Forget the Traveling Wilburys, The Highwaymen, Blind Faith and The Firm, we started the evening with our very own supergroup: Tom, Dick and Harry.
And not just any old Tom, Dick and Harry either, but Tom Degney, Richard Davies and Harry Robertson – plus of course, the omnipresent John Rowell, aka John Bass.
It was a great way to get us all in the groove, with their classical mix of R&B, blues, and Americana, that has inspired so many of the younger members and visitors to the club.
Having alternated between mandolin and dobro during that opening set, Mr Degney took to the four-string banjo for his solo spot, before brandishing a guitar to accompany his other ‘arf, the lovely Lynda.
I swear… if you put a tennis racquet in that man’s hands, he would make it sing like a bird.
As wonderful as all this instrumentation is, the next two solo performers, Glyn Hudson and Geoff Hollis, chose to perform a-cappella for at least one each of their respective sets, and both inspired most of the thirty-five-strong audience to join in on the chorus.
Joe Lyon was on top form as he gave us a magnificent helping of Merseybeat Sounds, and I told the tale of “Blind Willy McTell” before serenading my lovely lady with her favourite, “Black is the Colour”, in an attempt to get back into her good books following one or two of my ‘wife jokes’. I know, I know. It’s my own fault. But I can’t help it. Sometimes they just… happen!
Enid Toft was up next with her angelic vocals, accompanied by that finest of finger-pickers, Neil Wilkinson.
And then it was ‘hats off’ to a young man who rode into town from the wild west (well the north west and maybe not so wild township of Sunny Rhyl). You could say I was suffering from an acute bout of ‘hat-envy’ (he wears a white, genuine, Stetson) plus maybe a little boot-envy too (he carries off them cowboy boots really well).
To be honest it was more a case of talent-envy and age-envy. For Brandon Ridley – the artist formerly known as Bam – has developed into a fine young singer/songwriter/guitarist, at an age he has a whole lifetime of making music ahead of him.
Tonight, he gave us some Bob Dylan. And, I dared not ask, but happily he snuck in my favourite song of his, and one that he does so well, “Cocaine”.
The finale spot this week, fell to Penni Neale. This fine songstress from Denbigh, with her lovely unassuming guitar style, was joined tonight by Brian Locking who provided some mighty fine harmonica accompaniment.
Brian had earlier given us a solo harmonica rendition of “Apache”, a blast from the past that echoed back to his eighteen-month stint as bass guitarist in The Shadows during the early sixties.
But it was Penni and Brian’s encore that was the stand-out performance of the evening. “Autumn Leaves” seems to have become our club’s anthem, with so many of our members contributing their own versions in honour of the late Bryn Roberts, who passed away almost three years ago.
Penni, you did his memory proud.