Eli Barsi is a talented, traditional-minded country singer from rural Canada who isn’t shy about putting her Western roots into her music. Her latest album, Portrait of a Cowgirl, is an homage to her heritage, and she dedicates the poignant title track to her mother’s fulfilling life.
Barsi and I first crossed paths at the Americana music conference in Nashville last year when we chatted after a panel about music discovery. Over the next few months, we kept in touch as she was recording a new album, which arrived over the summer. Although the album as a whole is an enjoyable listen, “Farm Girl” is a fine representation of her style of music — sincere, uncluttered and easy to like.
After getting reacquainted at this year’s Americana festival, we traded emails about her brand new video for “Farm Girl,” thus adding a little bit of Canada into the Americana scene.
CMT Edge: What is it about the message of “Farm Girl” that resonates with you?
Barsi: I have been blessed to be able to make music my living for so many years … and with that comes a lot of travel, meeting great people and seeing great places. Living this life can easily change a person, and I have always reminded myself the importance of staying grounded and remembering where I came from. I have to credit that to being raised on the farm, and what I learned there has everything to do with who I am today — my work ethic and what keeps me going.
Where did you shoot the “Farm Girl” video, and what were you hoping to capture?
I had really hoped to capture the parallels of the country and the city and how my life fits into both. We shot in two locations in British Columbia. The country scenes were near the area of Fort Langley at an awesome horse ranch, Time Out Farms. This spot worked perfect for our country scenes as they had some rustic fencing, great backdrops, beautiful horses and close proximity of the other location. Our city shots were filmed in a condo on the 35th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Vancouver. This proved to be a good choice for our nighttime shots, especially with the downtown city lights.
What do you love the most about singing at rodeo events?
I will always have a big place in my heart for the Western Lifestyle and all that goes with it, whether it be in a rodeo setting, 4-H events, cowboy poetry gatherings, ranch concerts, small town fairs, etc. This is my heritage, and I am thankful that it still has a place in today’s rushed world. I feel that the folks at these events can really relate to my music, and I’m honored to do my small part to promote this lifestyle.