Sunbelly Music is an independent label based in Toronto, Ontario. It's primary role is a vehicle to release Barry Muir's self produced albums. Over the past ten years, Barry has released as many albums on Sunbelly, most recently, "The Wild and Beautiful" recorded in Nashville, TN. Others include Surest Comfort, Down to Fumes and Beba, all receiving airplay around the globe.
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About Barry Muir
I grew up in Saskatoon. My childhood summers were filled with days spent exploring the riverbanks of the South Saskatchewan River that snakes through the beautiful, prairie city. My winters were spent playing hockey on schoolyard rinks and nearby frozen ponds. I knew very early that music would be my path in life. It could have been the Beatles, Monkeys, Rolling Stones, or it could have been the many musicians in my neighborhood. As I’d walk down the street, I could hear drums pounding, electric guitars screeching even organs riffing through distorted speakers coming from basement windows. It wasn’t long until some of us got together and made one big noise! Soon we were playing sock-hops, weddings, school dances all before any of us were old enough to drive. Then it was on to playing high schools and the local bars along 2nd Avenue. The music scene in Saskatoon throughout the 70’s was vibrant with so many live music venues.
After graduating from Aden Bowman Collegiate, I worked at HEL Music which was a hangout for all the local musicians. It seemed I ate, breathed and slept music. Barely 20, I told my Mom I was going to move to Vancouver to join Canada’s next big rock band. With her blessing I did exactly that, joining the Payola$. We’d soon have the number one song coast to coast with Eyes Of A Stranger. We were nominated for a string of Juno awards, winning two in 1983. We toured with The Go Go’s, Cheap Trick, Rush and head lined our own shows in 130 US cities and across Canada.
Bob Rock, the guitar player in the Payola$ went on to produce Metallica, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, to name a few. In his early producer days, Bob would use me to play bass and one of those projects was Barney Bentall. I immediately bonded with Barney and his band. We became the Legendary Hearts signing a multi album deal with Epic/Columbia and later were part of Sony’s roster of Canadian bands. We also had some big hits, namely Something To Live For that is still a staple on Canadian classic rock stations. At the 1989 Juno awards, it was the second time I was part of a band to win Most Promising Group of the Year.
By 1989, my daughter was born and I had my own recording project that I was excited about so I left the Legendary Hearts. Dave Chesney who was partially responsible for signing Barney Bentall, took a liking to my demos and asked me if I’d go out on tour with The Blue Shadows. So off I went again, and the next three years would be the most fulfilling musical years of my career. The Blue Shadows were magic. The late, great Billy Cowsill could sing like a bird as Jeffery Hatcher’s voice would intertwine in a way reminiscent of The Everly Brothers and Beatles. Jay Johnson and I as a rhythm section could swing like few could swing.
After a brief hiatus from the music business, I began a new career. This time in finance. I also developed a keen interest in the recording of music. Over the next 10 years I’d go on to record as many albums with each one more ambitious than the last, many in my home studio. That brings me to my most recent album, “Gentle” recorded in Nashville and Toronto. Toronto being my new home.
Nothing like a breakup to spur so many emotions as a songwriter. “Gentle” is filled with songs about breaking up, knocking the walls down, starting over and even finding yourself alone. It’s not all sad though, the song “Better Together” is an uplifting tune about exactly that, life is better together. “Church at the Hollywood” is finding yourself on the street, seeking shelter and having new friends in the same situation. The first video is for “Weathered the Storm”, a song I wrote about giving a relationship time to heal. “She’s A Little Wildflower”, written by Lucy LeBlanc, Joanne Stacey and myself is about a mysterious girl that comes in and out of your life. The title song “Gentle”, is another I wrote asking to go easy knowing the end of a relationship is inevitable.
Watch "Weathered The Storm", the first video off "Gentle" coming Nov. 15 to all platforms
Listen to Bending the Strings from the current release, "Wild and Beautiful"
Check out two more songs from "Gentle"; Church At The Hollywood and She's A Little Wildflower
Other projects: Down to Fumes
Beba was recorded over the summer of 2016 after Moroccan lyricist, Amine Masror sent Barry a stack of lyrics. The songs poured out effortlessly from there and this classic album was born. The album received radio play in 25 countries around the world and can still be found on top 10 indie playlists such as https://www.numberonemusic.com/beba .