The Melancholic Moon

By |October 10th, 2017|0 Comments

It was as if the rising Harvest Moon had influenced everyone’s choice of songs tonight, with a mood that was pensive and songs that were reflective.

Ballads, it seems, were the order of the day, and there was a bumper harvest from the dozen AllStyles minstrels gathered before The Feathers function room audience.

Colin Campbell got the evening underway with Bob Dylan’s “Workingman’s Blues”, followed by some equally fine ballads from Cath Bryan, Glyn Hudson, Bob & Penni Neale, Joe Lyon and Chris Birchall.

There was a Scottish flavour to the reflective fiddle tunes from Jim Cole, and accompanying himself on the keyboard, Bob Hall acknowledged the changing season with a fine set that included “Autumn Leaves”.

Lynda Degney went all wild west sporting a stetson on her tee shirt and a pair of silver earrings in the shape of cowboy boots. Together with her husband Tom, they rounded up some Americana and Bluegrass.

And finally, Richard Davies dished up a fine helping of R&B to send us home with.

Reminder…
Merry Hell will be performing at the club in just five weeks time (November 16th).

Only 50 tickets are available and these concerts always sell out, so it will be a tickets only event. (www.wegottickets.com)

Members concession tickets can only be purchased at The Feathers on a club night – and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Bye Bye Summer

By |September 25th, 2017|0 Comments

Jez McCann

Yes, with this week’s Singers’ Night being on the eve of the Equinox, it was the last of the Summer. Hello ‘Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness’.

And hello too, to a season of  musical fruitfulness, which was off to a good start with eighteen performers providing a harvest of lovely mellow sounds to a captive audience of forty in the function room of The Feathers.

We were served a surfeit of solos from seasoned regulars, Glyn Hudson, Tom and Lynda Degney, Chris Birchall, Joe Lyon, and Richard and Wendy Eastwood.

“In Christ there is no East or West – Andrew Bowsher”.

Andrew Bowsher

In addition, there were delectable duets from Bob and Penni Neale, Enid Toft and Neil Wilkinson, and Harry Robertson accompanied by John Bass.

The latter two were then joined by the rest of the Tom, Dick & Harry band, Richard Davies and Tom Degney, who ploughed on with a helping of Americana.

Jeff Jones arrived unarmed, so we thrust my 12-string into his hands. It was nice for me to hear how it sounded ‘out front’ after having its frets dressed by luther Harry Miller.

David Rees

Then Jez McCann entertained with her lovely soft vocals and soothing guitar style.

Almost every week there is a new face in the performance area, and this was no exception. Andrew Bowsher performed three terrific instrumentals, including the Bert Jansch/Davey Graham tune, “Angie”, which went down really well. Best of all, he’s just moved to live in the area, so we will no doubt be seeing him again.

And as the Equinox approached ever nearer, David Rees stepped up for the finale spot with an excellent triptych of covers, including Procol Harum’s ‘Homburg’ to send us on our merry way.

Next week:

Anthony John Clark (plus floor spots) £4 (usual concession for regulars). There should be tickets available on the door – or you can book on line to be sure: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/414348

Sweet Sixteen

By |September 19th, 2017|0 Comments

Sam Moorcroft

Twenty six through the door, sixteen of whom provided the sweet sound of music, covering folk, country, americana, blues – and even a bit of good ole rock n’ roll.

Richard Ruthin started off in the sixties with the Searchers song “Every Time That You Walk in The Room”. More of our regulars followed, with some Tom Paxton and Ry Cooder from Bob Neale and Penni leading us up the “Stairway to Heaven”.

Chris broke the “Sound of Silence”, having brought his trusty auld EKO out for a rare airing. Lynda Degney sang “California”, and there was an instrumental interlude from Tom Degney on his magic mandolin.

Bob Hall was tickling the ivories once again this week with the Everley Brothers favourite “Let it Be Me”, and Rod Stewart’s “Don’t Wanna Talk About It”.

Colour coordinated Caz Orton

Harri Owen and Oli Bradley Hughes rocked up with “Hitting the Road” (written by Oli). Both are members of the recently formed local band ‘Clwydian Rangers’. Because we can’t accommodate drum kits in the function room at The Feathers, we’d not met their drummer, Sam Moorcroft. Tonight he came anyway – armed with a guitar, and played a fine set that included his cover of the latest song from ‘Rag n’ Bone Man’, entitled “I’m a Human”.

Another first timer, making her Ruthin AllStyles debut, was Caz Orton. She opened her set with a lovely song she’d written for a friends wedding.

Two guys we don’t see enough of are Alan Wilkins and Mark Thatcher, respectively drummer and bassist in ‘The Alibis’. They too had acoustic guitars as their weapons of choice tonight. Alan opened with a cover of a song by Canadian singer Ron Sexton and Mark Thatcher gave us “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number”, in  honour of Steely Dan’s Walter Becker who died recently.

Raphael Callaghan

Raphael Calaghan plays harmonica with the Tom, Dick and Harry band, and we had a taste of  both that and his guitar for his solo floor spot. First two of his own compositions, “Denim” and “Too Much Rain” followed by a tasty cover of “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”.

The end of the evening was approaching, and tonight Matthew… David Rees became Madonna with the song from Evita, “Another Suitcase In Another Hall”, followed by one of his own excellent songs “Normal Service”.

The finale spot this week fell to Joe Lyon who gave us a lovely cover of  “Postcard from London”, and “A Place in the Sun”. And for an encore, what better to end the evening, than Blue Murder’s “The Goodnight Song”.

 

 

A Perfect Ten

By |September 14th, 2017|0 Comments

Chris Birchall

The actual at-ten-dance was 23, not bad for the first week of September which according to the club’s history books, traditionally has a lower than usual turn-out.

I don’t know why that should be. Maybe it’s the ‘back to school’ thing for kids and grandkids. Maybe it’s because some folks are still away grasping at a last minute summer holiday. Or maybe it’s that transition thing, between Summer and the Autumn, when we all adjust to normality after all the summer shenanigans.

Ten Performers
Nevertheless we had ten performers who provided a great evening’s entertainment in the function room at The Feathers.

Multi-instrumentalist Tom Degney

I kicked things off with some Eagles and some Steve Earl, followed by Lynda Degney with “Don’t You Believe” by Don Williams. It was hard to believe that he, the ‘Gentle Giant’ of Country Music was to die the following day aged 78.

After accompanying Lynda on guitar, Tom took up his ukulele and sang a fine medley.

Having revealed his singing voice the week before, Bob Hall performed a fine set; singing this week to his own piano accompaniment and opening with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.

Richard Eastwood gave us some Elvis; and Wendy some Patsy Cline; before Glyn Hudson had us all singing along to the “Sleepless Sailor”.

Squeezbox Mike Clark

New Faces
Squeezebox Mike was making his debut appearance at Ruthin AllStyles. Hailing from Llangollen, the highly entertaining Mike Clark is a member of the town’s GlaasWalkers Folk Band, and tonight enlisted the assistance of a couple of audience members, handing out a triangle and a shaker for some percussive accompaniment.

Then Penni Neale acknowledged the changing of the seasons with Ron Kavana’s “Reconciliation”, followed by “The Nearness of You”

The nearness of the evening’s end was nigh, and having knocked our socks off during the first half with his phenomenal guitar skills, we’d decided that the finale spot should go to Owen Chamberlain.

Milestones by Owen Chamberlain

Owen Chamberlain

Formerly of Ruthin but now living in Rossett, Owen was making his very first appearance at the club. And what a fine young singer/songwriter he is. Three of his songs were his own originals, including his latest “Milestones” (which you can hear on the track above), and a forth that had been written by his sister Helen.

We couldn’t let him go without an encore, and for this he chose Bob Dylan’s “Tambourine Man”, which had the whole room joining in for the choruses.

We’d performed up to four songs each, and the whole evening got a ten out of ten from all in attendance. And as we tentatively tend to say on these occasions: Let’s do it all again next week.

Bob Hall

Singers’ Night – August 31st

By |September 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Just a short write-up this week, due to the fact Jayne and I took ourselves off to the Yorkshire Dales for a short break.

Not that you can get far away from Ruthin AllStyles. We were just getting back to the car after sampling the cheesy delights of the Wensleydale Creamery, and who walks up but Neil Wilkinson. It wasn’t just a case of “All The Car Parks In All The World…” but we discovered that he and Mary had been staying in the very same village of Ingleton as us the night before.

Sweet Sixteen
It was a lively and varied evening which was kicked-off by the Tom, Dick and Harry Band – plus John Bass, of course.

Sixteen of us in all, playing to a room of twenty four. There were the usual suspects, plus a couple of faces returning after a short absence. Notably, Jim Cole with his fiddle full of Scottish jigs, and Rhyl’s Colin Masterson (above)  – on guitar rather than his usual ukulele.

Then there was a new face – at least at the business end of the microphones. Bob Hall (right) has been a frequent visitor in recent months, quietly sitting at the back of the room, taking it all in. But we found out this week, he’d been hiding a damn good voice under his bushel.

First he gave a fine performance of the Joan Baez classic, “There but for Fortune”, with yours truly on guitar, followed by and equally fine a-cappella version of Ivor Emmanual’s “My Little Welsh Home”.

Move That Thing by Ron McSweeney

The long distance award this week went to Harry’s friend Ron McSweeney (left) who was making his annual pilgrimage from Nottingham. Ron always makes a point of making an appearance at the club, and always delights us with his songs and lovely guitar style.

The finale spot was given over to Penni, who was joined at the end by Wendy and Richard for a delightful rendition of that lovely Welsh ballad “Calon Lân”, sung a-cappella and with the most beautiful harmonies. (Click below)

Calon Lân – Wendy, Richard and Penni

Roll Call

Bob and Penni Neale
Jim Cole
Lynda and Tom Degney
Peter Leslie
Colin Masterson
Joe Lyon
Glyn Hudson
Harry Robertson
Richard Ruthin
John Rowell
Richard and Wendy Eastwood
Chris Birchall
Bob Hall
Ron McSweeney

Collaborations Galore

By |August 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Richard Jones

It was an evening of collaborations, mostly impromptu, and mostly involving Hawarden harmonica player Phil Bradley, who ended up being worked pretty damn hard considering this was the first time he’d visited the club.

Richard Jones, also from Hawarden, opened up the evening with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”. There was no piano in the room so ‘Harmonica Man’, Phil Bradley stepped up to accompany Richard, and to provide backing vocals too.  The whole thing had a nice “Peaceful Easy Feeling” about it – which just happened to also be the title of Richard’s next number.

Then we were treated to a bit of Hendrix from Jeff Jones, which he followed up with Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny”.

Lynda Degney enlisted her husband Tom to accompany her on guitar, and started ‘Killing him Softly With Her Song’. But then Tom wooed her back with a “Little Georgia Rose”.

Phil Bradley

The Sound of Bread was on David Rees’ menu as he sang the beautiful song “Diary” off that album. And you’ve guessed it… with ‘harmonica man’ Phil Bradley joining in on what was a last-minute collaboration. Then, in a magnificent display of musicianship, Phil accompanied David on a song he most definitely had not even heard before as it was David’s most recent original, “Normal Service”.

We kept Phil on stage for his solo spot, dishing up a serving of Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Richardson. Phil, who hails from Hawarden, had by now given up all hope of having a quiet sit down, as he was kept busy throughout the evening with more and more musicians requesting he join them.

One such was Peter Leslie, who had in fact teamed up with Phil in the past. After singing James Taylor’s “You Got a Friend”, Peter enlisted his friend Phil to accompany him on a lovely version of Peter’s own song “The Island”.

After some Tom Waits and Doctor Hook from me, Joe Lyon took to the stage with Donovan’s “Try For The Sun” and Beatles classic “Strawberry Fields”.

Terry Allen

It was good to welcome Wrexham musician Terry Allen again, for what must be his third or fourth visit. Choosing songs a little on the dark side, as befitting his husky, gravelly voice, Terry sang Neil Young’s “Love and War” followed by Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave is Kept Clean”.

The second half of the evening began with a spot of “Fire and Rain” from Richard Jones and Phil Bradley. Then Cath Bryan reminded us that “We Are Young” (you speak for yourself Cath!!).

Following her set, Cath remained to accompany Pete Kirkham for a beautiful cover of Glen Hansard’s “Falling Slowly” from the film ‘Once’, which you can hear by clicking below.

Richard Ruthin took us for a trip on the legendary train, the “City of New Orleans”, with our new resident harmonica layer on board of course.

Richard and Wendy Eastwood duetted a tribute to Glen Campbell in the finale spot with “And then I Kissed Ya”, and Dream Lover”. Then for the finale, Wendy sent us all home with “Sweet Dreams”.

Wendy and Richard Eastwood

It’s Show-Time!

By |August 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

The nice thing about holding our music nights on a Thursday is that the pub is usually quiet, with little more than distant laughter and a bit of banter filtering down the corridor into the function room.

…except on Denbigh and Flint Show Day!

And who can blame them. After a long muddy day in the company of sheep and tractors, all they want to do is party party party!

Maybe we should consider an alternative strategy for the August 2018 show day. Ideas on a virtual postcard please 🙂

Despite the shenanigans during the last hour and the crush at the bar, we had a fine evening (albeit with the PA having to be cranked a little higher than our normal sedate settings), with a round dozen performers playing to a comfortably full room.

Plane Sailing
With his wonderful baritone voice, so reminiscent of that great country singer, Richard Eastwood’s set list acknowledged the fact Jim Reeves was born on this day 93 years ago. Jim Reeves, of course, was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1964.

With a sweet voice an octave or two higher than her husband’s, Wendy Eastwood gave us a lovely set of songs by Patsy Cline, who also died in a plane crash.

Next up was Joe Lyon with a great cover of “Starwood in Aspen” by John Denver, who…  Hang on, where is all this going?

I was up next, and so I resisted the temptation to keep the theme going with a Buddy Holly number, and opted instead for  “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, who I strongly advise should stick to travelling by boat and by train.

Richard Ruthin was joined by Tom Degney on dobro to produce some good ole country music, with Wendy providing lovely harmonies on “Heartaches by the Number”.

Tom then sang his “Dr Jaz” medley before accompanying Lynda on the Richard Marx song “Hazard”.

Peter Leslie brought along his 12-string, which fitted the bill admirably for his cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”, as well as his own song “The Busker” and Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”.

An Abergele trio comprising Gaz, Hade and Dave were making their second visit to Ruthin AllStyles. Last time they were a band with no name, so we called them GHD. Tonight they turned up as ‘Top Notch’ and gave us “Harvest Moon”, “Gangsters” and Hawkwind’s “Quark, Strangeness And Charm”.

Sheffield musician Alan Gill was making his Feathers debut, although he had played at the club a few years back, when we were at The Cross Keys. For his first set, he sang George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” and Tracy Chapman’s “Baby I Can Hold You”.

Following the beer break we went around again with one more song each, after which we brought Alan back for the finale spot with a fine helping of Ralph McTell, including “The Hiring Fair” and “Let Me Down Easy”.

It was 11.00pm and we all drifted home, far from the madding crowd, resisting the temptation to join the karaoke and disco antics ’till 2.00am, through in the main bar.

I must be feeling my age! 😉

 

 

Long Time No See

By |August 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Brandon Ridley

We are very lucky at Ruthin AllStyles, in that we have a core group of regulars who turn up every two or three weeks (some every single week!) and a good number who come to perform for us once in a while. It’s what makes Singers’ Nights so interesting, with lots of variety. No two weeks are ever the same.

This week was full of “long time no see” moments as the guitar-wielding visitors began flooding through the doors.

One such person was young Brandon Ridley from Rhyl, with a new white stetson on his head and some new home-grown music in his fingers, including “Slap That Jukebox”, a song he wrote whilst away on holiday after watching somebody carry out that very procedure 🙂

Then there was Alex and Matt. Lovely to see them again, which doesn’t happen half as often as we’d like, since they emigrated south of the Horseshoe Pass. Alex opened their set with the Kacey Musgraves song “Die Fun”, and Matt sang Jace Everett’s “Bad Things”.

Terry Allen

Making his third visit to the club, was Wrexham’s Terry Allen.  A great entertainer with a wry sense of humour, the songs he writes take a sideways look at life. Tonight he sang “The Grip is Strong” and “Coming Back From the Dead”

The long-distance award this week went to the quintessentially quirky Karen White, who makes a special point of popping in to entertain us every year when she is over from Australia. Sporting a new 12-string, Karen treated us to three songs, including “Don’t Stand too Close to the Window” by Paul Kelly, and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. If you want to hear more, her CD, By Request, is available from Karen’s website.

There was one new face at the business end of the microphones this week. It belonged to Pete Kirkham, a friend of Cath Bryan, who played guitar as he sang a lovely cover of “The Rhinestone Cowboy” as a tribute to Glen Campbell who sadly passed away this week.

‘Lon Rangers’ Oli and Harri

It was a fabulous full evenings entertainment, with more variety than you could shake a stick at, from no fewer than twenty performers, and with almost double that number in the room.

It had begun with the rocky, gravelly, sounds of Clwydian Rangers Harry Owen and Oli Bradley-Hughes, and it fell to Peter Leslie to take us up to the evening’s end with three melodic and gentle ballads: His own “The Potters Wheel”, and Australian anti-drug song “The Wasteland” and then, for an encore, he sang a lovely cover of “Paul Simon’s Kathy’s Song”.

The Evening’s Roll Call

Lynda Degney
Tom Degney
Joe Lyon
Chris Birchall
Richard Davies
Brandon Ridley
Enid Toft & Neil Wilkinson
Penni Neale
Harri Owen & Oli Bradley-Hughes
Alex and Matt
Pete with Cath Bryan
Karen White (the quirky one)
Glyn Hudson
Terry Allen
Brian Peters
Peter Leslie


Singers’ Night August 3rd

By |August 9th, 2017|0 Comments

They came from near and far. From Ruthin to Rhos-on-Sea, from Wrexham to Reading. Oh yes… and from Spain too!

Penni Neale got things underway, leading us up the “Stairway to Heaven”, and Jim Cole led us back down again in a jiggy fashion, dancing to the tune of his fiddle.

We had some Americana from Richard Davies, Lynda assured us she was “No Stranger to the Rain” and Tom Degney sang about “The Newsboy Jimmy Brown”.

Glyn Hudson had the whole room singing along with her in a little comic ditty “Shisht”, and Ray Davies fan, Joe Lyon, brought us bang up to date with the former Kinks’ front man’s recent release, “Americana”.

In the the words of The Eagles, Chris advised us to “Take it Easy”, whilst Richard Eastwood had the “Folsom Prison Blues”

In addition to a couple of his own songs, one being his latest, about a potter’s wheel, Peter Leslie paid homage to James Taylor with a fabulous cover of “Fire and Rain”

Next up was Sweeney, with a voice reminiscent of Joan Baez. She was joined for one of her songs by her friend Anna, who is visiting from Spain. I apologised for our weather, but Anna said she was enjoying it! How cool is that! (if you get my meaning 🙂 Together they performed a cover of Damien Rice’s “Nine Crimes”. You can listen to the soundbite below.

Mike Bostock hails from Reading and visits the club whenever he and his good lady are in North Wales on a walking/rambling holiday. By a strange coincidence, we also had a new audience member turn up this week who had just moved from Reading to live in the town. ‘Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…” and all that 🙂

Mike’s first song was a cover of “The Hangman and the Papist” by Dave Cousins of The Strawbs. He followed this with a Show of Hands number “The Galway Farmer”.

It fell to Mike to take us up to the end of the evening. And he did so in grand style with a lovely version of Annie Lennox’s “Into The West”. And then for an encore, one of his own songs inspired by a true story that he’d researched after stumbling across an inscription on a gravestone in Eastbourne.

 

Candlelight, Cake, Chords and Choruses

By |August 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

It was some auld git’s birthday, so there was cake. Lots of it. Which was just as well, as there were over forty gannets in the room. Almost half of these were Performing Gannets, so there was also plentiful serving of music.

And, as is obligatory for a Ruthin AllStyles Music Night, there was lots of fun too.

Some of the usual suspects were there, of course. Joe Lyon, Tom and Lynda Degney, David Rees, and Peter Leslie, all contributed a wonderful mixture of covers and self penned songs to the summer evening gathering.

Ron Stevenson

It had fallen to Pete and Di to get things off to a rip-roaring start with their special blend of vocals, flute and guitar, and then later in the evening, they challenged us to a “Name That TV Theme Tune” segment which went down well with the knowledgeable audience.

Ron (from Wrexham) Stevenson put in his two-penneth. Well… a Five Penny Piece worth actually. And then Jim Cole was a merry old soul as he called for his fiddlers three. They didn’t hear him, so instead he treated us to some fine Scottish jigs himself.

John Williams

The maker of the delicious birthday cake, Glyn Hudson, had everyone singing along with some traditional folk ditties, plus the (embarrassing for the recipient) traditional birthday song.

Then it was the beer break, during which the cake was cut, the raffle was called, and luthier extraordinaire Harry Miller told a witty tale or two.

In the second half, Wirral’s John Williams treated us to some fine stuff on his cello mandolin, and Jayne in particular, was delighted that his set included the Stereophonics hit, Dakota. And he had the whole room singing along to Wagon Wheel.

Dawn and Alan Hesford, aka Arora, descended to spread some Sunny Rhyl sunshine on the evening with a helping of Take That, Simon & Garfunkel and Joni Mitchell.

Chester Weiss and John Bass

In the finale spot this week was the recently formed duo, Chester Weiss and John Bass.

These guys have been pretty busy on the folk and festival circuit in recent weeks, and after hearing them tonight, we can see why.

It was a great way to end a great evening of merriment. And on a personal level,  I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who made it so memorable. You made a happy man very old 😉


Dawn and Alan Hesford