Payin' Dues: Kris Barras Band

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The West Country-based singer, guitarist and bandleader started playing guitar aged six, performed in his dad’s band at nine, bought Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood at 13 and has been dedicated to the blues ever since. His rockin’ trio, with bassist Rocky Mitchell and drummer Jon Perrin, have just issued their self-titled debut album.

I love that aggressive way of playing

Who are your chief influences?
I think it’s hard to do a blues rock album these days and not tip your hat towards Joe Bonamassa. I’m a big fan of everything he’s done. Also, I love the styles of guys like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Gary Moore. I love that aggressive style of playing – it’s how I like to play and that’s what I was trying to capture with this album. Vocally, I love guys like Whitesnake’s David Coverdale and Danny Bowes of Thunder, although I can’t hit it quite like those guys!

What are your first musical memories?
My dad was a huge influence on me as he played in bands his whole life. He got me into guitar playing when I was six and I performed my first gig with his band when I was nine. I used to love going into his LP cupboard and pulling out old Rolling Stones, Foreigner and Gary Moore records. I’d spend hours trying to learn their songs.

How did you discover blues music?
My dad’s love of Gary Moore meant I liked Gary Moore too, and I really discovered the blues at an early age through his collaborations with BB King, Albert Collins and Albert King. It grew from there.