Next appearances on The Blues Train:
Hailing from central Victoria, guitarist/singer-songwriter Bill Barber is at the forefront of a new generation of Australian Blues.
Bill took an interest in Blues at a young age and by 14 was making the rounds, performing in Melbourne venues alongside Australia’s most respected Blues artists.
In 2012, Bill won the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society ‘Youth in Blues’ competition and as a result, he was invited to perform festivals across Victoria including the Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival and End of the Line. He has since added a number of festivals to that list and has also acted as booker for other festivals across Victoria.
A move to Bendigo (a hub for Victorian blues) at 16 saw Bill take enormous steps towards a career in music, appearing on local television and radio. It’s around that time that Bill’s talent caught the attention of multi award-winning Australian blues legends Geoff Achison and Lloyd Spiegel who have since become mentors and had Bill as both support act and special guest at countless shows. He has also played support for Wolfmother, Shane Howard and Dr Feelgood among others.
In July 2017, Bill won the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society International Blues Challenge, making him the youngest winner in its history. Which sent him sent to Memphis, Tennessee to compete in the International Blues Challenge in January 2018 where he was one of the 32 Semifinalists out of over two hundred acts from across the globe.
While in Memphis a recording also took place at the legendary Sun Studios, the place that has recorded and discovered legends like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Howlin Wolf, BB King and Jerry Lee Lewis.
In recent years Bill has also gained notoriety as a songwriter with a powerful, raw, deeply personal and at times brutally honest approach.
What sets Bill apart is his dedication to the Blues. While he borrows influences from various different genres, his music is always deep-rooted in the Blues.
“Bill Barber is the next in line to become one of Australia’s Blues greats” – Lloyd Spiegel
“Bill is a fantastic young Blues player who keeps getting better and better every time I see him” – Geoff Achison
“The most exciting musician I’ve heard in a very long time” – James Blundell