Saying goodbye to Kim Barlow

Yukon songstress Kim Barlow is leaving the territory. She will say goodbye in style, getting together a cast of musical co-conspirators for a send-off show Sunday night at the Yukon Arts Centre.

Yukon songstress Kim Barlow is leaving the territory. She will say goodbye in style, getting together a cast of musical co-conspirators for a send-off show Sunday night at the Yukon Arts Centre.

The next day, she and her husband will pack their three-month-old twins into a car and begin their long drive to Nova Scotia, where Barlow came from 20 years ago.

“It’s time to move on,” said Barlow. “Me and my husband just made these two new babies, and it feels like it’s time to move closer to family.”

Twenty years ago, Barlow wouldn’t have guessed that she would be here today, with five full-length records and two Juno nominations under her belt. She has toured all over Canada, Europe and Australia.

She started as a shy, fresh-faced kid out of music school who came to the Yukon for an adventure.

“I came up for a summer and had an epic, wild, amazing, awesome summer. And of course fell in love with the place and people. I made a whole group of friends that summer and a lot of them are still here.

“There were tons of campfires and opportunities to just be playing music. A lot of my friends, we lived in cabins that didn’t have electricity or running water. It was really analogue. We spent a lot of time just playing music together for entertainment.”

She has tried to leave before, she said.

“I keep coming back. Who knows if it will really take this time? I think it will.”

She couldn’t have accomplished all she has without the supportive community of Yukon musicians, she said.

“Right from the beginning, I was really shy. It took me a lot to start singing in front of people. You just find yourself doing gigs here, it’s hilarious. I remember several times over the course of my time here where I had a casual conversation with somebody in a bar about doing a show, and the next thing I know, my name is on a poster somewhere.”

Her first record, Humminah, also came as a bit of a surprise to Barlow, she said.

“I got into horse logging for a while. I bought a team of horses out in Haines Junction, the big Belgian horses, and we were doing firewood out there. That same winter, I had been doing a few gigs around town, and a record label that was here back then, Caribou Records, approached me and asked if I wanted to make a record. It was kind of a surprise, and kind of out of the blue.”

Then she started touring, and quickly got hooked on the lifestyle, she said.

Now, as her life settles down a bit and she plans to head home, it feels like coming full circle, said Barlow.

“I had some pretty wild times here, and I was a free spirit, I guess you would say, and then touring all over and doing the rock and roll lifestyle for a while. And now I’m married and I have babies and we’re going to go live in the country in Nova Scotia. I’m still going to play music and tour, but not as much as I used to.”

Sunday’s concert will feature Andrea McColeman, Dave Haddock, Lonnie Powell, Micah Smith and Helene Beaulieu as Barlow’s backing band.

Special guests will include Kim Beggs, Natalie Edelson, Bob Hamilton and Daniel Janke.

Extra special guests Betsy Sims and Martha Scott Stey are coming in from Juneau for a reprise of Barlow’s old band, the Glacial Erratics.

“I’m getting as many people who I’ve played with over the years to come and do the show with me. It will be a big reunion on stage, and we’ll play a lot of the old hits.”

There will be new songs, too, from Barlow’s current band, Blue Hibou. That band is set for a CD release next month.

“For me it just feels like a chance to say goodbye to everybody. So many people that I know and love. I want to see them all in the room together one last time – I don’t like to say one last time – one more time. It won’t be the last time.”

Barlow and her husband have not yet found a new home in Nova Scotia, but are looking for something in the Annapolis Valley, said Barlow.

“We’re hoping to get a nice big place with a guest house out there in country. We want people to come visit.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maura Forrest/Yukon News File photos from Beaver Creek White River First Nation
Bessie Chassé elected as new chief of White River First Nation

“I was happy that the membership saw that I was ready for this position.”

X
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 21, 2021.… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Returning students and seasonal workers encouraged to get the vaccine while self-isolating in Yukon

Yukon health care system has few resources to offer to struggling provinces, said Hanley.

Inside the courtroom in Whitehorse, Chief Electoral Officer Max Harvey, Vuntut Gwitchin returning officer Renee Charlie and Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Duncan open the box containing the names of the tied candidates. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Annie Blake elected as MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin after name draw

“I’m still feeling shocked that my name was drawn, I feel overwhelmed.”

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Yukon MP Larry Bagnell speaks at an announcement in Whitehorse on July 8, 2019.
Federal budget includes changes to Northern Residents Deduction, minimum wage, green energy funds

The massive budget included some rare references to the territory.

Doug Bell photographed in Whitehorse in 2008, for an article about his role as Yukon Commissioner in the early 1980’s. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon remembers former commissioner Doug Bell

Bell passed away in Whitehorse on Sunday, at the age of 94.

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Most Read