The room was comfortably full, and by the start of the second half of the evening, so were our bellies.
Because we now have such a large membership, we only tend to do cake for “special birthdays”. This week that honour was bestowed upon the lovely Enid Toft.
I’m far too much of a gentleman to reveal a lady’s age, so we celebrated the fact she has been attending our music nights fairly regularly since her first visit twenty years ago.
When she was fifty. 😉
We normally see Enid performing to the guitar accompaniment of Neil Wilkinson but as he was away on holiday, this week she took to the mic a cappella and treated us to two lovely songs in Welsh, “Adref” and the Ryan Davies song “Pan Fo’r Nos Yn Hir”.
Hailing from Ellesmere Port way, Colleen made her AllStyles debut on her ukulele with a rendition of “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, which was written by Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, and followed up with two of her splendid home-grown poems.
Another new face was that of Neil Martin. It was in fact his second visit to the club, but the first time doesn’t really count. It was back in the winter when he braved the heavy snow to venture over the Clwydian Range, to find the only others foolhardy enough to venture past their front doors were myself and Mark Thatcher. Nevertheless, a very pleasant evening ensued with the three of us jamming ’til closing time.
Tonight Neil gave us a fabulous version of the Jerry Jeff Walker song “Mr Bojangles” (click ► above) and Tom T Hall’s “How I Got to Memphis”. Hopefully we won’t have to wait for it to snow before we see him again.
We had a fine and eclectic mix of styles and genres from our regulars: “House of the Rising Sun” from Joe Lyon. I joined him on the 12-string for this classic Animals number, and ventured into Dylan territory for my solo spot. Jim Cole gave us some bonny Scottish jigs. We had Cash from Richard Eastwood and Cline from Wendy followed by the couple duetting on the Don Williams song “Shelter of your Eyes”.
Bluegrass and Americana were Tom and Lynda Degney’s preferences. Then for his solo spot, Tom showed off the latest instrument to emerge from his workshop, a solid-bodied electric midi mandolin.
Tom Goodall paid us a welcome return visit with three of his self-penned songs, including “A Beautiful Face but an Ugly Heart” and the touching, poignant “Mother’s Hug”.
It was good to see Alan Thompson and his sister Linda back for a third visit in as many weeks. Their voices harmonise so beautifully and I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping we have acquired a couple of new ‘regulars’. Alan is a self-confessed fan of Ryan Adams. “Invisible Riverside” and “To Be Without You” were on their menu tonight.
Alan and Linda singing “Deep Ellum Blues” filmed by Linda’s husband Kev.
In the second half they sang the Traditional American blues number “Deep Ellum Blues” made famous by the Grateful Dead back in the sixties. There had been spontaneous shouts of ‘More’ from the audience, so we brought them back to sing Ryan Adams’s “Oh My Sweet Carolina” for us in the finale.
These Singers’ Nights just keep on getting more and more enjoyable. We are so lucky to have so many talented musicians turning up week after week, both visitors and regulars.