Chris Barber has died, aged 90. For my generation he was largely a name from the past; someone to file alongside the likes of Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk – decidedly uncool and passe. Wrong of course. I saw him live a number of times in the late 80s and 90s and realised what a great bandleader he was; what a great band he had (including the superb John Slaughter on guitar) and what a key role he played in popularising blues and jazz in this country – not least with the likes of Van Morrison of course. What always came across was his deep love and understanding of the music he was playing.
A genuine giant of British music in the second half of the last century. RIP