Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 18

Late February 2004

  1. NEW CLUB FLYER PUBLISHED. The next club leaflet is now printed and going into circulation. It covers March, April and May. I hope you find the programme as varied and tempting as our usual fare. There is everything from Old Time American (Bruce Molsky) to Celtic (Jenny Crook & Henry Sears) to Northumbrian (Simon Haworth & Andy May) to country blues (Hans Theessink). The range of singer/songwriter styles includes the inspired work of Tom Bliss (Tom Napper Tom Bliss), the Paxton-esque sound of Steve & Kristi Nebel and the highly original approach of Michael Marra. And coming up from Sheffield we have both the mighty Roy Bailey and highly-regarded young English traditional outfit Crucible.

  2. CHRIS WHILE & JULIE MATTHEWS. Our next Early Music Centre concert brings two top class singer/songwriters back to York on Monday 22nd March. Celebrating ten years of their collaboration, Chris and Julie will be performing with backing musicians (including Chris’s son Danny) as The WhileandMatthews Band − a fuller, rockier sound than our usual NCEM shows and none the worse for that. Chris & Julie were short-listed for Best Duo in the latest Radio 2 Folk Awards, though their appeal deserves to extend well beyond the folk scene. As Ashley Hutchings has put it: "If these women had been born in California they would be world famous by now".
    This tour coincides with the release of Chris & Julie*rs s new CD Perfect Mistake (on the York-based Fat Cat label) and we are co-promoting the York show with music publishers and promoters Circuit Music (aka Chris Euesden). As usual, tickets are available by ‘phone, e-mail or online at the NCEM box office ( / / 01904 658338). Alternatively, Cassadys Records on Gillygate can sell to personal callers, and I have a few tickets available at Thursday night club meetings.

  3. SUMMER PROGRAMME UPDATE. Sadly, Julie Henigan has had to pull out of her summer trip to the UK. A replacement guest for her proposed June 17 date is under discussion. Meanwhile, June 24 will be something that bit different, a "World Sounds" Double Bill event, with women’s acapella group Soundsphere and local band Caramba! − both performing songs and music from around the world.
    Just secured for August 26 is the highly-regarded Scots Canadian singer and songwriter David Francey − this will be the very first date of his first ever UK tour, so a bit of a coup. Negotiations are in progress with other overseas artists about filling some of the few remaining slots this year.

  4. GOING BEGGING. A well-wisher has given me some recent back numbers of the Folk Music Journal, the EFDSS’s annual scholarly publication. I have two copies each of 2003 and 2002 (on the cover of which is a remarkable Don Walls look-alike!) and one of 2004. If you have an academic interest in English folk dance and song and would like copies, just get in touch. I’m not asking anything for them (other than any postage or packaging costs if you cannot collect in person), though a small donation to club funds is always appreciated.
    On the subject of packaging, I still have a carrier bag full of used small padded envelopes, free to anyone who can usefully recycle them. Again, just ask.

  5. MAGAZINES. And talking of publications, the Spring issues of Tykes’ News, Folk Roundabout and Folk News have all arrived this week and will be on sale at forthcoming club meetings. Between them, they give fairly comprehensive coverage of folk activity in Yorkshire and the North East, including details of quite a few of this year’s up-coming festivals. All for just &1 (Tykes and Roundabout) or a measly 40p (Folk News).

  6. THE TALK. Those of you who actually live in York should look out for the March issue of The Talk, a monthly gig guide to all sorts of live music happening in the city. Launched in February by local musician and music teacher Dean St.John, this simple A5 folded leaflet is unashamedly modelled on the late and much lamented Your(K)Music guide which Charlie Daykin produced and distributed for many years. I particularly like the way that Dean, like Charlie before him, has gone for a single day-by-day listing, with no attempt to shunt folk or jazz or other "minority" musics into separate "ghetto" sections. Well done, Dean! Give him your support.

  7. WIFE SWAPPING. Now that got your attention! No, you have not skipped a month; the following is not an April Fools stunt. I had a call the other day from the company which produces Wife Swap for Channel 4. For the third series, they say they would very much like to feature "interesting couples who are involved in the folk music social scene". They continue "we are particularly keen to hear from families who are positive about their lifestyle and how it can be enjoyed by all the family. If you are curious how others live and would relish a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a different outlook on life, we would love to hear from you". The only qualification, apart from residence in the UK, is that you have children living at home and are "up for a challenge".
    Anyone out there who might be interested should contact Carolyn Banks for further information at RDF Media, 020 7013 4552, Media recognition of the folk community at last.

That’s enough for now. I look forward to seeing you at the Black Swan or at the Early Music Centre sometime in the weeks ahead. There are now around 275 of you on the e-mail list: if you all came just one extra time to the club in the course of a year it would increase our average weekly audience by 5 or 6. Think about it!