Trans-Atlantic Hook-up

By |December 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Gary Edward Jones in New York’s Time Square

So how cool was that…? Having Gary Edward Jones join us for our Singers’ Night – all the way from Times Square in New York!

As many of you will know, Gary is touring his fantastic “Something About Simon” show as part of the “Fringe Encore” in New York this week following the show’s successful month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

This Thursday, he took a break from an afternoon of sightseeing (which included merry-making with Minny Mouse and Spiderman) to phone us during our mid-evening break at The Feathers, when we were able to chat with him over the PA system. This delighted our audience and was an extra treat for the week’s birthday boy John Parry and birthday girl Jayne Birchall.

Wow. Isn’t technology wonderful. I can still remember the days when my Mum and Dad would have to book an expensive five-minute trans-Atlantic telephone call months in advance. Now it can be done at the drop of a hat whilst walking arm in arm with a Disney character 3,298 miles across the ocean.

Sell-out Shows
The intrepid Scouser turned Ruthinite has been playing to sell-out audiences all week which, it seems, have included some VIPs of the music world. I can’t say too much at this stage but it does sound as though these performances at the New York Soho Playhouse could well be just the start of Gary’s ‘American Tune’.

Revival’s Pete Kirkham and Dave Moore

As for the ‘Ruthin Tunes’, these were aplenty with songs from a pair of Robins, from Richard Ruthin and his out-of-town friends, from half of Chester’s boy band Revival, from the ever-present Degney Duo and from songbirds Neale and Toft.

Plus, of course, many solo performances from the likes of Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Cath Bryan, and from Steve Juckes-Hughes, who played us out at the end of what was a super evening.

This Thursday is our Christmas Knees-up – a Singers’ Night with a bun fight.

The club is laying on a surfeit of sarnies and a mountain of mince pies but if you feel you’d like to contribute something to the buffet table, do bring along a small offering of nibbles – but nothing that requires cooking. 🧁

Bring your instruments and maybe a Christmas song or two. Fancy Dress/Silly Hats optional.

Please note the earlier start of 7.30pm.

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November 28th Singers’ Night

By |December 4th, 2019|0 Comments

Ian Wooley, Richard Davies and Tom Degney

The function room at The Feathers was host to another great night of music, with eleven musicians performing solo and in various impromptu collaborations.

Penni and Tom

It was Ian Wooley who got the evening off to a start, later joining Tom Degney and Richard Ruthin, prompting a touch a déjà vu as I introduced them as the Tom, Dick and Ian band.

Tom, of course, performed with his good lady, Lynda, as well as Joining Penni Neale on his trusty dobro. And Penni, in turn, followed up by accompanying Enid Toft both on her guitar and with some lovely backing harmonies.

Catrin Francis

It was nice to welcome Catrin Francis back to the club. She said she wasn’t going to sing tonight – but we were having none of that – and she provided us with some lovely Acappella songs.

Glyn Hudson, Joe Lyon and that Birchall bloke were all flying solo.

Having just eleven acts meant we all had a second spot after the mid-evening break to entertain the two dozen audience in the room.

Robin Spreckley

Finale Time
Then it was down to the irrepressible Robin Spreckley to take us up to the close with some of his home-grown songs, that are very much a window on the world and its present political climate.

Next Thursday, the 5th of December, is another Singers’ Night.

I have a feeling it might be a busy one, so arrive early to get your name down for a floor spot.

Music is the Icing on the Cake

By |November 27th, 2019|0 Comments

The evening began well, with Joe Lyon leading the way for ten musicians to serve-up two songs each in the first half.

Then, after those twenty tasty tunes, things got even sweeter as cake was served during the break to the strains of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.

The blower-out of candles was Jim who was celebrating seventy years on the planet, the most recent of them as a regular attendee of the Ruthin AllStyles Music Nights, together with his wife Barbara. The couple discovered the club shortly after moving into the area a couple of years ago and have become loyal supporters, hardly missing a club night since.

Jim is a keen walker and this was reflected in the decoration conjured-up by our resident singing pâtissier, Glyn Hudson. It was a work of art almost too good to cut into but all twenty sweet-toothed people in the room were glad we did.

Another song each in the second half proved that you can have your cake and eat it too. There was some tasty teamwork, with Linda Griffith providing harmonies for her brother Alan Thompson and with the two Robins perching at the microphones for a chirpy collaboration.

This week’s line-up: Joe Lyon, Robin Spreckley, Robin the Busker, Geoff Durno, Chris Birchall, Glyn Hudson, Pete Kirkham, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Alan Thompson and Linda Griffiths.

Remember Remember the 7th of November…

By |November 12th, 2019|0 Comments

Cath Bryan

There was no trace of gunpowder, no treason (unless you count the odd Boris quip) but we did plot to make our music night go with a bang.

Following a day of incessant rain, our music night could have turned into a damp squib but our regulars were having none of that, with a dozen musicians turning up to brighten the night sky, plus a goodly number of audience making for a comfortably full room at The Feathers Inn.

We lit the blue touch paper at 8.00pm sharp with Catherine Wheel Bryan sending us into a spin, after which there was an impressive display from the likes of Richard (the rocket) Davies, and roman candles Pete Kirkham, Geoff Durno and Mike Whittaker.

Enid Toft and Penni Neale lit up the sky with some lovely harmonies and Robin (the sparkler) Spreckley almost set his mandolin on fire delivering some meaningful tunes.

There followed, a fountain of melody from Joe Lyon and some fine fortissimo from fire-crackers Tom and Lynda.

Well, I think I’ve run out of puns, so I’ll stop banging on now.

Yours truly.
Bonfire Birchall

Next week – the main guy will be non-other than Phil Bates.
But please note that this concert is now sold out and we do, I’m afraid, have to keep to the maximum numbers allowed in the room. So if you didn’t grab a ticket when you had the chance, we’ll see you at the next Singers’ Night which is November 21st.

 

Twenty-One Today

By |November 6th, 2019|0 Comments

Bill Malkin and John Sylvester

What I mean by that is, there were twenty-one singers today.

There was indeed a birthday celebration, however, although not a twenty-first because it was exactly twenty-three years ago, to the very day, that Ruthin AllStyles Music Club was founded.

The then Feathers Folk Club was started in the very same room by Llinos and Campbell Finnie on October 31st 1996, changing its name to Ruthin Folk Club after a few short months and moving on to what turned out to be a string of alternative venues before coming back to The Feathers in January 2015. You can read more about its history here.

With a room that was comfortably full with an audience of thirty-two, the opening spot, for both halves of the evening, fell to Chester musician Bill Malkin and his friend John Sylvester, from Aberystwyth. It was Bill’s second appearance at the club and first time for pianist John with whom he performs as a duo.

Alan Wilkins

There followed a string of excellent performances from a number of our faithful regulars, old and relatively new.

Local musician Alan Wilkins Joined us for what was his third appearance at our current venue, and from further afield, Bill Hackwell made a return visit whilst on a short break in Ruthin. Back in the July of last year, Bill was one of four walkers who looked us up whilst on a stop-over during a hike along the length of Offa’s Dyke,

It was good to see (and hear) John Evans again too. He came along tonight with his former ‘Red Hill’ bandmate Alan Thompson, who also entertained us with a floor spot.

John Evans

Bob Hall was back in a-cappella mode after a few weeks absence, as was violinist Jim Cole.

John Williams too. This Wizard of The Wirral is always a welcome addition to our music nights with his home-grown compositions sung to the accompaniment of his cello mandolin or his tenor guitar.

And as the evening was drawing to a close, we called upon Neil Martin to provide us with a dose of Leonard Cohen before he heads off to spend the winter months touring France in his campervan.

We wish him Bon Voyage.


Jayne and Chris get scary for the Halloween Music Night

This week’s roll call: Richard Ruthin, Enid Toft, Penni Neale, Lynda and Tom Degney, Bill Hackwell, Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, John Williams, Bill Malkin and John Sylvester, Dave Ryder, Alan Wilkins, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Jim Cole, John Evans, Richard Eastwood, Pete Kirkham, Bob Hall, Alan Thompson, Neil Martin.

 

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Singers’ Night October 24th

By |October 30th, 2019|0 Comments

Jane and John Bass

Geoff Hollis

It was another busy night at the club – not least for John Bass and Tom Degney.

Both, of course, feature in the Tom, Dick and Harry band but John also appeared in his duo mode with Jane for some lovely ‘wind and bass’ numbers and Tom was alongside Lynda for her set. But also they were both as obliging, as always, when asked to accompany several other performers on the night.

Geoff Hollis made a welcome return, following a summer of festival-going, and it was lovely to hear Enid singing again with Penni providing the accompaniment.

It was a full evening with a fine mix of styles and genre from the fifteen performers and the Tom, Dick and Harry band who gave us a grand send-off at the end of the evening with a rousing version of the Travelling Wilburys classic, “End Of The Line”.

Tonight’s Roll-Call: Lynda and Tom Degney, Chris Birchall, Glyn Hudson, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Jane and John Bass, Robin Spreckley, Neil Martin, Geoff Hollis, Joe Lyon, Enid Toft, Penni Neale, Tom, Dick & Harry with John Bass.

Another late finish

By |October 23rd, 2019|2 Comments

The function room at The Feathers was comfortably full and with no fewer than twenty-seven performers a wide and eclectic range of musical styles, the promise of a wonderful evening’s entertainment was well and truly fulfilled.

On occasions when we get these kinds of numbers, however, we might have to implement some sort of ‘first come first served’ system where the later arrivals get to do just the one song, to keep within the terms of the venue’s live music licence. Not to mention the fact many of us have to be up for work the following morning.

A core group of our regulars provided everything from Contemporary Folk to Blues to Country. Our quirky friend Karen White provided a helping of Kirsty McCall songs on what was her second visit this year before heading back to Australia, and it was good to see Geoff Durno back, making his first public appearance since his operation,

Mike Kendrick rode in on his “Llanfairfechan Horse”, and Skeet was kept busy providing accompaniment for Glyn Hudson and also for Deborah Jackson who sang a brand new song co-written by Skeet and herself. Alan Thompson also introduced us to a brand new self-penned song “Firebird”.

On what was their first visit to Ruthin AllStyles, we were delighted to welcome, from the North Wales Coast, Neil and Shereen and their bassist Alan. They gave us lovely covers of songs by Aretha Franklin and Paul Simon and also said some nice things about our lovely club.

Bluegrass was very much to the fore when another band made their Ruthin AllStlyes debut. Although Jules Pellatt has appeared here a few times, he was joined this time by Tony, Richard and Johnny, collectively known as the Helsby Mountain String Band.

When the time eventually came for the finale spot, it was Gary Edward Jones who stepped to the mic. His first song was one of his own, “Walk You Home”, which he followed up with the most amazing version of the Rod Stewart classic, “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It”, in the style of Jack Johnson. (below)

If you want another helping of Gary, he is doing a concert at Rhyl Folk and Acoustic’s new venue in Llanddulas next Friday (October 25th) and then on November 30th he brings his “Something About Simon” show to Denbigh’s Theatr Twm or Nant.

Tonight’s Roll Call: Richard Ruthin, Vicky Riley, Richard Eastwood, Geoff Durno, Lynda and Tom Degney, Neil Martin, Dave Ryder, Glyn Hudson, Helsby Mountain String Band (Jules Pellatt, Tony, Richard and Johnny), Karen White (the quirky one), Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Pete Kirkham, Cath Bryan, Skeet and Deborah, Paul Riley, Neil and Shereen with Alan on Bass, Mike Kendrick, Alan Thompson and Gary Edward Jones.

A Baker’s Dozen

By |October 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Thirteen musicians were the recipe for another great evening of music at the Feathers.

There were several collaborations. Cath accompanied Pete, who in turn accompanied Cath.

Penni was kept busy accompanying, in turn, Enid, Neil Martin and Robin Spreckly. And as always, Tom was on hand to accompany Richard, Lynda of course, and anyone else who might welcome the sound of his banjo, mandolin or dobro.

The full line-up for the evening was: Pete Kirkham, Dave Ryder, Penni Neale, Enid Toft, Lynda and Tom Degney, Jim Cole, Chris Birchall, Cath Bryan, Robin Spreckley, Joe Lyon, Richard Ruthin, Neil Martin.

Click the ► below to hear the lovely song written by Cath Bryan which got its first public airing.

Don’t forget, Next Thursday (Oct 10th) we have a concert by Anthony John Clarke. The evening will start at the slightly earlier time of 7.30 pm with a round of floor spots. Just £4 on the door (regulars get their usual concession)

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness…

By |October 1st, 2019|0 Comments

Peter Leslie

We may not have had any Keats, nor even any spoken poetry at all for that matter, but we did herald the coming of Autumn with some wonderful music.

There was the usual broad range of covers from folk and country greats such as Dylan, Cash, Kristofferson and Jerry Jeff Walker – all poets in their own right.

Of course, we are lucky to have some exceptionally talented local songwriters amongst our regulars.

Peter Leslie opened both halves of the evening with songs he wrote on his favourite beaches in Create, “Gazing out to Sea” and “Sea of Clouds”.

Richard Eastwood

Alan Thompson gave us a song he co-wrote called “Julie”, Robin Spreckley delivered a home-grown protest song called “Taken for a Ride” that reflects the current political situation, and Neil Martin gave a first public airing to one of his own beautiful and heart-rending songs “Lies”.

Together with band members Tom and Richard, Harry Robertson got feet a-tapping with his upbeat “High High High” and then in contrast, the lovely melodic waltz-time song, “When I Danced With You” for the finale spot.

We had a couple of novelty moments too.

Peter Lesley fitted a capo on the fifth fret and proceeded to play a tune ‘Boris style’, fretting the strings above the capo position. In contrast to the Westminster buffoon, however, Peter was using a partial capo that allowed three of the strings to remain open and the effect was quite stunning as his fingers ran effortlessly up on down the fretboard.

Penni Neale

Having that afternoon had injections in her hands, Penni Neale didn’t want to overdo things, so for one of her songs, she sang “From a Distance”, a cappella, accompanying herself only on the bodhran which she played with remarkable effect using a hairbrush as a beater!

Tonight’s line-up: Dave Ryder, Lynda and Tom Degney, Jules Pellatt, Richard and Wendy Eastwood, Alan Thompson and Linda, Robin Spreckley, Robin the Busker, Chris Birchall, Peter Leslie, Joe Lyon, Penni Neale, Enid Toft, Neil Martin, Steve Juckes-Hughes, Tom, Dick & Harry

Click on the ► below to hear Neil Martin’s lovely cover of Mr Bojangles

Last Song of the Summer

By |September 24th, 2019|0 Comments

Terry Allen

With Monday’s Equinox, heralding the beginning of Autumn, it meant that Thursday’s Music night was the last one of the Summer and the honour of singing the final song of the season fell to Terry Allen.

The Wrexham musician ended the evening with the great Woody Guthrie song “I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore”. It is a song that is (sadly) just as relevant today as it was when Guthrie wrote it some sixty years or so ago and Terry has brought it right up to date by adding a few words of his own to reflect the world that we live in today.

Click the ► below to take a listen.

 

Then and Now
It was good to see Steve Bailey back again. His unaccompanied traditional folk songs echoed back to when he first took an interest in the genre at the age of thirteen, back in the seventies, choosing two Peter Bellamy songs, “Biker Hill” and “Oak, Ash and Thorn”.

Vicki Riley and Luis Riley

Our youngest performer was someone who is just thirteen at the moment. Luis Riley only began learning guitar four months ago and it is great to see not only how well he is progressing but also how confident he is to get up and perform in public.

After Singing “Bad Moon Rising” exactly 50 years on, since the Credence Clearwater Revival version was at number one in the album charts, Luis went on to accompany his mum, Vicki, on the Eagles classic “Hotel California”.

After two songs from each of fourteen performers, our Random Generator drew half a dozen names out of the electronic hat during the remaining half-hour to complete another evening of great live music.

Tonight’s Performers…
Richard Ruthin, Lynda and Tom Degney, Joe Lyon, Chris Birchall, Steve Bailey, Luis Riley, Vicky Riley, Cath Bryan, Alistair Irving, Dave Ryder, Pete Kirkham, Terry Allen, Neil Martin

Don’t forget to get your tickets for next month’s Anthony John Clarke concert. Get them online or at the club next Thursday. They are just £4 – and don’t forget, Regular members, get their usual concession.