Well here it is the first Swan Acoustic session of 2016 and a great turn out. Sadly we were informed through the evening that it was the last for Ian and Nicky as they leave the pub they have strived to make a great music pub with the folk session, Swan Acoustic and the regular weekend gigs and beer festivals. We wish you both the best for whatever the future brings and we look forward to the new hosts and onwards and upwards.
We had nine artists tonight and an emerging talent in the shape of a new duo, more of that later. First up was the Blogger with the first song he ever performed at the fore runner of our session when it was Addingham Acoustic at The Swan “Broken Dreams” which I learnt from my good friend Dave Crolla R.I.P“ This was followed by my interpretation of Michael Conway” written by Seamus Egan from Solas who whilst touring the states with the band found a great uncle of his from the mines in Montana met an untimely death at the hand of the local Sherrif and his Deputies. In the second half we had a Booby Watt song “The Call” a story about immigrants away from their home just waiting on the call to return to bury parents. To finish this spot was a Christy Moore song “Foxy Devil” awitty song about the iron behind the velvet and the seductive qualities of Whiskey, a story I know only to well.
Next up was Pam Johnson with her baby Martin, that’s the guitar not a child! Pam has a penchant for selecting tasteful country songs and tonight was no exception and in a style that she has made her own we had an Eilen Jewel’s song “WorriedMind” and then a crackin version of a Waking the Witch song “Rock and Roll and Then Some” More from Pam later and with a twist!
Barry Lane was up next a man who prides himself on not doing the same material twice at our Session and who publicly admitted he had failed in this mission as he had repeated two songs from a session previous. Barry loves country songs and manages to entertain us with songs from way back. Tonight Barry gave us a Carter Stanley Song “Raining in the Morning” and rounded off his first spot with “Live forever by Billy-Joe Shaver. In the second half Barry, who often entertains at Old Foks Homes regaled us with the tale of his inappropriate choice of material. Bearing in mind the age of the audience anyway, tonight we had “Just Like You’ by Peter Werrick and to round of a good spot was “Don’t Tell Mama (I was Drinking)” a cautionary tale of the perils of drinking and driving. Good stuff Barry.
Andy Brown was next on our list tonight and had brought his semi-Dobro which received some interest from Graeme. Andy has a unique style that defines him and always puts his own twist on his choice of material which is always diverse and with some self penned songs. Tonight we had a Bruce Springsteen classic given the treatment “Born in The U.S.A” which was stripped of its Anthemic status and softened in tone and timbre. What do you follow that classic with? Well how about an Annie Lennox number! “Thorn in my Side” Now as previously mentioned Andy writes as well and tonight we had a song “Don’t Give UpThe Day Job” So how do we finish this spot? With another standard of many a guitarist “All Along The Watchtower” by Mister Bob. Well done Andy.
A welcome return to the Swan tonight from our entrepid two Johns, John Nixon and John(how many guitars) Daure, showing off his latest acquisition from Denmark Street a nice mahogany guitar. Fresh from rehearsal this afternoon we had no less than three songs from their alter egos “The Dingham Hillbillies” Another Dylan number “Like a Rolling Stone” and thenanother standard from “The Stones” “Wild Horses” and because there was two of them and they need to get back to the nursing home before 10:00 PM they rounded off their nights spot withyet another Dylan Number “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” All joking aside it was nice to see the two off them back again and they do sound good together and who knows maybe next time we can have “Dead Skunk?”
Rob Watkins popped in tonight and watchout for the reformed Last Orders who are playing here at The Swan this month. Rob has his own definitive style and manner and a cracking soft tone and timbre that sets him apart from his peers and what did Rob bring tonight? A mixed bag of material, well how about another Springsteen number! “Wreck on the Highway” another car crash song but tonight we kept the body count down. Rob followed this with a Guy Clark song not previously heard by the blogger, “Dublin Blues” our next effort was back on more familiar ground as a John Prine classic “Far From Me” a great finale to his spot and oft heard on our annual trips to his kitchen and in Mayo. Great stuff Rob!
Our resident finger picker up now as Graeme Morrell unpacks his Colings guitar from its lavish case, a Gren Bartley number first as “Water Runs Dry” and how does he follow that? I had already written the initials MC down and he didn’t let me down as announcing Michael Chapmans hit! “Postcards from Scarborough “ a humorous song now and very apt bearing in mind the current conditions we are enduring. A Fred Wedlock number was up for grabs as “The Weather Song” had us chuckling into our beer. I would like to hear that one again some time. To round up the spot was a classic from Bryan Adams:Do It For You” from the Kevin Costner Robin Hood Film but somehow given a softer edge which redefined this classic number one. Well done Graeme slick and smooth as always.
Now then earlier on I alluded to the Emergent duo made up off two memebers of our troupe tonight and as Pamand the not mentioned previously Ian Taylor took to the stools in front of the fire, they announced that this was the first outing of their duo which had yet to be named. Although some tongue in cheek comments aroundstools wobbling, they have yet to come up with a definitive name for their efforts. Whatever they end up being called what we had was two equally talented people marrying two guitars and two voices seamlessly. “Angel from Montgomery” a John Prine number was their first effort and well sung it was too! Another new one on me as The Good Intention’s “I dreamed about You” was given the twin combo treatment. I know Ian is a devotee of Boo Hewerdine and there was no surprise that the next song was an homage too Boo "Sugar on the Pill" was excellently balanced with a Dixie Chicks number if nothing less to reinforce and as the diverse talent of Both Ian and Pam and as "Easy Silence "drifted into the ether we were left wanting more. So to round the night up how do we finish well by playing and singing a very apt song from the Travellin Wilburys “The End of The Line. Well that was an excellent round up to a very interesting night of Diverse styles andsongs from the same stables. Watch out for this “unnamed duo” in Pam and Ian as I am sure this pairing will go from strength to strength. See you all next time.