Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 160

21st April 2013

 This newsletter is coming out earlier than anticipated, mainly because of the news reported in item 1.  If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please reply with Unsubscribe as the subject.

1.        TIM EDEY POSTPONED TO 2014, SINGERS NIGHT INSTEAD.  Our guest artist due this coming Thursday, 25th April, has postponed his visit until next year.  Tim Edey was making a long trip south from his current base in Scotland for this one-off booking, and when he learned that advance ticket sales had been very poor (well, non-existent in fact) he requested a postponement.  As we were faced with a very considerable financial loss, I agreed, and so we have rescheduled his visit for 27th February 2014.
Ironically, on the very same day this happened I was talking to someone who had seen Tim perform at Celtic Connections in January.  This person was very complimentary indeed about Tim’s performance, both his virtuoso melodeon and guitar playing and his engaging stage manner.  It is to be hoped that more people in and around York can be tempted to sample his music when he comes to us next February.
Meanwhile, there will be an impromptu Singers & Musicians Night this Thursday, so I’m calling on all you performers, please come along if you have a free evening, and some listeners too.  Singers Nights are almost always great fun and recently we’ve had visiting acts from as far afield as Penrith, Durham, Sheffield and Nottingham joining with the locals.  We would particularly welcome some more women performers, as these remain sadly under-represented in our ranks.  Eddie Affleck is MC and it will be the usual modest charge of £3 full, £2 concessions on the door, with a £1 contribution from performers.
2.        THREE AMAZINGLY TALENTED YOUNG MUSICIANS.  Our guests next week, 2nd May, are Moore Moss Rutter.  Winners of the BBC Young Folk Award two years ago, Tom Moore (fiddle), Archie Churchill-Moss (melodeon) and Jack Rutter (guitar, vocals) play mainly traditional English tunes plus contemporary and self-composed pieces, influenced from numerous styles and traditions.  They first came together as a teenage trio in 2008, thanks in part to Sam Pirt, and recorded an initial mini-CD in 2009.  Numerous performance opportunities followed that BBC Award win and later in 2011 they released a debut album, recorded with acclaimed producer Andy Bell (no stranger to the Black Swan).  They enjoyed summers full of festivals in 2011 and 2012, with more to come this year.  Club bookings, however, are fairly rare, and so we are delighted that they are fitting in a night with us.
Sadly this event has also attracted very few sales so far.  It will definitely go ahead, and it would be great if these fine young musicians played to a tolerably full room (as well as healthier on our bank balance).  So please give it some consideration and if you can, pre-book at, where tickets are £9 and £7.  Stan Graham will be the MC.
3.        LADY MAISERY IN FAVOUR.  Happily, there is considerably more active interest in our guests on 16th May, if advance sales are a fair guide.  We have already sold 20 tickets for Lady Maisery, which is about 40% of our total capacity.  Hannah James is well known to York audiences, having been at the NCEM (with Maddy Prior) and at the Black Swan (with Sam Sweeney) last year, while Hazel Askew has twice entertained us with her sister Emily.  Fiddle player and singer Rowan Rheingans completes this great trio.
4.        FURTHER AHEAD.  May continues with an exceptional singer-guitarist specialising in the English tradition, Chris Sarjeant, on 23rd May (recently heard on the Radio 2 Folk Show accompanying Jackie Oates) and then we have one of America’s foremost folk musicians Bruce Molsky to end a particularly high-class month on 30th May. Bruce is of course equally brilliant on fiddle, banjo and guitar and a great singer besides.
The club diary for the rest of this year is now fully booked and you can find a complete list of future guest artists and singers nights on our website.
5.        SOME NICE FEEDBACK.  It is always great to get audience feedback after a show and I thought I’d share a recent example, from an infrequent attender “wasn’t the Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby gig absolutely brilliant on Thursday – and (my wife) and I also thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the bill too… We were very glad we went…Best wishes”.
6.        THE MOST WELCOMING FOLK CLUB?  A recent visitor from the Midlands claimed to have come to see us because we had been voted “the most welcoming folk club in Britain” on the folk scene discussion site Mudcat Café.  Investigating afterwards, I found a thread where Keith from Selby nominates us “to start the ball rolling.  The club gets a few tourists a year.  Got to be welcoming by the fact tourists come back.  That’s as well as being a good club in its own right.”  Thank you, Keith.  Several other clubs get nominated as the discussion continues, and in fact there is no vote or poll, so no “winner”.  Still, it is nice to be mentioned first!
While exploring this Mudcat thread, I also found a rather less fulsome posting.  It reports “an anecdote related by a couple of German tourists I met in York once who'd been to the Black Swan Folk Club the night before.  When I asked how it was they said they couldn't compliment a resident on their performance without them trying to sell them their CDs.  They even showed me the ones they'd felt obliged to buy.  A singers night too.  Strange but true...”!  So you can’t win them all.
7.        ON THE OUTSIDE TRACK TO SUCCESS.  I am happy to report that the recent concert by the group Outside Track at the NCEM turned out very well.  In my last newsletter I was worrying about poor sales, but in the end a hundred of you came along and a good time was had by all.  The group were on splendid form, I thought, and “stand-in” lead singer Teresa Horgan particularly impressed, handling her role as though she had been in the job years rather than weeks.  Happily, we finally covered all fees and expenses, so it was a commercial as well as an artistic success.
8.        GET REBELLIOUS WITH UNION JILL.  A reminder that Union Jill, aka Helen Turner and Sharon Winfield, will be launching their new album Respectable Rebellion at our next MCEM event, on Saturday 11th May.  This will be a one-off show with a full band, including mighty guitarist Clive Gregson (past collaborator with such as Nanci Griffith and Richard Thompson, and a favourite club guest), bass player Andy Seward (who works regularly with Kate Rusby and Martin Simpson), and drummer Mark Boyce (best known for his work with The Durbervilles).  “It will be a very special evening” say Sharon and Helen “and our guest will be Holly Taymar, one of our favourite female singers.  We do hope you can join us for this, our biggest gig of the year.”
Produced by Clive Gregson and engineered by celebrated studio veteran John Wood, this third album marks a significant development in Union Jill’s music.  Meanwhile they recently teamed up with agent Jacey Bedford and are now being booked for festivals, clubs and concert halls across the country.  In short, Sharon and Helen are establishing themselves as a significant and growing presence in the world of contemporary folk and acoustic music.  Good luck to them!  Tickets cost just £10 (£8 concessions) from the Box Office on 01904 658338 and online at
9.        NEARLY THERE WITH THE PROGRAMME.  I had hoped to have a finalised programme ready for you by now, but things have not gone entirely to plan.  However, it is almost there, and hopefully I’ll be able to get the last few queries resolved in the next week, then I’ll ask our webmaster to post it online.
10.     EARLY FINISHES OUTSIDE.  One spanner was thrown in the works just last week by the local council licencing people.  Last year we were asked to finish live music outside at 11pm and so this year I programmed accordingly.  However, they have just now decided that we may not go on beyond 10.30 on Friday and Saturday, and 10.00 on Sunday.  Hence I have quickly had to amend the running orders and drop a couple of outdoor performance spots.
I should stress that this restriction only applies to the outdoor performances.  Inside the pub we can and will go on considerably later.
11.     THE WEEKEND IN SUMMARY.  As I reported in the last E-News, Edwina Hayes is hosting the Friday night Marquee concert, with a posse of her singer-songwriter friends, while club residents Stan, Chris, Phil and Eddie will be sharing the night in the upstairs function room and there will be the regular weekly songs and tunes session over at the Victoria Vaults on Nunnery Lane (NB, not the Trafalgar Bay as I mindlessly typed in the first few batches of the last newsletter!).
The Saturday main stage line-up kicks off with The Foresters and (provisionally) continues with Sarah Dean, The Duncan McFarlane Band, Acorn Morris, Moonshine Creek, Stuart Giddens & Pip Jopling, Caramba, Tim Pheby, Dan Webster, Holly Taymar, Ebor Morris, King Courgette and Sarah Horn & James Cudworth, concluding with The Basement Band.
Indoors on Saturday there are Rolling Folk Club, Musician Session and Singaround events, an evening concert upstairs (7 acts), and some “specials”, including a Jake Thackray hour with John Teesdale and friends, a one-man acoustic hour with Stan Graham, a Storytelling Hour with Adrian Spendlow and an American Songs and Traditions workshop with Phil Cerny.
Phil Cerny also kicks off Sunday’s main stage bill, followed by York Young Fiddlers, David Swann & Hissyfit, Kaminari Taiko Drummers, The Gerry McNeice Band, Graham Hodge, Union Central, Chechelele, The Fine Companions, The Jaybirds, Soundsphere, Rakish Collier and Two Black Sheep, with Root 64 to wrap things up.
Sunday indoors has more musicians’ sessions, singarounds and club gatherings, and another seven-artist upstairs concert.  At lunchtime Adrian Spendlow presides over a Poems & Pints gathering, in the early afternoon The Stowaways present their Yo Ho Ho Show for children, and in the evening there is a Songwriters’ Showcase hosted by Stan Graham.
All good stuff, I hope you’ll agree.  Please spread the word.  Let’s hope for glorious weather, great music and a very sociable weekend.
12.     FAREWELL TO GRAEME.  Just after issuing the last newsletter, I was saddened to hear of the death of songwriter Graeme Miles.  A truly lyrical wordsmith, Graeme captured so much of the spirit of Teesside, Cleveland and the North York Moors in his work, and many years after they were written his songs continue to be widely sung (not least by our recent club guest Martyn Wyndham Read).  I’m sure the songs will live on for decades to come and so keep alive fond memories of this fine man.
13.     NEW ACOUSTIC MUSIC CLUB AT TERRINGTON.  After running a few successful one off concerts over the years, Ian Hughes at Terrington’s Back ‘o the Shop Art Café has started a regular acoustic club at the Village Hall, launching recently with Beggars Bridge.  He writes “our next concert will be on Friday 3rd May featuring the wonderfully talented Hayley Gaftarnick.  The music will start at 8pm with the doors and bar open from 7.30.  The audience is limited to a maximum of fifty and entrance fee is £4, tickets available from Terrington stores.  This promises to be a great night with a fantastically gifted singer songwriter.”  They have a Facebook page at
14.     AND A NEW MUSIC VENUE IN SCARBOROUGH.  The Driftwood Rock & Roots Club launches on Friday 26th April, at the Watermark Café in Scarborough and will run every Friday from 7pm with a varied mix of acoustic rock, Americana, folk, blues, and world music.  It will be hosted by Rich Adams & Dave Greaves and will feature their band as residents, playing a mix of originals and covers by the likes of Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Paul Simon.  “We’ll be having regular guests too” they say, with artists booked so far including Whisky Dogs, Kieran Halpin and several rock & blues bands.  “The club will be free but to sustain that we are running it café-style – in other words you’ll need to ring ahead (07956 925 925), book a table and buy at least a light meal or snack from the lovely menu. The food is great and inexpensive.  It’s a very small, very wonderful place to play and to build an audience so we’d love to see you there soon.”
15.     A UKULELE FESTIVAL FOR YORK.  The week after our own big Folk Weekend, on Saturday 15th June, York will be seeing its first Ukulele Festival.  This is being organised by the good folks at Red Cow Music, who say “bring along your school group or ukulele club or just bring along your ukulele for a day and evening of ukulele fun and madness.  Workshops and performances all day and into the evening.  Red Cow Music are one of the UK’s premier ukulele shops, so with your help we think we can put on one hell of a day.”  There is a dedicated Facebook page at  I understand that many of the events will be held at the Black Swan Inn.
16.     OTHER RED COW NEWS.  During a long chat, Steve Morrison of Red Cow told me not only about the Ukulele Festival, but also that they are developing an acoustic gig guide on their Facebook page,  The shop and online sales service are both doing very good business across all manner of acoustic instruments, and Steve is heartened that their biggest single customer age group is young people in their late teens and twenties.  Recent “celebrity” customers in the shop have included Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull) and Brian Finnegan (of Flook and KAN).  Find them at 13 Goodramgate, online at
17.     KLEZMER PLUS FROM MOISHE’S BAGEL.  Performing jazz-inflected klezmer and world folk music, Scottish band Moishe’s Bagel visit the National Centre for Early Music on Friday 26th April.  Tickets £15 and £13 via
18.     FRANCE COMES TO YORK.  Maggi Stratford & Daniel Bowater present Encore! at the Black Swan Inn on Friday 17th May. Performing French chansons from Piaf to Brel & beyond, they say they will be “well and truly back in Paris in the mid-1900s.”   Doors open at 8pm for an 8.30 start, with tickets £7 or £6 from Maggi on 0113 3182927 or 0770 6427606.
19.     WORLD MUSIC AT THE CEMETERY.  .The next night, Saturday 18th May, Fusion offer “a taste of jazz, folk, flamenco, Africa and the East” in a 90 minute show at York Cemetery Chapel on Cemetery Road, Vocal duo Purple Delta do the support and tickets can be bought at door priced at £5 and £4 concessions, or reserved beforehand by text to 07852 899 869.  Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start and you are invited to bring your own drinks.
20.     MORE STOREY LINES FROM JOHN.  Rounding off a busy weekend of events, club regular John Storey will be launching his new CD of original songs on Sunday afternoon 19th May from 2pm at the Black Swan Inn.  “Stan Graham will be acting as MC and will do a few songs,” says John, “as will all the support musicians who feature on the CD (More Storey Lines), including Paula Ryan, Sarah Dean, Graeme Urwin, Elaine Wallace and Angie Gordon”.  John’s website is at
21.     BOB’S BIRTHDAY BASH.  Celebrate Bob Dylan’s 72nd birthday with Blonde on Bob at the annual Million Dollar Birthday Bash.  The venue is City Screen Basement Bar; the date is Friday 24th May from 8pm and also on the bill are Mulholland, playing songs from the Blood On The Tracks album.  Tickets £8 in advance or £10 on the door.
22.     APRIL 26th IN THIRSK.  The next guests for Loosely, Folk at the Courthouse are that very fine duo Gilmore & Roberts.  See
23.     MAY 4th IN OTLEY.  Fiddle trio The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, comprising players from Norway, Sweden and Shetland, perform at the Courthouse Arts Centre.  Also at this venue on 19th May is Irish concertina ace Cormac Begley.  See
24.     MAY 5th IN HELMSLEY.  Guitarist and singer Sarah McQuaid visits the Helmsley Arts Centre.  A previous guest of ours at the club, Sarah is described as “a captivating performer who seduces audiences with great expression and stunning musicianship.  Her musical output is eclectic, reflecting a background living in Spain, Ireland and the US, and she spans the genres with beautifully crafted originals and her interpretations of material from around the globe and down the centuries.”  See for times and prices.
25.     MAY 5th IN FARNDALE.  American folk legend Michael Hurley appears at The Band Room, with country blues from Valerie June to follow on 10th May, and the Handsome Family on 24th May but already Sold Out.  The website is
26.     MAY 10th IN REETH.  The duo of Fiona Lander and Paul Mason, Landermason, appear at Reeth Memorial Hall, with support from young folk trio Horizontal Sunday.  Both acts have also been guests of ours in the past.  The website is
27.     MAY 10th IN HELPERBY.  A reminder that Blackbeard’s Tea Party are appearing at The Golden Lion.  It is a free gig, with a collection.
28.     MAY 18th IN GATE HELMSLEY.  This is the rescheduled date for The Foresters to appear at the Village Hall in Gate Helmsley, between York and Stamford Bridge.  Tickets available from Rachel Baker on York 468809.
Keep making and supporting live music.  I’ll be back sometime in May with more news.