It has long been said that “you can judge a person by the company that they keep.”
This is especially true for the two-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist Laurence Juber, whose musical resumé is as impressive as his immense talent.
The English-born guitarist, whom The Who’s Pete Townshend once called “a master,” will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans. The all-acoustic guitar concert will showcase highlights from his 22 solo albums including his latest releases Soul of Light and Under an Indigo Sky.
In the mid-’70s, Juber was a London-based session musician who had worked with the legendary English jazz singer Cleo Laine. The producer of that recording was none other than Sir George Martin, the man who had worked with the Beatles for almost their entire career.
The following year, Juber played on a very successful session with Carly Simon on her mega-hit Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me, which became one of the most successful James Bond themes ever recorded.
His work on other recordings by Barry Manilow, Seal, Dan Hicks and Al Stewart and with various movies and TV shows soon made him the “go-to” guy for many producers and artists in England.
TAKING FLIGHT DEPT. In 1978, Paul McCartney was in need of a new guitarist in Wings, who were gearing up to record a new disc and ready to embark on an extensive tour for the first time in three years.
Most any guitarist would have gladly traded every Martin, Fender and Gibson guitar that they owned for the privilege to play with the once and forever Beatle. But Macca bypassed numerous “name” guitarists and chose Juber for the job.
While in Wings, Juber was featured on the album Back to the Egg, a hard-hitting rocking affair that was McCartney’s answer to the burgeoning punk movement that began with the Clash, Sex Pistols and the Police.
One of the highlights of that disc was Macca’s rousing rocking instrumental Rockestra Theme, which featured Juber performing with The Who’s Pete Townshend, Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and John Bonham, and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame.
It received the very first Grammy for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance.”
Juber also contributed those tasty flamenco-style riffs to Wings’ hit single Goodnight Tonight and some cool lead guitar on the irresistible Coming Up, the band’s No. 1 single in the spring of 1980.
Juber’s tenure with Wings was abruptly cut short when McCartney was busted for marijuana possession in Japan.
The tour was canceled, and McCartney disbanded the group to record solo.
WHAT SONGS WILL HE PLAY DEPT? The guitarist’s concert at the Hardin is the fifth date of an extensive international tour.
Recent shows have featured standards including It’s Only a Paper Moon, All
of Me, Sting’s Every Breath You Take and even Ben E. King’s immortal hit Stand By Me.
Juber will also play several choice Lennon and McCartney tunes from both volumes of his tasty LJ Plays Beatles releases. His takes on Strawberry Fields Forever, Maybe I’m Amazed and even I Saw Her Standing There are just terrific in every way.
You might also hear a rendition of one of Henry Mancini’s finest movie themes, The Pink Panther, which garnered Juber his second Grammy Award in 2005.
As with many famed performers, Juber tells great stories about the songs, and his dry English wit makes for a great night out for everyone who appreciates a true artist.
Tickets are $20 and $25 for the Sept. 15 show and can be purchased online at augustaamusements.com or by calling (706) 726-0366.