Chris Eaton and Emily Barden offer their new musical collaboration at Chichester’s Chichester Inn on Saturday, February 11 at 8.30pm (tickets on 01243 783185).
Regarded as one of the UK’s finest slide guitarists, Chris has toured throughout Europe with his own band performing at festivals and opening shows for the likes of The Yardbirds, The Hoax and Nine Below Zero.
Emily is known around Sussex for her work with large-scale choirs and song-writing abilities but as a session vocalist she has performed for singers including Francis Rossi, Russell Watson and Brian May, along with touring as the lead singer of country/rock band Stella 66.
Chris and Emily met through their teaching work with West Sussex Music Service.
“We met and discovered that we both share a passion for Americana,” says Chris, “and that’s what we will be doing. We are both professional musicians, and this is a new collaboration.
“She is a consummate vocalist and an amazing harmony singer. She can hear all the harmonies and she knows what she wants to do. She also plays a really strong rhythm guitar which gives me a base to play my slide guitar over the top of.”
Emily and Chris will be reimagining both original and traditional country/folk songs in their own style, accompanied by fiddle and percussion and plenty of lush harmonies.
“I have always been drawn to the slide guitar. When I was about 15 or 16, I had heard people like Ry Cooder playing it all the time, and you could see Chris Rea playing it on TV quite a lot. I used to teach myself from seeing Chris Rea on Top of the Pops. He is very good.
“It is about taste really. It’s about trying to be melodic with it and trying to emulate the human voice. That’s where it stems from. It is my way of singing! I’m a frustrated singer. I am not very good at it. I have also starting playing it in my lap, like Ronnie Wood does. It is the same sound, just a different way of doing it.”
Chris hopes the collaboration with Emily will continue: “We will play again in the area, but it has to be the right occasion really. We are professional musicians, you see, so you have to pick and choose whether you are going to be doing it for free, for the enjoyment of it or whether it needs to be paid work. This project is more about enjoying the music and not worrying too much about the money… but obviously you can’t do that all the time!
“I would like to record with Emily. She said she wished she had met me earlier because she has done some recordings and she wished I could have played on them. So I hope we will. She has got a home studio. Her husband is a professional musician as well, and he has got a nice little set-up there.
“For this gig, we are going to be joined by a fiddle player and a percussion player. We will bring them on the stage. Not every song requires them, but it will make it more interesting for the audience. There will be some lovely fiddle melodies and then we will have the percussion adding a bit of groove to some of the more upbeat numbers.”
n Also coming up at the Chichester Inn is Chris Standring on Tuesday, February 21 at 8.30pm.
English born, but residing in California for over 20 years, Chris Standring has established himself as a popular mainstay in the urban jazz genre with ten US chart-topping albums.
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