It's been a few years since Canadian country foursome James Barker Band had new music to share. Their last EP, Singles Only, came out in 2019.

Now, more than four years later, the group's sound is different — for the better. While walking the red carpet for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's annual Country Cares weekend in Memphis, Tenn., they spoke to Taste of Country and other outlets about their new EP, Ahead of Our Time, which drops on Friday (Oct. 20).

"A couple of the guys have had kids. Everyone's growing. Everyone's grown older," the band mates reflect, saying that their upcoming new project will reflect more life lived since James Barker Band last released music.

"A lot of things have gone into the songwriting, and the music as a band. We've matured in life, but matured in music, too," they continue. "The older you get, the more you learn, and we've been doing this music thing for a minute now.

"Still gonna have a party song out," they add, cracking up. "We still like to party-o!"

Musical evolution aside, the band mates agree that they can't wait to finally have shiny new material out for their fans to listen to.

"I feel like we've been sitting on music for so long. And I feel like this is the best music we've ever made," they add.

"We're really excited about it. We've been playing the songs all summer for our fans at our shows, and they've gone over really well. We've been getting DMs nonstop asking when the music's coming out, so we're really excited to finally get it out," they conclude.

Personal maturity and musical maturity go hand in hand, and the James Barker Band say that the same growth that's propelling their sound is lending them newfound inspiration and drive to help the kids of St. Jude. Once again, some of the band mates' newfound parenthood is a major factor: Taylor Abram and James Barker are both new dads.

"We live an unbelievably blessed, one-in-a-million life," the band mates acknowledge. "So the fact that we have the ability to now invoke change — you now look at every day, obviously as a blessing, and also as, 'What can we do to give back?' Whether it's marathons or donations or's just inspiring."

Every year, Taste of Country joins Townsquare Media radio stations nationwide for their Country Cares radiothons. The country music community has been the single biggest supporter of St. Jude through the years, with TSM raising more than $15 million in nine years.

Please consider joining Taste of Country and dozens of country stars in becoming a Partner in Hope. It's a $19-a-month commitment that truly changes lives.

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