Black Eyed Barbie is a dynamic mixture of Rock, Country and R&B that will make you feel like you are riding shotgun on a Saturday morning with the windows down and the volume up high. Nostalgic, but still somehow fresh, this is solid classic rock with a twist, a je-ne-sais-quoi that might have had something to do with the inventive bass lines and melodic guitar solos that definitely lends an original edge to the 5 piece ensemble. The vocals are powerful and controlled, and it carries their storied lyrics well, from fun, upbeat romps to the weightier stuff of life; they don’t shy away from the full gamut of emotions in their songwriting. You will love hearing this tight, together band play live for the first time – it definitely won’t be your last.
Black Eyed Barbie consists of Geoff Breen as bass guitarist and vocalist, Dwayne Jackson as lead vocalist and guitarist, Brad Foisy as lead guitarist and vocalist, John Redley as keyboardist and vocalist, and Todd Gemmil on drums.
“Black Eyed Barbie is more classic rock, with a little bit of outlaw country and some funk; it’s honest,” explained Breen. “Dwayne [Jackson], Brad [Foisy] and I, the main songwriters started experimenting in different songwriting styles. I don’t want to say we got older, but we found music we naturally wrote lent more to Black Eyed Barbie than it did to anything we had done earlier with previous projects.”
The new melodic, country rock music will be recorded in studio this winter, with new songs — along with a music video — to be released in January. This will follow up the band’s debut four-song EP.
“We’ve definitely got a bit more blues-based to it,” noted Breen, in regards to the band’s first release. “The Black Eyed Barbie sound [has] really developed. We’ve found our voice, what works for us. Black Eyed Barbie is the most pure, authentic us that I’ve ever done; these songs we write is the best stuff we’ve ever done. We love doing it.”
Black Eyed Barbie performs locally and performed in the Sound of Music Festival this past summer.
“This past year, we were picked to play Sound of Music’s [Downtown] Streetfest and it was a great show,” said Breen. “We met a lot of people and had a very successful experience, with great interaction with the crowd.”
However, the band has had an invitation to perform retracted in the past due to its name, which had been accused of referring to abuse.
“That’s exactly what the name is [about],” said Breen, who has a background in crisis counselling in adolescent youth work. “I once heard about a little girl who was acting out and they didn’t know why. They had an interview with the mother while the little girl played with toys; partway through the meeting, she took the Sharpie off the desk, and at the end of the meeting, realized she had been drawing black eyes on all the dolls. When asked why, she said, ‘this is what mommy looks like when daddy comes home from work.’ Nobody knew anything and that simple doll told a story, and gave insight to what was going on and [was] able to offer help to that family.
“We are a fun party band, we love having a good time, but we’re also sometimes that small insignificant doll that tells a deeper story. We try to support homeless shelters and shelters for abused women, and bring attention to those things over and above the party.”