Jazz trombone player and bandleader Chris Barber has been performing for well over 50 years. His Jazz band included notables such as Ottillie Paterson, Skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan (Chris played double bass on Lonnie’s smash hit ‘Rock Island Line’), and Alexis Korner of Blues Incorporated and co-founder of the first electric Blues club in the UK, the Ealing Club, which continues to this day.
Chris was also instrumental in the arrival in the UK of American Blues greats including Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy. His interactions with the Blues have continued, including his appearance at the Lead Belly Fest at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015, and interactions with artists such as Dave Kelly from The Blues Band and Eric Clapton.
Here, in his dressing room at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, London on 19th April 2016, two days after his 86th birthday, Chris talks about his career from his earliest days until now, listen via this link for content including:
– Why he didn’t play the Eel Pie Island Hotel or Chislehurst Caves (which he passed on the way to his Bromley venue) and why he liked playing Gaumont theatres
– The “fantastic” Muddy Waters – and his being compelled to play acoustic guitar – and Otis Spann
– Eric Clapton
– The Beatles and Billy Preston and The Cavern Club
– Howlin’ Wolf
– Sister Rosetta Tharpe
– Jools Holland and Ruby Turner
– His father and his introduction to music, rationing and wartime evacuation and his first 78rpm records. Plus reading a book on the Blues found on a USAAF rubbish dump
– Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett
– The trombone that he briefly plays during the interview, after unzipping it from its case
– The album ‘Memories Of My Trip’
Chris Barber’s website is here. Go and see him and his band!