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The Barbershop Sessions at The Humble Barber

by Anna Karpinski

(photo: Anna Karpinski)Before PEI’s honky-tonk troubadour Nudie (full disclouse: my partner) heads out to the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, he visits the Humble Barber, Summerside’s coolest new barbershop. First a haircut, then a video shoot.

Sean Aylward, proprietor and barber of the shop, and Brendan Henry, graphic designer and videographer, are working together to create The Barbershop Sessions. They have been inviting local and touring musicians to sit in the vintage barber chair for a haircut or straight razor shave and then perform a set in the shop. Shakey Graves, Dave Woodside, Scott MacKay and Gordie MacKeeman and the Rhythm Boys are some of the performers on the Sessions to date.

Nudie is one of eight Canadians invited to play Nashville’s legendary venues this year during the Americana Music Festival. Sean, a young man with a classic barber’s gift of gab, casually discusses music with Nudie while Brendan shoots around the chair documenting the cut and the conversation. Instead of the usual barberspeak of sports and politics, they go over the finer points of tailors, hair pomade, California, the process of songwriting and where the name “Nudie” comes from.

The shop is airy and bright with high ceilings and tall windows. The classic red, white and blue barber light hangs next to a table with coiffeur’s tools immaculately arranged. Vintage turn table, acoustic guitar and vinyl records deck the room. Mirrors, a diploma and graphic art posters decorate the walls. Boutique grooming supplies and books on the art of living are laid out for sale. It’s the kind of shop that makes you slow down and appreciate the finer things in life.

Looking good after the barber’s handywork, Nudie sings two original songs followed by two cover versions, pointing out the fine acoustics of the room when he is done. Brendan quietly circles the room recording the session.

To view The Barbershop Sessions or book your next haircut, visit the Humble Barber on Facebook. As James Brown said: “Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things he’s got it all.”

To check out Nudie’s new cut and hear him play the tunes he entertained Nashville with, be sure to join Nudie at The Trailside Cafe in Mt Stewart, November 14 at 8 pm. For tickets visit www.trailside.ca or call 902-394-3626

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