Honestly a lot of the events that I attend are to support a friend. In this case, friend and writer Vikki Matsis. Lee Barbour is her other half, and I’ve always wanted to hear him play. When most of the people I talked to about the Jazz Series told me this show was high on their list too, I knew it was a good decision. I was really thrilled with just how good a decision it was.
Barbour, on guitar, was supported by Gerald Gregory on piano, Ron Wiltrout on drums, Jake Holwegner on bass, and Robert Lewis on saxophone, who showed some serious chops as a last minute sub for Kebbi Williams. As Lewis only had one rehearsal to get up to speed, it’s fair to say they picked a great replacement.
Playing original music and plugging his upcoming cd, due out July 20th, Barbour was a great mix of quality music with just enough story. Let’s be honest, an over-explained song makes me think the music must be lacking. Barbour let his songs speak for themselves, like Wolf Blitzer and Guinevere.
I was sitting across from a hip young couple, she studies art history in Baltimore and he studies Jazz Guitar with Barbour. He even went so far as to call Barbour his mentor. The admiration and respect in his voice was clear, which speaks volumes.
Barbour learned to play by ear as a teen, and then studied Jazz Guitar performance at the University of South Carolina. He returned home to Charleston and was made the youngest adjunct professor at CofC within the year, teaching Jazz Guitar. Don’t his youth fool you. This guy has talent and a sound that is all his own.
So, as I told our Facebook and Twitter friends last night, if you weren’t at McCrady’s to hear Lee Barbour, I feel sorry for you. Don’t despair too much, you can catch his cd release at the Pour House on Maybank Highway on July 20th. You won’t regret it.