Well, we broke a couple of records this week. With our highest number ever for a Singers’ Night, no fewer than fifty-two revellers squeezed into the function room, just over half of whom were minstrels.
And in fact, the only way we managed to give each of the twenty-eight performers their two-song floor spot was because that number included a trio and a couple of duos, in addition to which, regulars Wendy and Richard Eastwood offered to forego their solo spots and perform duets, as did Cath & Pete and Skeet & Deborah.
As an added bonus, however, this did mean we got to hear some of Wendy and Richard’s fine harmonies, Cath and Pete’s wonderful interpretation of Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue’s Wild Rose”, plus a rare opportunity to hear Skeet sing!
We were delighted to welcome Jules & Chris who travelled from the other side of the mountain to make their Ruthin AllStyles debut. They sang “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin and Jim Croce’s “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song” on what was hopefully their first of many visits.
The two other new faces came from a little further afield. From Montreal, in fact. Ian & Sharon Hanchet were holidaying in the area with Jeff Jones, and as well as their duet spot, Ian accompanied Jeff on a couple of blues numbers.
They also enlisted the services of bassist Mark Thatcher. At the start of one number, Mark was heard to say “I don’t know that one. What’s the first note?”. Not only did he pick it up straight away, but he also went on to contribute a rather tasty bass solo to the delight of the appreciative audience.
The evening had begun with some lovely close harmonies courtesy of Mamma G and the Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered Bebop Brunettes 🙂 .
Angharad, Lyn and Laura might be confused about what to call themselves but they certainly had us all bewitched by their beautiful close harmonies.
In fact, girls, why not go with Bewitched? Nice and simple, that would be a great name for the band.
To round off what had been an exceptional evening of music, it was a pleasure to welcome back the lovely Elizabeth Ann Jones, aka Elfin Bow, who captivated us with two of her latest songs, “Dorothia” and “Lay With Me”.
Elizabeth’s gentle style of playing resulted in the sweetest sound you will ever hear from a banjo, mellifluously blended with Skeet Williams’s immaculate finger-style guitar. Add into the mix some lovely backing vocals from Deborah Jackson and what you get is a beautiful performance that has been captivating audiences at gigs and festivals throughout the summer.
By now, we were already twenty-five minutes past our normal finish time so, in for a penny in for a pound, we brought Elizabeth back for an encore. She gave us a brand new song “Oh How the Strong Ones Fall”, inspired by a recent walk in the woods behind her home nestled in the folds of the Clwydian hills.
If you liked what you heard, you can soak up more of the same when the three perform an open-air concert, Elfin Bow – Live in the Woods at the Woodland Skill Centre in Bodfari on the 30th of this month.
We’ve got our tickets, click here if you want to join us.
Click ► below to listen to excerpts from Elfin Bow’s finale spot.
Tonight’s mammoth roll-call:
Richard Ruthin, Joe Lyon, Mike Hastings, Chris Birchall, Mark Thatcher, Neil Martin, Ron Stevenson, Tom &, Lynda Degney, Alan Thompson, Mamma G & Bebop Brunettes, Peter Leslie, Wendy & Richard Eastwood, Cath Bryan & Pete Kirkham, Deborah Jackson & Skeet Williams, Jeff Jones, Ian & Sharon Hanchet, Jules & Chris, Lizzy Pegler, Robin Spreckley, and Elfin Bow.
The “Carrot’s Appendage” …what’s all that about?
Well, Alan Thompson’s contribution to the evening wasn’t limited to his colourful tee shirt and excellent songs. He also donated a rather rude carrot that he had grown in his own garden, which was won in the raffle by a bemused Lizzy Pegler.