Chalk and Cheese

Chalk and Cheese

Well things at Swan acoustic Session are never certain, you never know who or how many will turn up. Sometimes people we haven’t seen for a while pop in alongside our regular musicians, and to be honest that’s what I like. Its always got potential, potential for a new song or a snip of a tune long forgotten and of course you never stop learning. For myself The Swan was the first place I ever played my guitar outside of my living room, and here’s the thing I have learned something from every single person who has graced our little room and for that I am eternally grateful.

On to the night a familiar face greeted us on our arrival as Leon and his good lady wife were already in place along with Julian and  Barry. As I walked in I bumped into Graeme and Rob Watkins followed shortly after, then in comes Frances ,Pam and Paul and there you have it instant quality and oodles of abil       ity.

Blogger up first as per normal and a whistle tune first “Roddy M’Court” a requiem for a piper written by Ivan Drever, second up was a couple of reels on the Mandolin “Dennis Murphys and John Ryans”. In the second set Blogger let loose the BIG whistle on a self penned tune dedicated to an old friend sadly departed and still missed “Crollas Reel” in memory of Dave Crolla a top musician and friend.. Back to  Litle   whistle for “Hare in the Corn” and “Morrisons”

Barry was up next with his trusty guitar and encyclopedical memory of country music. “The First thing this morning” by Gary Nunn and Cisel Acklin a Gretchen Peters number was next as “You didn’t even know who I am” in the second set we had a couple of new numbers as “Cheap Whiskey”  by Jimmy Rushing and Emory Gordon Jnr ( and I love the Irish spelling) led into “Another lonesome Morning “by Wendy Thatcher. Well done Barry and more new material each time.

Next up was Julian our residential accordionist  who as was quoted later “can really play that thing” Julian also showed his prowess on a mandola with an old favourite of mine from my early Topic folk club days and The Yetis with “ Mr Punch & Judy Man” A Leon Rosselson song “Tim Macquire” a cracking rendition of both numbers. Onto the accordion in the second half a Double dose of Eleanor music as “Eleanor of Usar” flowed gently into a tune usually heard on the harp by Andee but here on the accordion it has a surreal sound. Another O’Carolan number with “Planxty Fanny Power” and rounded off with a fantastic tune “Tabhair Dom do Lambh or (Give me your Hand) Lovely playing Julian as as mentioned previously.

Rob Watkins up next another country fiend although the first number was a Richard Thompson song “Wall of Death” and a swift change to a John Doyle number as “Libertys Sweet Shore” a bit of a practice for our impending trip to Ireland. Rob followed this with “Carmelita” by Warren Zevon and rounded off his second spot with yet another Mark Knopfler number I never heard “My Heart has never Changed” Well done Rob and am looking forward to our road trip to The West!

A familiar face who hasn’t been for a while next in the form of Leon who always shines a light on those off the beaten track numbers, the Beatles “Ticket to Ride” was excellent, and then quelle surprise another Mark knopfler number”Walking in the Wild West End” done with style. A different type of Wild west next with a Dylan number “Staying here with You” from Nashville Skyline. Leon then rounded off his spot with a Canadian flavor as he gave a rendition of Neil Young’s “Old Man” Don’t leave it so long next time Leon.

Frances up next aided and abetted by her trusty roadie  Peter   gave us a couple of Reels on the Electric Harp first up was “Maid behind the Bar” followed by  a session standard but difficult to get in the groove but handled here with panache by Frances “Merrily Kiss the Quaker” excellent stuff and as our only resident harpist top of the form.

Paul up next with his version of  a Don Henley number “Boys of Summer ” which was followed by “Heroes “ by Guy Clark. After the Break Paul gave us “No Love Today” by Chris Smither before round ing of an excellent spot with a Rodney Kroll number “O what a beautiful World” by Rodney Crowell which started a debate on how similar it was in form and melody to Country roads by John Denver. Well done Paul

A stalwart up next in the shape and style of Graeme aka MC but tonight it was an eclectic mixture as first up came  a La Graeme but really by Marvin Gaye”I Heard it Through the Grapevine” Next a song title that sparked a brief conversation about “Dogs as a previously unheard, at least by the blogger Michael Chapman number” La Madrugada” a tricky little number handled serenely and onto a Serene little number handled sveltely as Van Morrisons “Have I told you lately” and to finish an acoustic blues number a la Gary Moore “Still got the Blues” a well rounded and diverse set from Graeme showing his wide ranging ability across many genres. Excellent stuff.

Last but certainly not least a lady with her own style and delivery of some cracking country tunes, Pam. Soulful and poignant and with class, a Lucinda Williams number was first up as “Cold day in Hell” wrapped us up in its sound before taking us to “The East Side Of Town” another from Lucinda’s table. In the second seyt it was a Mary Gauthier song “Our Lady” and then to finish off a truly well rounded night was “All to Please Macushla” a beautiful lilting song in waltz time by Michael Marra, a resounding climax to another of our acoustic nights, brilliant stuff. Until next time at Swan Acoustic SessionBCW,

Posted on May 14, 2015 .