Legendary singer Barry McCabe returned to his hometown of Virginia to play a Christmas gig. McCabe, an experienced, highly-respected guitarist is renowned for pioneering the Celtic Blues genre.
He appeared on December 21st in the Riverfront Hotel in Virginia along with his special guest, Pat McManus. The songs performed were varied versions of classic blues/rock songs and also several of the songs off Barry's own albums.
McCabe invited Pat McManus to play in the show because he knows that many local people who enjoy blues rock have seen both himself and Pat play seperately, but never together.
Barry's performance was excellent. There was a great energy in the concert that was well received by the audience. He also added some stylish moves into the show and the chemistry between himself and McManus was incredible. They had a kind of musical banter through their guitars throughout the show.
Barry said that he found the whole experience of returning home to play very satisfying.
His background in music is vast - he has played with many great musicians all over the world, including a stint as a support act to Rory Gallagher on his last European tour.
Just last summer he and his band played with ZZ Top and Status Quo at a major festival in Paris. Barry's song "One Of These Days" has been hailed as one of the top six blues songs ever written. His air of professionalism was especially noted at the Paris performance.
"The festival in Paris is very big and very well organised," said Barry. "I walked on stage a few minutes early, as I like to check the equipment right up until we start playing. The stage manager panicked and kept telling me I should have been in my dressing room. We told him it would be fine. We started playing at three minutes to ten and finished up at exactly three minutes to eleven.
The stage manager gave us a big grin and a thumbs-up and said he had never seen anything like it before!"
When asked about how he came to combine traditional Irish music with blues, he explained that it happened almost by accident when he was working with Davy Spillane - an excellent traditional musican, who has played in Riverdance. The drive to marry the two genres was indulged and so Celtic Blues was born. "I suppose a lot of Irish rock musicians do still tend to think within the traditional scale."
Barry has recently released a new album, his third to date, called "Beyond The Tears". This album is very special as it features three other excellent musicians, Mark Feltham (Rory Gallagher Band), Johnny Fean (Horslips) and Pat McManus (Mama's Boys).
The album is a wonderful piece of work. It is very organic and nurtured. There are traditional Celtic elements at the edges of the very powerful blues riffs. It's a very easy album to fall in love with.
Barry McCabe returns home to Virginia for gig