in 1969, Barry « The Fish » Melton appeared at the historic festival in Woodstock with Country Joe and The Fish. At the same time Jay Ryan was playing with a « marching band » in Chicago.
50 years later, Barry « The Fish » Melton with Jay and The Cooks are playing together, to celebrate Woodstock with an authentic Rock, Blues and Folk show.
Over fifty years ago, during the Summer of Love, Barry « The Fish » Melton celebrated his 20th birthday in June 1967. A few days later, he and his band were rocketed onto the world stage at the Monterey Pop Festival with such luminaries as the Jefferson Airplane, the Mamas and Papas, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, Simon and Garfunkel, the Who and a relatively unknown guitarist named Jimi Hendrix.
Then, fifty years ago, Barry « The Fish » Melton appeared at Woodstock Festival and also appear in the movie bearing the same name: « Woodstock ».
For the next five years, Barry « The Fish » Melton would tour arenas, concert halls, and stadiums through Europe and North America. He also launched his first solo effort, a blues/soul album half of which was recorded in New York with members of the Wilson Pickett Band and half of which was recorded in Chicago with a band featuring Donny Hathaway on piano, Morris Jennings on drums and Phillip Upchurch on bass.
Barry « The Fish » Melton began the 1970’s with an album for Columbia Records produced by legendary guitarist Michael Bloomfield, took up part-time residence in the United Kingdom and recorded two albums at Rockfield Studios in Wales and toured extensively in the U.K., France and the Netherlands; and he returned home to San Francisco to record his fifth album of the decade.
In the 1980’s, Barry « The Fish » Melton put together San Francisco’s historic supergroup, « The Dinosaurs », featuring John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service), Spencer Dryden (Jefferson Airplane), Peter Albin (Big Brother and the Holding Company) and Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead songwriter). Other members of the band later included Merl Saunders (Saunders- Jerry Garcia Band) and Papa John Creach (Hot Tuna). « The Dinosaurs » recorded its debut album and opened for Tony Bennett at the 50th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge celebration in 1987.
In the 1990’s Barry « The Fish » Melton’s career as a Public Defender mushroomed, beginning with a stint in the Mendocino County Public Defender’s Office, the Office of (the California) State Public Defender, and an appointment as the Public Defender of Yolo County, California, continuing into the early 21st Century.
During this period, Barry « The Fish » Melton played local venues in San Francisco and he toured annually in such diverse locations as England, France, Scotland, Thailand and Wales. He also recorded three collaborations with other guitarists including « Dual in the Desert », with Rich Hopkins of Texas, « Can’t Stop to Boogie » with Tetuzi Akiyama and Henry Kaiser, and « Revolution Down the Road » with French guitarist Stéphane Missri and their band « Jamasutra ».
Barry « The Fish » Melton is now 72 and still playing and raring to go. With Jay and the Cooks they are putting together a Rock, Blues and Folk show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock this year.
More about Jay and The Cooks and his show « Up The Mississippi »
Barry «The Fish» Melton – vocals, guitar
Jay Ryan – vocals, guitar
Stéphane Missri – guitar, banjo
Paul Susen – fiddle, mandolin
Marten Ingle – bass
Jean-Serge Karsky – drums, percussions
Lyrics and music : Barry Melton, Jay Ryan, traditionals and covers (Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters…)
Photographies and Videos : Edith Gaudy, Irène Bessone
Artworks : Corinne Garino
Production : Juste Une Trace
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