It doesn’t take more than a few steps past the door of a century-old heritage building just off the 1A to realize Corbett’s Rock & Roll Barbershop is not your average, run-of-the-mill trim joint.
Pin-up girls and old guitars adorn the walls, along with signed photos from friends like Dwight Yoakam. A bevy of music trophies sits behind glass, from Junos to Canadian Country Music Association Awards. Rock documentaries and live concerts play softly on a small television, and next to a well-worn barber’s chair: a large, red Craftsman toolbox – stuffed not with screwdrivers and wrenches, but with pomades and gels.
It all falls into place when drummer-turned-barbershop owner, Corbett Frasz, extends a friendly welcome with his multi-tattooed hand.
“It’s the very opposite of a salon,” says Frasz with a smile.
For 25 years, Frasz’s talent with the sticks made him a staple of the Canadian rock, blues and country music scenes. Throughout his career, he has opened for Garth Brooks, guest drummed with Twisted Sister, played with Corb Lund and Big Sugar and kept the beat as a longtime member of the successful country rock band The Road Hammers.
After running his course as a rock star, Frasz decided in 2010 it was time to move back to Canada from Nashville and drastically pivot his life – from paradiddles to pompadours.
He enrolled in a 12-month hairdressing program in Calgary – and the rock and roll barber opened his first shop on 23rd Avenue in 2012.
“(Cutting hair) is a good form of expression, which is what music is … Both of those things are sort of meditative to me,” said Frasz of the similarities between his two seemingly different worlds. “They both make people feel really good.”
Frasz said he wanted to build on his love of Americana and the culture and history of a certain era to create a classic barbershop environment, where men could come in and enjoy a shave and a bit of relaxation.
“It’s a very calm place; it’s a pretty chill place,” he said. “I love all the aspects of it.”
The concept proved prosperous, and after shutting down his Calgary location to recover from shoulder surgery, he decided to relocate his shop and his life a bit further west, to a place closer to the mountains for he and his dog, Boomer – a place like Cochrane.
“I love Cochrane,” he said. “I (would) always drive my Harleys and old cars down the 1A. It just seemed like the perfect fit.”
Frasz moved his business into a heritage home at 620 2nd St. West late last year and held a soft open at the beginning of 2017.
He said many of his clients now make the drive down that same 1A from Calgary to come for a haircut, and he’s hoping to strengthen his slate of local clientele and truly become part of the flourishing fabric that makes this town unique.
Finally, while Frasz still freelances on the weekends with different bands to keep the drumming fingers in shape, he said he’s very comfortable in his new skin.
“This profession, much like being a musician, is an identity,” he said.
“I enjoy being a barber – and that’s my identity.”