Melody Across the Sea
by: Davis Yancy Clegg
For those of us fortunate to be blessed with it, the gift of musical talent is one gift that we tend to never take for granted. Furthermore, we cherish it so much that it consumes most every aspect of our day to day lives. Certain situations will spark an idea for a song we will later write, or simply put us in a state of reflection where we conjure up lyrics from that past that seem relevant to our current circumstance. When writing about a musician, especially one whom is a dear friend and an artist that whose book I’ve taken a page or two from, it sometimes gets difficult to write objectively. However, I shall do my best!
Simply put, Jim Barcaro is one of the most humble and crazy talented musicians I have the pleasure of calling a close friend. When I first met Jim some 12 years ago, he was sporting epically long hair and giving Heavy Metal a significant run for its money on acoustic guitar. I should mention that Metal wasn’t always on the forefront of Jim’s interests as a guitarist. Barcaro has a great love for almost every genre and is equal to the challenge of performing them all. His main hope at any performance is to achieve shock and awe along with executing sublime entertainment. Much like me, Jim comes from a family centered on music. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing his Mother belt out some pretty serious jazz vocals with a very complimentary blues nuance. Tony Barcaro and Dux Dejohn are both also among the family members to excel in their music endeavors. Jim wasted no time once his skills were honed and his mind determined. He started his path down the starting line of an impressive musical career when he joined local rockers, Cottonmouth.
In his Career with Cottonmouth, Jim shared the bill on some of the best stages around with some iconic groups. Among these were Lynyrd Skynyrd, Little Feat, Edgar Winter, Rare Earth, and the one and only Molly Hatchet. Later on, he would shatter his previously formed mold to join forces with one of our locally treasured jazz vocalist and friend, Karl W. Davis. Shortly after, the two traveled to Europe where they would team up with local jazz players in France. For a year and a half Jim was based out of France. He would travel all of France, as well as Belgium and Germany performing their original music. Speaking from my musical perspective, I can only imagine the vast amount of influence the various cultures would bring to Jim’s playing and singing alike.
After returning from his travels abroad with a new perspective on music as it relates to culture outside of our own, the Amelia Island was ecstatic to welcome back the culture-broadened Barcaro. He now is settled here with his wife and children and Jim has furthered his career since his return playing island venues such as the Green Turtle, Salty Pelican, our own Amelia River Cruises, and many more! I’ve had the pleasure of playing with Jim on several occasions and I can tell you a couple things from my experiences. Even after all of his experience, Jim still approaches music with a child-like sense of wonder and aspiration. If you watch closely enough you can see an expression of discovery on his face when he tears off into a riff for which most guitarists can’t name a single chord strummed! Even still, Jim has a way of making the most complicated combination of tone sound like an effortless and beautiful melody. Truly, a difficult feat to accomplish for the most trained of us. It goes without saying, but I highly recommend contacting the Amelia River Cruises office at the downtown marina to book your next cruise on a date you can experience the vast talents of my dear friend, Jim Barcaro. You will be hard pressed to find a better way to spend one of Florida’s most breathtaking sunset experiences. That much I guarantee.