I was saddened to glance through one of the music magazines this afternoon and read of the death of Barry Beckett, one of the key members of the all-conquering Muscle Shoals band that played on some of my favourite records with Aretha, Percy Sledge, Paul Simon, Boz Scaggs and Traffic, to name just a few…
It was also my privilege to have him play on four tracks of my 1991 release ‘Fragile As China’ at the historic Quadrafonic Studios in Nashville.
Watching Barry at the Hammond organ, with a cigarette permanently on the go, drawbars to adjust and a keyboard part to play was like watching a ballet dancer at work. He shared the typical southerner’s laconic way of talking, never using two words when one would do, but quietly charming at the same time and he was a monster player! When I am reunited with all my photographs I’ll post a favourite picture of Barry from our studio date all those years ago and for now I’ll give a rare listen to my own ‘Crazy Weather’ to remind myself of one of my favourite moments.
Here the weather is hot and sticky and I am still hard at work, though I broke out twice this week to appear on local radio. The Monday interview on BBC Devon with Judi Spiers led to an invitation to make an extra appearance on Saturday at a cancer benefit, with Raf Ravenscroft, before I head off to my own gig at the Bridge Inn in Topsham in the evening. Promoter Julian Piper has promised top join me for a song or two and I am really looking forward to playing after a solid week at my computer.
Yesterday’s interview with Keith Warmington in Bristol goes out one evening next week…now back to work!