Musicians’ practice spaces can be messy. So when you walk into one—especially one inhabited by a guy who goes by “B”—you’re not prepared for a harmonious collision of obsessive-compulsiveness and feng shui. The hardwood floors are clean, and the furniture, instruments, cases and peripherals are precisely arranged.
Someone’s proverbial stuff is together. It’d have to be, for a guy like B—which stands for Brandon, Barker and Bob. (“My middle name is Robert,” the bespectacled ginger says.) He’s a Captain’s Platter guy with an insatiable appetite for everything from funk to hip-hop to rock to singer-songwriters to soul to jazz. And one diversely influenced, versatile man can’t sound like a band without organizational skills. Playing just one instrument takes focus. B prefers the beefy low tones that, in tandem with drums, anchor music’s engine. His weapon of choice, natch, is the bass, but he wields a variety of axes: guitar, harmonica, drums and a banana-shaped shaker all at the same time…
Recently, Barker began to journey on his own path.
“I looked into getting a van and a looper at the same time,” he said.
Barker saw both as opportunities for independence. He began to merge what he considered to be his two musical personas — the folk-felt singer songwriter and the funk-like nasty bassist.“I feel like instead of clashing, these personas are complementing each other,” Barker said. “They are Simply B.” Barker said the loop station has been his greatest teacher. It keeps him honest and frees him to develop musically in new ways.
Standard Examiner Interview, March 18 2015
“I’m just going to be fun and play some positive, uplifting, funky, lyrical stuff,” he said. “I like to groove, I like to make people dance. It ebbs and it flows, I try to keep it funky. That’s my first true love is for funk, and so everything else just works its way in there.”
Barker picked up a looping station a little more than a year ago in an effort to meld his two musical personalities together. With bass being his first and main instrument, Barker described one musical personality being “funky, nasty, marching around stage and sweating and screaming,” while the other sits in a chair hunched over an acoustic guitar and sings.
Combined, the result is a funky-fresh acoustic experience that created a sound for Barker that was different than anything he’d ever imagined in the past. He said the time was right to add a looping station and after researching and getting inspired by other artists, he dove head first.
Slug Magazine – Album Review – January 1, 2015
Simply B – The Candelaria Session
Simply B = Jack Johnson + Django Reinhardt + looping fun
The insanely talented Brandon “B” Barker is at it again, this time releasing a quick, four-song EP of material from his solo, multi-instrumental looping-project, Simply B. The recordings are a lot of fun, but with a project like this, the experience of watching the artist set up the loops and do everything himself is a major part of the awesomeness. Happily, B and his team filmed the whole session (the recording of all four tracks) to demonstrate, firsthand, what kind of magic was happening in the studio. I recommend watching the vids to get the appropriate appreciation for the art form, and then pop that disc in anytime you need a reminder that humans are awesome. Rock on, B—one more feather in the cap!
–Ischa B., Slug Magazine
Slug Magazine – Album Review – December 4, 2013
B & Company – The World Is Your Pearl
“B & Company = Jack Johnson + Django Reinhardt + a Latin twist”
“B & Company is Brandon “B” Barker, the bassist for local project Babble Rabbit, who recruited an assortment of skilled musicians and noise-makers (Djembe, megaphone, typewriter) to put together this delightfully funky 11-song album. It’s beautiful music and fully exciting in an unexpected way. Most of the tracks revolve largely around skillful acoustic guitar playing, and it is seriously no joke. Tricky riffs executed so skillfully that an eavesdropper—who is a skilled guitarist—listening in asked me in disbelief if the album was really local. Kudos, B! You’ve put together something to be proud of, and the musicians and production team involved should all give themselves a pat on the back, too. A+!”
–Ischa B., Slug Magazine
City Weekly – Album Review – August 27, 2014
Right Star – From Right Star, With Love
B’s song “Like Mic” was featured on Right Star’s new EP: From Right Star, With Love.
“…B brings the energy on ‘Like Mic’—the bass and acoustic guitar is excellent, weaving deftly through the lyrics…”
–Kolbie Stonehocker, Salt Lake City Weekly
Slug Magazine – Album Review – May 18, 2010
Babble Rabbit – Eloquent Maddness
“Babble Rabbit = Disturbed + Trapt + Korn”
“Oh my god. Babble Rabbit are at it again. Their new full length is totally doparoonie. They just have an angst that seriously rubs off on me and makes me want to jump up
and down and put my head through the wall. These killer dudes have traded some of their junior-high funkin’ style for more of a moody West Valley metal style. The funk action however, still seems to sneak it’s gnarly head in and DF (dry fuck) you until you can’t take it any more. The band is also headed out on tour soon, so many lucky citizens of the U.S. will get the privilege of experiencing their musical prowess. Be stoked, these dudes are bringing it in a special way.”
–Jon Robertson, Slug Magazine
Slug Magazine – Album Review – April 20, 2010
Babble Rabbit – Self Titled (EP)
“Babble Rabbit = Deuce + early Incubus + Primus + 311”
“Boy howdy!! The fuzzed-out funk/punk on this EP is so overwhelming that when you listen to it, you kind of feel like you might be sitting in a pile of your own timber. But rest assured, it’s not you that’s causing this feeling—it’s the astounding sounds of Babble Rabbit. I can’t begin to describe how breathtaking this album is. I think if you really want to get the full experience of
this awesomeness, you should listen to it at least five times in a row at a very high volume. Good times. Keep up the strong work, boys.”
–Jon Robertson, Slug Magazine