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JJ Voss to play Parlour Barber Shop in Yorkton

JJ Voss said the idea of a barber shop hosting music is innovative.
JJ Voss playing in Yorkton Oct. 15.

YORKTON - A barber shop might seem like a strange venue for music but Parlour Barber Shop in Yorkton will be hosting their second show Oct. 15, with JJ Voss set to perform.

Voss said the venue is certainly a bit off the norm.

“It’s unique and it’s outside the box, I love it,” he told Yorkton This Week.

Certainly the shop is an intimate venue, and Voss said that fits him well. “I really love playing small, intimate venues, it’s my bread and butter,” he said.

Voss said the idea of a barber shop hosting music is innovative.

“Any time small business can cross promote it opens up new opportunities and forms new relationships,” he said.  

It also may attract a new audience in terms of enjoying live music.

“I expect there will be a few people at this show that have never heard my music, as well there will probably be a few people who support my work who have never been to Parlour,” said Voss.

So what does a venue such as a barber shop offer that others might not? “My approach to music and life is pretty unvarnished and raw, being able to look each one of your audience in the eye  and connect with them on a personal level is really rewarding,” offered Voss. “Playing for large crowds on big stages makes for a different type of approach, and it can be harder to make that connection.”

Of course playlists do get adjusted according to venue – at least a little.

“For bigger audiences in larger, more spread out venues, sometimes a person has to work harder to keep the crowd’s attention,” said Voss. “I might add a couple more cover songs in that setting in order to keep ‘em engaged.”

Those attending the Yorkton show will hear Voss’ latest – maybe.

“I have one new song that I’ve been working on for a long time,” he said. “I might pull that one out and give it a few test runs on my October batch of shows.

“I’ve been writing the song for 15-years now -- I’d better pull it out and see if it works with the audience.”

Of course in general performers are just happy to be back playing live after the uncertainty of the COVID restrictions.

“It’s been great to be able to plan shows with out that nagging fear that it could be cancelled,” said Voss. “For two years we could really only plan for three months at a time, and even then, the plans were fluid and they changed.”

But Voss said the COVID situation did force learning some new ‘skills’.

“I think over all, the COVID experience forced us to be flexible, innovative and more resilient, there were a lot of negatives but finding the silver lining  helped maintain my sanity,” he said.

For Voss COVID did hit at an inopportune time.

“After a pretty long health related break from my career, I released a new album the same week that the lock downs took effect,” he said. “I had no choice but to promote the record even though in person live performances weren’t in the cards.

“My team and I jumped head first into the new dimension of live streaming. We made it up as we went along and weren’t afraid to try anything and everything.

“I’m fortunate to have a pretty loyal following of people who like what I do as an artist and I’m eternally grateful to them for supporting me by way of on-line merchandise/CD sales and live stream tips through the initial phase of the pandemic lock down.”