SKELETON CREW (CORNWALL)
Meet the musicians forming Paul's Skeleton Crew in Cornwall.
AVAILABLE NOW ONLY FROM THIS SITE!
'Skull Duggery' features a great selection of new Paul King compositions.
Richard Barrett started playing music at the tender age of 6 and the passion grew into a profession at the age of 15 playing extensively throughout the country with many bands.
In Cornwall he played with local Folk legend Charlie Bate, known as Cornwall’s Ambassador for music, 42 years ago and toured with Charlie at many folk venues from the east to the west of Britain.
At the age of 16 he was invited to join the 'Seymours' based in Plymouth, which was a very popular band during the early seventies, but this band split and a new band was formed called ‘The Pheasant Pluckers’. The band went on to win the prestigious award of ‘Pub Entertainers of the Year’, and excelled into tours of Britain and abroad playing to wide audiences. Television was a regular home for ‘The Pluckers’ appearing on many TV shows and radio spots generally playing live, and on a weekly basis.
Richard left the band in the early eighties pursuing classical knowledge and taking the Royal College of Music Diploma on the classical guitar. He has transposed many great classic works to be played on obscure and unusual instruments to show that music is adaptable to any application, and to prove that music cannot be necessarily labeled.
He formed his own band called 'Rooster', which played more on a local basis and this band also represented Cornwall in the now famous 'Celtic Song Contest' held in southern Ireland. Cornwall came second that year; not bad for Rock and Rollers!
Amongst doing radio adverts for stations like radio Luxembourg, and various other recording sessions with local TV Richard was then invited to join the very well known and established Country Swing band ‘Medicine Bow’ playing mainly Banjo, Fiddle and Mandolin. This band won many awards as a top British band and contributed towards this type of music playing at Wembley Arena twice and eventually touring the southern states of America at venues in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to promote a single.
Richard decided that he would rather play music locally as travelling became too much of an issue as did being away from home. However, before this Richard was invited to play on his first British tour with 4 times American and world fiddle Champion Marl O’Connor and famous American banjo player/picker Bill Keith playing Mandolin and second fiddle on this tour of Britain, which culminated in a final appearance as main guests at the International Cambridge Folk Festival.
He then teamed up with ex-Shaking Stevens bass player Dick Bland for a few years to play “Rock and Roll” orientated music. These days Richard now plays with his good friend and 'Mungo Jerry' originator Paul King. He is also main fiddle player in the band 'Out to grass', a bluegrass band that plays modern well-known songs most people can relate to. He also does the odd sessions with his old band 'Medicine Bow' when they can all get together and also sessions with the band 'Cahooty' based in the far west of Cornwall.
Amongst many recorded works, classical background and accolades of awards, Richard has done a staggering amount of charity based work raising money for many Institutions and Charities. This includes training and buying three guide dogs for the blind and cancer related charities etc. He also played the longest improvised violin solo on record for “Children in need” during the early stages of the event.
Having recently recorded a 'Live Session' CD with 'Skeleton Crew', Richard’s main band presently, this brings up-to-date a musical background that has been interesting to say the least, albeit a little bizarre and unpredictable at times. Having played over the years with many great players in the industry, like Jerry Donuhue (Joan Amatrading’s Guitarist), Mark O'Connor, etc, Richard has now embarked on building his own studio to create his own work and compile the immense amount of transcriptions he has carried out.
At present Richard is concentrating on the piano and learning the intricacies of that instrument that carries Richard's favourite interest.