Friday the Thirteenth

By |April 17th, 2018|0 Comments

Mike Kendrick

Well almost. At least it was, by the time we’d packed all the stuff away and finished off the Guinness.

I’m not a bit superstitious of course, touch wood ūüėČ

In any case, we managed to avoid ladders and black cats on the way home.

Being the tail end of the Easter holidays, our Thursday-the-twelfth Singers’ Night was a bit light, with just twenty in the room, eight of whom were performers.

It was a very enjoyable night nevertheless. Quite often we don’t manage to get a second spot each after the break, whereas this week, all bar a couple of late comers got to do three spots and up to five songs each.

Brian Peters

A Bit [of] Shambolic
As well as the usual suspects, it was good to see Mike Kendrick back at the club, busy as he is with not one but two bands, The Dansette Alligators and the Shambolics.

One of the late arrivals was Harri Owen who called in after a rehearsal session with his band, Ceidwad Y G√Ęn – The Quaykeepers.

Harri hadn’t intended singing, but we found him a guitar and persuaded him to round off the evening, which he did in fine style with a great rendition of¬†Paolo Nutini’s “Iron Sky”.

Roll Call:
Andrew Bowsher, Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Tom and Lynda Degney, Mike Kendrick, Brian Peters and Harri Owen.


Next week – An Intimate Concert with Flossie Malavialle
Only half a dozen tickets left Рgrab yours NOW before they are gone: WeGotTickets

Baker’s Dozen Blues

By |April 7th, 2018|0 Comments

John Helm and Dan Bewsher

A Baker’s Dozen gathered at The Feathers for a musical bake-off, with an audience that swelled the total to almost thirty.

The function room was warm as toast and Рnot that proof was kneaded Рwe knew everyone would rise to the occasion and become the upper crust.

In fact, it was the best thing since sl…¬† Okay okay, that’s enough of the p√Ętisserie puns.

Suffice to say the evening yielded many memorable moments. Click below to listen to them while you read on.

 

John Helm and Dan Bewsher opened both halves of the evening with sets that included “Land Sky and Sea”, a pagan song by Dahm the Bard,¬†and Van Morrison’s “Star of the County Down”¬†proving along the way how harmoniously the bouzouki and dadgad-tuned¬†guitar sound together.

Joe Lyon

Lynda Degney gave us “That Blue Grass Music” and¬†Tom became “Dr Jazz”. Then Mark Thatcher became ‘Mr Fingers’ and dazzled us with his fret-board finesse.

Joe Lyon sang Donovan’s “To Try For The Sun”, expertly mastering the song’s change of time signature from verse to chorus.

“Can’t Find my Way Back Home” by Stevie Winwood was my contribution, which Colin Campbell hinted might well have been due to “Another Tequila Sunrise”.

Enid Toft and Neil Wilkinson

New Song
A new song from Enid Toft and Neil Wilkinson was “I Give my Heart”, also known as Faith’s Song, written by Welsh songwriter Amy Wadge, from the soundtrack of the BBC drama Keeping Faith.

They followed this with an old favourite, Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, which had the whole room joining in.

“Faith’s Song” (Amy Wadge) performed by Enid and Neil

Richard Ruthin enlisted the help of Mandolin Tom and Mark on bass for a set that included “You Never Can Tell”.

Having gone “Crazy”, Patsy Cline style, Cath Bryan became independently blue with Billie Holiday’s “Love Me or Leave Me”.

‘Mr Blues’, Brian Peters

But it was ‘Mr Blues’ himself, Brian Peters, who gave us the finale spot this week.

Brian became a one-man-band, playing guitar, slide resonator, stomp box, harmonica and yazoo. His sets included classics such as “Dust my Broom” by Elmore James, and he finished off with the 1930s Tommy Johnson song “Big Road Blues”.

We began this piece by talking about bread. So, in the immortal words of the bard, Bill Wagstaff, “If music be the food of love, play on”. ūüôā¬†

Which is exactly what we intend to do again next week.

 

March 29th Singers’ Night

By |April 2nd, 2018|0 Comments

Richard Davies

Sixteen minstrels meandered down to the function room at The Feathers Inn, to partake in the merriment of an AllStyles Music Night.

They came from all points of the compass. From the far reaches of Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay, Sunny Rhyl and Denbigh to the north; from The Wirral to the East; from Wrexham to the South; and from the wilds of Cyffylliog to the West.

There were even one or two of us Ruthinites thrown into the mix.

By the time the music started, the audience had swelled the numbers to almost double that, and it was our own Joe Lyon who got the proceedings underway in fine style.

Tom Degney

Multi Instrumentalist Tom
Tom Degney was instrumental in accompanying his good lady Lynda, and Richard Davies too, as well as flying solo on both guitar and banjo.

Cath Bryan provided the guitar accompaniment for both her own set and for that of Pete Kirkham, and we all became backing singers for Glyn Hudson, such is the chorus-rich nature of her chosen songs.

My own spot was followed by Peter Leslie’s, Andrew Bowsher’s, Bob Neale’s and Penni’s.

It was lovely to see young Tash Allcock returning for a second time with her sweet voice and ukulele style that belie her tender years.

Tash Allcock

New Faces
The new kids on the block this week were Mike and Rosa, who we have seen perform down at Rhyl Folk and Acoustic a time or two. The duo’s debut at Ruthin AllStyles went down a storm with Rosa singing in English, French and Portuguese.

Birkenhead’s John Williams paid us a welcome visit, en route to perform at the “Folk on the Farm” Easter Festival in Anglesey.

Armed with his cello mandolin, he brought what had been a superb evening to a close with the Stereophonics’ hit “Dakota”, much to the delight of Jayne, as it has been a favourite of hers ever since we first heard him play it at the Cross Keys a few years ago.

And so we leave you to consume your Easter Eggs and look forward to seeing you all again next Thursday when you can sing all those calories away on our next Singers’ Night.

Mike and Rosa

 

March 22nd Singers’ Night

By |March 25th, 2018|0 Comments

Peter Leslie

The evening began with a nice bit of finger-picking, James Taylor style, with a lovely cover of “You Can Close Your Eyes”, courtesy of Peter Leslie followed by one of his own songs, “The Potter’s Wheel”.

Colin Campbell was next up with Tracey Chapman’s “Fast Car”, and Geoff Hollis was really smokin‘ with¬† “If You Think You Know How to Love Me” by Smokie. It was good to see Geoff back at Ruthin and we wish his lovely wife Pam a speedy recovery following her ‘bionic’ operation. (I just want to know where he got the six million dollars from ūüėČ )

Another Geoff was next, this time of the Durno variety. We don’t see Geoff half often enough, but he is always welcome and always goes down well. Tonight was no exception as he gave us John Denver’s “This Old Guitar” and the Richard Digence song “Red Lights of Antwerp”.

Geoff Durno

I was in a Johnny Cash kind of mood, asking… “If I Were a Carpenter”, before going all Stevie Winwood with “Can’t Find My Way Home”.

Joe Lyon’s Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square, and then he honoured his recently departed fellow Liverpudlian, Ken Dodd, by singing the star’s first ever hit, “Love is Like a Violin”.

The Degneys of Rhos-on-Sea doffed a cap at Christy Moore, with Lynda singing “Ride On”, followed by the Reg Presley hit, “Love is all Around”. Then¬†Tom tooled-up with his banjo for a bit of American folk with “The Crawdad Song,”.

Tom remained on stage to accompany Richard Ruthin on the Delmore Brothers’ “Blues, Stay Away from Me”, before being dragged right out of his comfort zone, into the land of the Grateful Dead, as Richard sang the band’s 1970s hit, “Ripple”.

Robin Wynn-Jones

Robin the Busker opened his set with a contemporary cover of “Skin” by Rag and Bone Man, and then¬†brought the first half of the evening to a close in a more traditional vein with “The Fields of Athenry”, Dubliners’ style.

After the beer break we all ten of us each got another song in, and before you know it, it was finale time. The honours fell this week to Robin, who recruited Tom to accompany him on¬†“Copperhead Road”. And then by way of an encore it was Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” that had most of us joining in to provide a home-time earworm.

And do you know what… We’re going to do it all over again next week!¬†

See you there folks.

James Taylor’s You Can Close Your Eyes, sung by Peter Leslie

Invasion from the North

By |March 18th, 2018|0 Comments

Kevin Wardman

Well last week we had that beast from the East, John Brindley, descend from Wigan to entertain us, and what a great concert it was.

This week they all came forth from the North to make it yet another brilliant Singers Night.

Pretty much all the performers had travelled from somewhere north of The Feathers, except perhaps for the lovely Cath who’s Hillside retreat is a tad shy of West North West, and the equally lovely Mark Thatcher who lives just around the corner.

Brandon Ridley

This week’s long-distance award went to Tom and Linda Degney who rolled in from Rhos-on-Sea. We had some revellers from Rhyl, a squire from Ysceifiog, a crooner from Rhewl and a delegation from Denbigh.

And it was Sunny Rhyl’s Brandon Ridley who got the proceedings under way in fine style with a couple of numbers recently added to his repertoire including Colter Wall’s “The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie”.

Another Rhylite, Kevin Wardman gave us a brilliant rendition of the Tom Waits’ songs,¬† “Kentucky Avenue” and the quirky “What’s he Building in There”.

Peter Hodgson is a performer we’ve seen a few times at the Rhyl Folk and Acoustic Club. Tonight he was making his AllStyles debut with the Andrew Combs song, “Too Stoned to Cry”, and “Leave the Light on” by Chris Smithers.

Peter Hodgeson

Tickling the ivories on his electric piano, Bob Hall’s message was “Smile”, Nat King Cole style.

The Degneys did Tim O’Brien’s “Like I Used To Do” with Lynda on vocals and Tom showed off the latest instrument to emerge from his workshop – a rather tasty looking (and sounding) banjo upon which he played “Salt Creek”.

Bob Neale called upon his wife Penni to accompany him on the Fred Rose song “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, made famous by Willy Nelson. Then Penni flew solo with “When You Love Someone” (Bryan Adams) and that beautiful Emmylou Harris song “You’ll Never Be The Sun”.

It was Jerry Jeff Walker’s 76th birthday, so I marked the occasion by singing his best-known song, “Mr Bojangles”.

Tom Degney

“The White Cockade” and “The Curragh Of Kildare” were two traditional folk songs from Glyn Hudson.

Cath Bryan went all AÍď≠BA on us with “Winner Takes it All” and David Rees took us back to the 1970s with a double helping of Dr Hook.

Mark Thatcher began the finale spot with John Martyn’s “Spencer the Rover”, followed by a yet unnamed instrumental of his own doing, and ending on John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”.

And then, Tom Degney (of Rhos on Sea) gave us one final tune on his newly made banjo. It was one he’d written about his home town, aptly called “Rhos in C”.

 


“What’s He Building in There” – Kevin Wardman

 

The Show Must Go On (or was that – The SNOW Must Go On?)

By |March 2nd, 2018|1 Comment

“The snow’s not sticking” they said. “It will have stopped by 6.00pm” they said. The main roads will be fine” they said.

They, of course, being the weather forecasters.

“Don’t believe them” she said.

She, of course, being Jayne.

“It’ll be fine”, said I.

I, of course, was being over optimistic. Although by half seven, it looked like I might have been right, as Mark Thatcher walked in announcing he’d just driven down the Nant-y-Garth on his way back home to Ruthin. Then two minutes later Neil Martin arrives having driven in over the Clwyd Gate from the other side of Chester.

And then…

Then came the realisation that everyone else knew what we didn’t, and that the snow wasn’t going to stop and that the roads were going to be anything but fine.

So Jayne packed up the cakes she had put out for the charity evening and (quite literally) slid off home. But the PA was set up, the room was warm and the beer was wet, so Me, Mark and Neil settled down for what turned out to be a very enjoyable Jam Session.

Here are a few soundbites…

Click ‚Ėļ to listen to The Snowdrift Sessions ūüôā¬†


Next Week:
an intimate concert with the amazing and highly entertaining Jon Brindley. [Details]

 

February 22nd Singers’ Night

By |February 27th, 2018|0 Comments

The Amazing Clouds

The Amazing Clouds (Pete, Di and Dom) got the evening under way in grand style with some excellent self-penned songs.

Next up was¬†Fuchsia Jones. Because her first song, “I Am Sky” used alternative tuning, she asked if she could borrow a guitar for her next two songs, to save having to re-tune.

Fuchsia Jones

I offered mine. Fuchsia had never played a 12-string before, but after a quick strum, decided she quite fancied the challenge. And only after she’d flawlessly performed “Rambling Man”, did I realise I’d neglected to tell her it is tuned down two semitones. Whoops!

Lynda Degney and a banjo-wielding Tom bade us all “Ring the Bell”, before Tom took to the guitar to sing “Sally”.

Making his third or fourth visit to the club, Roy Charlesworth entertained us with the humorous “Dear Old Mountain Boy”, singing the verses alternately in a gruff auld redneck’s voice and a falsetto woman’s voice.

The “The Bonnie Lass O’ Bon Accord” was the first of Jim Cole’s Scottish themed set on his trusty fiddle.

Tash Allcock

Mark Thatcher recruited Stephen Croft as his backing vocalist as he performed his signature song “Ricky Don’t Lose that Number”.

Making her Ruthin AllStyles debut was Wrexham youngster Tash Allcock, whose ukulele skills and mature singing voice belied her 13 years. She performed “Goodbye Mr A” and “Rip Tide”, the first of which you can listen to on the soundbite below..

I resurrected the Otis Reading song “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” that was released exactly 50 years ago to the day. And¬†Andrew Bowsher entertained us on his dulcimer guitar.

David Rees was talking about you and me and the¬† “Games People Play”. He followed this with one of his own excellent songs “Stalemate”.

Click the ‚Ėļ to hear Goodbye Mr A, sung by Tash Allcock

Penni Neale

 

Finale Time
The end of the evening always seems to come too soon, but Penni Neale took us to that point with three lovely songs “I Shall be Released”, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”, finishing on that great Willy Nelson number “Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground”.
.



Next week:¬†¬†will be Singer’s Night as usual – but with added Cake!
As part of the Dementia UK’s “Time for Tea” campaign, all the tea/coffee money will be donated to help fund their ‘Admiral Nurse’ facility. We will have cakes for sale too.¬† ‚ĖļDetails


Love Was In The Air

By |February 19th, 2018|0 Comments

Valentines Day may well have come and gone but love was still very much in the air when it came to tonight’s song choices.

Mark Thatcher gave us that¬†Harry Nilsson number, lamenting about love lost, “Without You”.

Cath Bryan threw out the invitation;¬†‘Come on darling, lets go back to bed’ as she serenaded us all with “Morning Song” by the American singer-songwriter,¬†Jewel.¬†There were quite a lot of us, so Pete, fearing he might find a Crowded House, quickly responded with “Better be Home Soon” ūüėČ

Lynda Degney reminded us that on Valentines Day, “Everybody’s Reaching Out for Someone”, whilst Tom was lamenting about “Sally”.

Richard Davies reminisced about “Old Flames”, with that Dolly Parton country classic. And I gave Henry Priestman’s “Valentines Song” its annual airing, before declaring that “Black is the Colour of my True Love’s Hair”.

Choosing a number by The Stereophonics, Harri Owen wasn’t feeling particularly romantic tonight, but hey… “Maybe Tomorrow”.

Heavy Metal
Jim Cole was playing host to his pal Ray, from New Orleans, who was visiting Britain for a heavy metal fix. The pair were heading to That London to take in some concerts by Judas Priest and Black Sabath.

There was not much in the way of metal thrashing at Ruthin AllStyles, so Jim compensated by charging up his feisty fiddle with a touch of the “Cameron Highlanders” and “The Old Resting Chair”.

Man of many instruments,¬†Andrew Bowsher, introduced us to his new toy – a Weissenborn style (Hawaiian) lapsteel guitar. He played two of his own tunes, “Pay Day”, and “Weird and Lovely” followed by a weird and lovely story about meeting a ghost.

Glass Half Full
And so we were at the end of another lovely evening of music.

The room was at half its maximum capacity, not bad when you consider that a few people were away on romantic breaks and others in bed with (decidedly unromantic) bouts of The Flu. Nevertheless, nine of us managed to fit in up to four songs each Рplus a last minute contribution from a late-to-the-party, but always welcome, Harri Owen.

It was down to Tom Degney to have the last word, which he delivered on his ukulele, taking us on a dark journey to post-war Vienna, Harry Lime style, with the theme from “The Third Man”.


Next week:¬†Another Singer’s Night.

Advance Notice: On March 1st it will be Singer’s Night with Cake! As part of the Dementia UK’s “Time for Tea” campaign, all the tea/coffee money will be donated to help fund their ‘Admiral Nurse’ facility. We will have cakes for sale too.¬† ‚ĖļDetails


 

Nana Nana Nineteen

By |February 12th, 2018|0 Comments

Fuchsia Jones

Thirty-eight songs from nineteen performers in front of a gathering of twenty-nine.

All of which adds up to a splendid evening’s entertainment at the region’s number one venue for live folk and acoustic music.

The success of a club like ours is down to the sum of all its parts.

We are so lucky to have an enthusiastic core of regulars, and ‘fairly regulars’, who wholly embrace and warmly welcome the ‘occasionals’ (who might turn up once every few weeks or so) and most importantly, the ‘new faces’ too. And it is fascinating to witness the evolving migration between these groups.

Also, the fact we never know from one week to the next, who is going to come through the door wielding a guitar, is what adds variety and makes our Singer’s Nights so special.

Jayne and I always try to visit other clubs whenever we are away on our travels and are always grateful when we are made to feel welcome. Sadly, the opposite can be the case too.¬† There are times we’ve been practically ignored and on more than one occasion been made to feel we had gate-crashed someone’s private function.

Cath Bryan and Hannah Sherwood

AllStyles, All Welcoming
Hardly a week goes by without someone making their Ruthin AllStyles debut, and this week it was the turn of Hannah Sherwood, who had previously attended as a member of the audience a time or two, before deciding to take to the floor.

With guitar accompaniment by Cath Bryan, Hannah sang Amy Winehouse’s “You Know that I’m No Good” and Cindy Lauper’s “Time After Time”. (Click below for a couple of soundbites)

Cath was kept busy, also accompanying Pete Kirkham as he gave us some Sting and some Bread, before serving up her own set, having picked Cranberries and Dylan for her inspiration.

Steve Bailey

Back for More
A former ‘new face’ a few weeks back, Steve Bailey must also have felt welcome, because here he was making a second visit.

Singing traditional folk songs, a cappella style, Steve’s first offering was “Bonny Ship the Diamond”, followed by “The Dalesman’s Litany”.

Billy Brag’s “New England” was Fuchsia Jones’s first song. “Gossamer Thin” by¬†Conor Oberst, was her second. And I have to say, we are more than delighted to be used as a sounding board for the songs she will be singing at Rhyl Pavilion on March 15th when she has the support slot for Scottish band¬†Skerryvore.

It is lovely watching youngsters like Fuchsia in the first steps of their musical journey. And again, it is testament to the club that many fledgling musicians, whatever their age, feel they can get up and perform before our attentive and appreciative audience.

Like most weeks, the evening offered up an eclectic mix of folk, roots and Americana, and several impromptu collaborations with the likes of Mark Thatcher happy to be called upon to provide bass accompaniment, as was Tom with mandolin and dobro.

And it was with such a collaboration that we ended the evening, as Mark and Tom provided backing for Richard in the finale spot which featured songs by Tom Paxton, Richard Thompson,  and Don Williams.

It really is a rather special little musical community we have here in the function room at The Feathers.

Mark Thatcher, Richard Davies and Tom Degney

Tonight’s roll call.
Chris Birchall, Jim Cole, Glyn Hudson, Pete Kirkham, Steve Bailey, Fuchsia Jones, Bob and Penni Neale, Andrew Bowsher, Joe Lyon, Mark Thatcher, Cath Bryan, Hannah Sherwood, Lynda and Tom Degney, Robin the Busker, Enid Toft & Neil Wilkinson, Richard Davies.


Next week: Singer’s Night again.

Advance Notice: On March 1st it will be Singer’s Night with Cake! As part of the Dementia UK’s “Time for Tea” campaign, all the tea/coffee money will be donated to help fund their ‘Admiral Nurse’ facility. We will have cakes for sale too.¬† ‚ĖļDetails


White Rabbits

By |February 7th, 2018|0 Comments

It might sound like it could be the name of a band.  But no: It is apparently what I should have uttered as I awoke on Thursday morning to bring me luck for the rest of the day.

Luckily, I’m not superstitious (touch wood). Although, had I been confronted by a witch, I might have been tempted to throw a pinch of salt at them, swiftly followed by a well-aimed punch!

Anyway, all that first-of-the-month nonsense is just… well… nonsense.

I know this because despite not winning the Wednesday Roll-Over, I had a happy day and was lucky enough to spend Thursday evening in the company of some twenty-nine other lovers of live music in the function room at The Feathers.

Half of these were performers, and it was Penni who got things underway with a lovely version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”. Tom Degney gave us a medley of old favourites that included “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie”, and Lynda insisted that “The Answer is Blowing in the Wind”.

Joe Lyon sang “Woman”, Robin sang “Saved by a Woman”, and then Pete Kirkham gave a fine rendition of Neil Young’s “Old Man” accompanied by his woman, Cath, on guitar.

Cath later included “We Are Young”, by Fun, in a set delivered atop the wobbly chair.

Mark announced that his first song was “Your Song”, which we all know was actually Elton’s song, but nevertheless, he made it his own. Chris sang about “Wild Horses” and¬†Andrew Bowsher dedicated a guitar solo to his one-eyed dog.

Over the Moon
The previous night sky had featured a Blue Moon, which apparently only happens once in a… (you know what I’m saying). Anyway, it inspired Richard to sing “Blue Moon Turns to Gold”. Then our very own “Mr Blues”, Brian Peters, sang about how the ‘moon¬†peeks over the mountains’ in Clapton’s “Key to the Highway”. This week Brian augmented his fine bluesy guitar style with a well-crafted home-made stomp box.

It was great to welcome back young¬†Brandon Ridley, who sang “Hand me Down” and “T for Texas”. Brandon’s cowboy boots will be transporting him and his stetson to Theatr Clwyd’s next Folk N’ Roots event on March 2nd where he will be in the support slot alongside the Goat Roper Rodeo Band. A gig well worth attending, as I can testify, having seen the same line-up there last year.

New Faces
We always like to see new faces visiting our little club, and this week I was particularly delighted to welcome Wrexham’s¬†John Ramm and Danny Sergiou. At the end of the first half of the evening, the pair delivered a fine set comprising¬†Kris Drever’s “I Didn’t Try Hard Enough”, and the John Mayer song “Belief”.

But we couldn’t just leave it at that, so we brought them back on for the finale, when they sang Yellowcard’s “Paper Walls”, before ending the evening with a lovely version of Daniel Bedingfield’s “Wrap My Words Around You”.

All in all it was a fine start to February …and I reckon we should do it all over again next Thursday.