Four Stalwarts


I arrived from Crosshills dead on time, but no Brian and Kath ?  Soon I was joined by John and James (separately) from Skipton and Graeme from Ilkley.  It emerged that our captain and captainess had had quite a day of it entertaining in south Yorkshire so were unavailable to make it.

All the rooms and tables were full so for the first half hour we chatted by a huge log fire until the place almost emptied within half an hour and we four 'regulars' moved to the front room where a swift vote to elect me as the blogger took place.  'Mand' loaned a pen and so this writer started to take notes for his first ever blog on the only scrap of paper he could find.


Graeme started the proceedings with a John Prine song 'The other side of Town' written about a nagging wife. His 'Collins' guitar never sounded better and Graeme's lovely finger picking style was exemplified on a Nik Finn (him of Crowded House) number 'Don't Dream- it's all over'.


John followed with 'Rope stretching Blues', a Blind Blake song with mixed syncopated blues and a touch of Flamenco on his fine sounding 'Yamaha' cutaway guitar.  This was followed by a Richard Thompson song 'I miss understood' in dropped D tuning.


Now to me... with a Carter Stanley song 'If I lose', a song of a gambler whose wife always has the money to bail him out.  A good bluegrass song that is better with the banjo and the harmony vocals.

Next a Bill Anderson song 'Close the door Lightly ' that I learned from a 1970 Dillards record but it was queried where it had been heard before.  Maybe it was when I last did it on the 3rd of March, when by coincidence I last brought my BlueRidge guitar to the Swan.


James up next to complete our first round, with a Bob Marley number 'Redemption Song' followed by the U2 song, 'I still haven't found what I'm looking for'.   James's trusty Epiphone cutaway guitar always sounds well particularly when he plays those sliding barre chords that he is renownedfor.   Funnily enough I had intended to do that song myself but James got in first – and he does it better anyway !


Round 2 continued Graeme's John Prine featured artist nightwith the sad but so true song 'Sam Stone'.  As a contrast his next was an Al Stewart song, 'Midas Shadow'.

John followed with a Lennon & McCartney 'B' side  of Ticket to Ride entitled 'Yes it is' . Much discussion followed regarding the songs 12/8 time.  He followed with a Mississippi John song 'Candy Man'...not to be confused with other songs of that same name.

Your blogger for the night came up with two Gordon Lightfoot songs 'Minstrel of the Dawn' and 'The Pony Song' – the latter not heard since the session before last (!) and really done for Mand who (like my wife) likes that song.

James again in Bob Marley mode 'Satisfy my Soul' followed with a Hank Williams song 'Honky Tonking' which was surprisingly new to my ears.  But, in his so short life he did so much.


After the break we launched in to a third set with Graeme doing a Rick Kemp song from the Dangerous when Sober album ' On your own again'.  Some guy by the name of Michael Chapman was mentioned?   A request from Mand chose the Bob Dylan song 'One More cup Coffee'

John having gone, I pushed followed with two songs of mine – 'Carolin at the Broken Wheel Inn' and the Hugh Moffat'Carolina Star'.James closed the night with Paul Simon's 'Me and Julio down at School the Yard' and Elle Jenkins 'Wake up Little Sparrow'.

As always we had a good R&R jam with Graeme this time doing a good job of 'ALL RIGHT' which the rest of us really should rehearse before next time.  Our backing vocals could have been better but......I had had a 19 hour day and was ready for bed.  It was a good night though!!!


Barry C. Lane

Next session - 1st October


Four Stalwarts

Posted on September 20, 2019 .

The Return of The Harp

Return of the harp.

Well tonight it was back into the small room as there was a few more diners so with a bit of judicious table sorting we created a bit of space for the harp and took our seats. Last time the blogger mentioned me having a Christy Moore night and tonight was more of the same.

Blogger started with “So do I” a la Christy Moore in as much as we both sang it and played the guitar but sadly there the similarity ends. Next up was yet another Christy Moore song. “A Pair of Brown Eyes”

Barry up next with his familiar country style “Paying your Dues” by Carl Jackson a song that mentions my favourite car a Morris minor. Barry has a great selection of guitars and tonight it was a beautiful Gibson that got an airing His next offering was a classic, the first time I heard this it was on an album “The Long Black Veil” by Lefty Frizell  and a good version it was, 

Graeme’s turn and it was a Guy Clark number “That Old Time Feeling” next we had a song nitro ducked as 25% of the Beatles and 50%of the deceased ones, well as was noted that narrowed it down as Graeme gave us his rendition of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”

Next up was Phil who trying to drown his sorrows as our beloved city held Bolton youngsters to a 1-1 draw earlier, and as he performed his song city won on penalties!!!. Best let him know! “ Rock On” (My Old Mum)a self penned number was his first offering. Next up was “I Fought The Law” A Song from The Clash!  From their 1978 E.P Here it was been given the Phill treatment on a 12 string, great stuff!

A Welcome tonight to the first of our returning Muso’s  Mike Craig. Mikes first trip was a song called “All Shades of Blue” by Gregory Allen Isakov an American performer. Mike’s second offering was an uptempo number “Me and Jiggs” by Josh Ritter. Welcome back mike it’s always nice to welcome you back!

Our resident Green councillor next in the form of Andy Brown, now Andy has a definitive style and tonight he gave us a Dylan song a la Dylan and it really suits his voice and style. “ It ain’t me Babe” from Dylan’s Before The Flood.

Andy finished his first spot with” Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn in 1991

Our second returning Muso was in the form of Frank The Harp who tonight was sans his sidekick Julian, his first offering was “The Willows” what a lovely tune. After a bit of throwing levers about Frank  then played a tune in F “Eleanor of Usann”  a Phil Cunningham composition.

That brought us to the end of our first half and after a quick beer and toilet break we were raring to get going again.

Blogger up again with a song made famous by Liam Clancy of The Clancy Brothers “ The river Tay Song” this was followed............ wait for it....... another Liam Clancy number “Home from the Sea’

Back to Barry with a rendition of “Loving You” by Hugh Moffat. To round of his spot we had another Bill Anderson number”Close The Door Lightly” Well eventually as we had a bit of a hiatus resulting in a take two situation. Well done Barry.

Back to Graeme for his second spot, one of my favourites “King of The Road” by Roger Miller accompanied by Frank on the harp- great  stuff! Graeme rounded off with another Guy Clark number”L.A Freeway” a great song! Cheers Graeme.

Phil again relieved now that City had won on penalties, another self penned number”No Justice” and to finish another rousing song “Faraway Boys” by flogging Molly.

you can go home happy Phil C.T.I.D

It falls to Mike now for his second slot of the night “Pay me my money down” complete with key change, the third one of the night and accompanied by the throng in the chorus. To round off his spot tonight we had “ Midnight special by Creedance Clearwater Revival and by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee  Great stuff Mike.

Our penultimate act tonight with Andy Brown with a finger picking song but no key change this time” Long hot summer” a self penned number. Andy finished with in his words a less miserable song an Otis Reading number “ Hard to handle” Great stuff Andy

Frank then finishedoff the night with two O’Carolan tunes “Planxty Irwin” and “Eleanor Plunkett and Whiskey accompanied by Blogger on guitar.

what a lovely way to finish the night..... but wait..... a full on version of “Brown Eyed girl “ featuring everyone. What a great night Thanks everyone and see you in a fortnight


Posted on September 3, 2019 .

Last Nights Fun

The last time I came to the Swan in Addingham the evening turned into something of a festival of harp music. This time we were treated to an exhibition of high quality guitar work.

Brian started it off by giving us a couple of Christie Moore songs. Black Cat County Chains is the tale of a man working on a prison chain gang that includes a rhyme you don’t often come across of “bread and water” with “a mile and a quarter”. He followed it up with I’m Missing You.

Then Graham did a John Denver song called Rhyme and Reason with lots of skilful hammering on and lifting off techniques that were beyond the ability of tonight’s blogger to follow entirely but sounded absolutely fabulous. That was twinned with the classic Gordon Lightfoot song ‘In the Early Morning Rain’ that I think includes the absolute classic country line: “You can’t jump a jet plane like you can a freight train”. Ain’t it the truth brothers and sisters. Yee Ha!

Alex, who is new to the Swan, went next. Your blogger has seen Alex do his incredibly delicate classical guitar work at Skipton Folk Club but really enjoyed the lightness of touch that he displayed tonight. It was a case of sitting back and enjoying the demonstration of what a guitar is capable of doing. He did a complex arrangement of Autumn Leaves and then a piece of his own called Slow and Easy, presumably named because it is fast and damn hard.

Next up we had the return of John for the first time in a good while. He made the audience laugh with a rendition of ‘Rather be Lonely’ by Loudon Wainwright the third. I think it was “I need some space but you are in my face” that struck a chord. His second number was a really interesting Richard Thompson song about a man who doesn’t want to be a poor substitute for a dead soldier that his lover is still mourning. Not much to laugh at in that one, but a great deal to admire in the fingerpicking work.

James then added further to the variety of the evening by using a reggae style beat to do Cry to Me, a song he’d picked up from an old Stones album. That was followed by Kirsty McCall’s ‘We’ll Never Pass this way again’. The thing I always enjoy about Jame’s work is that he plays with absolute authenticity, giving the song his own character and making it interestingly fresh whilst still recognisably related to the original.

Talking of authenticity brings me to Barry who practically invented the term. He showed off some of his best bluegrass techniques including some walking base lines and a lot of swing rhythms in the finger work. Tonight he started out with ‘Don’t tell me a Country Boy Can’t Sing the Blues’ off a Johnny Cash LP and so you think it was written somewhere in the depths of the bible belt. Instead it is the product of Leeds writer Stew Page showing once again that Yorkshire can hold its own on the Grand Old Oprey. Talking of which that is where the subject of his next effort was heading before the inevitable car crash leaves him with an amputated arm. Having started out playing after he came back blinded in the war this counts as particularly bad luck and therefore an ideal subject for country music. Golden Guitar was written by Bill Anderson, who clearly understands how to work a tear jerker. A finishing lyric of “That boy was my son” drains every last bit of emotion out of the tale.

Having witnessed such a series of top class guitar players your blogger (hello folks it is Andy writing) was somewhat intimidated. I tried to cope by keeping it relatively simple and went for Always on My Mind by Elvis, inspired by thoughts of Kirsty McCall and her classic “There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he is Elvis”. I then tried to cover Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush. There has never been any chance that I could look like the young Neil Young but as every year passes and he gets more raddled I can at least try and do a fair imitation of the battered old man version.

After an interval in which I refreshed my glass of the Swan’s excellent dark mild we were ready to go again. Brian commenced with, you’ve guessed it, another couple of Christie Moore classics. Pair of Brown Eyes was followed by one he didn’t write but did perform which was Only the Rivers Run Free.

Graham followed this with Crosby, Stills and Nash (without the Young as I’d already covered that base!). Our House comes from the Deja Vue LP. I can’t have been the only person who played that constantly in the early 70s nor was the only one who thoroughly enjoyed Graham’s version. He followed this up with Chris Christopherson’s Me and Bobby McGee with a quick chord change slipped in between the two verses. Loved this and I think Graham has forgiven me for asking why he didn’t finish it off by wrecking his vocal chords giving us his Janis Joplin impersonation.

Alex was then back with more classy stuff including his own composition ‘Sun Rise over Lismoor’ that included loads of interesting harmonics. He followed that up with a medley of classic guitar preludes from luminaries such as Bach and more obscure artists that your blogger can’t even spell such as the Venezuelan Antonio Laurer. You don’t often go to somewhere where no one blinks an eyelid if you move from Country and Western to classical via Reggae but that’s part of the joy of the Swan. You play what you like and the listeners appreciate quality. There was that in spades from Alex tonight.

John managed the difficult job of following that with ease. He gave us a Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein number ‘All the Things you Are’ followed by Sandy Denny ‘The Sea’.

James then went for Tim Harding’s much covered classic Reason to Believe and was clearly in Rod Stewart mode tonight as that was followed by Tonight’s the Night.

Barry went back to his skiffle days for inspiration and sang about the Wabash Canonball, a piece that he had traced as far back as the 1920s but knew to be older so we’ll put that down as “traditional”. He then decided that ‘When I’m not Chasing Demons the Demons are Chasing Me’ was what we all needed to think about as our thoughts started to turn to home. Great song well sung but not the kind of thought that tucks you up comfortably in your bed with sweet dreams.

I can’t say I exactly cured that problem as I went for Joan Baez being pissed off with Dylan and writing Diamonds and Rust to let him know that it wasn’t a great idea to wait ten years or so between calls. I then tried to stick with songs she’d sung and finish the evening with House of the Rising Sun in the hope that everyone knew it and so would join in. I was right about one thing. Everyone knew it.

So we had to rely on Graham to lead us into a rousing chorus to end the night. Honky Tonk Women did get us all playing along and sent off into the night thinking we’d had a great session with huge amounts of variety.

Posted on August 21, 2019 .

Top Ten at The Swan

Well its that time of year again when people are returning to the country and to the session, we had Helmut on his biannual trip from Aachen and the return of the two johns back from tax exile. A New face in the form of David Kilvington.
John N was first up tonight. In a break with tradition. The Rolling Stones :Dead Flowers was first of the bat and ably assisted by the assembled throng on the chorus. Paul Weller’s “ Brand New Start” was next and a great version it was, well done John.

The Human Jukebox next with James! First up was a Leo Sayer number “ One Man band” a hit for Leo in 1974 and a hit tonight for James. This was followed by a Christie McVie number Songbird and having heard Her last version of this song on TV, I have to say that James was more tuneful and a better performance.

The second John next and prior to John D taking the floor, he was quick to remind us that when he turned up with the original iPad and was inanely jealous of the one I am currently typing on as it is like a Mac Book Pro.

John D was in country Mode this evening and we had a Kenny Rogers number “The Gambler” we were glad he brought his Martin tonight as his guitars are renowned for knowing different songs. a great version nonetheless. Well done John. His second song was a Jim Croce number “You don’t mess around with Jim” great songs JD

Our visitor from over the water next with Helmut who resides in Aachen, his first number was “ It’s Good to See You” a Don Williams number. I see a thread developing here in country modes. A Rolling Stones number “Angie” which was definitely different with a German Accent but a great version though. A Big welcome back Helmut for all at The Swan!

Our 12 string specialist was next in the shape of Phil usually replete with a neck hanging Harmonica. First up was a Bruce Springsteen number “ Aint got no Home”A la Woody Guthrie. Phil is one of the few guitarists I Know that has an affinity for Marc Bolan and T Rex, and tonight we had “Jeepster” which is full on when played on a 12 string. Well done Phil.

Our resident finger picker was up next as Graeme settled his guitar and iPad to regale us with yet another hit. First up was “ Ferry Across The Mersey’ made famous by Gerry and Pacemakers and given here the Graeme treatment. Brilliant! Graeme’s next song was a North American number a la Duke Ellington“ Don’t Get Around Much anymore” A rather fetching Jazzy number, We’ll done Graeme!

A New face now having accompanied Barry to the pub this evening. David Kilvington, now what an entrance with a classic number “Try a little Tenderness” an Otis Reading hit from 1966. What a good start! To finish off his first spot what better than “ Autumn Leaves “ by Joseph Kosma (1945) and covered by such luminaries as Frank SinatraNat king Cole and Eva Cassidy to name a Few. great stuff David.

Our resident country picker up next as Barry strapped on his recently acquired Gibson to give us “ Early morning Rain a Gordon Lightfoot number from 1966.
To finish off his first spot Barry gave us “ Bitter Green” (1968) a classic Gordon Lightfoot number and performed tonight with aplomb! Well done Barry.

Blogger up next with a song accompanied by only a Bodhran, the last time I tried this the beater went flying.” Where The Blarney roses Grow with a bodhran solo. The first spot was rounded up with a Liverpool folk song “ In. My Liverpool home’
To round up our first half we had our resident Green councillor Andy Brow. we shot across the country to Sheffield to a classic 80’s number “Dont you want me baby’ by Human League. This was followed by a follow up to the song a number of years later. “As. If they were still lovers”
Well done Andy and with that we had a brief break.

The Second half started once more with john Nixon and this time it was another rolling-stones number” Better move On” John rounded up with a reggae version of The Police classic “Roxanne “ excellent version John!

Back to James Porter with a jimmy Miler song aka Ewan Macoll “Dirty old Town’ and to round off his spot a touch of Mcguiness Flint “ When I’m Dead and Gone”

John Daure up next with his second set and to begin we had “ Simon Smith and his amazing dancing Bear” by Alan price (1968) and tonight Brian I will be Alan Price so said JD but it was actually written by Randy Newman. to round his performance off we had a James Taylor song “ Fire and Rain” Well done John, playing is definitely gone up a few notches!

back to our friend Helmut again with a Leonard Cohen classic “So Long Marianne” albeit a shorter version to finish his spot off we heard a Bob Dylan number “ One more cup of Coffee” Welcome again Helmut, thank you for popping in and please have a safe journey home.

12 string Phil again with “Red at Night” by Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem. A classic to round up with “I Saw Her Standing There “ by the Beatles great stuff Phil.

We were promised by Graeme a trip to North America earlier in the night but his song was sung by another protagonist so we ended up in Manchester “ Bustop’ by The Hollies a great substitute and we then headed for Colorado and a John Denver number to round off his spot with “Sunshine” Great round up Graeme.

Back to David now and a jazzy number “ Love is The Greatest Thing” by Al Bowly (1932) great jazzy sounding song. To finish what better than a don McLean classic “Vincent” Well done David and please call back again soon!

Resident country singer Barry now on his roundup! A further tribute to Gordon Lightfoot, first up was “ Ten Degrees & getting colder” and to finish “The Ponie Man” Great stuff Barry!

Back to the Blogger, First up was a song from a band Goats Don’t Shave” Closing Time” to round up a whistle tune by Finbar Furey “The Lonesome Boatman”

To finish off our session for the night it was back to Andy to see us home. his penultimate number was “ American Pie” another Don Maclean number and the final number of the evening was “ Bobby Magee” Well done Andy!

What a great night! Thanks to you all!

See you all in two weeks BCW

Sent from my iPad

Posted on August 6, 2019 .

The Return of the Fab 4 as predicted by Graeme


I was worried that I was going to be the only one tonight but thank god three other stalwarts turned up to put me at ease.


Phil (this week’s scriptwriter)  Barry  (the king of country)  Grahame (king of the bandstand) and James (the human jukebox)

Plus occasional player Mand plus 2 other keen supporters from Asquith (I think).


James kicks off tonight with Bob Dylan’s I’ll be your Baby Tonight from the 1967 John Wesley Harding Album followed by Paul Simon’s

Take me to the Mardis Gras from the 1973 Album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.   Great start.


Yours truly (Phil) next with one of my fave and lesser known Bruce Springsteen songs/ Terry’s Song. From the 2007 Album Magic

About the loss of a great friend.


Barry on next with a song called It’s Bad by the unusually spelt Wyatt McBBin (?) and Jason Hurvey. Sorry couldn’t find any other info.

Followed by Lost Highway which was written by Leon Payne in 1948 and was covered by Hank Williamsand Billie Halliday. Great stuff Barry,


Graham finished off round one with underrated John Denver’s song Goodbye Again, and an unusual second.  Can’t Get you Outta My Head by Kylie Minogue.

A Great version by Graham.


Round Two


James with Will Parkers  How could I feel like this which I believe was also recorded by Karl Wallinger of the Waterboy’s,  followed by Kirsy McColl’s

We will never pass this way again (1991) FROM THE Album Electric Landlady.  A talented Artist Kirsty who we lost too early.  Great version James,


Phil next with a Bolan double bill.   T Rex acoustic number  Spaceball Ricochet from the classic Slider album (1972) and first number one Hot Love (1971)


Next Barry with Darling Corey a trad arr, and was released by the Weavers on their Album in 1957. This was followed the better known 

Song Song Blue by Neil Diamond from the 1972 album Moods. Good stuff again.


Grahame wrapped up round 2 with 2 fine songs Grahm Nash  Myself at Last from the 2016 Album This Path Tonight and America’s Horse

With No Name which was released in 1971. It was the band’s first and most successful single. Topping charts in USA/


A quick Fire Round 3 followed.


James with Ewan MacColl’s  First Time Ever I Saw your Face from 1972. Roberta Flack also did a version of this.


Phil . A Rock and Roll mix of BeBob a Lula (Gene Vincent) which Lennon covered on his Rock and Roll album.  and I Saw Her Standing There (Beatles)


Barry next with A Song for Life by Rodney Crowell


Grahame finished off with a Hemingway’s Whisky by Guy Clark from the Album sometimes the song writes you  (2009)


Then big Rock and Roll Finale Jam.   Rock and Roll Music  and Johnny B Goode wrote by Chuck Berry.


Good Night for All.




Posted on July 22, 2019 .

Eight is Great

 Eight is Great.

You wait forever and two buses come along and tonight it was harps as Frank and then  Frances turned up with a harp each. Then lo and behold incomes Franks band partner Julian with his very expensive accordion. Our usual band then ambled in.

Blogger kicked the night off with a Christy Moore song “ MyLittle Honda 50” this was followed by a Peter Sarsdedt number “ Where do you go to my lovely”

James up next with another classic from an era where it is stated if you can remember it , you weren’t really there.  “Woodstock”  and then he hits us with a country number, now this is usually the domain of Barry who  was sitting opposite James gave us a Hank Williams number “Hey Good Looking” I don’t know who he was looking at as he sang this song.


The long awaited return of Frances and her first number was an O’Carolan number. “ O Carolans Welcome” very impressive the new harp sounded great. This was followed by another O’ Carolan number O’Carolans Concerto” a great rendition and Frances playing was on a different level to when she last attended one of our sessions. Well done Frances.


The singing stick was then passed to Andy who gave us a reggae song apparently two octaves lower than the original and in a not altruistic reggae beat but a great song anyway and “ Many Rivers to Cross” by Jimmy Cliff. This was then followed by a Johnny Nash song “ I Can see Clearly Now”. That ended our Reggae spot which was a first and a very different slant on the normal fare we are used to.

Graeme up next and  had us all guessing as all he would give us was the initials of the artist ND had us all foxed, however it was a brilliant ballad and I have to admit my mind was a blank but was a very soulful  song. “ Play Me” which we were then informed was by Neil Diamond. This was followed by a Fleetwood Mac number, “ Need your love so badly” Great Stuff

Barry was next in the circle and as an aficionado  and performer of all things country , his first number was, “ I give you music” by Dennis  Akin. Barry’s next offering was “ You Dont even know Who I Am “ 

 By Gretchen Peters who played Keighley a while ago. Barry bravely carried on as Mand took her seat having just arrived.

Another blast from the past next in the form of Julian who forms one third of the band “ One Accord” and further round the the table was another third but more about him later. First up from Julian  on his new accordion , which looked fantastic by the way, was “Unicorns “by Bill Caddick this was followed by a song “All the Tunes inThe Worldby Jesse Linder this very nicely segwayed into another O’Carolans tune “Planxty Fanny  Power” one of Kath’s favourite tunes.

To round up the first half we had the aforementioned player from the trio, one Accord and the second  player this evening to play the harp Frank whose nom de plume is ............... wait for it.......... Frank The Harp! I had the privilege of having a Frank’s assistance sorting my own harp out and was very pleased to see him turn up along with Frances tonight. Frank’s first tune was “  Lady Eleanor Plunkett” this morphed into a couple of tunes the first was “ Farewell to Whiskey and the final one-was” Saint Mary’s Polka “ ably accompanied by Julian on his accordion.

To round up our first half we had Phil and “Jack of all Trades by Bruce Springsteen, this was followed by “ Who Do Think You Are” and as well as playing the guitar he had percussion on his arm as he performed this self penned number.

The second half started with a poem by Jim Owens and put to music this evening by the Blogger it got a once through about 45 mins ago “ Somme “ performed tonight in honour of the men from the Ulster Division who were slaughtered on the first day of the  Battle of The Somme” This followedby Vin Garbutt number “ Wings” it’s just over a year since we lost this fantastic singer songwriter! 

James back  on then with an Elton John number, “ Rocketman” another track from the human jukebox. To finish his spot tonight was” Watching the Detectives” by Elvis Costello.

Back to Frances and her harp and her penultimate number was a tune made famous by The Clancy Brothers and “ The Parting Glass” was a great song and done tonight as a great tune. Frances then rounded her spot off with “Castle Kelly and The Musical Priest” two reels and known to the Blogger. 

Back to Andy now and this new guitar is getting some playing “Redemption Song “ done by both Bob Marley and latterly by his son Ziggy. Andy finished his reggae spots with a non reggae song “ What Shoots Up” a self penned number.

Graeme again, and this time it was an RS number “ Angie” by The Rolling Stones. To finish off Graeme chose an Al Stewart number “ In Brooklyn” Not one I knew but thoroughly enjoyed well done Graeme.

A country Gentleman next, Barry with a lovely Martin guitar and “Hello Stranger” by The Carter Family and as Barry explained they stopped recording in 1941 but were resurrected with the 60’s folk revival. Round up time with another Carter family number” Jimmy Brown the News boy ” one way to make sure no one pinches your material Barry :) 

Julian on his second time around with”Fields of Athenry” a great Irish Song but here we had a parody of this standard fare for many a pub singer. Great version Julian!  I have asked Julian for the next tune and tonight was the night. To finish his spot off Julian played my funeral song and by that I mean the song I will be carried to my resting place to “. A Highland Cathedral” Brilliant and Thank You.

Frank now and a Johnny Cunningham number “ Night in That Land” and to finish “ Willows” by Johnny Dyer. Great stuff and really nice to see you both and Frances!

Phil to finish off a great night of Swan Acoustic Session with firstly “ Frigga went Courting” and finished a great night off with a RockN Roll Medley

Thanks everyone for a great night


Sent from my iPad

Posted on July 2, 2019 .

Top Trumps

18th June


Andy Brown

Graeme Morrell

James Porter

Brian Wylie

A small but merry band of minstrels tonight, all in fine voice and entertaining us with a very varied choice of fine songs!



Brian kicked off the proceedings with a lovely version of ‘Gentle on my mind’; a John Hartford song made famous by Glenn Campbell in 1968. He followed this with ‘Fly me to the moon’ which was written by Bart Howard in 1954 but really became popular in when Frank Sinatra’s version was used to accompany footage of the ‘Apollo’ moon missions.



Graeme was next under the spotlight with Bob Dylan’s ‘Spanish boots of Spanish leather’ originally recorded by his Bobship in 1963 but performed very well by Graeme in 2019. His next song was a little younger - 1966, Mick and Keef’s ‘Ruby Tuesday’, a particular favourite of mine and sung on a Tuesday too.



Andy introduced his song by saying it was the ‘epitome of sophisticated gentle rock’ but that his version of The Eagles 1975 ‘Lying Eyes’ would be neither sophisticated nor gentle, but it was! It was a lovely version. He then sang Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ recorded in 1984 and was thought by the President to be a pro US song (ooops)!



James’ songs were both in the best spirit of SAS sad-song tradition; the first song was Paolo Nutini’s ‘Last request’ released in 2006, a song depicting the end of a relationship (thank you, James, I love Paolo songs) and the next was Hank Williams‘Cold, cold heart’ (1950) which described unhappiness within a relationship.

At the break, I mentioned the ages of the songs that had been sung so far through the evening and that James was in the lead having sung the Hank Williams one. Not that our minstrels have a competitive edge or anything but the gloves came off, the chips were down and the game began! (Top Trumps)

Round 2

Brian back in play with a couple of drinking songs - firstly, a song by Gaelic Storm called ‘Drink the night away’ 1996 followed by ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey’ a Guy Clarke song written in 2009. Both excellent songs that were sung well but not contenders for the age award - Brian still confident that he would be on the podium with 1954.

Graeme’s Michael Chapman contribution came in the form of ‘Among the trees’ a 1969 song of nostalgia, resting in the golden memories of past summers ( and the lyrics mention rain so quite apt really) -nicely sung. A Bee Gees one next - ‘To love somebody’ - 1967 so luckily for Graeme, before the falsetto period but no age prize winner.

Andy ( in fine competitive spirit) up next with ‘Make me down a pallet on your floor’

1908 - BANG! Back of the net and into the lead!!! This was originally released as part of the Blind Boone’s Southern Rag Medley and credited to WC Handy as well as Andy.

A Human League one next and I was so surprised by the goal that I forgot to write down the title so if you send it Andy we will add it in.

James sang a 1991 Kirsty MacColl song ‘We ll never pass this way again’, another break-up one (bit of a theme here) but sounded great. The next one was vying for the bronze medal in the competition - written by Mertis John Junior in 1955, recorded by Fleetwood Mac and sung by James - ‘Need your love so bad’.

Second out! Round 3

Time for another one each.

Brian first with an excellent run out into the lead, overtaking Andy by some years!

‘Arthur McBride’ a song collected from Ireland, Scotland and England around 1840 ish. Brian was now quite confident of the gold medal and was looking decidedly smug.........then .......

Oh Yes! Graeme with Greensleeves! Circa 1533! Slam Dunk!!!!

He then got the chance to do the lap of honour with another song . An excellent rendition of ‘Desperado’ by the Eagles 1973.

Andy followed this with ‘Galway Shawl’ first collected in 1936 (not a medal winner) by Sam Henry from Bridget Kealy - he was already in the medals but a valiant effort all the same.

James next, knowing that he could not win, turned to religion with Gallagher and Lyle’s ‘Jesus saved me’ 1973 which is always good to know - excellent song.


The ensemble rounded the night off with a rousing ‘Jitterbug Boogie’ T Rex 1976.

See you next time!


Posted on June 23, 2019 .

Promise made in the heat of the night!

A welcome return of our skippers (se) after they had an enjoyable sounding island (Ireland) hop two weeks ago.

Last times blogger advised the congregation of my blogging promise last time and I taketh up the challenge.



Captain Brain kicked off with a Gerry and the Pacemakers number (Not the Walk On, Walk onetc. Kop Anthem) but the long titled. Don’t let the Sun Catch You Crying’. This was written by Gerry & Co in 1964 and produced by Beatles legend George Martin. It was a top 10 in both the UK and USA.

This was followed by Closing Time by the beautifully names Goat’s don’t Shave an Irish Folk Rock Band from Donegal. Great as always Mr. Wylie.

John D

John D

A New person to me (but an old colleague of Brian) Mr John Daure gave us an excellent version of the Chris Rae song Road to Hell. This song was written whilst in a traffic jam on the M4. I believe it was a 2 part song and was released in 1989.

This was followed by Dylan’s don’t think twice it’s alright. Great Stuff John. Hope to hear you again sometime.

John N

John N

Up next was John Nixon who was on great form. Candy a 2009 song by Paolo Nuitini from his album Sunny Side UP and then a stones classic its Only Rock n Roll from the 1974 album of the same name. I have this one at home amongst my Cat Scratched LP covers. I remember the iconic soapy video which appeared on Top of the Pops.



Next up was Graham (AKA the blog grass) who again was on top form. Elton’s classic your song which was released in 1970 and was top 10 in the UK and USA. This was followed by an excellent version of the Beatles All My Loving which appeared on the 1963 Album with the Beatles. I have this on EP with Picture sleeve at home. I was a very young Beatles fan.



Next up was Blog Man (Phil) with my sentimental song which I sing to my 2 little Grandchildren. (Logan Jack and Lennie Mac) the tune based on Bruce’s Pony Boy (about his son) this was followed by Cadilac (spelling was not Bolan’s best attribute) which was on the Flip of 1972 No. 1 Telegram Sam by T Rex.



Our Country Gent next on Barry with a song called (I think?) The Last Thing I Needed, First thing this morning. It was released as a single by Willie Nelson in 1982.Next was when I call your Name by Vince Gill an American Country singer. Released in 1990. A new name to me but a good song.Consistent as always Barry.



Our resident Author and Politician (no booing please) Andy on next. I have started reading Andy’s book after hearing about the excellent Amazon review (thanks’ Mr Porter). Kicks off with Dreams Catch Me an Excellent song by Newton Faulkner, from his debut album Hand Built by Robots in 2007.

This was followed by Elton John Classic hit single Daniel which was a top 5 hit in 1973. It was on Elton’s album don’tShoot Me I’m only the piano player. Well done Andy always original and always brave enough to sing without the words.



James the Jukebox (and book reviewer) Mr. Porter sung a great number called surprisingly What’s Up? This was by the Danish band 4 Non Blondes and had an International Hit with this in 1992. This was followed by I Can’t Help it if I’m still in love with you by Hank Williams (1951) the song was covered by Johnny Cash and Elvis later. James is blessed with a good memory as he doesn’t use the words.



Back from her 3 Island tour was Kath who started with the Old Wishing Chair after a popular tourist destination in Ireland. This was by Bridie Gallagher. This was performed by Brian and Kath’s band on their recent CD release. Next up she performed I wish I had someone to love me by Imelda May. I believe this originated from a 1930’s song The Prisoner. Voice on form Kath.

The half time whistle went , piddle and a pint. We decided not to change ends as it was snug. 2 audience members squeezed in amongst the performers and enjoyed their evening (I think)

Brian kicked off with a song by Lolila in the 1950’s. Our google search stopped immediately as a porn warning popped up. The wrong Lolila no doubt.

The song in question was sung by Petula Clark and called Sailor and got to number one in the UK in 1961.

Next was a song called John Condon (Trad arr) which was about the youngest allied soldier killed in World War 1. Aged just 14 of Irish origin and from Waterford. Great stuff Mr. W.

New Old Boy John on next with the classic Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohen in in 1991, one of those songs everybody knows but can’t remember who sung it. This was followed by a song from American Folk Singer Hoyt Axton which Top 20 in 1977 was called Della and Dealer. Nice stuff John.

John Nixon’s classics were continued with I Shot the Sherriff1974 by Clapton which was written by Reggae king Bob Marley. Next was Kings Beauty Lola for 1970. A controversial song at the time about a transvestite. It has since become one of their revered most popular songs.

Graham next with Garth Brooks the US country singer from 1989. This was the song that got Garth a record deal. It urges listeners to tell loved ones how much they feel about them. Graham’s next song was by Fred Wedlock who is known for his song the Oldest Swinger in Town. This song was from the 1960’s and was called the Wealth. (I think). Graham always performs at a high level and appears to be always on the lookout for new material.

Next Phil (the Blogger) self-penned song Getting Old (WhoMe?) And T Rex Classic No 1. Hot Love

Which was their first and biggest No. 1.

Barry Next with Bringing Mary Home which was released in 1965 by a band called Country Gentleman (writers Duffey and Knight. Next was he stopped loving her today written by Braddock and Putman and was released in 1980 by George Jones. Nobody does sad like Barry.

Andy on Next with self-penned. I thank you for lasting for so long. Excellent and original. Followed by George Ezra’s Classic Budapest from 2014 which reached No. 3. Nobody does the Gloom like Andy.!

What’s James doing No bloody Guitar. A poem by the Punk Poet John Cooper Clark. Excellent and amusing. He told me the title which was fairly unforgettable (but I forgot it!)

Back on the Elton Fest, The new film appears to have re-ignited interest. An excellent version of Rocket Man for 1972 from the Honkey Chateau album wrapped the evening up.

A good mix and good night.

Thank you all.

See you all in 2 weeks hopefully.

Posted on June 16, 2019 .

Absent beggars

Capt Wylie has disappeared this week (somewhat like the blog from the last SAS session) but the general consensus was that he was in Ireland “on tour” with Kath and the band (unlike the notes for the last blog that appear to have vanished into thin air).

In the absence of any other volunteers I got saddled with blogging duties tonight.



It was good to see John Nixon back again following his extended absence until the last SAS. He kicked things off with Tom Petty’s Free Falling which went down as well as it always does (I.e. well - as if there was any doubt!). A little confusion now as John burst into one of Barry’s specialities Long Black Veil by “a couple of Canadians”. Queue Barry re-ordering his song sheets for tonight!



James “Jukebox” Porter now with Every Breath You Take - I have not heard him do this before. Really good version from James - I know that I always find the wide vocal range to much of a stretch but  James coped admirably. Me and Julio we’re down at the Schoolyard for James’ second song a la Paul Simon. Definitely heard him do this one before be great all the same.



Barry Lane took centre stage now cradling his lovely blonde Gibson J200 and playing a song the lyrics for which he only got at 3.00pm today These Old Blues - a traditional song. Where Do You Go by Ed Penney Junior (you must all have heard of him?!). Great country songs from the Sutton in Craven cowboy!



Phil up now resplendent with guitar and harmonica support, Just a pity that the harmonica is at home on the sideboard! Regardless Phil persevered with a self penned song Walk On Rock On. Unusually a capo was required for the second song Oklahoma Home



Blogger next with a Ralph McTell song about the story of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil at the crossroads in exchange for stunning guitar abilities - The Ghost Of Robert Johnson. This was followed by a  (what I thought to be) Nick Lowe song Don’t Dream It’s Over. There was some debate about who wrote and recorded the song and it turns out (with the help of Google) to be written by Neil Finn of Crowded House - you live and learn.

Fresh from what sounds like endless council meetings Andy Brown had to borrow John’s guitar to admirably perform Len Cohen’s Sisters of Mercy and then Oasis’s Wonderwall and what a nice way to lead us into the intermission. On this occasion Kiera was not available in the foyer!



Paulo Nuttini in the shape of John Nixon brought our short break to a close (I sense and early night in the offing). Candy was the song. A new song to me next - Hotel Chamber Maid by Graham Parker and The Rumour, a name that brought back many happy memories for quite a few of the audience.Great stuff John as always.

James The Juke  with a Clive Palmer (Incredible String Band) song Empty Pocket Blues. The Beatles next with Chains (from Please Please Me)and this certainly please pleased the audience.

Paying Your Dues by Carl Jackson started Barry’s second slot. Following a tale about an injured wrist, a piece of cheese and  a rat (which I am still not sure whether to believe or not!) Barry finished off with  Waiting Out The Storm by Kate McKenzie - a real crowd pleaser.

Lady Madonna was sung by Phil (not flat like Madonna at Eurovision - but also for a lot less money!). I Remember  When I was Young was another of Phil’s excellent own foot tapper songs.

Blogger played another Ralph McTell song - The Girl From The Hiring Fair and then Lucinda William’s East Side of Town.

Andy now to complete the official allocation of songs. Firstly the traditional Galway Bay (which Andy informed us he had only half learned - not sure if he had learnt the top half or the bottom half but it sounded fine. Stoned Me  by Van Morrison completed things.

A quick jam rounded the being of nicely.


Posted on May 22, 2019 .

Full House

Full house

Well it was a busy night at The Swan tonight Kath and I were first in and we couldn’t get a seat. We settled in the snug and as our ragged band swelled we pounced on a table vacated and unloaded our guitars.

Blogger up first with a song Christy Moore pinched from Hamish Imlach.” Black Is The Colour” Kath was coerced into singing and the request was for a Randy Newman song “Feels Like Home” Fast becoming a favourite here at Addingham. Well done Kath

Next up Barry with our weekly dose of Country, first up was “Last Train from Poor Valley” this was written by Norman Blake. Barry’s next offering was straight up to date and very topical “The Human Race” by mense, Phillips and Dobbins,a hard hitting song to make us aware of the crisis in the world today. Great stuff Barry.

Next up was Graeme Morrell fresh from missing our last couple of sessions with a raunchy rocker “Hound-dog” by the late great Elvis, which drew diners to the door to listen this was followed by a Beatles instrumental “ Till There was You” it sounded great as only Graeme can pick this fantastic tune.

James up next with a BeeGees number “To Love somebody” straight from the human jukebox who never ceases to amaze us with his encyclopaedic memory of songs and tunes.This was followed by a favourite of mine,  a Paul Simon song “ Slip sliding away” great stuff James

An old familiar next, though not the spooky kind but rather an old face who we haven’t seen for a fair while, Mr John Nixon, fresh from some holiday or other and doing a recce on the pub for the return of his band Valkyrie who were playing this Saturday. Having muttered some excuse about not having played solo for a while he launched confidently into “ The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” a Shel Silverstein  number made famous by Marianne Faithful. Johns next offering was a bit of blues from the Boss, “ Wreck On The Highway” Welcome back John.

The blogger back after our break with “ Mr Bojangles” made famous by  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band this was followed by a song from my home town of Belfast” Black Velvet Band”

Barry up again and this time it was a Hugh Moffat number “ He Drove All The way to Texas” this was followed by a song that has a first line I know to be a lie” Well I don’t drink as much as I used to” but anyway the song was a “A Song For Life by Rodney Crowell

Graeme back up again and pinching country songs from the Barry Lane songbook “Summer Wages” by Ian Tyson. This was followed by an Otis Reading song “ Dock of The Bay” Great variety Graeme.

James up again and had us wondering if he was going to tread on Barry’s toes?

Well that didn’t go as planned as we had another soul number, this time a Sam Cooke number “ Bring it on home to me” and the second was an Elvis number  “All shook Up” Quite an eclectic mix tonight, Brilliant stuff!

How time passes when you are having fun we came back round to John again, and this time we had a low soulful version of  a Bernie Taupin and Elton John “Texas love song” and how do you round up a set why with a classic “ Wish You were Here” by Pink Floyd.............. Perfect!

Finish with a classic or two” Brown Eyed Girl” and “Satisfaction! a classy  end to a great night.


Posted on April 16, 2019 .

Brexit sensation!

It certainly was, as no one mentioned the word Brexit tonight (although I did mention a Revolution and Andy sung about Barricades) so on with the show we go.

Seven performers tonight, though Kath was saving her voice, possibly for other shows. We were joined by Mandy later giving us six plus two audience members. This was after we had seen off the people who were originally sat in the small snug. They did actually apologise and gave suitable reasons for leaving after the first song was aired.

Brian: ‘Seven Drunken Nights’ Well I thought Brian was after an early night when he changed it to five, but it seems that the original version was Scottish, titled ‘Five Drunken Nights (Our Goodman)’ still I always think it suits an Irish accent best.

‘Molly Malone’ this is definitely Irish and takes me back to singing in junior school

with Mrs Thompson (a Hattie Jacques double) I still remember being amazed by the amount of flesh hanging over her high heeled shoes as we sang.



Blogger: ‘We’ll Never Pass This Way Again’ A Kirsty Maccoll song about leaving a lover, possibly after a one night stand. A Damien Rice song next ‘9 Crimes’ a song about cheating on a partner, as the ninth Commandmentsays ‘thou shall not covet thy neighbours wife’



Andy: ‘Do I Still Figure In Your Life’ a Joe Cocker song, new song to me but a good soulful ballad anyway. I always loved ’Delta Lady’ by Joe.

Another Damien Rice song next, ‘Cannon Ball’this is a good song for Andy to do, and just a great song to me. Some people say his songs are a bit depressing (Damien that is). To me it’s all about emotion and delivery.

Please checkout how he finishes his concerts with a song called ‘Cheers’ and a bottle of wine, It’s both funny and sad.



Gloria: ‘When I First Came To Caledonia’ not Scotland but one of Canada’s Maritime Provinces Nova Scotia which is Latin for New Scotland. A song set in The Caledonian Coal Mines. An old tradition song it seems,but new to me and it was a very nice one too. Seems to be about a man who went mining and likes a woman who makes good tea, also he likes another but puts his brandy first. Good song anyway.

The next song was a new one again for me but seemingly traditional Irish.In my shorthand notes I have ‘Bellaghy Fair’ ‘it was good though.



Barry: In fine country picking style tonight gave us ‘If I Needed You’ by

Townes Van Zandt. Not a singer I know apart from Barry’s fine renditions and occasionally Mike Craig does one. Next a firm favourite from my liking of any early Elvis song ‘Mystery Train’ actually written by Junior Parker in 1953.



Phil: ‘Cadillac’ by T.Rex. I am a big Marc Bolan fan but didn’t remember this until I heard Phil’s version. Good stuff.

Next a self portrait of the artiste called Phil. ‘I Remember When I Was Young’

A self written song of his life and it seems like he had a good one, I think.


Brian: ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’ credited to Gerry and his Pacemakers.

I think Brian was quite young when the Merseybeat era started but I know he likes the message of this song. AGood song this but it’s not to be confused with the Louis Jordan song of the same name.

Next‘The Magdalene Laundries’ by Joni Mitchell. A song about the so called ‘Fallen women’ in Ireland, they ended up confined in these Roman Catholic Institutionsin Ireland. Mass graves were later found there. Not a song his partner Kath likes to hear due to it sad harrowing story.

Blogger: ‘Maker Of Islands’ by Mike Heron of Incredible String Band fame. Probably nota well knownsong, as I am just choosing my personal likes here, but I am hoping to make some of them familiar or even likeable.

Next The Beatles ‘Revolution no 1’ the slower album version as opposed to the rockier version on the flipside of ‘Hey Jude’ I did hear some backing vocals going on so I think that was a more popular song choice.

Andy:‘Through The Barricades’ my favourite Spandau Ballet song. A song inspired by love prevailing in the troubles in Northern Ireland

‘I know I Shouldn’t’ another self penned song from Andy. Yes we often know we shouldn’t but we sometimes do.

Gloria :’The Grey Selkie Of Skule Skerry’ a traditional folk song listed as Child Ballad 113. Set in Norway about a woman who has her child stolen by its Father who has the power to transform from a seal into a human.

Next ‘Wheels Within Wheels’ I thought this title sounded a bit political but on hearing it I realised it was a song that I had heard Gloria do before which I thought was called ‘I’m So Glad’. Hearing it again I think it’s more about reaching some kind of self empowerment and being happy about it.

Barry: One of Barry’s many train songs next. ‘Wreck Of The Old 97’ about a train disaster in 1903. Drives along nicely this song and no Barry didn’t wreck it.

Next ‘The Halfway home Café’ surprisingly written in 2001 it features overheard conversations from a café that tell a story. First recorded by Ricky Skags

Phil: With a very catch song from Bryan Adams ‘You Belong To Me’ quite a recent song for SAS this one 2015. Next another self written song from Phil ‘Gravy Train’

A song where everyone mainly Politicians get it in the neck from Phil.

Well it was an early night finish after all as Brian called time after requesting an encore from Gloria. I do understand that some people have to get up for work in

the morning (I’ve been there, got the tea shirt etc.) Up The Workers I say, anyway the last song was a cracker ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’ it was great by The Beatles and also great by Gloria, she does it fast but so do The Beatles and I have seen McCartney do it live a couple of times.

Well hope to see you all next time.

James P.

Posted on April 4, 2019 .

Compact and Bijou

Kath and Brian  

Kath and Brian  

Welll there were a few more diners tonight but we managed to ensconce ourselves in the corner and one by one we saw them off.

Blogger up first with an old traditional song “ Johnny Jump Up a cautionary tale of cider drinking. Any more than a quart and you were beating all a round you This was followed by “The Flower Seller written by Harry O’Donoghue an Irish emigre now living in the states. A song of lost love and “ White rose for new love, Red rose for true love and violets for love of the past



Our resident jukebox James with a country song “ He’s in the jailhouse” usually accredited to Jimmy Rogers and associated with the Vaudville era,now, I hope he’s not stealing the thunder from our resident countryman Barry. Next up from James was “The Honkytonk Blues “ Well done James.



Phil up next with his 12 string and harmonica with a Bruce Springsteen number “Terrys song” a song he wrote for the passing of his roadie. Next up was a classic played a la Dylan with guitar and harp “ Knocking on heavens door, great stuff Phil.



Next up was our resident country player Barry who can regale us with stories of playing in country bands for the past 61 years and that’s a lot of history. First up was “ Ride Me Down Easy” by Billy Joe Schaffer. These are story songs and this is a common theme in the country genre and we didn’t have any chicken wire! Barry’s next offering was an Eagles song “Train leaves here
This Morning” this morphed into a Cole Porter song “Hey Good Looking “ This was made famous by Hank Williams. Well done Barry.

Kath up next with a Bonnie Raitt song also covered by Edwina Hayes “ Feels like Home to Me” accompanied on guitar by The Blogger. Kath has had a chest/throat problem but felt ok to sing this evening. Glad she is on the mend now.


Second half then, Blogger started with a traditional number attributed to Hamish Imlach and made popular by Christy Moore” Black Is The Colour”This was followed by a Goats Don’t Shave number “Hills of Donegal”

James now with a Terence Trent Darbynumber “ Sign your Name” a great version. This was followed by a Ewan Macoll song or Jimmy Miller as he used to be known “Dirty Old Town a song about a dirty mill strewn town of Salford. Great versions James.

Phil up now with a Flogging Malloy number “Far Away Boys” After borrowing James guitar we had a self penned number from Phil “ Who Do You think You Are” Sounded great Phil.

Barry up for his second spot now, and “ On your Way Home by Matressa Berg.
At the last session Graeme who unfortunately can’t be here tonight was trying to remember the next song from the album of the same name “ Long Black Veil” from the Chieftains with the Stones and other stars.

We then elected to do another one each
Kath had decided that she didn’t want to spoil anything with her voice so politely declined another song. We then coerced her to a great Scottish song “ Ye Jacobites where she ably provided the harmony with the Blogger.

Blogger Then did a traditional song and one that has achieved notoriety as the best liked song re prostitution there is “Raglan Road”

James on his final track and a Carole King number, “Way over Yonder” great final song James.

Phil now to do his final number and this was “ All I Want Is You” a U2 number. Not what I thought it was called.

Barry now had the honour of winding our compact but bijou gathering and to finish Barry gave us a Song from 1884 “Hard Times” collected by Stephen Foster

Sent from my iPad

Posted on March 19, 2019 .

Where’s Wally?

Kath and Brian

Kath and Brian

After numerous Tuesdays packed with diners, drinkers and musicians the car park was virtually empty and the bars were even less busy. Besides 5 dedicated participants there were just 3 other people in the whole place. I find it intriguing that last time the whole place was absolutely packed and yet tonight it was deserted for no apparent reason.

True to form the Wylies (Brian & Kath) kicked off with a banjo and mandolin duet Farewell to Erin followed by a tune written by Mr Wylie The Taggyman.  I hope their married life is as harmonious as their playing!




Barry was up next, firstly with a song that he has only played “out” once before Summer Wages by Ian Tyson - one he needs to play out more often! According to Barry’s records he last played the next song last September - The First Thing This Morning by Gary Nunn and Cisel Acklin (no that is not a typo).



Blogger next with a Beatles themed duo - firstly Ringo’s photograph then an instrumental version of Oh Darling which was followed by much discussion about how similar Of Donna (10cc) appeared o be.



Andy completed round one with his version of Try A Little Tenderness (very upbeat for Andy) which was actually written in the early 1930’s and recorded by many others prior to Otis Reading (and Andy) getting their hands on it. A self penned song So Glad You’re Mine finished his spot - a really good song too.

Part 2 commenced with The Wylies playing another toe tapping jig (or is it a reel) starting slowly and getting faster and faster - a bit like the Sea Shanty at Last Night of the Proms! This one was entitled My Son’s a Prawn (and if you don’t recognise that title you have not been to SAS often enough!). Morrison’s Jig completed their second spot. All good stuff.

Following admonishment by Brian for not using SAS standard 14 font Barry admirably played an ol’ bluegrass standard Little Maggie. Bill Anderson’s Close The Door Lightly came next which had Barry venturing we’ll up the neck of his guitar. Great stuff.

The first time blogger came to SAS (12 years ago?) he performed Jennifer and Kate by Tom Paxton and this was repeated tonight. This brought comment from the (albeit small) crowd that you never hear people play Mr Paxton any more. This was obviously seen as a challenge as the next song was Jimmy Newman about an injured US soldier who almost made it back from Vietnam but didn’t quite.

Andy took over the Tom Paxton mantle and played Last Thing On My Mind and although this particularly song was exactly that when he set off to SAS he executed it very well. It was followed by Long Hot Summer - another self penned and well performed number.

Time for one more from each participant, starting with Brain & Kath with The Siege of Ennis Set. Then Barry with I’m Going To Live Forevever by Billy Joe Shaver. Blogger with Bob Dylan’s Just Like A Woman which once again nudged Andy into playing something he had not planned on which was Jon Baez’s Diamonds and Rust.

A nice early finish and a good most enjoyable evening. We should all get home by the time the next storm rolls in!

Graeme M

Posted on March 6, 2019 .

Right is great for a book club




Well having missed the last session here I was flying solo as Kath was suffering with a virus. Mike had informed me he was on his way but tonight we had a glut of guitars.

First up was blogger with a Glen Campbell number" Gentle on my Mind" this was followed by " Black is the colour" Made famous by Christy Moore but pinched unashamedly from Dick Gaughan whilst touring folk clubs north of the border.



Mike was next up with a great upbeat blues number" If it Hadn't been for Love by The Steel Drivers. A mix of Blues and Bluegrass very able married here tonight by Mike! His next offering at The Swan Altar was " Hometown Blues " a Steve Earle Number.



An old favourite next in the form of Gloria whom we haven't seen for a while, she had brought her recently finished book with her. A look back at 35 years of Whitby festival week. Gloria kicked off her set with a beautiful old song " She moved through the Fair" Her next number was a first for her at The Swan was a Beatles number " With a little Help from my Friends " A great couple of numbers, well done Gloria.



Another literary person up next, Barry who also had recently finished and published his own book. His first number was an Elvis number" You were always on my mind" This was followed by a Leonard Cohen song " Sisters of Mercy"



Graeme our finger picker up next with an Eric Clapton number " Lonely Stranger" this followed by a Damien Rice number " Delicate" Two very tasty numbers. Great Stuff.



The baton was then passed to Phil with his twelve string and harmonica but minus his percussive wristband. His first song was " life's an Elevator " a Bolan number. A track from one of my favourite bands next "Back in The Night" by Dr Feelgood.



Our Human jukebox next in the form of James who possibly latched on to a Beatles vibe and " Strawberry Fields" a classic and classically done here by James. To round off his first spot James gave us a song new to the blogger " Carrie" a Joni Mitchell number.



Barry is our resident go to country player and tonight was no exception, Barry regaled us with how he got into country music from rock and roll and Skiffle. A Johnny Cashnumber and possibly one of his first popular songs. "Ballad of a Teenage Queen" next we had " The Troubadour". Co written by Johnny Cash .
That concluded the first half.

Second half starts with a quick update on tonight's soccer, the blogger then kicked off with a cautionary tale of drinking cider " Johnny Jump Up" this was followed by a Jon Allen number " Joanna"
Back to Mike who started with a great song " Come up to the house" and what better to finish your spot with than " Morning Blues" an American Trad song. Great stuff Mike and welcome back.
Gloria now again with a lovely Irish song " Lovely Glenchesk" finger picked in altered tuning, a lovely song and performed as only Gloria can. A Robbie Burns number to round up her final song " A mans a man for all That "

Andy now with his own slant on life with a self penned number, " Pennies on your face"
A song about rock stars dying far to young. To round off his spot Andy sang a Johnny Cash song " Walk the Line" a classic and well done Andy.

Back to Graeme and his finger picking, " Annie's going to sing her Song " a Tom Paxton number and what better to finish your spot off, exactly how you started than with an Eric Clapton number " Old Love" a really great version Graeme well done.

Phils last spot now with a self penned song about his uncle " Military Man" and to round off with a Seeger session number Ol Dan Tucker" well done Phil.

James the juke box and our penultimate turn tonight with a beautiful classic song " The first Time ever I Saw your face" a Ewan Macoll song and to finish his spot for the night he chose a Goffin and King " Chains" great finish James

It fell to Barry to finish this session at The Swan off and he chose " Don't This Road look Rough and Rocky" by Flatt and Scruggsand to finish Barry chose " Demons" by Bill Anderson. Well done Barry!

That brought our session for February to a close and we will see you all in March


Posted on February 21, 2019 .

Five go wild in the snug

On a wet night in February there is a lot to be said for sitting in a pub listening to people playing a fascinating variety of live music. There may only have been five of us but it proved to be a really enjoyable evening.

James kicked us off with and he can do a mean rendition of a Paul Simon song so he entertained us with a lively version of Mardi Gras. That upbeat tone was maintained when Phil gave us Back in the Night by Dr Feelgood provoking lots of foot tapping and the blogger to reflect on the song’s lyric about “waking up on the floor asking for some breakfast”. Very rock and roll lifestyle!

Positivity is, however, hard to maintain all night. Since tonight’s blogger was myself – Andy – no one was over surprised when I went for a sad song that I picked up from the wonderful Etta James called ‘If you could see me now’. All about lost love and declining fortunes.

Which proved to be positively optimistic compared to Barry’s contribution. He went for telling the tale of losing your home in a flood written by Phil Rosenthal in the 1980s called Muddy Waters. It sounded like one of those amazing blues numbers from the 1930s depression and Barry treated us to some lovely fingerpicking.

Graham then did what he does so well which is to sing and to play with great skill and sincerity. He treated us to a sensational version of Rainy Night in Georgia by Tony Joe White. Apparently, the writer of that song felt there like it was raining all over the world and it certainly felt like that in Addingham. No wonder Barry was singing about floods.



James then let us know that he and Julio used to hang around the schoolyard with Paul Simon whilst Phil had apparently been conned into being a soldier boy by some smooth talkingpropaganda and got a very good self-penned song out of the experience or the impressive imagination of it.

Your blogger then played Many Rivers to Cross and claimed it was written by Johnny Nash. It is never a good idea to get your facts wrong when you are dealing with knowledgeable people. I was quickly and gently corrected and it is a Jimmy Cliff song from 1969 much copied by others.

I was trying to keep the water theme going but Barry had clearly had enough of floods and deluges. He went for Railways instead and gave us the Wabash Cannonball which he’d picked up from Lonny Donegan but thought was much older. The Gibson was used once again to good effect



Graham then played one of two songs that shared the same title of ‘Run’. Your blogger is tempted to claim that this was inspired by his own recent book on towns and places that share a name but really he just wishes to plug the book. ‘Contrast and compare’ by Andy Brown is available from one very evil bookseller, Amazon, and a quick search and an even quicker purchase is strongly recommended. Graham’s first version of Run was the theme from Gavin and Stacey by Stephen Fretwell and a very fine song it is too.

James then couldn’t remember that he had already played two songs but did remember perfectly all the words to Watching the Detectives by Elvis Costello which all goes to show how eccentric the human memory is. It is one of my favourite songs and James did it more than justice.

Phil was also in post punk mode giving us a bit of Joe Strummer which I thought was called Before I Grow too Old and knew from an old Cajun recording but turned out to be titled Silver and Gold. Either way a really fine song and fun to hear.



I then offered Newton Faulkner’s Dream Catch Me which is meant to be about the joys of falling in love but I think I managed to make it sound like the end of the relationship. Barry was more genuinely on depressive territory with Just Like You from Peter Wernick of Hot Rize. In that song we learn that the protagonist is all alone after he has just gone under the surgeon’s knife and come back home to be reminded that his wife had died and his four children had moved faraway. Clearly the miserable night outside was getting to us.

Graham managed to lift the mood with I shall be released by Bob Dylan. Interesting how I can sing a cheerful song and make it sound miserable whereas Graham can sing a miserable song and make it sound cheerful. I think his is the more valuable talent!

After a short break James gave us a Kirsty McCall song about the break up of a relationship the theme of which was don’t worry about it – you enjoyed it while it lasted so just move on. It was called “We’ll Never Pass this Way Again” which sounds a bit biblical but it was anything but.



Phil then went for a lively song called Gas Light Anthemby Red at Night. It contained the line “Ain’t nobody got the blues like me” which triggered me to remember an old song I used to play called ‘Lay me Down a Palette on your floor” that contains almost exactly the same lyric. I picked it up from a Gillian Welch CD but it is around 100 years old. Graham claimed that he thought I was singing Lay me Down a Parrot on your floor but I suspect that was just his waspish sense of humour.



Barry then told us about narrowly missing seeing Buddy Holly play in Bradford because he was on his way to church instead. That prompted him to give us a really nice version of Alright and me to later on play a rather eccentric version of American Pie. Sixty years since the plane crash was therefore given proper respect.

Graham then gave us the partner song to Run which turned out to be the Snow Patrol song and he later went back to Snow Patrol to offer ‘If I lie here’ both beautifully done.

Which left us time for James to explore the Peter Green era of Fleetwood Mac with Man of the World, Phil to go in for a bit of Bruce with Jack of All Trades (no not Bruce Forsyth, Springsteen of course), and Barry to go back to his “God bothering” days with Wayne Raney’s, ‘A Whole Lot More of Jesus and a Whole Lot Less Rock and Roll”. If the 50s were dominated by country and western artists writing lyrics that corny I can only admire Barry for quitting the church and forming a rock and roll band.

In the true spirit of Rock and Roll we all finished off with our own versions of a bit of a trash. James did One Inch Rock from T Rex, Phil did the Clash and Brand New Cadillac, I went for an early Ray Charles ‘Tell me What I Say’, and Barry did some lively fingerpicking on Another Lonesome Morning by Wendy Thatcher. He then offered the disturbing image of a woman called Thatcher wearing long white boots and hot pants in the 1980s but fortunately it turned out to be no relation to the then PM.

The whole evening was then nicely finished off by Graham doing the right version of Valerie. The one by the Zutons not the Amy Whine House imitation.

A good time was had by all and we headed out much cheered. To discover it was still chucking it down with rain.

Posted on February 6, 2019 .

First of the Year for 2019



First session of the new year found us already into the third week of the year. We staked our claim in the main bar area to regale the diners who were unfortunate to still be finishing their meal.  Blogger was up first as we cracked open our first session of 2019. " Only our Rivers" a song from Ireland and the sadness that only her rivers run free. This was followed by a Jim Croce number " Lovers Cross"  a song for all men who won't be martyrs to love!



Graeme  Morell next up with a beautiful Martin twelve string, ( you missed it Barry)first up on this beauty was a Springsteen number " Born to Run " that awakened everyone to the fact that there was a twelve string in his hands. What better song to follow than a classic twelve string song " Mr Tambourine Man"  Sounded great and had us singing the chorus.

Andy Brown next and having swapped a Setanta CD for a copy of Andys' book "Contrast and Compare" a book comparing and showing the contrast between Bradford and Bradford in Avon ( available from Andy) His first offering tonight was  Love minus zero no limits" a Dylan number never heard by the Blogger. In the Dylan groove Andy then gave us another Dylan classic " Tangled up in Blue " Great stuff Andy and looking forward to reading the book. Can't help thinking we got the better out of the swop.





Phil up next  without his trusty twelve string but replete with his neck harness and harmonica. His first song tonight was " No Justice a self penned number" with harmonica interlude. Phils second song was " Oklahoma Home a woody Guthrie song covered also by Bruce Springsteen, and tonight by Phil. Great stuff.



Our resident Mr Jukebox in the form of James Porter was up next, a veritable musicologist with a fantastic catalogue of music who never ceases to amaze us with his recall from said catalogue. James first number was,  a Leonard Cohen Song "  Dance me to The End of Love" written by Leonard in 1984 for his album Various Positions. James led us into our break with a Fleetwood Mac number " Songbird". Great recall James I don't know how you do it.
We had a quick break and gathered ourselves for the second half.

Blogger up for round two with a little known Waterboys number " In Search of A Rose" this was followed by a raucous Make way for The Molly  Maquires  a song of the American Irish pit men.

Back to Graeme and his beautiful twelve string and " As Tears go By" a Rolling Stones number and it sounded like a band accompanied him on this number. To round up his second spot we got a Michael Chapman number " Girl On a Train " Well done Graeme and the guitar sound brilliant.

Andy Brown up next now Andys forte is the melancholic songs that really suit his voice and second spot was started with "One  to Many Mornings" and what better to round up with another Dylan classic to round the quartet of songs off than " Lay Lady Lay"

Phil up again with another self penned number " Getting  Old" and to finish a T Rex Mega mix. Phil is the only person in my circle of musical friends who does Marc Bolan  and very well too. Well done Phil!


james up next to round the night off with his penultimate number a Gallagher and Lyle number “ Jesus Saved Me “ and not to be left out of the Dylanesque night , James gave us “ Corrina  Corrina. 

Our resident guitar was then seconded by Stuart to finish with “ love in vain “ by Robert Johnson  a great end to a great night.  


Posted on January 15, 2019 .

Setanta CD launch

An open invitation to our friends and fellow musicians at The Swan in Addingham to come with instruments and join Brian , Kath , and JP at The Taps In Otley to join in a session and help us introduce our CD to an unsuspecting public. Sunday 13th Jan at 2:00pm- 6:00pm

Posted on January 8, 2019 .