Such is the nature of folk, country, roots, R&B and blues, that our folk and acoustic evenings could often be classed as “Americana evenings”.
This week it was very much the case, with just a few of us singing songs rooted in Old Blighty.
We even had a gentleman turn up to sing having just recently crossed the Atlantic. Originally from Wrexham, Phil had emigrated to Canada many moons ago and was back here on a family visit, taking in the local folk clubs in the process. So it was no surprise that his set included songs by Canadian songwriters Neil Young and Dave Gunning.
But it was Tom, Dick, Harry and John Bass who got the evening off to a flying start with a few songs from their considerable repertoire which happens to lean heavily on Americana. Lynda chipped in with songs about Montana and California, and Enid took us down to Texas by way of a Buddy Holly.
Stephen Croft came up with and interesting choice: “Short People” by Randy Newman and “Sweet Pea” by Tommy Roe.
It was Joe Lyon who brought us back to the UK – and to his home town of Liverpool – with Gerry and the Pacemakers’ “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying”. Tom Goodall gave us some of his home-grown songs as did Peter Leslie, who also threw in a Kieran Halpin number.
More self-penned originals from Mike Whittaker plus “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles. Jez did a song by the English Rock band ‘All About The Girl’ plus a Kate Bush number, whilst John and Ros hedged their bets by choosing material from both sides of the pond, including “Mr Sandman” and an a-cappella traditional folk song.
Another first-time visitor to the club, Steve Donnolly, also acknowledged both the British and American songbooks. And although Canada Phil took this week’s ‘longest distance’ award, Steve came runner-up, having travelled from Hampshire to visit a North Wales guitar maker.
By the time he arrived at The Feathers, he may not have been quite “500 miles away from home”- but he sang it anyway. And by the time he’d wound up the evening with a brilliant finale set, we’d heard Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”, an Irish folk song called “She Wore No Jewels” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer”.
We may not have finished until 11.15pm, but what a great evening it was!