Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 112

Early Jan 2010

Best wishes to all of our supporters for a happy, peaceful, prosperous and musical new year.


  1. NEW CLUB BROCHURE READY TO PRINT. The next edition of our club brochure goes to print this week. It covers all our activities from mid January through to early June: Guest Nights, Singers Nights, NCEM Concerts, Sunday Afternoon Folk (see Item 6 below) and preliminary details of this year’s Folk Weekend. Full information has been added to the folk club website and relevant details have also been sent to the WeGotTickets online booking service. Tickets for all club guest events to June 3rd should be online anytime now.

  2. BOB FOX TO LAUNCH OUR NEW DECADE. Favourite singer Bob Fox begins the new decade for us this Thursday night, 7th. As I write (Sunday 3rd) there are just a handful of tickets left at - some in the Full Price category, some in Concessions – so don’t delay!
    Incidentally, if you ever go online to book and find only one ticket category has stock left, book whatever is available and sort out the difference with me on the night – either claim a refund if you overpaid or give me the difference if you underpaid. The way the WeGotTickets system works I have to make an arbitrary split between Full Price and Concessions and I can never get it quite right!

  3. WARMING THE EMBERS. We had a lovely night with Emily Williams and Rebecca Sullivan, alias Ember, on their Black Swan debut in 2007: well-crafted songs, tasty fiddle and guitar playing, super vocal harmonies and relaxed, engaging and humorous stage presence. Hence we are delighted to welcome them back to York on 14th January. They are celebrating ten years of making music together at the moment, but have also announced that after the current tour they will be parting company, so this is both a second and a final Black Swan performance. If you want to sample them beforehand there are four very nice videos at – search under “ember” and “shed”.

  4. ISAMBARDE, BURLAND & BEYOND. The first Singers & Musicians Night of the year takes place on 21st January, then we have a return visit by the wonderful trio Isambarde (28th January), the ever popular Dave Burland (4th February) and TWO nights with the greatest of all English folk singers, Martin Carthy (11th & 12th February). Fay Hield (25th February) is accompanied by Sam Sweeney and Robert Harbron, Suntrap make their club debut (4th March), then we welcome back American favourites Dana & Susan Robinson (18th March). Spring visitors include Emily Slade (25th March) and Pete Morton (1st April), local heroine Edwina Hayes (8th April) and American virtuoso Bruce Molsky (22nd April). Skyhook are another fine group making their York debut (29th April), then we have return visits by Clive Gregson (6th May), Eddie Walker (20th May) and Canadian friend Dan McKinnon (3rd June), plus a special presentation about Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin’, by Will Kaufman (27th May).

  5. CELTIC CONCERT SEASON AT NCEM. With the sole exception of Skyhook, our club guests this season have a predominantly English, American or contemporary sound, but we balance that out with four excellent “celtic” bands in concert at the Early Music Centre. From Ireland come the contrasting styles of Beoga (15th February) and Gráda (8th March) and Scotland is very ably represented by Breabach (16th April), while the music of Uiscedwr (22nd March) is best described as gloriously cosmopolitan, as befits a trio with Welsh, Irish and English members.
    Opening acts for each concert are chosen to match the mood of the evening. Recent BBC Young Folk Award finalist Niamh Boadle appears with Beoga on the 15th February, while the Yorkshire-based Scottish singer Wendy Arrowsmith opens for Breabach in April. Singing harpist Sarah Dean will be supporting Uiscedwr and (subject to confirmation) Celtic songstress Paula Ryan has been asked to open for Gráda.
    The Beoga concert forms part of the 25th Anniversary Jorvik Viking Festival and tickets are already on sale at or on 01904 658338. Booking for the other three concerts will open on 18th January, when the Early Music Centre launches its revamped website and publishes its new brochure.

  6. RESIDENTS FESTIVAL “SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOLK”. Our contribution to the 2010 York Residents Festival is now finalised. Sunday Afternoon Folk will be held on 31st January from 2pm until 6pm, in the club room at the Black Swan Inn. The running order is: (2:10) Toni Bunnell,( 2:30) Chris Euesden, (2:50) Paula Ryan, (3:10) Two Black Sheep & A Stallion, (3:30) John Watterson, (3:50) Break, (4:00) The Foresters, (4:30) Tim Pheby, (4:50) Sarah Dean, (5:10) Susie Fox & Jack Firminger and (5:30) Eddie Affleck. Admission will be free to York Card holders or £ 3 (£ 2 concessions) to others, and audience members are welcome to come and go as they wish during the afternoon, so do consider coming along. Stay for four songs or four hours! Also, remember that excellent Sunday lunches are available at the Black Swan Inn before the concert.


  1. MULTI-CULTURAL YORKSHIRE. The following appeal comes from Ray Black of the Yorkshire Garland folk song archive project: “On our website we would like to include examples of a Yorkshire song genre that must exist but is so far proving very elusive. In an attempt to embrace the cultural diversity of our county we feel it would be worth seeing the place through the ideas of people from other countries and cultures. If anyone with any ethnic background, whether first generation or not, has written anything about Yorkshire or inspired by local stimuli we would love to include it on the site.” If you have any suggestions, contact Ray on

  2. NEW SCHEDULE FOR SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE. The York Songwriters Circle have announced dates for their public showcase concerts for the first half of the year. These take place at Meltons Too on Walmgate on the third Wednesday of each month: 20th January, 17th February etc. Shows begin at 8.30 and entry is just £ 1. Meanwhile, the Circle’s regular workshops take place at the Black Swan Inn on the last Tuesday of the month: 26th January, 23rd February, etc. Current contact number for further information is 07913 894578 or visit

  3. YORK CELIDH CLUB DATES. Also announced are the 2010 dates for the local folk dance society, York Ceilidh Club, meeting at St Aelred’s Church Hall in Tang Hall from 7.30pm – 10pm, with dancing to their own live band Greensleeveless. Meetings are on the second Sunday of the month (except August), so 10th January, 14th February, etc. Go to or ring Ros Batchelor on 01904 624216 for more details.

  4. CELIDH IN CRAYKE. Staying with social folk dance, I’m happy to plug a public ceilidh taking place at Oakdene Farm in Crayke, near Easingwold, on Saturday 30th January, 7.30pm to midnight. It’s a fundraiser for a local playgroup and tickets at £ 10 (which includes supper) can be obtained from Allyson Rae on 01347 824845. The band is FiddlersWreck, the nucleus of which is our very own website manager and concert PA man Michael Jary (concertina, caller), along with his wife Marie (accordion) and her sister Nicky (fiddle) – both of whom are doing their bit to provide the playgroup with new customers!!

  5. FOSDYKE AND JOHN. A regular supporter of the folk club, and an occasional performer at our Singers Nights, is the local author John Gilham, who usually reads episodes from his poems of childhood and youth – poems which ring a wryly familiar chord with those of us of a certain generation. This spring John publishes Fosdyke and Me, and Other Poems and on Friday 22nd January he will be reading extracts at St Martin’s Church in York (next door to City Screen) from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Entry is free but donations would be appreciated and there will be a raffle, since this forms part of a weekend of fundraising events for the York Literature Festival. See for full details of the weekend’s events, which also include storytelling and a poetry “open mic”.

  6. MARK LONGSTER RIP. Just after issuing last month’s E-Newsletter, I heard sad news of another loss to Yorkshire music. Performer, organiser and all round good guy Mark Longster passed away on 5th December. Mark made music with numerous folk, country and rock bands, including Copper Kettle, Early Doors and Northern Lights, ran the long-running Mill Folk singers club at Pool in Wharfedale and promoted numerous “big name” concerts at Pannal Village Hall near Harrogate. Despite often poor health, Mark was a familiar face at clubs around West Yorkshire and at festivals such as Otley and Cleckheaton. He will be greatly missed. I found one touching obituary at


  1. YORKSHIRE HUSSAR MUSIC BAZAAR. The next of Sarah Dean’s musical evenings at the Yorkshire Hussar on North Street takes place this Wednesday, 6th January. Headliner is local songwriter David Bellis, with a band, and other performers include David Swann, Phil Cerny and Sarah herself. Music begins around 8.30 and entry is free.

  2. SATURDAY BLACK SWAN GIGS. So far, I have had word of just two Saturday night self-promoted events upstairs at the Black Swan Inn. There’s another healthy dose of Americana from local legends Los Yobos on 16th January, and virtuoso acoustic guitarist Jon Gomm makes a return visit on 6th February.

  3. BASEMENT SOUNDS. City Screen Basement Bar has much-talked-about young British female blues player Delta Maid on Friday 29th January and an acoustic special with Holly Taymar, David Ward Maclean, Boss Caine and others on Saturday 6th February. See

  4. DATES AT THE DUCHESS. Over in Stonebow House, York, the Duchess’s diary includes several artists likely to be of interest here. American troubadour Tom Russell appears on 17th January and San Francisco-based world music outfit Rupa & The April Fishes perform on 22nd January. The legendary Judy Collins sings on 8th February, Lucy Wainwright Roche visits on 12th March and looking ahead to 20th April there is a return to York for John Renbourn & Robin Williamson. See


  1. RYEDALE LIVE begins 2010 on Friday 8th January at Hovingham Village Hall with rock band Hope & Social and folkie Gren Bartley, with Paula Ryan and Sarah Dean (again!) amongst the supports. See