It was a night of music, fun, laughter, and cake. In fact, everything but the bear!

The Music, Fun and Laughter, of course, are pretty much a standard feature of our Thursday nights, and this week was no exception.

True, numbers were down due to a ruck of our regulars boarding a charabanc to Butlins in Skegness for the Great British Folk Festival weekend.

But what we lacked in numbers, was more than compensated by the quality of the music provided by a denary of balladeers and troubadours, entertaining just shy of two dozen in the function room at The Feathers.

Happy 65th Birthday Phil

The Cake
The delicious and beautifully decorated chocolate cake was provided by our very own folk-singing Great British Baker, Glyn Hudson, the occasion being the eighty-fifth birthday of long-standing member Phil Jones.

Affectionately known as Phil ‘About the House’ (from the days he ran a DIY shop of that name in the town), Phil has been a loyal member since the club’s very first meeting back in 1996. To this day, he turns up on a fairly regular basis, with Enid on his arm and a that lovely warm smile on his face.

Everything but the Bear

Everything But The Bear is the name of a brand new collaboration between Wirral musicians John Williams and Ann Croenen.

John, of course, is well known to us at Ruthin AllStyles, and we were delighted that they chose our little club for their first public performance as a duo. And what a fabulous performance it was too. A mixture of covers and John’s own compositions, five songs in all, each one testament to how lovely their voices harmonise.

And then John closed the evening in fine style with the Lyle Lovett ballad, “Closing Time”.

The Ten Floor Singers were: Richard Ruthin, Tom and Lynda Degney, Robin the Busker, Jim Cole, Joe Lyon, Bob Hall, John Williams and Ann Croenen (Everything but the Bear), and myself.

Listen to John Williams and Ann Croenen’s lovely version of the Richard Shindell song, “The Last Fare of the Day”


Stop Press!

In coming to our Singers’ Night, John Williams had missed out on the first day of the Great British Folk Festival weekend, but fortune struck when he did eventually arrive at the festival. I will let John take up the story…

I was caught in a fortunate Twist of Fate as I approached the Acoustic Stage carrying my trusty David Oddy cello mandolin. Festival organiser, Stephen Stanley accosted me and asked: “Can you play that?” and “would to like to open the Acoustic Stage this afternoon?”. I didn’t need asking twice, and he said “Okay, you’re on in two minutes”.

It seems they had been let down at the last minute by there opening act. I did a seven song set. The sound in the room was wonderful and the balance through my monitors was perfect. Judging by the applause and fact I sold all thirty of my  CDs,  it must have gone down really well. Steve, and also Alan Ritson from Lincoln City Radio, thanked me, paid me. and then went on to tell me I was booked for 2018!

Woo Hoo! Thanks Guys. That twist of fate has made me smile all weekend.