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JAMES BARKER BAND KICKS OFF SUMMER WITH MAJOR LABEL DEBUT AND PERFORMANCES AT BOOTS AND HEARTS

james barker band 06 MAY 2016 (Toronto, ON) – Ontario-crafted country outfit James Barker Band are kicking off summer with their major label debut via Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company, and upcoming performances with Boots and Hearts, Canada’s largest music and camping festival.  Their debut single “Lawn Chair Lazy,” was written by band front man, James Barker, along with fellow Canadians Gavin Slate and Travis Wood.  The track was serviced to country radio today and is available via all digital retailers. “The overwhelming support of our fans during the voting process was one of the biggest surprises of the whole competition,” says Barker. “You don’t realize how many supporters you have until something like that comes along.  It’s like our whole local community just blew up.   We’re very excited for the release of Lawn Chair Lazy and we think it’s going to be on country fans’ playlists all summer.” Formed in 2013, the James Barker Band 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 will be returning to play the festival in 2016 on the main stage, August 4-7. “Building from local success to becoming an internationally-recognized name in country music, Boots and Hearts is a home to artists and a destination for fans,” said Jeffrey Remedios, President and CEO of Universal Music Canada. “We’re proud to be partnering with both Republic Live and Boots and Hearts in finding and nurturing upcoming talent – and the James Barker Band marks an exciting first of more to follow.” The James Barker Band regularly plays the southern Ontario circuit and fans can next catch them performing May 13 in Barrie, at the Boots and Hearts Pre-Game Party.

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  About Universal Music Canada Universal Music Canada (UMC) is Canada's leading music company, engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising, and audiovisual content. Home to the most comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMC is committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship in broadening opportunities for our artists on both the domestic and world stages as well as creating new experiences for fans. UMC is a unit of Universal Music Group, the world leader in music-based entertainment in more than 60 countries.  For further information on Universal Music Canada, please visit www.universalmusic.ca. About Boots and Hearts Boots and Hearts is an annual country music festival event run by Republic Live, that will take place at the custom-designed camping and festival grounds at Burl’s Creek this summer from August 4th – 7th.  This year’s festival features headliners Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley joined by Jake Owen, Sam Hunt, Chase Rice, Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, Diamond Rio, Emerson Drive, Chase Bryant, Dylan Scott, Jason Blaine, Cam, Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies, Tebey, Raquel Cole, River Town Saints, Autumn Hill, Meghan Patrick, Madeline Merlo Lindsay Ell, Jojo Mason, Jason Benoit, Jordan McIntosh, David James, Lindsay Broughton, The Reklaws, The Dungarees, Cory Marquardt, Kaitlin Kozell, Johnson Crook, Brea Lawrenson and MacArthur Clark.  Boots and Hearts recently won the CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) Festival of the Year Award and Canadian Music Week 2015 Festival of the Year.  All tickets and camping offerings are currently on sale at www.bootsandhearts.com. To schedule an interview or for more information please contact: Dayna Shiskos                                                                                   Laura Kennedy Communications Manager,                                                             Senior Director of Public Relations, Universal Music Canada                                                                  Republic Live Office: 416-718-4240                                                                        (416) 583-2629 dayna.shiskos@umusic.com                                                            laurak@republiclive.com