You won’t find another band like Wild Willy Barrett’s French Connection.
From a Parisian café via a Dublin Hooley to a New Orleans party with rip-roaring fiddle & banjo. Imagine stumbling across a smoky back street bar, late night jam. Django Reinhardt & The Pogues. Robert Johnson accompanies Edith Piaf. Bob Marley’s jammin’ with Stéphane Grappelli. Tom Waits joins in. This is French Connection.
At the ensembles heart are the undisputed talents of multi-instrumentalist, Godfather of grunge folk, Wild Willy Barrett. The quartet perform on guitar, cello, harmonium, whistle, fiddle, banjo & uillean pipes with a large dose of dry wit. Charismatic French singer Aurora Colson taking centre stage, captivating audiences with heart rendering expressive performance. Effortlessly tackling styles from Blues to Chanson, haunting Irish melody, touch of Piaf thrown into the mix. The group, born during a chance encounter when Willy approached cellist Mary Holland who he saw performing with a belly-dance troupe. “He saw me playing & dancing, asked me to join his band. I wondered if it was the cello or me he was interested in, it took several phone calls persuading me to audition. Turns out he was interested in both – we’re now married.” John Devine, a master of the uillean pipes, recently performed for the Queen. Speaking on Wild Willy Barrett’s French Connection he says “it’s unlike anything you will ever see or hear with the range of music & musicianship. Willy holds it all together. He’s one of this country’s most overlooked musicians.” Willy, best known for his partnership with John Otway. A highly respected musician whose styles include folk, blues, gypsy jazz, reggae, bluegrass & punk. It is the gentler side of Wild that emerges with French Connection. He recorded Rasta Communication with Sly & Robbie, toured with U2, Police, Madness & many more. Guitarist for George Hamilton IV, turned down the offer of Brian Jones’ replacement in the Rolling Stones. Recorded ‘The Contemporary Folk Guitar’ album with Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Gordon Giltrap & Ralph McTell. Recent main stage performances at Cropredy & Cambridge Folk Festival.