UK proggers Big Big Train have announced that Italian guitarist Maria Barbieri will step in to cover for current guitarist Dave Foster, who has prior commitments in September with the Steve Rothery Band, for the band's headlining appearance at the 2 Days + 1 Festival in northern Italy on September 2.
Big Big Train are also looking to to announce a series of live shows to take place across the UK and continental Europe in August and September 2023, at which Barbieri will also feature.
“I really wish I could be in two places and bands at once, but I can’t," says Foster. "Maria Barbieri is an amazing talent and I know she will do a brilliant job in my absence before I return on stage with BBT in 2024.”
“I am delighted to have the chance to play live as part of Big Big Train this year," adds Barbieri, who can be seen performing PFM covers, among others, on her YouTube channel. "This is a wonderful opportunity to play lots of fabulous music alongside some wonderful musicians. I can’t wait for August to come round and get rehearsing and out on the road.”
Barbieri was inspired by her first exposure to King Crimson, played in her first progressive rock project with Marisa Cuomo and Enzo Buono. Since 2020 she has guested with Lino Vairetti and Osanna as well as recording a number of solos remotely for various pop, rock and progressive rock projects. In 2021 she began collaborating with drummer (and Toto drum technician) Larry Crowe. In addition to preparing to tour with Big Big Train in August/September 2023, she is currently working on new songs for her first solo album.