2008 Best Music Poll Winners

Blues/R&B Act

Josh Barber & the Stack

Arguably the most competitive category (and chock-full of seasoned veterans), this year’s Blues/R&B BMP winner Josh Barber took modesty to the next level when asked if he expected to have a fighting chance against veterans like Paul Geremia and perennial contenders Roomful of Blues.

“No, not at all — everyone is great and probably deserve the award more than me,” Barber stated via e-mail.

Ironically, the humble bluesman had previously taken the BMP Blues/R&B crown as a founding member of Smokestack Lightnin,’ so perhaps this shouldn’t come as such an upset for the apparent underdog, although Barber is the only one here without a full-length release. Call it a testament to the anticipation as well as a consistently scorching live set. Barber also paid dues a decade back jamming behind local legends Dave Howard and Tim Taylor. He grew up in Jamestown, where his parents and grandmother still reside and show their support at the local shows, and says the Narragansett Café remains his favorite place to play. Two of his biggest shows to date were opening slots for Jimmie Vaughan and the Fabulous T-Birds.

“Those shows were particularly nerve-racking, but that’s part of the fun,” Barber said. “You just don’t want to screw up. If I didn’t get nervous opening for someone like Jimmie I’d think there was something wrong.”

Next up on the JB & the Stack itinerary is a May 16 performance at Buddy’s Place in Tiverton, followed by stops in Jamestown, Newport, and Middletown. Barber and the Stack now boasts Roomful keyboardist Travis Colby on hand for all live gigs. Go to live or for complete show info.

— Chris Conti

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