We don’t normally have an August Swan Acoustic Session as we are nearly always on holiday, however as a result of going away later we grasped the opportunity to hold one even though a few others are away on their Holidays.
Fully anticipating a quiet night and with guitar case in hand we sauntered into the ever friendly SWAN in Addingham. At this point there was no indication as to what the night might hold, however we were soon joined by our god friend Ian MacDonald replete with Fiddle, Chris Patrick was next quickly followed by some Newbies Patricia and Dan. John Paul another blast from the past, Jess White (Frances’s Brother) Pam Johnson and James Porter and lastly a trio of Bluegrass musicians. Sarah, Lewis and Mark had used the Swan as a refuge when playing a local Bluegrass festival and had promised Ian they would return and hence we were privileged to have them with us tonight so with bated breath off we went.
Blogger up first as is normal as we like to set the bar low, Jon Allens “Joanna” was followed by a song done by Kris Delmhorst “Since you went away” The second half was hard as I had to follow The BackYard Burners” more about them later “Famine song” and “The Continental Ceili” were my final offerings and apart from a guesting with Ian on fiddle, I could then sit back and enjoy the evening.
Ian Mac was next up and on his first foray into open mic session played some lovely fiddle music. “Mary Young and Fair” ws a beautiful Air and this was followed by “Rothbury Hill” In the second half Ian accompanied again by th blogger gave us “Rites of Man” and finished with a wonderful slow air “The Sheiling” It was great to have a fiddle at the Swan and even nicer to hear such lovely tunes. Well done Ian, now you know where we are please come again.
Chris Patrick was our welcome next artiste, Chris had admitted a while ago a lack of self confidence was having an impact on his playing/performing. Tonight that was not in evidence as he launched into a batch of his self penned numbers. “If Sexy Isnt” which I know as Crumpets and Tea kicked off Chris’s section followed by a love song? “No Time For Leaving You Behind” and in he second half having to follow the Backyard Burners after me did not for one moment put Chris off his stride as “You and Me Wander’ and “Our Journey’s just begun” were proof positive that hopefully Chris is getting the better of things. Certainly the case based on tonights performance. Great set Chris.
Our Newbies were next up and as Dan and Patricia set themselves on the stools with both guitars a gentle hush fell over the room as we were pleasantly entertained with a Britney Spears number new to me but done beautifully by Patricia and ably accompanied by Dan “Toxic” was followed by a Jacques Brel number(Nb every one but me had heard of Jacque) “In the Port of Amsterdam” was delivered again with great poise and ability. It was a privilege to sit and be so entertained. Well done and now you have been please come again.
An Old friend with an old face was next up John Paul Boyle had secretly arranged with Kath to turn up tonight, and suitably surprised I knew that we were in for two things swearing and some bloody good songs. “Run” by Steven Fretwell was followed by a personal favourite, Radioheads “Fake Plastic Trees” another Steven Fretwell number “Paris” was the penultimate number in JP’S repertoire tonight as he finished with a U2 number “Running to stand still” That new guitar sounded great and again it was a joy to once again listen to the dulcet tones of John Paul. Don’t leave it so long next time(thanks for the beer)
Jess White complete with guitar last seen a month or so ago with regular harpist at our session was next up and gave us a great rendition of a Libertines number “Time for Heroes” Come back soon!
Pam Johnson had sneaked in whilst I was playing and sat out of my vision(maybe she was sparing my lily white skins blushes as they had just returned from holiday. Complete with her baby guitar Pam gave a wonderful selection of songs done in her inimitable style. “Our Lady of the Shooting star” by Mary Gauthier was our first song, and a favourite of mine quickly followed “Drag Queens and Limousines” another Mary Gauthier song delivered in a way that only Pam can do. Having sated her Mary lust Pam then launched into a Lucinda Williams number “Am I too Blue for You” before rounding off her night and sitting back to enjoy the evening with a Waking the Witch number “Rock and Roll and then some” Well done as always Pam.
James Porter had popped in on his way from work and as usual gave us two numbers from his extensive repertoire (he is known as the human jukebox) Bob Marleys “No Woman No Cry” was smoothly followed by a yodeling song “In the jailhouse now” which was responsible for putting an ear worm in my head for a few hours last night YODELLLEEEE YODELLLEEE YODELLLLLAY! Thanks as always James.
Now then as previously mentioned a lifetime ago we had the BACKYARD BURNERS (Bluegrass) in the room and after the interval they gave us a mini concert in the shape of four numbers. Their line up was Clare playing the double bass and vocal and Lewis on Guitar and vocal and Mark on a Stelling Banjo(what a beast, the banjo that is not Mark) and Vocals. This Trio had the place jumping from the get go as a fantastic blend of Bluegrass numbers spilled from both their mouths and their instruments. So good were they that the general concensus amongst us all was that these should be playing a Saturday night spot at The Swan, this has suitably been arranged for the 7th of January 2014 so don’t miss it.
“Coal Tattoo” by Billy Edd Wheeler was their first number with instrumental breaks on Banjo done with sublime fluidity by Mark. Next up was a fiddle tune “Big Sciota” about a river in Ohio. “Aint no Grave” done by none other than Johnny Cash had everyone singing along. This number was attributed (I think ) to Claude Ellie. Lewis then rounded up their first spot with “99Years” This was just a taster for what was to come and again as noted earlier I had to follow them. We then were able to sit back and just enjoy another thirty to forty minutes of bloody good music from this multi talented trio all very competent musicians and all with great voices. I considered it a privilege to be entertained so magnificently at Swan Acoustic Session. Rol on January the Seventh.BCW