Well ,fresh from our practice session for the “Grand Depart” once again we parked in the car park at the Swan and wondered what the night would bring. We had a couple of really busy nights of late so a quiet night was on the cards, but hey ho we had 8 artists tonight.
First up was Blogger ably assisted by Mike Craig and a recently recorded “Dennis Murphys and John Ryans swiftly followed(as Mike will testify) by Jackie Colemans & The Star O Munster. In the second set the blogger tried an unaccompanied song “The Call” a song about the waiting carried out by immigrants whilst waiting for the call to return home to ailing aging parents. I thought it was a lovely song but then I am writing the blog! The set was rounded up with “Devil amongst the tailors” and “Speed the Plough” that rounded up the bloggers spot, thanks Mike.
Carrying on with the Irish theme element Frances White our now harpist in residence came up with some cracking tunes. A couple of hornpipes to get us skipping merrily along in “Off to California” followed by “Rites of Man” this moved seamlessly to a couple of jigs “Haste to the Wedding” which was the theme tune to an Irish sitcom “The Irish R.M” a popular 80’s show that only the old codgers will remember Peter Bowles and Bryan Murray. Frances neatly rounded off her set with “Off she goes” I have to say that Frances had the triplets nailed in these pieces, a formidable feat so well done.
Another Gentleman rapidly popping up on a regular basis from the Topic folk club in Bradford, Mr John Waller who usually has some self penned nuggets and tonight was no exception as “Eastern Border” a song based on Johns Travels in Eastern Europe, followed by a prophetic song “Grandad 2050” John then had us following him round the room as “The Office Junior” a song about the grass not necessarily being greener on the other side and how perhaps we need to be careful what we wish for. John then very nicely finished his eclectic spot with “The Cartway” a song written after a visit to Bridgenorth. Great spot and how you ran round and carried on singing was great to watch.
A welcome return to Phil Greeves who only popped in to pick his long lost tin of plecs that I have been trying to give away to every Phil I know. Phil started with an old Woody Guthrie song “Aint Got no home” based on an old gospel number lamenting the hard times that Woody experienced and appeared on his Dust Bowl album. Phil then gave us a self penned number “Time for me to come home” a switch then to an old classic “Froggy went a Courtin” Phil rounded up his twin spot with his own anti drugs song entitled “Who do you think you are” Excellent stuff Phil don’t leave it so long next time and you will get your plecs and tin next time.
Leon who is now ensconced as the early bird ever time we get there was up next with a fantastic version of Gladys knights “Midnight train to Georgia” Leon then journeyed into an Pete Seeger song “Copper Kettle which thanks to Joan Baez and now Leon has revived this old American folk Classic about the illegal distillation of Whiskey. Over the border to Canada next with their favourite son Neil Young’s song” Old Man” before finishing off with a Bob Dylan number done in his inimitable style and “Lenny Bruce is Dead” Crackin spots as always.
Mike Craig next with one of the best versions of a Steve Earle song “The Mountain which can be heard on soundcloud following the link from the Craig and Wylie Facebook page. This slid seamlessly into an anti Vietnam song “My Uncle” written by Gram Parsons after he received a letter from the draft board and recently covered by Steve Earle and now Mike. The Civil Wars “Twenty Years” was next and has gained a prominent spot in Mikes repertoire. Mikes spot was rounded off by “Gulf of Mexico” with a bit of dodgy mandolin playing from the blogger but hey it was a first attempt in a different key. Well done Mike.
A rare visit from our jet setters in the village in the form of Ian and Babs Pucknell. Both used to be regulars at the Addingham Acoustic session which was the fore runner to our session and it was nice to see them return. Ian was coerced into a couple of songs one of which was a request, so there you go even after all this time your fans are still in tune with you. “Lady take your time” which is an Ian classic was followed by “A couple of more years” a Waylon Jennings song. Nicely done Ian lovely to see you both again.
Joe Ellis who had been patiently sat was also coerced into giving us a song to round the night off with “St James Infirmary Blues” and thereby brought another night at The Swan to a Hiatus finish and as the last few notes of the Masons Apron faded into the night, we all headed home ready for our next visit just ahead of the “Grand Depart” so Au Revoir BCW