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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Memories of My Trip

Proper PRPCD 073



1. Memories of My Trip - Brownie McGhee
2. When Things Go Wrong - Ottilie Paterson and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee with Chris Barber Band
3. Do Lord, Do Remember Me - Ottilie Paterson and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee with Chris Barber Band
4. Weeping Willow - Eric Clapton & Chris Barber
5. Kansas City - The Muddy Waters Blues Band and Chris Barber
6. Love Me or Leave Me - James Cotton, Alexis Korner, Chris Barber and Keith Scott
7. Can't Be Satisfied - Rory Gallagher and Chris Barber
8. Diggin' My Potatoes - Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber's Jazz & Blues Band
9. Goin' Up the River - Jeff Healey and his Jazz Wizards with Chris Barber
10. How Long Blues - Van Morrison and Chris Barber Skiffle Group
11. Goin' Home - Van Morrison and Chris Barber's Jazz & Blues Band
12. Oh, Didn't He Ramble - Van Morrison and Chris Barber's Jazz Band with Dr. John
13. Lonesome Road - Ottilie Paterson and Chris Barber's Jazz Band
14. I'll Be Rested - Paul Jones and Chris Barber's Jazz & Blues Band
15. Precious Lord, Take My Hand - Andy Fairweather Low and Chris Barber's Jazz & Blues Band.
16. Couldn't Keep It to Myself - Prof. Alex Bradford and Chris Barber's Jazz Band and Singers
17. Another Sad One - John Slaughter and Friends
1. St. Louis Blues - Ottilie Paterson and Chris Barber's Jazz Band with Edmond Hall
2. High Society - Edmond Hall and Ian Wheeler with Chris Barber's Jazz Band.
3. Rock Candy - Keith Emerson and The T-Bones with Chris Barber
4. Georgia on my Mind - Trummy Young and Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band
5. Rose Room - Joe Darensbourg, Pat Halcox and Chris Barber
6. C-Jam Blues - Albert Nicholas and Chris Barber's Jazz Band
7. Tea Party Blues - Chris Barber at the Boston Tea Party.
8. Jack Teagarden Blues - Eddie Durham and Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band
9. Tailgate Boogie - Sammy Price, Sandy Brown and Chris Barber with Keith Smith
10. Winin' Boy Blues - Chris Barber's Six-Piece and Jools Holland
11. On the Sunny Side of the Street - Chris Barber's Six-Piece and Jools Holland
12. Blues Stay Away from Me - Mark Knopfler and Chris Barber Jazz Band
13. Dallas Rag - Mark Knopfler and Chris Barber's Jazz Band
14. 'Til the Next Time I'm in Town - Mark Knopfler and Chris Barber's Jazz Band


Ottilie Patterson's sad death in June seemed rather like the end of an era, reminding us how long Chris Barber has been leading his various bands, one of the main attractions of which was Ottilie with her heartfelt, authentic vocals. This double disc not only celebrates Barber's 81st birthday but also illustrates the large number of famous artists who performed with his band and the wide range of styles it covered.

Although he was a foremost figurehead of the "Trad Boom" of the late fifties and early sixties (as the first bandleader listed in the iconic "Barber, Ball and Bilk"), he has also been devoted to the blues throughout his performing career. This is clear from the presence on this compilation of such blues performers as Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters, as well as British blues stars like Alexis Korner, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison.

Brownie McGhee opens the album with the title-track, which recalls his days as a blues singer travelling around Britain with Chris Barber, and Brownie remembers Ottilie Patterson, who was one of the most convincing of British blues vocalists (she was actually born in Northern Ireland). You can hear her singing with conviction on such tracks as When Things Go Wrong and Lonesome Road. She sings St Louis Blues with fervent passion. Her contribution to Do Lord, Do Remember Me brings to mind the Barber band's talent for gospel music.

Chris's own talent as a trombonist is often overlooked but he plays the blues with growling assurance with the Muddy Waters Blues Band on Kansas City and adds a simple but telling solo to Diggin' My Potatoes (which Chris introduces with the information that "the BBC decided there was something about the words of it which they decided weren't quite the thing"). The vocals are sung by Lonnie Donegan, a prominent member of the Barber band who started the skiffle craze when he played in Ken Colyer's band, which became Barber's when Colyer departed in 1954.

Donegan was just one of many musicians who found their feet in the Barber band. Other noteworthy names include Pat Halcox, Monty Sunshine, Ian Wheeler and John Crocker. All these are represented in tracks on this album, as are other British guests such as Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler, Paul Jones and Keith Emerson. The young Keith Emerson tears it up at the organ on Jack McDuff's Rock Candy, where Chris Barber solos ardently. The album's guest list also contains such famous American jazzmen as Trummy Young, Joe Darensbourg, Albert Nicholas, Sammy Price and Edmond Hall. Edmond is outstanding in St Louis Blues and High Society (the latter in tandem with Ian Wheeler). America and Britain come together in friendly brilliance in excellent inventions by trombonist Trummy Young and altoist Sammy Rimington in Georgia on my Mind (which lasts for ten minutes but doesn't seem a second too long).

Chris dedicates this album to his long-time guitarist John Slaughter, who died last year and is featured on his own composition Another Sad One, where he sounds as if he is playing mournful steel guitar. The interest of the album is greatly enhanced by the sleeve-notes in which Chris recalls the various musicians he played with. Chris has been on a long and diverse journey and all his memories are well worth sharing.

Tony Augarde

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