Collaborations Galore

By |July 16th, 2019|0 Comments

Tom and Lynda Degney

A dozen performers, more than twice that number in the room, the tables overflowing with choccies – and a birthday girl.

The chocolates were courtesy of Lynda Degney, who was celebrating her birthday, and the club responded in the customary fashion singing a rousing “Happy Birthday” song and presenting her with… you’ve guessed it… a box of chocolates!

Tom Degney and Richard Eastwood

Lynda, of course, is one of Ruthin AllStyles’ longest-serving stalwarts and this week she and Tom got the evening underway with what was the first of many collaborations.

Armed variously with a guitar, mandolin or the dobro, Tom was by far the busiest, accompanying Richard Ruthin and Richard Eastwood during their respective sets. Richard, in turn, joined his wife Wendy Eastwood for some ABꓭA themed duets.

The rest of us flew solo, with some fine musical aerobatics from Joe Lyon, Jim Cole, Chris Birchall, Peter Leslie and Neil Martin. And, unusually of late, there was time for a second spot each performer after the break.

Cath Bryan and Pete Kirkham

Then for the evening’s finale, Cath Bryan and Pete Kirkham hooked-up for a lovely version of the Chris de Burgh song “Some Things Never Change”.

One thing that really doesn’t ever change, is the fact that however busy or relatively quiet it is, we are always assured of a great evening’s entertainment in the function room at The Feathers.

Tonight’s roll call: Lynda and Tom Degney, Joe Lyon, Jim Cole, Chris Birchall, Peter Leslie, Wendy and Richard Eastwood, Richard Ruthin, Neil Martin, Pete Kirkham and Cath Bryan.

On Yer Bike

By |July 10th, 2019|0 Comments

It is always nice to welcome a new face to our music nights. It’s also nice to welcome performers who travel some distance, often from the other side of the country – even from the other side of the world!

There were three new faces tonight and whilst none of them crossed continents to get to us, two of them did travel some seventy miles. But what was most noteworthy was the fact they had cycled… all the way from Telford.

Bill Malkin

Dave Hopkins and Rob Hubbleday (above) were on a stop-over in Ruthin whilst on a cycling holiday which would take in Bangor and Dublin. I had this picture in my mind of them peddling away with their instruments strapped to their backs but that romantic notion was soon dismissed by the fact their wives were following on by car.

The Telford duo entertained us, appropriately enough, with a travelling song, “Wagon Wheel”, and the Loving Spoonful hit “Daydream”.

The other ‘new face’ belonged to Chester musician Bill Malkin. Bill sang two of his own songs: “The Big Picture Painter”, inspired by photographs his sea-faring father had brought back from Japan at the end of the second world war, and “Scrappy Dave and Wiley” written following a visit to a wolf sanctuary in Canada.

Our visitors had joined us on a typically busy evening, with fourteen other performers, mainly from our core of regulars but also including blues singer Raphael Callaghan (right).

After doing her own spot, Penni Neale was kept busy accompanying Enid on guitar and duetting with Neil Martin on a beautiful version of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”.

The rest of our regulars turned out a superb mix of songs, as always. The room was ‘comfortably full’ and a good time was had by all.

Tonight’s roll call: Chris Birchall, Richard Ruthin, Lynda and Tom Degney, Raphael Callaghan, Richard and Wendy Eastwood, Cath Bryan, Pete Kirkham, Bill Malkin , Joe Lyon, Mike Hastings, Dave Hopkins , Rob Hubbleday, Neil Martin, Penni Neale, and Enid Toft.

Just Singing in the Rain ♫♪

By |June 25th, 2019|0 Comments

Alan Thompson and Linda Griffiths

“Relentless Rain” and “Dirty Rain” were just two of tonight’s songs that pretty much summed up the sort of summer we’ve been having. Nevertheless, we all turned up at The Feathers with a warm outlook and a sunny disposition for another super Singers’ Night.

Alan Thompson and his sister Linda set the musical wheels spinning with a Ryan Adams song followed by one of Alan’s own songs “Try”.

“Ride On” by Christy Moore was Lynda Degney’s first offering and Tom sang one of his own songs, declaring he was “Just a Rambling Man”.

Richard Eastwood

Did I mention the rain…?

Tonight, Matthew, Richard Eastwood was Don Williams. Peter Leslie, on the other hand, was Neil Young, before singing one of his own songs, dedicated to the summer of 2019, called “Relentless Rain”.

I opened with the “Sound of Silence” and then broke the silence with “All Along the Watch Tower”.

Glyn Hudson sang about “Nancy Spain” and “Our Town”. Mike Hastings took us “Half a World Away”, Oasis style, and Penni Neale gave us a musical weather report with “Dirty Rain”.

Peter Leslie

Neil Martin took us up to the break, and back to 1974, with a wonderful interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s “Who Shall I Say is Calling?”

After the Break

Glasses refreshed and the raffle drawn, we had eleven more songs from the eleven performers. After singing “Copper Kettle”, off Bob Dylan’s 1970 album, Self Portrait, we persuaded Neil to perform an encore of his own songs, “Blue is My Colour of Choice”. It was a lovely way to end what had been a lovely evening of music with covers and original songs in almost equal measure.

Next week – An intimate solo concert with Virginia Kettle. The lovely front Lady from the award-winning folk-rock band Merry Hell, will be singing some of the songs we know and love that she has written for the band, as well as some written especially for her solo appearances.
Just £5 on the door (regular members get their usual concession). There will be floor spots too, so bring your instruments.

Please note the earlier time: Doors 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start.

Another Full House

By |June 19th, 2019|1 Comment

Mike and Rosa

Wow… for the third week running, the function room at The Feathers has been ‘comfortably full’ and with half those present being performers numbering just shy of twenty.

The evening began as smooth as you like, with Sade’s “Your Love is King”, performed by Mike & Rosa. We love it when these guys pay us a visit; Mike’s immaculate guitar accompanying Rosa’s lovely voice is a joy to behold. They followed up with a song in French, “La Mer”.

Listen to Your Love is King, performed by Mike and Rosa

Lizzy Pegler

Lizzy Pegler gave us a couple of home-grown songs. “Hilarious” was the first she’d ever written when she first started playing seven years ago. The second was her latest, “Dirty Money”.

A Scottish flavour was on the cards as Jim Cole stepped up to the mic with his trusty fiddle to play “Sarah’s Song” and “Robert the Bruce”.

Tommy Steel and Joe Cocker were on my radar, then we had a revival of Bluegrass from Lynda Degney and a helping of Americana from Tom.

Glyn Hudson enlisted the services of her guitar tutor, Skeet Williams, to accompany her on “Leaving Nancy” and “Our Town”.

Skeet remained on stage to accompany Deborah Jackson on two beautiful songs, “The Trouble with Wanting” and “Nobody’s Lonely Tonight”, before giving us a masterclass in finger-style during his own set.

Wendy was absent with a sore throat, so it was down to Richard to represent the Eastwood clan. Quite appropriately, he sang the Don Williams classic “All I’m Missing is You”.

Joe Lyon took us up to the mid-evening break with “Those Were the Days” and “Sunny Afternoon”.

With a total of eighteen performers, there was only ever going to be time for one spot each. However, as is the convention, whoever opens the evening (while the bus is still filling up) also gets to open the second half, a task that was conducted in fine style by Mike & Rosa. They treated us to the French version of “Autumn Leaves” and one of their own compositions “Happy”.

After flying us to the Moon, Bing Crosby style, Pete Kirkham declared “I Wanna Be Like You”.  Then Cath Bryan gave us “Broken Wings” and Nanci Griffiths’ “Trouble in the Fields”.

We had some lovely sounds of John Denver courtesy of Geoff Durno and of Emmylou Harris from Penni Neale.

Before we knew it, it was finale time. This week the honour fell to Tom, Dick & Harry with John Bass. They served up a fine selection of songs opening with one of Harry’s early compositions “Hungry Heros”. and finishing with the Ben E King song “Stand By Me”.


Singers’ Night June 6th

By |June 12th, 2019|2 Comments

What a fab night it was. Eighteen performers and with the audience almost doubling that number, making for a great atmosphere in a comfortably full function room.

The bar was set high early on in the proceedings with an impromptu collaboration between Pete Kirkham and Cath Bryan, singing “The Wild Rose” accompanied by Mike Clark on harmonica.

It was good to see Mike – otherwise known as ‘Squeezebox Mike’ – back at the club again and he did indeed come armed with his trusty squeezebox which he used to great effect during his solo set, as well as when he jumped up to form a trio with Tom and Richard.

Another Mike, also an occasional visitor, was Mike Hastings from Mold who gave us a couple of enjoyable numbers in his set.

Robin Spreckley used to be an occasional visitor. Well, not any more. He’s almost as regular as the other Robin, Robin (The Busker) Wynne Jones.  Both were on duty tonight and both were in fine form.

We are lucky having a great number of occasional visitors as well as our core of talented regular members. We don’t know from one week to the next who will turn up, making every week different and ultimately, so very enjoyable for audience and performers alike.

During their solo sets, Wendy and Richard Eastwood slotted in a lovely duet in the form of the John Prine and Emmylou Harris ballad, “Magnolia Wind”.

And with lots of fine solo sets from Lynda and Tom Degney, Enid Toft, Penni Neale, Richard Ruthin, Chris Birchall, Joe Lyon and Neil Martin, the mix was as eclectic as it could be.

Two new faces made an appearance this evening. Hailing from Coventry, Pete and Wally were up this way on holiday with their families and found us on the internet. They gave us a fine set with their guitar and banjo combo, so we called them back on stage for the finale, sending us home with a lively “Trouble in Mind” buzzing around inside our heads.

Tonight’s Roll Call: Chris Birchall, Mike Hastings, Cath Bryan, Robin Spreckley, Mike Clark, Lynda and Tom Degney, Pete Kirkham, Pete and Wally from Coventry, Wendy and Richard Eastwood, Enid Toft, Penni Neale, Richard Ruthin, Robin the Busker, Joe Lyon and Neil Martin

New Face, Familiar Faces and Glad-to-be-back Faces.

By |June 6th, 2019|0 Comments

David and Tom Petie

After a couple of quietish weeks, it was good to see the room comfortably full. Thirty music lovers in all, and the performers numbering nnnnn-na-na-na, nnnnn-na-na, Nineteen.

The new face belonged to Tom Petie, who was over this way with his dad, David, holidaying in Llangollen. It’s always good to see David who was once a regular at many of the clubs in the area before moving to pastures new at Colne, over in Lancashire, They did a set each as well as collaborating on one of the songs.

Two of the glad-to-be-back faces belonged to Richard and Wendy Eastwood, whose Thursday evenings up until the end of May are spent rehearsing with the Harmony Singers. From now until September their focus changes to Monday evenings where they perform at St. John’s Methodist Church in Llandudno (Next to M&S), raising money for local charities, which means we will see more of this talented couple at Ruthin. The Harmony Singers concerts are brilliant, by the way. Highly entertaining and well worth going to see.

Wendy and Richard Eastwood

Having just finished a stint with Ruthin Musical Theatre, Cath Bryan and Pete Kirkham were back for what will hopefully be the first of many appearances over the coming months.

Harry Robertson was back and in fine form, hooking up with his ‘Tom, Dick & Harry’ bandmates, Tom, Richard and John Bass.

Peter Leslie spoiled us by turning up two weeks on the run. Wrexham Folk Club’s summer recess means we get to hear more of his lovely home-spun songs.

Enid Toft and Penni Neale

And it was good to see Enid Toft doing a full set of her own again, accompanied by Penni Neale. We’ve missed her lovely voice since her former accompanist Neil Wilkinson passed away last year.

And then, of course, there are the stalwarts, the regulars and the semi-regulars who contribute their vast talents and give the club the wonderful character that it has. We are so lucky to have so many creative and enthusiastic members, many of whom travel from as far away as Rhos-on-Sea, Chester, Birkenhead and the North Wales coastal towns.

Here is last week’s roll call…

Pete Kirkham, Joe Lyon, Neil Martin, Lynda and Tom Degney, David Petie and his son Tom, Glyn Hudson, Cath Bryan, Tom, Dick & Harry with John Bass, Chris Birchall, Penni Neale, Enid Toft, John Williams, Peter Leslie, Richard and Wendy Eastwood.

See you all next Thursday.






Singers’ Night 23rd of May

By |May 28th, 2019|2 Comments

Peter Leslie

Another Thursday and another evening of music and mirth at The Feathers.

It was Joe Lyon who got the ball rolling with an old favourite, “The House of the Rising Sun”, followed by Chris with songs from Stevie Winwood and John Martin.

Glyn Hudson had everybody singing along with a traditional folk song, “The Wedding Song”.

It was good to see Peter Leslie back at the club, opening his set with Paul Simon’s “The Only Living Boy in New York” before continuing with some of his own lovely songs. He was followed by Penni Neal who was joined by Neil Martin to duet the beautiful “The Empty Chair” written by Sting.

Penni Neal and Neil Martin

The Degneys were next up with their mix of bluegrass and Americana, Lynda singing “That Coalmining Man” and “Love is All Around”, and Tom sang his own composition “Rambling Man” and then played an instrumental on his dobro.

“Bang Bang” was Pete Kirkham’s first number followed by The Dubliners’ “Carrickfergus”.

Richard Davies gave us “Aragon Mill” and The Searchers’  “When You Walk in the Room”. Then in the second half, he was joined by Tom Degney and Enid Toft on “Sea of Heartaches”.

We had an eclectic mix from Neil Martin including Leonard Cohen and James Tayor, ending the evening for us with Neil Diamon’s “Song Sung Blue”.


Be-Bop at the Hop

By |May 22nd, 2019|0 Comments

The be-bopin’ Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

It was great to see Mama G and the Be-Bop Brunettes back at the club. At least that’s who they were when they arrived. However, as I added them to the list, they did mention they were looking for a new name. By the time their turn was called, the deed had been done and they were introduced as “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”. I think it’s fair to say we were suitably beguiled by their beautiful close harmonies.

Penni Neale

Which just left us with ‘The Hop’

♫♪ Come on, let’s go to the hop
Well, you can swing it you can groove it
You can really start to move it at the hop… ♪♫

Or so the song goes. And one person who had all the moves was Penni Neale. Not wanting to let the small matter of a broken leg and a zimmer frame get in the way of the music, she put her best foot forward, stepped up to the mic and performed a belter of a set.

With the ladies outnumbering the gents six to five, we also had a helping of gospel from Lynda, and Glyn Hudson paid tribute to Doris Day, who sadly passed away this week at the age of 97, singing one of the star’s most memorable songs, “Que Sera Sera”.

Robin Spreckley

As for the men, we had some of the usual suspects putting together an eclectic selection of songs: Tom Degney, Chris Birchall, Robin Spreckley, Richard Ruthin and Bob Hall.

In terms of its maximum capacity, the room was just over half full (definitely not half empty 🙂 ) and it was altogether a grand evening.

Just one month from now, we have a solo concert by the lovely Virginia Kettle, of Merry Hell fame.

Get your tickets booked now. It’s highly subsidised at just £5 (from WeGotTickets). Regular members can buy theirs on a club night at the usual concessionary price.



More Tea Vicar?

By |May 15th, 2019|0 Comments

Deborah and Skeet

It was a much quieter night than usual with just eighteen in the room, exactly half of whom were performers, and we were all there to drink of the atmosphere.

The first round was on Deborah Jackson who was comparing the difference “Between Whiskey and You”.

Lynda Degney highlighted one of the problems that can come with too much whiskey, singing “Remember Who You Are”, whilst Tom Degney’s drinking buddy was “Catfish John”.

Chris sang about a woman on his lap drinking champaign, courtesy of Bob Dylan’s “Things Have Changed”, and Skeet Williams had us all intoxicated with his finger-picking skills, delivering his own unique arrangements to songs such as “The Entertainer”.

“Nancy Spain” and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” were two of the beverages on Glyn Hudson ‘s menu, and Richard Ruthin decanted the “Hobo’s Lullaby” before declaring “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue”.

Andy and Andy “Wet the Tea”

‘Wet the Tea’ is good old scouse phrase for ‘making a brew’ or ‘having a cuppa’.

It also happens to be the name of a Chester/Merseyside based trio who perform a mix of traditional and modern folk songs and tunes all over the Merseyside area. Tonight we were delighted to welcome two of the band, Andy and Andy, who turned up to do a floor spot. They opened their first spot with a medley of Celtic jigs and reels, including the lively “Kiss the Maid Behind The Barrel”. Performing with a variety of wind and stringed instruments, they went down really well and I am personally looking forward to hearing them again when, hopefully, the cup will runneth over with the inclusion of their bassist Richie.

It had been a lovely evening with all nine performers doing four or more songs each but now it was time for one last brew before heading home. And what better ‘going home’ song than the beautiful traditional Scottish air, “The Parting Glass”, delivered to perfection by the two Andys.  (Click [►] below to hear it)

Storm Hannah: Nil – AllStyles: Ten

By |April 30th, 2019|0 Comments

The Amazing Clouds

After briefly invading Ruthin during the afternoon, Storm Hannah fizzled out like a damp squib and was no match for the enthusiasm of the ten musicians plus fifteen audience members gathered in the function room at The Feathers.

As the storm passed, we did see some Amazing Clouds – in the form of Pete, Di and Dom, who perform under that very name. The trio opened both halves of the evening in their usual lively fashion and gave us a grand ‘going home’ song at the end..

Tome (Fender) Degney

Richard Ruthin and the Degneys provided a wholesome helping of Americana, Joe Lyon doffed his cap to Ray Davies, whilst Bob Hall and Chris embraced Beatlemania.

Hardly a week goes by without Tom Degney turning up with a new instrument, many of which are banjos that he has built himself.  This week he produced the latest to emerge from his workshop, in the form of a solid bodied electric guitar (in Manchester United colours) which sounded just great.

John Williams

That wizard of The Wirral, John Williams, is a staunch supporter of our club, oft making the journey to attend our Singers’ Nights, just as he did tonight armed with his trusty tenor guitar.

John gave us a little taste of what we can expect next Thursday when we present “An Evening with John Williams and Phil Chisnall”. It will be a fabulous evening of original material and popular covers, performed by John and Phil individually and together, and no doubt with a fair degree of camaraderie and banter too.

The music will start at 7.30pm (doors at 7.00pm). Do come early to get your name down for a floor spot.