Well we knew we couldn’t compete tonight with Steve Earle, Bradford City at home, and my Birthday and I had half a mind myself to not bother. Kath elected to drive and that was it off we went. I had already had a few apologies and early warnings of non attenders for tonights session however, applying the maxim “you just never know” we pulled into the carpark to enjoy what the night would bring.
There was only four people tonight our recent Newbie Peter Lloyd, Barry Lane, Andy Brown and the Blogger. Kath was still reeling from her recent bout of Lurgy so declined our offer to participate.
Blogger was up first and due to being busy brought along his trusty Blarge and a few whistles with a view to rattling off a few tunes. So off we went we had “The Big Four” so named by Mike as it’s a series of four tunes including The Maid behind The Bar, The Concertina Reel and The Silver Spear and I believe Drowsy Maggie. The whistle was up next and this recent purchase is a fantastic new “D” Whistle which sounds brilliant (obviously when someone else is playing it) “ The Lonesome Boatman” written by the Fureys sounded lonely without accompaniement. In the second half The Blarge came to the fore again as “Planxty Irwin” and Kaths favourite for reasons known only to her “Fanny Power” a couple of tunes that came into my head seconds before my plectrum struck the strings. I finished my third spot with a song I learned from Jimmy Crowley “The Funeral song” I used to recite this song to prove I wasn’t drunk thereby putting it totally beyond doubt!
Barry was next up and he has a library of country songs, some of which are gems and some a bit more mainstream but all quality. First up was “Train Leaves here This Morning” by Guy Clarke and after a bit of a hiatus Barry once again found the groove and let us have “Mystery Train” there was a bit of a theme building here and as Barry is a bit of a model engineer was no surprise. In the second half Barry gave us another train song “Slow Moving Freight Train” by Norman Blake and then another song about a train “Last Train From Poor Valley” by Sam Phillips and H Barker and finally having exhausted the train theme we had “Out among The Stars” By Adam Mitchell and finally a song I last heard about ten years ago at a country gig “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by Braddock and Putman. Well Done Barry and it will be interesting to see how many more Train Songs you can find? So there is your challenge for the next Swan Acoustic Session.
Our recent convert was up next with his classical guitar and a laconic style that belies an underlying ability to play this lovely instrument. Peter sat at the end of the table and first up was a James Taylor Song “Fire and Rain” which was performed with style and then warned me the next tune was “Sound of Bells” which really lends itself to the gut strings of a classical guitar. Second set saw a classical piece “Tango Esta Noche” or Tango in the Night which again rang round the walls of the Swan. His next tune didn’t have a name so we gave it a gaelic name for “No Name” or “Gan Ainm” so after Gan Ainm Peter did a Tom Waits song which was a new one on the Blogger “Shiver Me Timbers” a jaunty little number directly opposed to his final offering which he is performing this weekend for his sisters wedding “Pacherlbel’s Canon in D Major which I just wanted to go on for ever but there was another performer waiting for his turn so we hope Peter becomes a regular and educates us “Steelies” to the pure sound of the classical guitar. Excellent stuff Peter,
Last but certainly not least was Andy Brown Andy has an eclectic style that some would find refreshing in this mimic world of music. “Daniel” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin led gently into in his words a more depressing groove as he slipped into “Suzanne” a legendary classic from Leonard Cohen whilst in this mood he then sang a livelt version of Ziggy Marley’s “Redemption Song” which he then subsequently showed to Peter, which just shows you never stop learning in this game. “Need your love so Bad” from Fleetwood Macs Peter Green Now I have never heard Andy sing an Irish song but tonight as a tribute to the Irish Rugby Team(these are my words) we had “The Fields of Athenry” and now we were in an Irish frame of mind Andy rounded off the evening with a Van Morrison song “And It Stoned Me”
And having had a birthday beer from our MC David we headed off into the night and we will hopefully see a few more bodies at the next installment from Swan Acoustic Session at The Swan in Addingham