The Barcodes - With Friends like these...

The Barcodes are joined by a Stella group of their Friends form the UK Blues / Jazz music fraternity. Sarting from top left Zoot Money, Jim Mullen. Paul Cox, Alan Barnes, Val Cowell, Nick Newall, Gypie Mayo, Papa George and Produced and enginereed by Roger Cotton

To listen click HERE

Jazz Journal - November 2007

Paint My Mailbox Blue; l Don't Worry About A Thing; Back At The 4 Aces; Petunia; Everything Or Nothing; Halfway To Nowhere; Blues For Judy; Can't Hold Out Much Longer; Time, Talk 'n' Trouble; The Snitch; Undercover Lover; Watch Out; No Light In My Life (56.43)

Bob Hadrell (v, org, p); Alan Glen (v, g, h, pc); Dino Coccia (d, pc) with friends: Nick Newall, Alan Barnes (saxes); Jim Mullen, Gypie Mayo (g); Roger Cotton (org; Zoot Money, Paul Cox, Val Cowell, Papa George (v). Kent, England, May 2006 (Note Records NCD 10122)

 l enjoyed the first Barcodes album but was not impressed with their follow-up which tried to create an easy listening date which tacked the gumption and varied moods of a good blues album. With Friends Like These ... is a far more exciting and varied set and not just because of the guest list. The Barcodes have got into that blues groove again; funky, gutsy and good vocals. Track 3 is a loping instrumental with Barnes floating over the reggae back beat and Mullen kicking the piece into touch with a deft solo. Most of the tunes are originals which is a credit to the band because they possess the same quality as the more familiar blues classics that inhabit the Barcodes' repertoire. Petunia could easily have been a Mose Allison or a Willie Mabon song due to its sly delivery. Zoot sounds great on Halfway To Nowhere and Papa George gels real lonesome on Time, Talk 'n Trouble. Although the band is primarily a blues-based outfit they do manage to embellish the songs with delightful jazz solos that gives their music that certain edge.

David Lands – Jazz Journal

Blues Revue USA THE BARCODES -' With Friends like These' -[Note- 1012-2] - January 2007

With Friends like These' - eases its way into your player with a relaxed take on Taj Mahal's 'Paint my Mailbox Blue' sung by Val Cowell and Paul Cox, and is stamped with clean, cool solos from Papa George and Barcodes members Alan Glen and Bob Haddrell.

The tempo picks up on Mose Allison's swinging 'I Dont Worry about a Thing',featuring Alan Barnes on sax.Guitarist Alan Glen's jazzy 'Petunia' is splendid,and his 'Everything or Nothing' shows the band's hard blues side with a driving harp solo and a spiky, rhythmic guitar break courtesy of Gypie Mayo.

The Barcodes expertly balance low-down blues and sophisticated jazz on their originals, and on Fleetwood Mac's 'Watch Out'.Top tracks include the Ray Charles inflected 'No Light in my Life' and the Hammond trio instumental 'The Snitch'.

Tom Hyslop

Red Lick - January 2007

The Barcodes: With Friends Like These. A thinking man's blues band, The Barcodes can grind out the big blues with the best of them but they have a knack of digging deep into that cool jazz groove that Mose Allison and Grant Green started. Bob Haddrell plays exquisite piano though-out, harp player Alan Glen slices through with some inspired guitar and Dino Coccia keeps the beat crisp and cleanly at all times. It would be a killer CD with just the trio but to place the icing right on top, Zoot Money, Jim Mullen, Alan Barnes, Gypie Mayo and Paul Cox (among others) breeze in with some mighty stellar contributions.

Ken Smith - January 2007

Britain's foremost R&B label, Note, has a roster to die for and The Barcodes epitomise the quality on offer. Bob Haddrell, Alan Glen and Dino Coccia are the current incarnation and the guest stars compliment them perfectly. Opening with Taj Mahal's Paint My Mailbox Blue they produce thirteen tracks of British R&B that is rarely matched. Val Cowell and Paul Cox guest on vocals and their voices fit together very well on this sultry blues along with Papa George on slide guitar and Roger Cotton on Hammond. There are only four covers on the album and the second, Mose Allison's I Won't Worry About A Thing, shows a bunch of top musicians on top of their form. This is played in Allison's jazz/blues style and the newest member, Bob Haddrell, effortlessly shows his keyboard skills. However, it is Alan Barnes on sax that is the standout. The first of the originals is a result of many hands and Back At The 4 Aces is an airy instrumental that takes in jazz and a little bit of reggae. Jim Mullen adds his considerable guitar talents to this one. Great British blues musician Alan Glen is a much lauded guitarist, harmonica player and songwriter and his Petunia is next. This is slinky jazz of the highest order and has Glen written all over it, as you can tell from the guitar work. Everything Or Nothing is another Glen song and he showcases his harmonica this time - British blues from a British bluesman. He teams up with Coccia for Halfway To Nowhere, another good British R&B topped off by Zoot Money on vocal and Hammond.

It's a full band effort for the instrumental Blues For Judy which is on the jazzy side of the blues again, with Glen's guitar shining through. Can't Hold Out Much Longer is a Little Walter song but the understated vocal lets it down a bit. I also thought that Glen would have given the harmonica part a better treatment. Coccia and Haddrell team up for the first time to write Time, Talk 'n' Trouble, a slow methodical blues that doesn't really get anywhere. The Snitch is a band effort again and is plain and simply well played, British jazz/blues. They stay in the jazzy vein for Coccia & Haddrell's Undercover Lover. Although it has the added extra of Nick Newall on flute it's really nothing out of the ordinary. The last of the covers is a laid back version of Peter Green's Watch Out. It's jazzed up a little and I'm sure that it's not what Green had in mind when he wrote it. It's a low key finish with No Light In My Life. Well played, as are the others, and in the jazz vein which is a side of the band that has come out more than I'd hoped.

David Blue January 2007

Blues Magazine (France) – November 2006

With friends like those invited onto this CD by the Barcodes trio of Bob Haddrell, Alan Glen and Dino Coccia, they couldn’t fail to produce one of the best European blues albums for this year.  The 13 tracks alternate between original compositions and cover versions arranged in the Barcode style. The CD starts with the superb ‘Paint My Mailbox Blue’ fromTaj Mahal, sung by Paul Cox and the blonde Val Cowell, Then a very subtle adaptation of ‘Can’t Hold out Much Longer’ by Little Walter Jacobs.

As for the original numbers, the trio hasn’t held back, juxtaposing orchestrated pieces with magnificent arrangements, like the ‘Back at the 4 Aces’,  co-written with with the great Alan Barnes who throws in there some great sax solos and a formidable Jim Mullen on guitar.

Some other numbers, like ‘Halfway to Nowhere’ or 'Everything or Nothing’ will delight the 12 bar purists and harmony fans, and there’s a sure result when you lend an ear to the keyboard work of Bob Haddrell.

Once you’ve heard all these numbers you’ll only want one thing: to go into one of those pubs where the Barcodes play and sup your beer whilst hearing ‘Blues for Judy’ or the excellent ‘No light in my Life’ which subtly wraps up the album with that slow rhythm which goes so well with last orders. Then you’ll say to yourself that you’ll come back and see the Barcodes again as soon as possible.

Franky Bluesy Pfeiffer - Blues Magazine

 (Translated from the French by Martin Bentley}

Original French

Avec des amis comme ceux invités pour ce CD, le trio Bob Haddrell, Alan Glen et Dino Coccia ne pouvait que signer l’un des plus beaux albums de blues européen de cette fin d’année. Les 13 titres alternent compos originales et reprises arrangées à la sauce « Barcodes avec invités », comme ce superbe Paint My Mailbox Blue signé Taj Mahal et chanté par Paul Cox et la blonde Val Cowell, ou cette adaptation toute en finesse de Can’t Hold Out Much Longer, de Little Walter Jacobs. Côté compos, le trio n’a pas donné dans la demi-mesure, alignant des morceaux à l’orchestration et aux arrangements somptueux, comme ce Back At The 4 Aces, co-signé avec le grand Alan Barnes qui vous y aligne de grandes envolées de sax et un formidable Jim Mullen à la six cordes. Quelques autres titres, comme Halfway To Nowhere ou Evrything Or Nothing raviront les puristes des douze mesures et tous les fanas d’harmo mais prêtez une oreille aux claviers signés Bob Haddrell : efficacité garantie. A l’écoute de tous ces titres vous n’aurez qu’une envie, foncer dans l’un de ces pubs où les Barcodes sévissent et savourer votre bière en écoutant Blues For Judy ou l’excellent No Light In My Life qui clôture l’album en douceur, avec ce rythme lent qui colle si bien à cet instant où le pub va fermer et où vous vous dites que vous reviendrez les écouter, ces Barcodes, et dès demain.

Frankie Bluesy Pfeiffer - BLUES MAGAZINE

Jazzwise - December 2006

Who needs enemies, as the completed title would have it, so I tried hard to like this one. After all, British organ-blues trios such as this are rare. They have their heart in the right place, they've been around a while and they play the kind of music that needs all the help it can get. Haddrell's Hammond tone is warm and Glen's poised guitar solos take their sweet time, yet a certain deep-grooving conviction is missing. It's hard to say why, but one reason could be the studio mix, which keeps the bass-lines, presumably all from Haddrell's left foot, far too faint throughout.

The guest-list here includes guitarist Jim Mullen and organist-singer Zoot Money, two pros who have been playing blues since before many listeners were born, and the best moments come from them. Contrast Mullen's surefooted fluency with Barnes' stuttering double-time licks. Irritatingly, the sleeve notes don't state who is singing what, but the lady on 'Paint My Mailbox Blue' and the gent on 'Petunia' sound particularly unconvincing. Sorry, guys. If anybody told me your live gigs are great, I'd believe them.

Jack Massarik

Zeitgeist - November 2006

And here come The Barcodes with a rather delightful set of jazz tinged blues.

A largely self penned set, peppered with a few well chosen covers of songs by Taj Mahal, Mose Allison, Little Walter and Peter Green, it's a bit of an understated gem.

They've roped in a bunch of friends (aha! slow on the uptake reviewer), hence the title, with Zoot Money, Roger Cotton, Paul Cox and Gypie Mayo among them, but it manages to remain all about the songs.

There's plenty to enjoy but I keep going back to the Mise Allison tune 'I Don't Worry About A Thing' and the harmonica drenched 'Everything Or Nothing'.

'Blues & Rhythm' - October 2006

'Very enjoyable - this is essentially a Jazz record with Bluesy vocals and at it's best manages beguillingly to integrate a rocking beat with musical sensitivity of the kind saxophonists Alan Barnes and Nick Newall bring to 'I Dont Worry' and 'Time,Talk 'n Trouble.I defy anyone not to start jigging about to 'Halfway to Nowhere' where Zoot Money stomps along,and Bob Haddrell stands out on the group's self-composed instrumental 'The Snitch'.Much more rewarding than most of what passes for Jazz in 2006.

Howard Rye - 'Blues & Rhythm'

Blues in Britain – November 2006

The Barcodes – With Friends Like These

As the title suggests, the London threesome's third album sees them joined by a number of guests, many of whom have appeared live with the band. Bad Influence's Val Cowell takes lead vocal on the opener, a slow reading of Taj Mahal's "Paint My Mailbox Blue" with Paul Cox adding vocal asides and taking a chorus of his own and Papa George chipping in with some slide guitar. Cox steps forward for Alan Glen's 'Everything Or Nothing" with Gypie Mayo taking the lead guitar slot and Papa George gets his turn at the mic on "Time, Talk And Trouble", written by Bob Haddrell and Dm0 Coccia, Nick Newall and Roger Cotton featuring on sax and organ respectively. Zoot Money contributes vocal and organ on "Halfway To Nowhere" (Coccia/Glen). Saxophonist Alan Barnes and guitarist Jim Mullen add their considerable solo skills to Mose Allison's "I Don't Worry About A Thing" - Allison is an acknowledged favourite of the band, while Mullen has been a regular guest on Allison's London shows - and the studio jam "Back At The 4 Aces", which is kind of Blue Note jazz with a ska beat on some sections, one of three instrumentals on this 13-tracker.

The mood is mellow and relaxed for most of the disc, making it conducive to late night listening. Money and Cox's features sit mid-disc and in contrast to the main fare of slowies and swingers, being a harp driven, Chicago style shuffle and a "Hi-Heel Sneakers" variant respectively.

Strong originals sit alongside a few covers, with Little Walter's "Can't Hold Out Much Longer" and Peter Green's "Watch Out" both receiving considerably different treatments than their composers' versions. There are impressive performances throughout from the band and their guests. All the tracks are available to preview and/or download at

Rating: 8 - Jon Taylor -

Ian McKenzie – Blues in the South - Oct 2006

Here in The Shed we love the Barcodes. This album continues to deliver that laid-back, after-midnight type of jazzy blues that en-deared us so much to them from the start Bob Hadderell (vocals and keybds) with Alan Glen (vocals/guitar/harmonica). There is an argument that this is jazz with a blues base or alternatively blues with a jazz tinge. This is one of those interminable and insoluble debates that distracts people from the superb quality of the Bar-codes' music; light, swinging and smooth. The friends in question are Jim Mullen, Alan Barnes, Zoot Money, Val Cowell, Papa George , Paul Cox, Nick Newall. Favourite track? Well the opener, Paint My Mail Box Blue' with Val Cowell of Bad Influence (also one of our favourites) is t'riffic but how can you really single-out one track from stuff as good as this.

Ian McKenzie – Blues in the South -

Paul Button - BLUES MATTERS - Oct 2006

'With Friends Like These...” and what friends indeed; all from the same Blues stable. The friend's list reads like a who's who on the Note-Music label. Viz. Nick Newall, Alan Barnes, Jim Mullen, Zoot Money, Paul Cox, Val Cowell, Papa George, Gypie Mayo, Roger Cotton. All these brilliant muso's with The Barcodes on this CD!This first class presentation of the Blues/jazz is simply awesome.

Nine of the thirteen tracks are written or co-written by The Bartcodes & Friends. All numbers have a jazz flavour in them and all the musos compliment each other really well. As well as the usual guitar bass and drums there are additional vocals, harmonica, sax, flute, additional guitar, slide guitar and Hammond organ.

The album kicks of with a rendition of Taj Mahal's 'Paint My Mailbox Blue', with Val Cowell on lead vocals with Paul Cox, Papa George on slide guitar complementing the lead guitar work of Alan Glen. This fantastic opening
number sets the tone and standard for what is to follow.

Each track is an illustration of superb musicianship with everyone having the space to improvise and express themselves admirably. I particularly like the cover of Peter Green's Watch Out'; a more jazzier swing version of the original. Each and every track stands out in its own right. The production of this highly emotive album is out of the top drawer.


Smiggy - Barry's Mag - Sept 2006

...the new Barcodes album "With Friends Like These". This album is like dry ice: so cool it burns. Friends, the likes of Roger Cotton, Zoot Money, Paul Cox, Papa George, Val Cowell, Nick Newell, Alan Barnes, Jim Mullen, and Gypie Mayo make this a neces-sity-not a maybe; without it your CD collec-tion will be WUBBISH...

Smiggy - AKA John Smyth

Blues Art Studio - Austria - Sept 2006

The Barcodes are a London, England based three piece consisting of Bob Haddrell on Hammond and Wurlitzer organs, piano, vocals and bass pedals, Alan Glen on vocals, guitar, harmonica and percussion, and Dino Coccia on drums. These three guys have plenty of experience between them, but in this incarnation they opt for the jazzier side of the blues that was popular in the early to mid-sixties – think Jimmy Smith, Georgie Fame or Jimmy Witherspoon maybe. It is a sound that has perhaps declined in popularity a little over the last few years and for that reason alone this CD is worthy of attention. Another reason is that these guys and their associates – the friends of the title include veteran British jazz guitarist Jim Mullen, sixties UK blues boom legend Zoot Money, and several others - do it so well. Oh, and Little Walter’s ‘Can’t Hold Out Much Longer’ brings to my mind – every time - the image of a mohair suited mop-topped teenager with guitar on ‘Top Of The Pops’ circa 1964. Intriguing at the very least…

 Norman Darwen -

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