Grace exploded on the protest scene six years ago with her emotive anthem “Farewell to Welfare” which captured the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain, Her unique take on life, love and politics, plus the warmth and wit in her delivery, have made her one of the most respected songwriters in the UK.
Her latest release “Whatever’s Left” takes her beyond protest, through political and personal change to emerge through shades of folk, Americana and country as a mature song-writing voice, yet she’s still under 30.
Happy new year to all
Our guest on Wednesday 18 January is REG MEUROSS, who returns after 5 years having made many new admirers after his performances at Costa del Folk in April. The Guardian said he “sounds like a forgotten American 60s classic with echoes of Dylan, Tom Paxton and Leonard Cohen”. Since he was last here, his songs have moved from historical ‘Jesus Wept’ to political, with ‘England Green & England Grey’ standing out. He plays a 1944 Martin guitar which he’ll tell you about at the club and will promote his latest CD ‘December’.
We’d like to see you at the club at 8.30 particularly if you are a singers or musician, because it’s hard to fit floor singers in between the interval and our guests’ second set. Admission is £6 for members and £9 for non members. Membership costs £6.00 per year.
KEITH DONNELLY Wednesday 14 December
Keith has been called ‘a great singer-songwriter’, ‘a fine guitarist’ and ‘a superbly original Stand-Up’.
Don’t expect a purely musical offering, although his ability is clear to see, because from Geordie roots to his scriptwriting for many comics, he is also ‘a stunning storyteller’. Like Vin Garbutt in his heyday, Keith is a complete entertainer, well able to put the merry into Christmas without offence.
We have EWAN McLENNAN as our guests on Wednesday 16 November. He is a guitarist at the forefront of his generation, a troubadour, balladeer and storyteller in the old style.
Ewan won the Horizon Award at the BBC Folk Awards 2011 on the strength of his live appearances rather than any pressure by his agent or record label. He was born in Scotland and spent time with Dick Gaughan and Martin Simpson before carving his own path in 2012 with his CD “The Last Bird to Sing”. He went down well 4 years ago when last at the club.
He has recently been on tour with the Guardian writer George Monbiot who asked him to compose songs for their project “Breaking the Spell of Loneliness”, which has also been covered by both Mark Radcliff on Radio 2 and Late Junction on Radio 3. You can check out www.ewanmcclennan.co.uk to hear “A gorgeous lilting voice, so moving” according to Mojo magazine.
Our next guests are James Hickman & Dan Cassidy on Wednesday 19th October.
They epitomise the strong connection between British and American folk music, inspired by our tradition that was rediscovered when Cecil Sharp went collecting songs in the Carolinas in 1916.
James’ lively wit, emotive soaring vocals and driving guitar contrast with Dan’s dry ironic drawl and virtuoso fiddling. It’s over 5 years since they were last guests at our club, mainly because Dan has been living in Iceland.
In Any Order are Steve (melodeon, whistle, bouzouki), Jerry (bouzouki, banjo), Chris (guitar, mandolin) and Helen (bodhran). Vocals are shared, with Helen and Steve usually leading, supported by rich harmonies. They’ve been together 16 years, running their local club and supporting many events over the years. The name came from an introduction one night when the MC was anxious to get their names in the right order and was told any order would do- it stuck! Material comes from a wide range of genres- traditional folk, country, 60s pop- they’ll have a go at anything. But it’s the harmonies that give them the greatest pleasure, and they hope will do the same for you.
WENDY ARROWSMITH was brought up in Scotland but travelled extensively before settling in North Yorkshire with her family. She started writing songs ten years ago which have been recorded on Ship of Fools and Life Love and Chocolate but always includes interpretations of traditional songs in her live sets. This will be her third visit to our club since early in 2011. Wendy plays guitar to accompany her songs but its her voice that can stop you in your tracks. She has won an award for a song every year since 2007 at different festivals.
THE LEEN VALLEY BAND
The Leen Valley Band bring you authentic roots Americana, playing honky-tonk classics from the streets of Nashville, rip-roaring hoe-down banjo and fiddle tunes from the mountains of Kentucky, heart-rending soulful ballads and bluesy country/gospel… This all-acoustic band, featuring guitar, fiddle, banjo, dobro, stand-up bass, harmonica… and creamy-rich, high mountain harmonies, have a long-established reputation for memorable evenings of great musicianship and classic, old-time, good-time atmospheric music from the years before country music went glitzy. Drink your broken heart away to honky-tonk classics… then repent your drunken sins through rousing old-time, hell-fire gospel!
Expect to be reminded of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, The Everly Brothers, Skip James… and be introduced to a few old-timers you maybe never heard of…
Paul’s sensitive and yet fun approach to his live performances puts him among the most respected artists on the British acoustic music scene today.
He has been introduced as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists in the world as you may see the dazzling array of styles he performs with effortless brilliance, but he considers himself as a singer of songs, rather than a guitar technician.
Paul has a rich musical background that has included working with Phil Beer, The Arizona Smoke Revue, Pete Seeger and, currently, The Joyce Gang. He has often appeared locally as a duo with Mick Ryan.
Anthony John Clarke was due to be our guest on Wednesday 20 April2016 but he has had to cancel at fairly short notice.