Graeme Morell and Double Century

Graeme's Double Century

     I'd like to start this weeks' blog by saying how nice it is to be
playing music again in a pub with decent beer.  If you're driving and
have to stretch that one pint of real beer out, it's nice to have a
constantly changing choice of refreshing libation.  Saltaire blonde
this week, and very nice it was, too.

     Tonight it started with a very welcome return from Mr. Len
Harvey.  I miss my ration of Hank Williams et al when Len 's not
around--and he does sing them well.  No H. W. tonight but two songs
from the pen of Shel Silverstein; poet, singer-songwriter, musician,
composer, cartoonist, screenwriter and author of children's books.
Shel is known for writing songs for Dr. Hook and Bobby Bare but he
also wrote for Johnny Cash, as is the man who penned "A Boy Named Sue"
(which, this summer, I had the pleasure of hearing performed by a
Dutch friend--although his version seems to be "A Boy Named Shoe"!).
Len's choices from Shel's catalogue this evening were "Lullabies,
Legends, and Lies" and "The Wonderful Soup Stone" and very good they
were, too.

     In the second half Len introduced me to Blind Boy Grunt's "Only a
Hobo" and followed with Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tamorine Man".  The connecton
between Bobby D., and Blind Boy Grunt?  Dylan recorded over a dozen
recordings in 1962-1963 for the folk magazine "Broadside" under the
pseudonym "Blind Boy Grunt".  Thanks for the education Len and as
always, thanks for the tunes.  Come back and see us after your cruise!

     Blogger up next (this is an insert as I genuinely forgot to
include myself in the blog!); first half "Motherland" and "Beeswing",
second half "Innocent When You Dream" and Fionn Regan's "Be Good or Be

     The next of my Facebook friends up was Ian Taylor:  Swan Acoustic
Sessions--real social networking!  It was good to see Ian again and he
treated us to some cracking songs.  First was a song written by
Edinburgh songwriter Sandy Wright and ntably recorded by Kris Drever
"Steel and Stone (Blackwater)"  Ian followed this with a song from
another favorite of mine, Boo Hewerdine's "White Lilies".  It was a
quiet night in the bar which influenced Ian's choices, and it was
great to be able to hear the quiet songs sans dominoes!

     In the second half, Ian returned with Jimmy Nail's "Big River"
which served as a sing-a-long warm-up to his big finale.  Explaining
that this song could not be performed in a sitting position, Ian took
to his feet before launching into The Proclaimers' "500 Miles" which
rocked the song and had everyone singing along.  Great stuff Ian.

     Graeme Morrell graced the floor next.  The title of this blog
refers to Graeme's announcement that tonight was his anniversary of
attending our little musical soirees.  He also explained that he has
(except on one rare occasion) never played the same song twice, but
was finding the pressure getting to him and would be doing repeats
ater this night.  Now, Graeme has been the session's "Mr. Dependable",
turning up week after week without fail which gives us approximately
fifty nights in that year and at four songs (at least) per night
that's a staggering repertoire of two hundred songs--no wonder he's
feeling the pressure!  As a man who has performed the same song
probably two hundred times (yes, you know the one!) I can only take my
hat off to Graeme.

     Graeme completed his double century with a floruish.  In the
first half he gave us Ralph McTell's "Travelling Man" and Al Stewart's
"Not The One" and in the second half, Al Stewart's "Trains" followed
by Michael Chapman's  "Full Bottle, Empty Heart".  I guess it was only
right that my number two hundred should be a Chapman tune as Graeme
has introduced us to the man's work over the last twelve months.
Looking forward to hearing all the great tunes again!

     Next up was our own "Man In Black", John daure sporting the
pointiest pair of boots this side of the Pecos.  JD had decided to go
for a Kris Kristofferson theme this evening and started by telling us
tales of seeing Kris K. on tour and asserting that if singing the
songs off key and forgetting the words was good enough for Mr.
Kristofferson it was it was good enough for JD, too!  No such worries
though as John treated us to "Me and Bobby McGee" followed by "Best of
all Possible Worlds", a song tht was new to the blogger who also
didn't realize big Kris was such a fan of Voltaire's

     In the second bit JD gave us the old favourite "Sunday Morning
Coming Down" and the lesser know "Here Comes That Rainbow Again".
Nice stuff John, and my knowledge of the work of Mr. Kristofferson has
increased--job done!

     Joining us for the second half was Mr. James Porter, who should
have worked out by now that turning up with no guitar doesn't mean you
don't have to play!  We all look forward to our dose of James'
sing-a-long favourites so we're all happy to lend our guitars to
James--so there's no escape!  Tonight James didn't disappoint with
Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry" and a song that I've had a devil of a
time chasing the root of, "Wake Up, Little Sparrow".  I couldn't
remember where James said he heard the song, but it appers to be an
old American children's song that was origianlly recorded by Ella
Jenkins but was recently ressurected by nu-folk wunderkind and
all-round strange person Davendra Banhart--who has recoreded some
great songs.  It's a lovely song and James does a great version--you
can borrow my guitar next week James!

     And that was it....or was it?  M.C. David managed to encourage
another player out of the audience at the last gasp.  John Corby had
been spotted noodling on the pub guitar during the break and this had
been enough to mark him as the man to close the evening.  After a
small amount of coersion, John came out front and gave us two lovely
self-penned songs.  The first was called "Say D'accord" and I'm afraid
I didn't get the name of the second tune.  John's songs had the feel
of Nick Drake and Bert Jansch about them and very nice they were, too.
 Thanks for playing John and we hope to see you again in the future!

     Right, Wylie's back next week so I'm expecting a bagful of Orkney
tunes and another great night at The Swan--see you there! MAC

Posted on August 16, 2010 .