gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 46

We’re Family As a fourth generation family business, all of us at Merrill Gardens know the importance of staying connected. It’s what helps our residents feel more at home. You can see it in the people we hire. You can see it in the communities we create. You can see it in the ways we connect with your family. Call today to schedule your personal visit. (408) 338-0427 7600 Isabella Way Gilroy, CA 95020 Lic #435202344 Senior Living • merrillgardens.com 46 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN After stints playing the saxophone and trumpet in his younger years, harmonica presented a greater variety of sounds, and he especially loved the versatility of what he described as little more than a couple of reeds fixed between two metal plates. “It’s the instrument which has such a variety of ways you can present one note, unlike any other instrument out there,” he said. Unfortunately, there weren’t any harmonica-trained teachers around who could instruct him in what he wanted to learn. He embarked upon two years of teaching himself what he could with limited resources, and by age sixteen was playing at a few local clubs. “JJ’s Blues [in San José] was the big blues club at the time,” he said. He won free tickets to a blues festival held there and recalled the impact of hearing live blues harmonica for the first time, played by a local great named Gary Smith whom Barrett called “one of our legendary players in blues.” Utterly captivated, he knew he’d found his music teacher, if only he could convince Smith to teach him. “I noticed [the musicians] were all going out for fried chicken afterwards, so my goal was to plant myself next to that gate and ask him to give me lessons.” Smith was reluctant to teach him, but, said Barrett, “I begged and pleaded and he finally said yes.” Less than ten lessons later, Barrett said, “And like a stupid teenager I felt like I learned all I could. Then I continued the journey on my own.” However, he and Smith have continued to collaborate over the past 27 years in numerous ways. Smith helped Barrett book local gigs and arrange jam sessions and has remained a close friend. Not two years after that, bu FFr&6W'2&VvF&6&'&WGBǒVvFVV6VbFFV6FV( ĐBFVrFFV6'WBFW6BBFF( BGFW"( P&VV&W&VBvF6V6RआR77VVBFV6rvVB&Rw&VBvFf 6VvRvFWB&RbFR( VFF6FvvrGP'2( Rv267W7FVBF&VfW"FV6rFW'2fV@ƖRrf'v&BvB^( BV&VBg&6֗F( 6RbFPFV6VW2v'B6vRvVF( BfRfwW&VBWBגv"BvVBfRFVrFR( ФR6'VBW7F&Rb&fFR6ƖVG2Bv&V@'BFRBW627F&W26VFrFRf&W"W62G&VRFvFv&vv6RvVBf"6V'2g&УBF#vVVBFVvBB&WBFRW60'W6W72BVBF7F'BFV6r6&6v&Ч62Ffw&vrFVBf"W762खFR&6W72R&VƗVBFR7&VF&R6bFV6pFW&2f"&6FR&WBR'FǒGG&'WFVBF06FFRf7BFB( &VW2&62v2&VV&G&FFRƗ7FV6BG'FW6RBBFr0&VVw&GFVf"FB( R6B'WBR6r'GVGPGW&VBv&6R7VBV"FV6rF&6V@'VFr&6FV6VRFBvVBF&RV&Ɨ6VB'vW62V&Ɨ6W"V&V&Ɩ6F2BvVB&RFPf'7BbfW"s&24G2BEdG2&VW2&6F@R2w&GFV"&GV6VB6RFBR66f'F&ǐ6f"6Vb$4$#pvևFF6