|It was in the sixties that Brian Carrick became interested in New Orleans music, after hearing a record of Bessie Smith singing 'Young Woman Blues'.
After reading a music paper article about George Lewis, the Kitty Halls and Preservation Hall Opening, Brian decided to write to george Lewis in New Orleans, to find out more about the music and musical history of this city. They corresponded until George Lewis died on New Years Eve 1968. By then, however, Brian had met George many times during the tours he made in England and talked to him and listened at first hand to the music and musical heritage of this city in the deep Southern state of Louisiana.
In 1973 Brian again took up clarinet after receiving one from his wife for Christmas, and so in the following April Brian went down to New Orleans to listen and learn this music in the Cresent City itself. For the following 30 years Brian has continued to return each year to New Orleans, to play with and record with the Musician's of the Crescent city, and to soak up the musical atmosphere.
After visiting George Lewis's home on many occasions, and reminiscing with George's daughter Shirley about the old days in New Orleans, her Uncle Willie as she called "Bunk" and Uncle Lawrence "Lawrence Marrerro", and Mr Bill "Bill Russell", Shirley presented Brian with an old one-piece metal clarinet that George had owned since the begining of the 1940's and was just lying in the cupboard collecting dust and grim, Shirley also gave Brian Georges favourite black clarinet case which containes to this day Georges clarinet reeds, one of which is still in its original holder which staes "Grunewald Music Co.Inc, 325 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA. These much treasured items date back to the Superior Band's first recordings in 1943.
During his many visits to New Orleans, Brian had the good fortune to obtain help and music lessons from two of the old time clarinet players still active in the city, Albert Burbank and Dr. Paul "Polo" Barnes, (One time player with Joe "King" Oliver Band)
Brian has played with many of the New Orleans Originals, both in Europe and New Orleans - these include Kid Thomas Valentine, Alton Purnell, Milford Dolliole, Freddie Kohlman, Kid Shiek Cola, Louis Nelson, James Prevost, Phamous Lambert, Ed Mon-tudie Garland, Father Al Lewis, Percy Humphrey, Waldren Frog Joseph, Wendell Eugene, Gregg Stafford amongst many others.
In appreciation of his contribution and love of New Orleans and its music, Brian was in 1975 made an honorary citizen of the city of New Orleans. Brian playing is influenced by George Lewis and the classic old style clarinet players, However Brian is no copiest, though much influanced by the Masters, Brian has a style of his own that is a living continuance of the New Orleans tradition. As well as playing clarinet, Brian plays a mean tenor sax, in a style that is reminicent of the the Great Emanual Paul and Andrew Morgan.