Well it was one of those nights for the fire to be on at The Swan and very welcome it was, as several intrepid travellers braved the clear night sky and winged their way over for our bi-monthly session. Due to a few straggling diners we took up station at the long table near the fire(Convenient).
Barry, Brian, Kath, James, John, Rob ,Stuart became the session for tonight and breaking with tradition we started with Barry this evening.
Barry started playing Rock n Roll in bands in the late 50’s, early 60’s and played Bass before switching to guitar and in 1962 after a visit switched to folk and country. First up tonight from Barry was a Waylon Jennings number “Out among the Stars” Another country song (its his speciality) from Townes Van Zandt this time “If I needed you” one that I forgot was his but cracking songs all the same. Later on in the set Barry gave us a Cox family brief. Now Barry knows his onions about country music and always has a story for the artists and songs he chooses which usually prompts a Google search from yours truly and as “Bringing Mary Home” from the Country Gentlemen Family which I believe was a song from Joe Duffey and Joe Kingston from 1966 “ at least it was recorded by aforementioned band at that time. Barry rounded off his second spot with a Kevin Brandt number “Let it Roll” a number either written by Brandt but performed by The Cox Family or Vice Versa. But anyway tonight it was performed by Barry. Time allowed us one more spin of the dice and Barry’s final song was a country Classic “Wild Mountain Flowers” recorded I believe by Billy Edd Wheeler but written and performed by The Allen Mills Band. Well done Barry another country milestone at Swan Acoustic Session.
Next on our unfamiliar way round the group was James ,affectionately known as “our Human Jukebox” due to an uncanny ability to remember songs without notes our prompts from all genres! Tonight James first offering was “I’ll be your baby tonight” released by his Bobship as Bob Dylan is affectionately known within our group in 1967. Another classic artists song from the same generation as a Leonard Cohen number next ”Dance me to the End of Love” Two songs that would have normally been covered by one of our itinerant band “Larry2 but here tonight given first class honours by James. James in the second set went for, as he announced “a Phil Spectre” number “Wish I’d never seen the Sunshine” unknown to the blogger which was a poignant number bearing in mind he was incarcerated in a prison in California for murder. James then rounded his night off with one of the first songs I heard him perform at the original session at the Swan “Addingham Acoustic” The Rolling Stones “The Spider and The Fly” still a personal favourite, well done James a few nuggets tonight!
The light swivels and illuminates a gentleman called John, who has been frequenting our establishment of late, we have previously heard some self penned numbers and run of the mill songs from John, but tonight it was to be different tonight there was unbeknown to all but John an incredible level of Comedy in his performance which I will try to do justice to, but will fail miserably as you had to be there! First number was curiously entitled “One note Samba” and came complete with an authentic South American Accent and we were regaled with a South American History Lesson on the origins of the Samba and why it differed from the Rhumba and other dances. This was only a prelude for what was to come as we headed north to the Bible Belt for a song entitled “You Don’t Need a Space Rocket to See Jesus” a self penned number relating to the “give us your Money and be Saved Brigade” of self appointed Christian demigods from American Tv. Tonighthowever there was a tongue twisting chorus which had us all in fits of laughter and that was just the name of the church! John carried on this theme with “Pallet on the Floor” a Missipippi John Hurt number covered by such artists as Gillian Welch but performed for us by John. “Don’t roll those Bloodshot eyes at Me” by Wynonie Harris and to round off his spot we were again in fits of laughter as John gave us a Spanish lesson before informing the blogger that his final song was “Sunny Spain” a fantastic poke of fun at Ze English in song parody. This rounded off a very entertaining spot from John and made the trip over more than worthwhile.!
Rob was the unfortunate soul who had to carry on in a serious vein after the ribald laughter had subsided and what a song to do that as a lovely self penned number “Kissing Gate” brought a bit of brevity back to the proceedings, a lovely song. A John Prine number was next as “Long Monday” evoked a particular memory for Kath and myself as this was a favourite performed by a sadly departed friend from one of our bands “Dave Crolla” R.I.P but a great rendition none the less. A step to classic country next from Rob as “Banks of The Ohio” which I hadn’t heard in a long time. Another self penned number from Rob as “Wanted Man” bounced around the bare stone walls of The Swan. Rob normally writes and performs with his wife, but since the recent birth of their baby this has curtailed her performances and as Rob was at pains to point out the second voice does lend to some songs. Rob finished off his spot with “Dance with Me” He has sent me one of his songs to put a bit of whistle on and I hope I get this done in time for the next session. Well done Rob.
Kath and Brian next and without a guitar it was back to tried and trusted Blarge and Mandolin , and a low whistle and a few tunes. First up was a tune on the Backhouse low-whistle and Mandolin “Dunmore Lasses” Next up was a long lost favourite of ours that is now been dusted down and being performed “Farewell to Erin” a poignant tune around this time as it is 39 years in the next few days since I Said Farewell to Erin. The next tune caused Kath to raise her eyebrows at me as I had elected to do the “Masons apron “ onthe spur of the moment and this caused a bit of panic in Kath’s brain to finger pathways. All was good though and we managed to get to the end of this fast tune and finish together. Kath was then poked into borrowing a guitar and performing a song that is becoming one of her trademark songs “Motherland” and this prompted a response from one of our regulars about the quality of her voice. Well done Kath. A rowdy song to finish our spot off as a tale of why its better not to go to funerals until the fella dies aka “The Funeral Song”
Before we had finished our first spot Stuart who normally borrows the pub guitar brought his own into the room and after several attempts declared it fit for performing. And between them we had a classic Led Zeppilin number “Rock and Roll” complete with the “aahhaas” having found a way to extricate himself from this song Stu then gave us his version of a Bryan Ferry number “Lets stick Together” and it has to be said there were some dodgy lyrics but never the less an interesting version of this song. The guitar was straining for another number and this time it was an out of tune version (his words not mine) of a Robert Johnson number. Enthusiasm abounds in Stuarts performances and to quote one of our group” He did well to make that guitar sound as good as he did” Well done Stuart keep on keeping it LIVE!
Mand had sneaked into the other room and was asked to do a number, she gave us wonderful story song about a sad violin, a sel pennened number and she told Kath the story after the session. Great song Mand!
That was it for our latest trip to The Swan in Addingham, see you next time!