The Paul Barrere Interview
In the context of the live music experience it is imperative that your focus remains on listening and improvising off your bandmates.
It’s beyond the music, it’s a focus that should be able to take those with small musical pallets and take them on a ride with their own sailin shoes through a journey of music of the Americas.
By that I mean Congo Square, Dixieland, Bayou Funk, Jam Based, roadhouse blues and melodic invention. Keeping the pocket with slanting rhythms and slide work around the guitar of Lowell George, the organ of Stu Gardner and the congas of Sam Clayton, the plaintiff wailing of Bonnie Raitt or just taking his time with Billy Kreutzman.
My guest today has made the most of experiential learning on the bandstand. Little Feat is a band that has seen many different iterations but always maintained the essence of a live musical extravaganza. Not many American Roots contingents can speak to this…..maybe Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, Levon Helm and The Band. Maybe Jerry Garcia the aforementioned BK and the Grateful Dead, or Leroy Vinegar Gerald Wilson and the big bands of Burbank and Shelly’s Mannehole where Art Blakey’s high hat work was hypnotic and pulsating similar to the sack of magic mushrooms that audience members would indulge prior to a Allen Toussaint laden Feat show @ Ebbots Field.
My guest today has been all around this world performing at a prodigious clip in the live music setting. He came of age when you could see Ravi Shankar jam with Elvin Jones and Milt Jackson ringing the vibes in an acoustic non amplified beer tavern. He saw his heroes up close, be it Mongo’s Afro blue or the Crusaders talking Tough.
When he had learned his instrument he was able to speak in musical tounges, still in small clubs that might have Commander Cody on MT, Freddie Hubbard on WTH and a weekend of Dixie Chickens. This diversification is unique to my guests brotherhood. Influences of Ellington, Dizzy, John Lee Hooker, Bill Monroe and all the blind dobro players who played on Market Street in Chicago or in Queens, NY or a professor with long hair in Nawleans.
My guest has taken all that he has heard and seen and melded into his music and his ability to entertain. He continues to have something to say.
Like Lionel Hampton or Frank Zappa my guest would often put the crowd at ease with off the cuff remarks about being a canary in a coal mine or a riverboat gambler…..keeping things loose and creating space within the music.
He knows that if he doesn’t stay active he might have dirt thrown on him.
Still Willin to put it all out there, Paul Barrere welcome to the JFS.
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