Bernie LaBarge

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Bernie LaBarge
Born (1953-03-11) March 11, 1953 (age 66)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Years active1967-present

Bernie LaBarge (born March 11, 1953) is a Canadian guitarist,[1] singer, and songwriter.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, LaBarge began studying guitar at age 11, shortly after seeing The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964.


LaBarge began playing professionally in 1967. He was the frontman and/or guitarist for a number of bands in Ontario, including Bond, Rain, Sweet Blindness, Zwol, Stem, Stingaree, and the George Olliver band.

LaBarge signed with WEA Records and released a single in 1981.[3] He performed at Toronto's El Macombo night club.[4] He recorded his first solo album, Barging In, in 1984 on the Sony label;[5] He was nominated for Most Promising Male Vocalist at the 1984 Juno Awards for this album.[6] LaBarge has released records on Warner Bros., Sony, BMG, and various independent labels, and performed on tour and recordings with The Irish Rovers, Kim Mitchell, Ian Tyson, Frank Biner of Tower of Power, Long John Baldry, Doug Riley, Dione Taylor, George Canyon, Cassandra Vasik, Joel Feeney, David Clayton-Thomas, and Rhinoceros.[7] He has composed and/or performed on many North American and worldwide jingles, i.e., Coke, Pepsi, GM, Ford, and Nissan (his singing can be heard on the Coke jingle which opens up the original Batman video). Bernie has written songs for Long John Baldry, the Irish Rovers, Lisa Price, the Good Brothers, and many others. Bernie won the Canadian Songwriting Contest in 1986 (Best R&B Song category). "Dream Away" (produced by Daniel Lanois) was one of the most-played songs of 1981, and still receives extensive airplay.

LaBarge played guitar on TV shows shown worldwide such as Fraggle Rock (a Jim Henson production), Care Bears (with John Sebastian), Twilight Zone (with David Cassidy), Danger Bay, Smith & Smith (starring Steve Smith (comedian)), and Party with The Rovers, backing up artists such as Roger Miller, B.J. Thomas, Andy Gibb, and Boxcar Willie. LaBarge worked extensively with Jack Richardson (record producer), who produced the Guess Who, Alice Cooper, the Irish Rovers, Bob Seger, and Poco. As lead guitarist for the Dexters, Off The Record, Stem, and the Stickmen,[8] LaBarge performed regularly at the Orbit Room in Toronto from 1994 until 2004, and occasionally after that. The Orbit Room is co-owned by Alex Lifeson, one of the founders of Rush. LaBarge holds the record for the most performances at the Orbit Room, more than 1,000 appearances. He was the guitarist for The Doodlebops TV show, which is released worldwide, and he also plays on the new "Hockey Night in Canada" anthem, which premiered October 11, 2008.

In 2017, LaBarge is the guitarist for the Dexters, and Danny B and the R&B All-Stars.[9]


LaBarge's influences include (in no particular order) Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Curtis Mayfield, James Burton, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Albert King, Domenic Troiano, Steve Cropper, Jeff Beck, Steely Dan, Elvis Costello, Robin Trower, Howard Roberts, Elliott Randall, Rick Derringer, Elliot Easton, Peter Frampton, Gary Moore Peter Green, Danny Weis, and Kenny Marco.

Partial discography[edit]

LaBarge's bands[edit]

  • 1967 - The Underground Taxi Service
  • 1968 - 1969 - The Royal Banke
  • 1969 - 1972 - Stem
  • 1972 - 1973 - Rain
  • 1973 - 1974 - The Jax 'n Lynda
  • 1974 - George Olliver's Blue-Eyed Brotherhood
  • 1974 - 1975 - Hot Dog
  • 1975 - 1976 - Whizz
  • 1976 - 1977 - Stingaree
  • 1978 - 1979 - Bond
  • 1979 - Sweet Blindness
  • 1980 - Zwol
  • 1980 - 1981 - Kearney, King, McBride & LaBarge
  • 1983 - 1990 - The Irish Rovers
  • 1987 - Mind Over Matter
  • 1989–present - The Danny B Blues Band
  • 1992 - 1994 - Cassandra Vasik
  • 1994–2014 - The Dexters
  • 1999 - 2000 - The Incontinentals
  • 1999 - 2002 - Off The Record
  • 2002 - 2006 - The Stickmen
  • 2005–2009 - David Clayton-Thomas
  • 2009 - Rhinoceros (band)


  1. ^ Words & Music. Vol. 12. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada; 2005. p. 19.
  2. ^ "Queen of the jingle jungle ready for her own career". Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont. Greg Quill Apr 26, 1986, Page: F.10
  3. ^ David Farrell. "Domestic labels' product flow up". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.; 1 August 1981. ISSN 0006-2510. p. 61–.
  4. ^ "Waiting On The El Mocambo". FYI Music News, Nov 09, 2017 by Bill King
  5. ^ Michael Lawson column. Medicine Hat News, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. June 22, 1984
  6. ^ Bernie LaBarge in The Canadian Encyclopedia
  7. ^ "Michal Forfara knows the joy of an Eric Clapton Facebook friend request". Ted Shaw. Windsor Star, 2010-10-16
  8. ^ Patrick Lemieux. The Rush Chronology.; 16 September 2015. ISBN 978-1-926462-03-5. p. 193–.
  9. ^ "DANNY B. is Canada's Master Of The Blues". Vallarta Tribune, Feb 16, 2017

External links[edit]