Born in Ottawa, Canada in 1953, Bernie LaBarge started playing guitar at age 11. During the 1970s he was the front man and/or guitarist for many popular Canadian bands (Bond, Rain, Sweet Blindness, Zwol, Stem, Stingaree, The Dexters).
Bernie released a single entitled “Dream Away” (WEA) in 1981. It still receives strong AOR airplay to this day. It was produced by budding producer Daniel Lanois, and features Bernie on guitar, vocals, and electric piano, world-renowned producer / songwriter Jim Vallance on drums, and Red Rider / Tom Cochrane bassist Jeff Jones.
Bernie was nominated for Most Promising Male Vocalist at the 1984 Juno Awards for his album entitled “Barging In” (Sony). That album has recently been remastered and retitled Barging In REDUX, available everywhere. He has released records on Warner Bros., Sony, BMG, and various independent labels. His first original recording was “Catwalk”, recorded by Rain in 1972 and released on Axe Records. Bernie has also been a sideman on over 100 recordings.
Bernie’s worked with Kim Mitchell, Long John Baldry, David Clayton-Thomas, The Shakers, Walter Zwol, Cassandra Vasik, The Irish Rovers, Doug Riley, Frank Biner of Tower of Power, John Sebastian, David Cassidy, Joel Feeney, and Sass Jordan, among many others. Bernie and world-renowned producer Jack Richardson spent many years working together. “Jack was like a father and a big brother to me”, says Bernie. “I learned so much from him, and he let me grow as a session musician. There will never be another Jack.”
Bernie composed and performed on many North American and Worldwide jingles i.e. Coke, Pepsi, GM, Ford, and Nissan, and he played guitar on Jim Henson’s popular Fraggle Rock TV series (1983-87), Smith & Smith (1979-85), Danger Bay (1985 – 1989) on CBC, and Party With The Rovers (1983-86) on Global Television. He won the Canadian Songwriting Contest in 1986 (Best R&B Song category). His single “Dream Away” (produced by Daniel Lanois) was one of the most-played songs of 1981. Bernie is the guitarist on the world-syndicated Doodlebops show, too.
Many top Canadian and International performers have covered his songs. Currently Toronto-based, Bernie is the lead guitarist for The Dexters and Danny B and the R&B All-Stars . In November 2014 The Dexters completed their twentieth anniversary at The Orbit Room with a farewell performance. Bernie has the distinction of having played at The Orbit Room more times than anyone in its history… more than 1000 appearances, which will be a tough record to break!
The Underground Taxi Service
Gary Connors, Gary Goodwin, Dave Street, Herbie Burnside, Carl Noble, Mike Standing, Bernie LaBarge
The Royal Banke
Dave Clewer, Roger Gabsewicz, Johnnie Johnson, Dave Thrasher, Chuck Damjanovic, Bernie LaBarge
Bernie LaBarge, Johnnie Johnson, Dave Aldham, Phil Greason, Garry Brown
Bernie LaBarge, Brian LeBlanc, Bill Dillon, Richard Best
Charlie Hall, Phyllis Boltz (Charity Brown), Brian LeBlanc, Chris Woroch, Bernie LaBarge
The JAX ‘N Lynda
Lynda Layne (Gorges), Frank Pollard, Bob Gray, Bernie LaBarge
George Olliver, Bernie LaBarge, Sharon Hicks, Butch Walker, Paul Skoreyko, Benoit Perrault, Glenn Higgins, Almeta Latimer, Gail Berry, Graham Greene (road manager)
Bernie LaBarge, John Aleksa, Fred Leighton, Dave Aldham, Glenn Higgins, Dave Buckley
Bernie LaBarge, Howie McLean, Mark Blacher, Larry Hamel
Bernie LaBarge, Jeff Jones, Brian MacLeod, Skip Layton, Larry Hamel, Don Harriss
Bernie LaBarge, Bill Dunn, Colin Walker, Ted Trenholm
Bobby Dupont, Grant Slater, Ed White, Bruce Barrow, Bernie LaBarge, Nat Abraham
Kearney, King, McBride & LaBarge
Christopher Kearney, Bill King, Danny McBride, Bernie LaBarge, Gene Falbo, Gord Neave, Jim Vallance, Kevan MacKenzie, Paul DeLong
The Irish Rovers
Will Millar, George Millar, Joe Millar, Wilcil McDowell, Jimmy Ferguson, Bernie LaBarge, Kevin McKeown
Mind Over Matter
Bernie LaBarge, Grant Slater, Paul DeLong, Gene Falbo
Danny B Blues Band
Danny Balaka, Phil Woodard, Bernie LaBarge, Steve Kennedy, Pentti (Whitey) Glan, Peter Cardinali, Doug Riley
Gene Falbo, Dan Howlett, Bernie LaBarge, Cassandra Vasik, Stefan Szczesniak, Don Rooke, Randall Coryell
Lou Pomanti, Bernie LaBarge, Mike Sloski, Peter Cardinali, Greg Critchley, Jorn Andersen, Mark Kelso, Kevan MacKenzie, Larnell Lewis
Off The Record
Bernie LaBarge, Russ Boswell, Terry Hatty, Greg Critchley, Bill McCauley, Grant Slater, Rob Gusevs, Neil Donell, Charlie Cooley, Mike Pellarin, Paul DeLong
Katalin Kiss, Brent Barkman, Gene Falbo, Jim Casson, Bernie LaBarge
Brent Barkman, Gene Falbo, Jim Casson, Bernie LaBarge
Bruce Cassidy, Vern Dorge, Jason Logue, Michael Stuart, Russ Little, Larry Shields, George Koller, Paul DeLong, Bernie LaBarge, Lou Pomanti, Steve Hunter, Grant Slater, Rob Gusevs, Howard Ayee, Doug Gibson, Brigham Phillips
John Finley, Alan Gerber, Danny Weis, Michael Fonfara, Peter Hodgson, Bernie LaBarge, Mike Sloski