Becoming The Blues

A Family Memoir by Darla Barber, John Barber and Maggie Barber-Leclerc

“Josh listened to all the right players and played all the right licks… He reminded me of a young Jimmie Vaughan… a cool cat.”

— Travis Colby

Travis Colby Band, Eight-year veteran of Roomful of Blues

Becoming the Blues is as intense as any mystery I ever read! This should be a handbook for every medical student in the world and a gift to all families who are wrestling with depression in someone they love.”

— Joanne Mazzotta

Author of Why Whisper? A Memoir

About Becoming the Blues


In a charming seaside town, a little boy with a flair for adventure and a talent for earning accolades believed success was his birthright. After all, he had pulled the biggest fish out of the lake at age five and skated to acclaim in ice hockey soon after.

An intense and charismatic youth, Joshua Adonis Barber brought complete passion to everything he did. When he traded in hockey pucks for guitar picks, another field of dreams opened before him. His gifts for writing lyrics, meeting blues legends, and performing scorching sets brought him distinction throughout Rhode Island.

When Josh was in his late twenties, however, a perfect storm of disappointment, social media, and despair plunged Josh and his family into nightmarish cycles of mental health treatments and recoveries.

In Becoming the Blues, Josh’s parents and sister follow him through both heartbreaking and heartwarming times. They share their true story with simple and forthright honesty with the goal of bringing hope and healing to others.