Barge Barista Plays at Her Old Stomping Grounds

Andrea Hackett

On April 9, Colgate alumnae Abbie Barrett returned to Hamilton, New York to perform at The Barge Canal and Coffee Co. The concert was entertaining and refreshing for the Colgate community, as it is encouraging to see one of Colgate’s very own pursuing and making her musical dreams a reality.

Barrett graduated Colgate in ’99, but didn’t begin her musical career until later.

“I’ve been playing my own music for about four years,” Barrett said. “Before that, I sang back up in another band for five.”

Her band now consists of three other members, including bassist Alec Derian, drummer Josh Kiggans and keyboardist Josh Hamilton. Barrett, who is a native of the Boston area, began her career in Massachusetts, and plays the majority of her shows there. It was certainly a treat for Barrett to return to Hamilton to perform.

“We have a bunch of shows coming up, but nothing more in [this] neck of the woods. The band plays gigs fairly regularly, and I do solo stuff once in a while,” Barrett said.

What makes this concert even more special is the fact that Barrett used to work at The Barge as a student, so performing here was somewhat nostalgic for the artist.

“It was a treat to play at The Barge. I used to work there when I was a student. Free bagels and coffee really got me through some tough times,” Barrett said.

Barrett draws her inspiration from a number of artists of a wide spectrum of genres, and even has trouble classifying her own music.

“I guess it’s a mix of folk, pop, rock, and alt country. Here and there, other types of music come into play. It sounds crazy to include all these genres to describe my music, but each song is different. Or perhaps I’m just too lazy to narrow them down. I grew up listening to music from the 1960s and 70s, so Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, Crosby Stills & Nash and later stuff like the Talking Heads have all impacted my music. As for current artists, I listen to Gillian Welch, Radiohead, Fiona Apple and the Fleet Foxes, among others,” Barrett added.

Barrett has released one full length album titled Dying Day in 2008. This album can be purchased on iTunes. Though she will not be returning to upstate New York in the near future, she will be touring in Massachusetts, Virginia and North Carolina in May.

Contact Andrea Hackett at [email protected]