April 2013

 Newsletter No 225 30 April 2013

Another great party night, this time for Ann, was brilliantly organised by ED & SUE who launched the evening with BANJO JOHN who started out with the Sheik of Araby followed by RICHARD KNOTT who played and sang a song from his new album Reboot, which will be available next week, COMING BACK FOR MORE and the tracks are available at www.soundcloud.com/#richard-knott-songs. PAUL then came up to sing CORRINA CORRINA and ROB sang COURTING TOO SLOW accompanied by peals of laughter when he arrived at his ‘clapped’ part. We then had a new singer and guitarist whom Jo brought along. He was GERRY, a relative of hers and a first-time visitor to our club, and he sang a song about a football match between the English and German soldiers during the First World War, CHRISTMAS EVE 1914. COLIN was in anti-religious mode when he sang STAND UP FOR JUDAS and PETE kept the miserable theme going by singing HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN and ROD sang WILD HORSES written by The Stones. Fortunately JIM & LYNN cheered us all up in time with THE IRISH ROVER and KAMRAN continued the fun and games by making us join in with electrical sounds during the chorus of OVERBECK'S REJUVENATOR, which was self-penned. We were now in the mood and  we all joined in with gusto with JO and almost drowned her out in WE SHALL OVERCOME. ROBIN then sang STREETS OF BALTIMORE and JEAN treated us once again to NORMANDY ORCHARDS before finally ED dedicated his song NOW YOU'RE KNOCKING SIXTY to ANN and we took the opportunity of compensating her for that embarrassment by giving her a beautiful bouquet of flowers from all her friends at the club.

 At this point we had a break to celebrate Ann’s birthday by eating chips and sandwiches and conducting the raffle before BANJO JOHN commenced the second round with BILL BAILEY. PETE then came KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR and PAUL sang BOTTLE OF WINE followed appropriately by LIFE WILL GET YOU IN THE END from KAMRAN. COLIN had repented by this time and astonished us by singing a very religious WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS before JEAN told us about her wonderfully talented father who made an attempt at everything, even knitting and sewing, in her own song MY DAD. This prompted ROBIN to roll out his SPINNING WHEEL and GERRY to delight us again with ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN which we all knew and sang along with as RICHARD sang another from his new EP called ZERO. JO stayed later tonight and unusually sang a second number COME KISS ME LOVE and ISOBEL arrived just in time to play a lovely slow tune THE LARK IN THE CLEAR AIR as ED set out to exercise our laughing tackle with RICKETY TICKETY TINROB then took us up to GRANDDAD'S ATTIC leaving ROD to have us all singing along with his blast from the past, RUN-AROUND SUE which just left enough time to start a third round but unfortunately not fit everyone in before the close. ISOBEL started the round as she hadn’t had a second turn and played an extremely fast tune STOMACH STEINWAYMAN, very tricky. PETE came up and gave us FRIENDS, KAMRAN sang STONE RIDER BLUES and RICHARD sang GUESS IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE written by Paul Anka which was another blast from the past and set all the oldies singing again. In the same vein ROD continued the vintage theme with BAD MOON RISING and JEAN tickled us with her very funny LA DI DAH as did ROB with a Trevor Morton favourite MILL OUTING. Finally a great party night was closed on a high by JIM & LYNN with MOUNTAIN DEW. Happy Birthday Ann!! 

Newsletter No 224 23 April 2013

St. George's day saw a good turnout for the weekly sing around at in Sale Folk Club and Hosts Mark and Jan did a great job in presenting a good eclectic mix of contributions. In the absence of dragons to slay JIM & LYNN kicked off with 40 SHADES OF GREEN and then MARK lamented the virtually complete disappearance of the UK mining industry with Dave Roger's LAST PIT IN THE RHONDDA quickly followed by ED who sang LAKE CHARLES, a Lucinda Williams song, and MERDY with the popular BALLERINA OF THE BAY. JAN was next with Cyril Tawney's amusing ditty, FIVE FOOT FLIRT after which RICHARD SAILS came up with a song from his own neck of the woods THE SHOEMAKER'S KISS. TONY made a political reference to a recent bereavement with Rob Johnson's song DING DONG THATCH before JO had everyone singing the old favourite, BLOWING IN THE WIND (Dylan). At this point we welcomed a new face, JOHN WILLIAMS, who is a resident at the Hungry Horse Folk Club in Ellesmere port sang the LAST FARE OF THE DAY accompanied by the lovely ringing modal tones of his cello mandolin. JOHN CONDY then gave a fine version of WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL followed with BANJO JOHN BROWN with O HAPPY DAY after which DAVE, our poet, then recited Valleys of the Shifting Whispering Sands in a reference to conflicts in the Middle East. Then Ruth, Kath and Stan with a new name, FAIRPLAY, sang MOONSHADOW followed by two lively flute tunes, DRIBBLES OF BRANDY and THE BUTTERFLY, played by KATHIE TAYLOR. ROD came next with the somewhat less traditional but equally popular GIRL OF MY BEST FRIEND followed by PAUL RILEY, who was back in fine form with his tale of JACKEROE, and PETE ROBERTS looking ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER. If he had been looking for ZOE MULFORD he just had to turn around and she was there back from hibernating from the cold with the lovely and appropriate song THE SNOWS THAT MELT THE SOONEST to conclude the first round and provide the moment when we could present a Birthday Card to Ann who is looking forward to the special day on Sunday with the Folk Club Party Time next week! Then suitably on with the singing as BANJO JOHN entertained us with WHEN YOU'RE SMILING followed by TONY with LET ME COME HOME by the Felice Brothers before RICHARD SAILS took us up to the interval with a music hall song THE FUTURE MRS HAWKINS, (with reference to Jan often being referred to by her spouse as the "Current Mrs Taylor")!

After a most exciting raffle where seemingly the sewing kit and pamphlet of poems did not want to be won, THE TAYLOR FAMILY (yes, Kathie as well) sang a traditional Newfoundland song, LUKEY'S BOAT, giving way to JOHN WILLIAMS for THE BALLOON MAN and ZOE who sang ANSWER THE KNOCK AT THE DOOR. This set up JIM & LYNN for the ever popular BLACK VELVET BAND and PETE ROBERTS who was dragging someone by the hand around THE STREETS OF LONDON followed by MERDY who was lusting after THE PRETTIEST GIRL IN TRURO. The still new FAIRPLAY then gave us THE WEAVER'S DAUGHTER swiftly followed by ROD who was a SUBSTITUTE and ED who was absolutely FED UP WITH THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY. KATHIE then teamed up with JOHN CONDY for a very hastily, but effectively, rehearsed version of Dylan's TANGLED UP IN BLUE and when alone at last JOHN sang WHAT'S SO FUNNY ABOUT PEACE, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING to which JOHN WILLIAMS responded with Richard Shindell's CHE GUEVARA T-SHIRT. Finally and not a reference to anyone who performed tonight, FAIRPLAY sang LAZY JOHN before MARK & JAN rounded off the evening with RUNNING LIKE A TURKEY THROUGH THE CORN which sent everyone home happy after a wonderful evening.

Newsletter No 223 16 April 2013

A great evening everyone was still saying the day after and no wonder as PETE kicked off with a joke about Morrisons and then sang Mike Chapman's RABBIT HILLS leaving BANJO JOHN to fight his way through A FAT SWALLOW MEDLEY (Fats Waller) and ROB to be that CHEERLY MAN as we all sang along. MERDY was next up with the traditional Scottish FAREWELL SHE, ridding himself of a false hearted lover, and JIM & LYNN were equally with FULSOME PRISON BLUES as was Poet DAVE with his BOX CALLED WAR. This all had COLIN swearing to look at BOTH SIDES NOW and ED delivering Richard Thompson's AL BOWLLY'S IN HEAVEN with conviction before KAMRAN hit us with M J Hurt's LONESOME VALLEY. Then we had to welcome newcomer STEVE with his own song MAKING A MESS followed by ROBIN with a Chris de Burgh song the SNOWS OF NEW YORK. The other MIKE COSGRAVE then blew us away with his Hawaiian lap-style guitar, because he had left his cittern on the drive, and THE LAKES OF PONCHATRAIN but ARTHUR was still DANCING ON MARGARET'S GRAVE which left it to BANJO JOHN to return us to sanity with the good old ROCK ISLAND LINE. Not slow on the uptake MERDY recruited MIKE on slide guitar for FIDDLER'S GREEN with lots of chorus after which PETE could sense a STORM RISING as we went into the break.

 In the raffle Merdy took the wine, Lynn the daffodils, Derrick the room fragrance set and then we were delighted to see Jill Daniels to take the biscuit as they say before COLIN bemoaned making the SAME MISTAKE again (we didn't agree) and STEVE was TIRED OF FIGHTING and ROB was tired of working in the Chemical Industry as THE PROCESS MAN. THE MANCH also certainly got the better of ED and JIM & LYNN couldn't cheer him with THE LONG BLACK VEIL until ROBIN announced that THE BATTLE IS OVER. All reverent now ARTHUR pleaded BLESS ME FATHER as MIKE set of on the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS leaving KAMRAN with DELIA and ISOBEL with the STOMACH STEINWAYMAN. Another newcomer KEN, a friend of GED, then told us BLACK IS THE COLOUR as GED himself stepped up with THE WORST OLD SHIP before MERDY told us about the LIFE OF A MAN. Appropriately COLIN singled out ONE OF THE PEOPLE as MIKE set out on RAGLAN ROAD followed by STEVE who confessed he was a CITY ANIMAL. This left US THREE (Ken, Ged & Isobel) to build up to the climax with two tunes MOLLY THE WOOD and FOX & GEESE on which ROB capitalised with the rousing SOUTH AUSTRALIA to sing us into the street. Top drawer!

Newsletter No 222 9 April 2013  

A good night with some new talent was started off by ROBIN with his LAST FAREWELL and in seconds COLIN set off to SET THE TARGETS HIGHER to which JIM & LYNN responded with their IRISH ROVER. BANJO JOHN then raised the bar further with I VOW TO THEE MY COUNTRY with PETER shooting off with THE ST JAMES INFIRMARY BLUES which prompted Poet DAVID to come in FROM A DISTANCE. ARTHUR responded to this by taking the EARLY TRAIN but RICHARD SAILS was all SWEET LEMONY and JOHN CONDY urged us to KEEP ON LOVING. No wonder KAMRAN then came up with ROMEO AND JULIET to which JO replied with ALL MY TRIALS and RUTH, KATH & STAN reckoned we should LET THE MYSTERY BE. Any way up MIKE COSGRAVE forecasted that YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLEM ALIVE which newcomer RICHARD said it was all part of THE JOY OF LIVING to which another newcomer JAN declared his intentions by singing STAY. GED then sang CATCH THE WIND as CHARLES skipped away with Steve Tilston's SLIP JIGS AND REELS and ISOBEL played THE TWO SAINTS with BANJO JOHN completing the set with CAROLINA MOON.

 Starting up the PETER took off with THE GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY but COLIN reckoned she was being free and her heart was hollow just like the CACTUS TREE before RUTH, KATH & STAN added to the conundrum with THE FORSAKEN MERMAID. Getting off that subject JIM & LYNN told us about the other sex with A MON LIKE THEE and RICHARD SAILS was off on manly THE BOLD PRINCESS ROYAL before CHARLES returned with THE LADIES GO DRIVING AT WHITSUN. It won't make any difference WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS reckoned KAMRAN and certainly where the rights of man have gone had JOHN CONDY dancing on TOM PAYNE'S BONES before JAN returned us to sanity with JUST TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN. ROB also did his bit in that respect by having us chorusing with THOUSANDS OR MORE followed by ROBIN & ISOBEL with PLAISIR D'AMOUR and ARTHUR with SEVENTEEN MILLIONAIRES. This set up the grand finale from GED with two English folk tunes from the Playford manuals NEWCASTLE and PORTSMOUTH followed by MIKE COSGRAVE with THE BALLAD OF JACK DOLAN.

Newsletter No 221 2 April 2013

Rapidly filling up the room they came under the gentle guidance of KATH, STAN & RUTH for a top quality night of music, song and verse. DON & HEATHER, much o Derrick's delight roused everyone with John Prine's SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONLINESS and JIM & LYNN kept the ball rolling with THE GYPSY ROVER to nicely set up RUTH, KATH & STAN for a brilliant new rendition of the BLACK MOUNTAIN LULLABY. Cracking! RICHARD SAILS then unsheathed his nice guitar for the first time ever and surprised us with his vocal and digital dexterity on OLD SLEW FOOT and hopefully we shall hear more soon. Unaccompanied but not unaccomplished MERDY then sang the beautiful BONNIE GLEN SHEE followed by MIKE COSGRAVE with RAMBLES OF SPRING and EDDIE with Sydney Carter's JOHN BALL. Otherwise engaged, Jan then missed MARK TAYLOR telling us to DON'T THINK TWICE IT'S ALRIGHT and JO having THE IRISH BLUES before ROBIN was that finger picking good MR DREAMSELLER. Back in harness GED was one of the DESPERADOS WAITING FOR A TRAIN before ARTHUR had us all singing about SPRING...BOING....BOING and DAVID musing on the meaning of THE SHIFTING WHISPERING SANDS. KATHY TAYLOR then joined KAMRAN to give us a new combination for the blues, ITCHING HEEL and TONY was equally serious with OPERATION IRAQI LIBERATION as was ED with LEARNING TO PLAY THE GUITAR. Then ROGER took the floor with JOHNNY COME LATELY and he was followed by DAVE SLATER, long time no see, with his own SONG OF THE SPINNING JENNY and GED GASKELL with SCARBOROUGH FAIR and TWO MAGICIANS. Next DANNY BECK and THE ROPE WALTZ were played brilliantly by ISOBEL to which PETE replied SHE'S GOT EVERYTHING SHE NEEDS as RICHARD SAILS unveiled THE THRESHING MACHINE just before the interval.

Some spontaneous music with fiddles, pipes, banjo, cittern and guitar and much chat led up to the two JACKIE'S winning the wine and chocs and DAVE SLATER taking the third prize before RUTH, KATH & STAN again gave us another brilliant version of RIDER IN THE RAIN to start the second half, MARTIN then came in with Hank Williams' COLD, COLD HEART which was enough for GED to get JESUS ON THE MAINLINE and ROGER to go to John Hyatt's ICY BLUE HEART. To lighten us up ED told us of his troubles ON MY WAY TO WORK but having none of it MERDY retorted THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR LOVING ME before KATHY & MARK TAYLOR had us away with THE BELLE OF BELFAST CITY. Still chasing that BLACK VELVET BAND we were next singing it with JIM & LYNN which EDDIE followed with two MEDIEVAL TUNES leaving ROBIN to again pick his way brilliantly through FOUR STRING WINDS. For some reason this gave KAMRAN THE CHUMP MAN BLUES before ISOBEL raised us up with HARVEST HOME and the IRISH WASHERWOMAN and PETE became the TROUBADOUR. TONY next came up with THE IRON WHEEL with DON & HEATHER sailing off to SOUTH AUSTRALIA as GED, ISOBEL, EDDIE, MIKE etc banded up for CONSTANT BILLIE and THE BLUE EYED STRANGER. DAVE SLATER then gave us another of his own CHILD OF THE LOOM as ARTHUR had us sentimentally singing Tom Waits' PICTURE IN A FRAME with MARTIN pleading TRY TO SLEEP and MIKE off with THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY to close a magic evening.    



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