Created and Managed
Tipitina were formed in 2006 by Justin, Debbie and Gary Barber (now on drums with King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys) and went out as a trio until Jim Simpson took an interest and recorded their first cd ‘I Wish I Was In New Orleans’ on his Big Bear Records label in 2007. Here, they augmented with double bass, (Tom Hill) guitar (Andy ‘Postie’ Jones) and Tenor saxophone (John ‘Boysey’ Battrum)
They’ve been on the road ever since, playing festivals and venues all over the UK and Europe including Sweden, Isle Of Wight, Denmark, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Gibraltar. Highlights also include support slots for the late George Melly and BBC Radio 2’s Paul Jones, who also wrote the liner notes for their first cd and has played numerous tracks on his show. They’re favourites at London’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club, having had 4 sell out shows so far with more to come.
Tipitina are currently promoting their second cd on Big Bear Records, ‘Taking Care Of Business’, rated 10/10 by Blues In Britain. This was recorded live in Birmingham with Nick Millward on drums, Tom Hill on double bass and Andy (Postie) Jones on guitar. A 5 piece band is their preferred line-up and you are always guaranteed quality players and great vocal harmonies. Debbie and Justin are the only permanent members but they are friends with the UK’s finest musicians. Other regular faces include Brian Hargreaves on drums, James Agg on double bass, Rick Halliwell on sax and Andrew Dalton on percussion.
The music of Tipitina is rooted in the 2nd line grooves of New Orleans, but as in all great New Orleans music, there’s regular excursions into boogie-woogie, blues, jazz, soul, gospel and latin styles creating what’s known in the Crescent city as ‘Gumbo’ or mixed stew, a music that never stands still and goes beyond labels, definitions and pigeon-holing, thereby never falling out of fashion.
Debbie and Justin also go out as a duo, ‘The Tipis’, playing the same music with both taking a more percussive role. Debs strums and slaps on rhythm guitar and Justin’s thunderous left hand is allowed to wander around without fear of clashing harmonically with the double bass. This is great for smaller venues.