Chris Barber.....

What's it called?: 
Drat That Fratle Rat
What does it sound like?: 
Like very little else. OK, I know Van rates him and all that, but the look has never really helped, along with the lazy tendencies to lump in with Kenny Ball and Acker, but, Jeez, what an ear-opener. If I had been told this was Trombone Shorty or some such current, I would have honestly believed and accepted that. Unreconstructed brassy blues,OK, a bit jazzy, but in an older sense than bepobbery, with a host of unexpecteds making an appearance, from Rory Gallagher to Brian (Gryphon!) Gulland. Made in 1971, this is incredible stuff. Fusion, it ain't, and could have been made 30 years earlier as well as 30 years later. Please, please blow away any misconceptions. Listen to this. Today
What does it all *mean*?: 
Hype and image are meaningless. Why has this man not been knighted?
Goes well with …: 
I guess it ought to go well with beer, but, counter-intuitively, let me suggest a tumbler of Shiraz, a thai takeway and your own company. Shouldn't take too long.
Might suit people who like …: 
As I explore these lesser travelled routes, may I commend "Red Hot from Alex" as a companion piece, from the late lamented Alexis Korner.

Comments

Why hasn't he been honoured ? A hugely important and influential figure. Amongst other things, he championed blues musicians such as Big Bill Bronnzy and others who had such an influence on the emerging R & B/Folk boom, personally paying for and funding them to come over and play to the new emerging audience. Top bloke.

I agree with all that's been said. Here's a great clip of Chris Barber with Eric Clapton and John Mayall rocking out on a seldom-heard trombone, electric guitar and keyboard number.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjZe6DK-xgo

...I still play this - a lot. A fascinating idea, superbly executed with the assistance of the be=feathered one!

Barber used to play at Bedford School every year and it was always an excellent evening. Definitely an unsung hero of British music.

I wouldn't want to lumber him with a fecking gong from Brenda though. The honours should come from people like us. Buy his stuff and go see him if he's playing.