A GUITARIST who once turned down the chance to join the Rolling Stones will perform at
A GUITARIST who once turned down the chance to join the Rolling Stones will perform at the Crooked Billet in Stoke Row next Wednesday.
It was 1969 and “Wild” Willy Barrett was 19 and was building up a reputation as a fine blues and bluegrass musician.
He received an invitation from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to replace Stones guitarist Brian Jones following his untimely death.
But Willy refused, choosing instead to continue playing blues and folk festivals with the likes of the late David Bowie and Genesis.
Originally from Aylesbury, he lived close to singer John Otway, who persuaded him to join forces.
In 1976 Pete Townshend, guitarist of The Who, having witnessed their live show, recorded and produced the duo’s debut album which spawned hit single Cor Baby That’s Really Free.
Willy built up a cult following for his unique sound of punk and bluegrass, and he enjoyed chart success in 1995 as Rednex with the electric banjo hit Cotton Eye Joe, which reached number one in the UK and across Europe.
Willy, who now lives in France, will be bringing his French Connection group to the Crooked Billet. The group features French singer Aurora Colson, accompanied by fiddle, cello, guitar, banjo and uillean pipes.
Willy’s band will be supported by blues guitarist Papa George and friends.
Tickets are £15. For table reservations, call (01491) 681048.