Bio: 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.
Playing a spunky and engaging variety of contemporary country with pop and rock accents, the James Barker Band enjoyed a speedy rise to popularity in their native Canada before making a strong impression in the United States. The James Barker Band were formed in 2013 in Lindsay, Ontario by James Barker (lead vocals and guitar) and Connor Stephen (drums), who first met while they attended band camp together when they were kids. The two played in bands together through high school, and while doing some recording at a local studio in 2011, they met guitarist Taylor Abram. Abram hit it off with Barker and Stephen, and he was soon making music with them. The final piece of the puzzle came in 2013, when bassist Bobby Martin, who had worked with Barker in the past, joined the lineup. Shortly afterward, the James Barker Band won the Nashville Star talent competition at Kempenfest in Barrie, Ontario, and the group was on its way.