Well here we are after our Summer break and back fighting for space amongst our fish and chip friends at The Swan. Initially it was thought that we might be setting up in the side room but slowly but surely they went on their way and we settled around the large table in the corner. Never sure of who will remember when it restarts and unsure of peoples holiday times it was with trepidation that we waited for whoever was to turn up tonight. Jim was already enjoying a pint out side, he was then followed by Alex, Barry, Andy, James Graeme, Gloria and a late comer Phil. After sorting out our seating order and electing to go round the table in order cocked up only by the blogger snaking his way round the assembled musicians we began.
Blogger up first and having brought only a couple of small instruments this week (Ukulele and Whistles) Van Morrisons “Brown Eyed Girl” was given an airing, this was followed by a whistle tune “Lonesome Boatman” sadly the tune was played only the week before by the Blogger at my Fathers Funeral but gladly this time to an appreciative group who showed their appreciation in the usual way.
Our Jukebox in residence Mr James Porter followed the Blogger with a Hank Williams number “You Win Again” and from country to classic Leonard Cohen with “Hey that’s no way to say goodbye” James never ceases to amaze we with his encyclopedic ability to recant song after song and his nickname as “The Human Jukebox is a well testified Title. To reinforcethis James gave us another two numbers from his back catalogue with first a great rendition of B B King’s “Stand By Me” and then rounded up his second spot with a Ronnettes number from 1963 “Wish I’d Never Seen The Sunshine” which was a new one for the blogger. Great set as always James.
Andy Brown was next along the table and tonight was missing his usual fender dobro type guitar and tonight it was an acoustics turn. Andy has an inimitable style of delivering songs and thiswas utilized recently when he was asked to play at a friends funeral recently and tonight the same song was performed to a circle of friends and fellow musos. Ziggy Marley’s “Redemption song” was given another airing. Well, spurred onAndy let us have another classic “I Can see Clearly Now” which if memory serves me was a hit by Johnny Nash. This was followed during the second set with “Many Rivers to cross” covered by such bands as U2 and Ub40 to name a few and now performed here tonight by Andy. He rounded up his spot with a new one on the blogger “You Are Magnificent”
Jim was next along the circle of music tonight, and having been sat outside even as we turned up and having had a Glass of beer or two was more than ready for the set ahead. First up from Jim was James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” and with another country flavor song we were led into a Kris Kristofferson number “Help me Make it through the night” Jim has a mixture of folk and country songs in his repertoire and for the second set Jim went to his folk diary for an Eric Bogle Number “The Cockie Farmer a song I have covered myself a story of the poor farmers of Australia who were looked down on by both the big Sheep farmers and Dairy Farmers alike. Next and to finishoff his set was A traditional tune covered by the likes of Hamish Imlach “Wish they’d do it now” a story of how girls do things to you at certain ages until you get too old for it too happen, a great song from the north East. Well done Jim
Alex was next upand Alex has what Kath thinks is a Singers Voice, and by that I mean a chorister voice. However his choice of material belies this as he can switch from classic to country in a blink of an eye. First up was ‘Band of Gold” andI sadly don’t know who did it and will await a correction on this. We then had another James Taylor song “You can close your eyes” In the second half Alex took a folk route with a classic Seth Lakeman song “White Hare” and rounded it off with a lovely end of the night song “Dimming of the Day” All in all a quite varied set showing offAlex’s vocal qualities . Great Stuff.
Our Country Fiend was next up and I believe this is where I diverted from the normal route round the table (Sorry) As Barry picked up and Capoed his guitar we lead into a country set starting with “Never Get Out of this World Alive” which was a bit ironic seeing as how Barry and his good lady had just been celebrating their Golden Wedding. His next number and I hope I get this right was by Matraca Berg “On Your Way Home” and was also linked to The Dirt Band (as I’m reliably informed) A swing to a different country now and a different type of country song , a Gordon Lightfoot Song “ 10 degrees and getting colder” and to round up a classic Bill Anderson “Cold Hard Facts of Life” and that rounded up Barrys sojourn through the world of Country, I am hearing songs I never heard before from this anthology of country Music.
Graeme was next up and as people know he is a big Michael Chapman fan and does MC’s stuff as good as the man himself but tonight he made me wait for Mc by starting with a Carole King/James Taylor song(third one tonight) “You Gotta Friend” and then slid seamlessly into a Don McLean number “Vincent” Now Graeme is a well accomplished player and performer who’s finger picking is to be admired and we went to a classic seventies number by Mike D’Arbo “Handbags and Gladrags” a la Rod Stewart but with a twist. Wait for it just as I had scribbled over the initials MC Graeme then finishes with an MC number”Fully Qualified Survivor” A greatset Graeme and even as Kath scribbled a note in reference to my temporary amnesia tonight. We moved on to our final act of the night.
It was a latecomer when I looked up in the Shape of Phil who together with his Harness and Guitat gave us a Woody Guthrie song "Aint got no Home" before finishing with a great T-Rex Song "Cadillac" this harkened back to a busk around we had were Phil regaled us with a back catalogue of T.Rex Numbers . Well Done Phil
It was a welcome return to Gloria tonight, who had been sorting some things out from a property and probably felt like a trip out to clear her head. Fresh from Whitby though we were treated to a Trad song a la Gloria “The Female Drummer” with percussive strumming and foot tapping. Not one I was familiar with but enjoyed all the same. Her next song was “Thousands or More and I must apologise as I didn’t make a note as to who it was by. As a second spot song she couldn’t have pleased Kat More than when we had Smoky Robinsons “Tears Of A Clown” (I thought Kath was going to wet herself) A perfect song next to round up our first night back from the summer Break joined in by all and as the last notes of “I Bid You Goodnight” echoed around the room we packed up and left full of Ear worms from songs we heard tonight and waiting for the next night at The Swan in Addingham. A Note to our sorely Missed M.C David from all at S.A.S “We hope you are as well as can be and it’s not long before we see you again!”