Ontario-crafted country outfit James Barker Band formed in 2013, and consists of James Barker, Taylor Abram, Bobby Martin, and Connor Stephen. As winners of the 2015 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase, they were awarded a release with Universal Music Canada and an all-inclusive trip to Nashville, Tennessee. The band was also given the opportunity to open for Thomas Rhett on the Boots and Hearts main stage in front of 40,000 of country music’s biggest fans and returned to play the mainstage at the festival in 2016.
The guys have had a busy year, with no signs of slowing down. Their first single, “Lawn Chair Lazy,” which was written by band front man, James Barker, along with fellow Canadians Gavin Slate and Travis Wood, became the highest charting debut single ever from a Canadian artist at Country Radio. Their video for the song also spent two weeks at #1 on the CMT Canada’s Chevy Top 20 Countdown. The band’s follow-up single, “Just Sayin’,” received mass praise from the industry and fans and just like the first, went Top 10 at country radio. The third, single “Chills” released on March 3 also received a #1 from CMT Chevy Top 20 Countdown, but also a #1 at Canadian country radio, making them the first band to have a number one at radio off a debut album. The boys have played shows with the likes of Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Brothers Osborne, Kip Moore, Jon Pardi, Dean Brody, High Valley, Tim Hicks and more.