It was yet another of those evenings for which elastic walls would have been beneficial. With the numbers nudging forty, we were just short of “standing room only” (or at least stealing stools from the main bar).
Lynda Degney opened the proceedings with the Gibson Brothers’ song, “We’re Making Good Time” accompanied by Tom on guitar.
And as always, the dynamic Mr Degney was also kept busy throughout the evening, providing guitar, mandolin and dobro backing for a whole host of performers, including Robin the Busker and Richard Ruthin.
Joe Lyon was in a Beatles kind of mood and I ventured into Neil Young territory, giving the 12-string it’s first outing since raconteur and luthier extraordinaire Harry Miller worked his magic on it to fix a bridge that was threatening to launch itself into outer space.
The night included three performers who sang a cappella: Rachael Stanley chose a Van Morrison number, Bob Hall became “The Piano Man”, a la Billy Joel, and Deborah Jackson gave us a lovely version of Willy Nelson’s “Crazy”.
Making his first appearance in many a blue moon, Rhyl singer-songwriter Roland Hughes had everybody joining in the chorus on his topical and what turned out to be a very popular political protest song “We Don’t Trust You Anymore”.
Then it was a case of Tonight Matthew, Pete Kirkham and Cath Bryan are going to be… Nick Cave and Kylie – and what a brilliant job they made of “Where Wild Roses Grow”.
It was an absolute pleasure to welcome two-thirds of Llangollen band The Glaaswalkers, Brian Connaughton and Squeezebox Mike, who treated us to a helping of their rousing original material, accompanied on one of the numbers by Sue Loose on the triangle.
The brother and sister partnership of Linda and Alan Thompson were on fine form. We are used to seeing Alan providing guitar accompaniment for his sister. Tonight however, Linda demonstrated that she is an excellent guitarist in her own right, performing an excellent version of John Martin’s “May You Never”. (Click ► below to hear it)
For his own set, as well as the obligatory helping of Ryan Adams songs, Alan treated us to his beautiful and touching composition “For a Little While” with some enchanting harmonies from Linda.
After the Break
With eighteen performers, there was never going to be a second spot for everybody, so our random generator saved the day by selecting half a dozen to fill the last half hour.
One of those was Neil Martin who had earlier delighted us with his humorous composition “Neil Diamond Sang the Songs” (coincidentally on Diamond’s 78th birthday). And so it was he who brought this excellent evening’s entertainment to a close for us with another autobiographical song, “Walking”.
The Narrowboat Sessions
Mark Holdsworth is one of the area’s greatest ambassadors for original folk music. Each summer he travels the waterways of England and Wales, inviting singer-songwriters aboard his narrowboat, Cariad, to be filmed and recorded for his website and Facebook page.
Each year a selection of the songs are then taken into the studio to be professionally mastered to produce a double CD.
Each is an amazing collection of material by a wide range of performers and at just £10 including postage, fantastic value for any music lover.
Once production costs have been met, all profits go to Cancer Research UK – giving you yet another reason to Click Here to buy one.