Black Swan Folk Club

E-Newsletter 51

Early June 2006

  1. SUMMER FLYER WRITTEN − AT LAST! Leaving things to the very last moment, I have eventually found the time to compose the folk club publicity flyer for the summer months. Printed copies should be in circulation by early next week and the details will be on the website very shortly. There are three strands to what we have on offer this summer:
    • North American Music. This is always a strong element in our programming, and this year brings us a transatlantic month in June. American guitar virtuoso Duck Baker is followed by Canadian acts Christina Smith & Jean Hewson, then Dan McKinnon. We go stateside again at the end of summer with dear friend Debby McClatchy, followed by Anglo-American outfit Gypsy Reel.
    • The Best in Local Talent. We have only been able to fit in a few of the many local artists who offered us their services for the difficult high summer weeks, but what a choice selection that is! Coming up are Graham Hodge, Emily Weygang & Ben Harker, and a Double Bill pairing of Damian Fynes & Frank Pallister with Two Black Sheep & A Stallion. Not to mention the locally-based but internationally known young country singer Edwina Hayes.
    • Old Favourites & New Names. Bram Taylor is an old friend of the club who rallied to our call, while in their different ways George Papavgeris and The Queensberry Rules are highly promising newer names on the folk scene.
    While there may be no "Premier League" singers in there, it looks to me like a very well-balanced line-up, with something to suit most tastes in folk and acoustic music. What's more, we have been able to hold the entry charge to £5 for the majority of guest nights, with concessions just £4. We hope you'll be able to come along to sample at least some of the good things on offer.

  2. FOLK DAY SUCCESS? Early feedback indicates that most people judged last month's City of York Folk Day a great success. Naturally there were a few glitches (e.g. timekeeping in the Marquee stage) and the weather was less than kind to us, but it certainly seemed the busiest Folk Day so far. Hundreds of people must have passed through the Black Swan Inn in the course of the day and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I appreciate receiving any and all feedback, including constructive criticism. There will be a formal De-Brief cum 2007 Planning Meeting sometime in the autumn − I'll advertise where and when in future Newsletters.

  3. SONGWRITING NEWS (1). The York Songwriters' Circle will be holding its first meeting this Sunday evening, 4th June, in the upstairs room at the Black Swan Inn, beginning around 7.30. For the background to this promising new venture, see E-News 48. Convenor Stan Graham writes that the Circle "will be an open forum for writers to try out new songs, collaborate with other writers and receive constructive advice on lyrics and melody". The inaugural meeting will discuss outline rules for the club, the format of future meetings, and agree on dates, times and venue. For more information, contact Stan on 01904 758228,

  4. SONGWRITING NEWS (2). Stan is a busy man these days! He is also working with BBC Radio York to run a songwriting competition "Song For North Yorkshire, 2006". Full details will be announced on Michael Brothwell's "North Yorkshire Folk" next Wednesday, 7th June (BBC Radio York, 7pm-9pm and then on the BBC Listen Again web site). If you fancy taking part, listen in to the show, or get in touch with Stan via the contacts given above.

  5. YORK YOUNG FIDDLERS WEEKEND. A reminder that York Young Fiddlers hold a Young Fiddlers Weekend on 10th & 11th June at York Steiner School. Tutors are Peter Tickell (Kathryn's brother), Robin Shepherd and Maggie Allred. Find out more at or ring Tatjana Neupert on 07906 331613.

  6. ELECTRIC VIOLIN NEWS. Talking of fiddles, I have been asked by the good people at Acomb Music to let you know that they have secured the York dealership for the Vivo2, a stunning new electric violin from the Rotherham craftsman Ted Brewer, who numbers Vanessa Mae amongst his clients. This new instrument is acclaimed for both its sound quality and stylish design, and retails for £799. See it for yourself at Acomb Music on Front Street, Acomb, York, or contact Paul Cunniff on 01904 781574,

  7. LEEDS ACOUSTIC NIGHT AT THE BLACK SWAN. One of our most atypical yet enjoyable club nights last winter was the triple bill which I dubbed Leeds Acoustic Showcase. David Broad, Fran Rogers and Benjamin Wetherill did a superb show, revealing just how much wonderful young talent there is which is not often heard within mainstream folk clubs. I urged them to follow up by booking their own gig in York, and they have now done so. David, Fran, Benjamin and fourth singer Michael Rossiter appear upstairs at the Black Swan Inn on Saturday 17th June. Doors open 8pm and entry is a modest £3. Perhaps I'll see you there?

  8. DAVID & DON AS WELL. The previous Saturday night slot upstairs at the Black Swan Inn, 10th June, sees singer/songwriter and nifty guitarist David Ward Maclean sharing a double bill with our favourite local poet Don Walls. This too should be something rather special! I don't know the cover charge for this one, but it will not break the bank, I'm sure.

  9. WEST GALLERY TOUR OF YORK. The West Gallery Music Association exists to study and perform the kind of music - hymns and metrical psalms - which you would have heard in country churches in the 18th and early 19th Centuries, before church organs became widespread. Shades of Thomas Hardy! On Saturday 1st July members and friends will be singing and playing informally in a series of York churches. These are not concerts as such but anyone is welcome to listen. Singers of all ages and ranges who can hold a tune are also welcome, together with players of orchestral and brass instruments at Grade 5 standard. "The music is not suitable for keyboards or chordal instruments such as guitars", we are advised.
    The itinerary is: 10.15 − 11.00 Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, 11.35 − 12.15 Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, 13.40 − 14.20 All Saints, North Street and 14.45-15.30 Bar Convent Chapel, Nunnery Lane. To find out more and to register as a musical participant, contact Chris Brown on 01535 644912, Perhaps this is not folk music as we know it, but it sounds like an interesting experience.

All being well, I'll be back towards the end of the month. Meanwhile, best wishes...