31st March 2014
This is a shorter newsletter than usual, mainly to tell you / remind you about events of our own coming up in the next month. There should be a fuller bulletin round about Easter with much more non-club news.
1. 1st APRIL - ENJOY AN EVENING WITH VIN. This coming Tuesday we are delighted to be bringing Vin Garbutt back to York for a concert at the National Centre for Early Music. Vin surely needs little introduction to this readership. He is renowned for his combination of hilarious between-numbers patter with serious songs which are always thoughtful and thought-provoking, often moving and gut-wrenchingly honest. His own compositions are inspired by the folk tradition but transformed into gritty social comment and he has a talent for finding equally strong songs by other writers. Vin’s career has spanned more than 40 years of worldwide touring and the “Teesside Troubadour” remains at the top of his game.
One of those “other writers” is York’s own Stan Graham, and as well as covering Stan’s material, Vin invited Stan to accompany him on an Australian tour a few years ago. No wonder then that Stan will be the MC and support act on Tuesday, on stage at 7.30pm. Tickets are £14 full or £12 concessions and so far are only about half sold, which is more than a little surprising. That does mean there will be no problem paying on the door on Tuesday night, any time from 7pm, if you’d rather not pre-book.
2. 3rd APRIL - ALL SINGERS AND LISTENERS WELCOME. It is another Open House night at the Black Swan this Thursday (3rd), when all singers and musicians are made welcome, not to mention listeners, with Phil Cerny acting as MC. After a dip in February we had a brilliant Singers Night in March, so fingers crossed for more of the same this time.
3. 7th APRIL – FOLK WEEKEND PLANNING MEETING. I have convened an Open Meeting on Monday week (7th) to discuss arrangements for this year’s City of York Folk Weekend on 6th-8th June. In particular, we need to sort out the helpers for things such as MC-ing, stewarding, running indoor PA and rattling collection tins. Regrettably, family commitments mean that two key personnel (Eddie and Chris) are missing this year’s festival, so we need some new recruits if the event is to run smoothly. If you can offer your services at any time over the weekend, either come along on Monday 7th (from 7.30pm, in the Oak Room at the Black Swan) or drop me an email.
On the programming side of things, the Folk Weekend Outdoor Programme is now settled and is as follows:
· Friday Night – 8.00-10.30 Ceilidh Under Canvas with FiddlersWreck
· Saturday – 1.00 Paula Ryan, 1.35 York Young Fiddlers, 2.00 Acorn Morris, 2.20 The Duncan McFarlane Band, 3.20 Graham Hodge, 3.55 Dan Webster, 4.40 The Foresters, 5.25 David Ward Maclean, 6.05 The A-Rhythmics, 6:50 King Courgette, 7.25 Ebor Morris, 7.55 The Gerry McNeice Band, 8.55 Caramba!, 9.40 Root 64, 10.30 Close.
· Sunday – 1.00 The Fine Companions, 1.40 Tommy Coye, 2.15 Chechelele, 3.00 Union Central, 3.35 Sarah Dean, 4.15 The Jaybirds, 4.55 Phil Cerny, 5.25 Kaminari Taiko Drummers, 5.50 Blackbeard’s Tea Party, 6.50 Holly Taymar & Chris Bilton, 7.35 Rakish, 8.20 Union Jill, 9.10 Leather’o, 10.00 Close
The programme of indoor events is still taking shape and will also be discussed at the Open Meeting.
4. 10th APRIL – TOP CLASS MUSICIANSHIP FROM ALISTAIR & DAN. Spanning the generations, next week’s club guests should be a rare treat. Alistair Anderson & Dan Walsh are masters of their respective instruments (English concertina or Northumbrian pipes for Alistair, banjo for Dan) and promise some thrilling musical pyrotechnics. A professional musician for over 40 years, Alistair first came to prominence with North East band The High Level Ranters before establishing a considerable solo reputation as a composer, performer, teacher and collaborator. Above all he has been a massive musical catalyst, bringing countless young people into folk music first through the Folkworks organisation which he founded in 1988 and then through the Newcastle University Folk Music Degree course which he launched in 2001.
Prominent amongst those virtuoso young musicians, Dan Walsh is touted as one of the finest banjo players in Britain, as well as being a superb singer, songwriter and guitarist. He has a unique and eclectic style, taking in funk, bluegrass and even Arabic music alongside British folk, and his performances are always high energy affairs, as we witnessed when he visited the Black Swan with harmonica player Will Pound for a memorable show two years ago.
Alistair and Dan have been playing together for some time, but only on an occasional basis, and we were very lucky to secure a date when they were both available – in fact is one of only two duo gigs on Dan’s current tour. Perforce this one has to be at the top end of our ticket price range (£12 full, £11 concessions), but it should be worth every penny! Booking is now open through WeGotTickets.
5. 14th APRIL – BOOK NOW FOR HEIDI TALBOT AT OUR CENTENARY CONCERT. We reach a notable milestone on Monday 14th April, when Heidi Talbot is the very special guest at our 100thconcert at the NCEM. One hundred shows! Not bad, I think. What is more, Heidi will be joined (alongside guitarist Ian Carr) by her husband and musical collaborator John McCusker, who also performed at our very first NCEM show way back in 2000 as part of Kate Rusby’s backing band. What a coincidence!
With two weeks to go there are only around 40 tickets left, so for this one you really do need to book in advance, at www.ncem.co.uk or on 01904 658338. Tickets are priced at £16 full, £14 concessions. The superb local singer/guitarist David Ward Maclean will be the opening act, accompanied on double bass by Bradley Blackwell.
6. 17th APRIL – LET’S HAVE ANOTHER LIVELY SINGERS NIGHT. As usual we follow an NCEM concert with a Singers Night at the Black Swan on 17th April, this time with Eddie Affleck acting as compere. Come and join us for a relaxed start to the Easter weekend.
7. 24th APRIL - TOP FLIGHT WOMEN’S HARMONY FROM AMERICA. Neither sisters nor particularly short, The Short Sisters are our guests on 24th April. Fay Baird, Kate Seeger (yes, she is related to Pete and Peggy) and Kim Wallach have been singing together in the States for 35 years and come to us on the recommendation of Jez Lowe, who has booked a short UK tour for them. They specialise in vocal harmony, sometimes acapella, sometimes embellished with guitar, autoharp or banjo, and they have a pleasantly diverse repertoire. It sounds great! Tickets for this one are a very modest £8 full or £7 concessions, now on sale.
That’s all for now! Hopefully I’ll be back early around Easter time.