells for writing the beautiful song Shine. Its’ relaxed feel, beautiful melody and lyrics set the pace for the entire recording. There is a time place and music for letting loose. There are other recordings out there for that. There is also a time to hum, sing, play along or listen. “

So… Have a listen.

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Never So Far

Rik Barron

Dan MacDonald of the Cape Breton Post sums the album up in a review from Sept 2010. "Never So Far is a very laid-back selection of music that would go best with friends and a glass of wine by a nice fireplace. You can relax with Renaissance (a Valdy hit that was written by David Bradstreet), which has songs from Pete Seeger, John Hartford and Gary Taylor and a pair of banjo instrumentals from Tony Ellis. My personal highlights are the opening cut, a retrospective on life called 55 Years that was written by Canso resident Irish Mythen, and the title cut written by Gregory Dane Brown."

2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee Traditional Singer of the Year

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Over in the Meadow

Rik Barron

Great songs for the entire family. Good for dancing, singing and your overall inner happiness.

A wonderful collection of old and new folk songs for the entire family. Songs that some of the older folks know but have been slipping from the repertoires of the younger sets. In Sept 201 Dan MacDonald of the Cape Breton Post reviewed the album. " Bright and spirited, Over In The Meadow is designed to keep the kids entertained, singing and clapping along to a dozen tunes geared to that audience, but enjoyable to all ages. You have The Fox, Little White Duck, The Red Red Robin, Dave Maillet’s The Garden Song, Duncan Well’s Wait For The Dinner Bell, all comfortably familiar to the listener." 2011 Indie Award Nominee for Best Children's Artist and 2011 East Coast Music Award Winner for Best Children's Recording.

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Bound for the Ice

Rik Barron

True Maritime folk

Bound for the Ice is Rik Barron’s first solo CD. While it has a broad musical scope his Newfoundland seafaring heritage is clearly evident throughout this well played and produced collection. The recording is sprinkled with sea shanties and fine celtic instrumentals. Whether it is the ballad of the Shantyman’s Life or the rollicking 10,000 Miles Away Rik’s distinctive baritone voice brings a distinctive feel to this storied but all to often derivative tradition. The Ferryland Sealer is a particularly interesting traditional song for Rik as his mothers family have occupied the town of Ferryland for more than 150 years and were indeed fisherman and sealers. Instrumentals like the Foggy Dew and Sally in the Garden show the cross section of cultures from the British Isles to the New World.

Noted sub mariner and singer Tom Lewis gave the CD an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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Right to the Bone

Rik Barron

Excellent, contemporary maritime folk featuring songs of some of the areas best writers.

Right to the Bone represents another collaboration by Newfoundlander's Rik Barron and Dave Panting. During the time that the CD was being made Rik lived in Prince Edward Island and not surprisingly many of the songs on the recording are from that area. This CD is a great example of maritime song catching . These wonderful songs are interpreted by Barron in his trademark baritone voice and as usual with these recordings are full of finely played and wonderful sounding acoustic instruments. For an example Lighthouse Keepers Dream by Scott Parsons, The Fire Hall Dance by Jamie MacSwain and The Red Dirt Road by Margie Carmichael capture the feel of PEI and Barron does a great job of interpreting them.

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Old Dogs New Tricks

Barron and Panting

Contemporary and traditional maritime roots music smoothly executed by two of Newfoundlands finest musicians.

Rik Barron and Dave Panting hail from St. John's, Newfoundland. Dave is a founding member of two of Atlantic Canada's most influential bands, Figgy Duff and the multi award winning Rawlins Cross. Rik, an award winning solo artist in his own right, has toured North America and Europe for more than two decades. Eleven years ago Dave and Rik collaborated on a video vignette for JVC/Smithsonian Folkways. Dave has produced and played on four of Rik's solo CD's and Rik has contributed on a number of Dave's solo and band recordings.

Living in the same city for the first time in years the two friends formed a duo in early 2003. They are consummate performers entertaining their audiences with a seamless blend of great singing, expert playing and irreverent humour.

Rik is known for his unique banjo and guitar styles and smooth baritone voice. Dave is a master of the Celtic mandolin and guitar and the composer of many acclaimed songs and tunes.

They are endorsing artists for Adamas Guitars, Deering Banjos, Weber Mandolins and John Pearse Strings.

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