Newsletter No 401 25 October 2016
A slightly quieter night after two parties in a row as PAUL started the action by asking us to WALK RIGHT IN and straightaway ED was calling on RAMONA and JO went for the Union man JOE HILL. Obviously surprised CHRIS replied I NEVER EXPECTED THAT as GRASS ROOTS took THE KING’S SHILLING this all leading to JOAN & OLGA telling us to ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE with some tales from Monaco. Yet another surprise awaited us as SIMON unveiled his own composition BIG DARK SEA before DON & HEATHER went for the cheerier STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN which set up PAULINE to read an excerpt from CIDER WITH ROSIE. Turning to an old favourite ROBIN set off for DENVER which had GRASS ROOTS actually LOOKING BACK from Mick Hare’s pen as also JO went back in time from THE GALWAY SHAWL. We continued with some great guitar work from CHRIS and the SULTANS OF SWING before JOAN & OLGA completed their tales from Monaco before GRASS ROOTS, with Mick’s tribute to a young Soweto girl, sang ELIZABETH IS SINGING to take us up to the break.
The raffle saw Jackie win the wine, Janice win the Chocolates and pass them round, Simon take the Dark Chocolate Orange, Joyce win the Notebook and Rosalyn win the Nail Conditioner Kit in time for SIMON to ask HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AS THIS? Easy said ED, he must have been THE GAMBLER. For her first song MARIAN came up with WHEN THE WATER IS DEEP followed by another excerpt from CIDER WITH ROSIE to which DON & HEATHER replied they must have been RARE OULD TIMES. Pinching another of Robin’s songs PAUL banded up for the NEXT GO ROUND and ROBIN responded with ONLY THE HEARTACHES before CHRIS became THE TRAWLERMAN. A final surprise before we closed came from SIMON with a great chorus song MY NAME IS McCARTY followed by DON 7 HEATHER with GYPSY WOMAN before they re-combined with Robin and Paul as FREE SPIRITS for COME ALL YOU NO-HOPERS, YOU JOKERS AND ROGUES.
Newsletter No 400 18 October 2016
With a bunch friends in, DON, HEATHER & PAUL kicked off in the RED ROSE CAFE as BANJO JOHN went all sentimental with the GREENLEAVES OF SUMMER which made PAUL feel FOREVER YOUNG. Accompanying himself with his cello EDDIE told of THE GREEN EYE OF THE LITTLE YELLOW GOD before a new duo BRIAN with ANN both swore I’LL STRING ALONG WITH YOU making ROB claim I WISH I WAS BACK IN LIVERPOOL whereas ROD was ALREADY GONE. So it’s FAREWELL TO STROMNESS played HILARY as JO went AFTER THE GOLDRUSH but BAZ was on the Emerald isle where ONLY OUR RIVERS RUN FREE while ANN was in Paris with the BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN and KATH & STAN were 500 MILES FROM MY HOME. Then SIMON came out with GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH AS I LAY MY BURDEN DOWN and JAMES gave us his nice version THE GLORY OF LOVE before ED brought the house down with his MORRIS DANCER. Responding to a request DON, HEATHER & PAUL banded up for their DANCES FOR DOLLARS and BANJO JOHN kept us buoyed up with SINGING THE BLUES leaving JO, with I’LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER YOU, and EDDIE, with the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES and PAUL, with STEWBALL, to take us to the interval.
In the bumper raffle Jackie won the Champagne + CD, Kath won the box of Biscuits + CDS, Peter won the Chocolate orange + CD, Pam won the DIY Crackers + CD and Jeff on the Box of tea + CD before some Liverpudlian Groupies insisted ROB sang SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Then BAZ leapt to his feet with MAGGIE and more gently BRIAN came up with LATELY before SIMON introduced THE DEMON LOVER. Still in great form KATH & STAN sang WILLOW GLEN before HILARY played the STATON ISLAND HORNPIPE which left ROD to argue IF I WERE A CARPENTER. Next ANN responded with THE SWEET NIGHTINGALE but JAMES was still down with MY OLD FRIEND THE BLUES and ED was sad about the sinking of THE ROYAL CHARTER. With another request DON, HEATHER & PAUL sang their FLOWERS ON THE WATER and EDDIE told us THE NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKELEY SQUARE as KATH & STAN raised the tempo with that BANJO PICKIN’ GIRL. To end a great night PAUL sang us some JUG BAND MUSIC before ED, PAUL, DON & HEATHER capped it all with the very appropriate ALL THE GOOD TIMES.
Newsletter No 399 11 October 2016
A full house arrived to celebrate Robin’s Birthday and was brilliantly stewarded by KATH & STAN who started off with THE FORSAKEN MERMAID before IAN livened proceedings with BOBBY McGEE and TREVOR told us to DON’T THINK TWICE. However, PAUL was still suffering from the HESITATION BLUES joined by KAMRAN with an old acoustic guitar told us ALL I GOT LEFT IS THE BLUES which set the scene for GORDON’s lovely version of BLACKWATERSIDE. As a general observation DON & HEATHER reckoned we were all PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE as poacher PHIL went out with his LONGDOG and JO took to the COUNTRY ROADS hastily followed by stalker ROBIN with COUNTRY ROADS MK ll because it was so emblazoned on his mind after intense practise. Next SIMON surprised us with WILD BILL JONES before ARTHUR took us to the pub FLANAGAN’S APPLE and BRIAN agreed with FOR THE GOOD TIMES. Then ANN & ROBIN came together for THE FEMALE DRUMMER and AL sang another of his own songs WILD EYED as HELEN was up to her neck in SAND AND WATER and JONATHAN & CHARLIE came up with their best yet I DUG UP A DIAMOND. Hurtling toward the buffet and chips KATH & STAN gave us the BALLAD OF DAN MOODY followed by KAMRAN with a brilliant version of JULIETTE before FREE SPIRITS took us down DARK AS A DUNGEON.
A bumper raffle saw digital demon Chris win the wine; Bob take the Biscuits; Gillian win the Beer; Simon win the History Book; newcomer Lauren take the Shower Gel and Alan win the Mug before ARTHUR responded to requests settling for his own DONEGAL. Returning with the popular FOG ON THE TYNE came PHIL followed by ANN with THE SHABBY OLD CABBY and GORDON with THE BONNIE BROOM. In romantic mood HELEN declared YOU’RE STILL THE ONE as AL sang the NEARLY SONNET 18 (Shakespeare) dedicated to his wife before, apropos nothing at all, TREVOR claimed IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE. Still finding little known gems SIMON then sang PONTIAC as PAUL still had the GOOD MORNING BLUES but ROBIN claimed THE BATTLE IS OVER but not for the people suffering after the hurricane as IAN reminded us the FOUR STRONG WINDS. Moving towards the climax of the evening KATH & STAN sang us DINK’S SONG as KAMRAN declared he was GOING TO BROWNSVILLE and ARTHUR said, but it’s AFTER MIDNIGHT. Simply, PHIL said I WISH YOU WERE HERE but HELEN was in HIGH GERMANY and FREE SPIRITS were aboard the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS on their way down the Mississippi Delta to end a great night of music and good craic.
Newsletter No 398 4 October 2016
With several people at his concert DON & HEATHER kicked off with Ralph McTell’s STREETS OF LONDON as DAVE turned to Bobby Daren’s DREAM LOVER and welcomed GRASSROOTS with PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED NOT LONG AGO. Following his gig the previous week BAZ repeated one of his greatest hits, BUNCH OF THYME, as BANJO JOHN went back to 1927 for SIDE BY SIDE and ROD returned to the origin of Fleetwood Mac for MAN OF THE WORLD. For ROBIN it was GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN as AL told us of his family’s history in WW1 which prompted him to write THE ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE. On a blue note PAUL had the WORKING MAN’S BLUES and DAVID was listening to HEARTBREAK RADIO while JAMES had the COCAINE BLUES. No wonder CHARLIE & JONATHAN were SO FAR AWAY and MICK said I’LL FOLLOW THE SUN as BANJO JOHN set off for the pub declaring THERE IS A TAVERN IN THE TOWN. Still in top form BAZ came back with PEGGY GORDON while Janice & Mick, GRASSROOTS, sang their own WITHOUT YOU as late comer RICHARD immediately took to the floor with WHEN HE RETURNS and FREE SPIRITS (Robin, Paul, Don & Heather) took us to the interval along the ERIE CANAL.
In the raffle Jill won the wine, Janice won the Chocolates, Vic won the Daffodil Bulbs and David took the CD before DON & HEATHER opened the second half with the DIAMANTINA DROVER swiftly followed by JAMES with a special request for his mega version of KANSAS CITY. Setting a personal best CHARLIE & JONATHAN unusually then sang a second, RICHARD COREY, before AL treated us to the first ever song he wrote on his journey to becoming a folk singer, WHAT’S IT TO YOU. Then ROD got Stoned with PAINT IT BLACK as DAVID turned to the interesting notion of FOUR SEASONS IN ONE DAY whereas PAUL gave us a simpler message with NO ONE KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT. Equally straight forward was RICHARD with BLIND WOODY McTELL by Bob Dylan and JAMES with EVERYDAY by Buddy Holly and ROD with LOVE WILL KEEP US ALIVE by the Eagles. Going back to Country ROBIN came up with a medley FRAULEIN/BLACKBOARD OF MY HEART/WILD SIDE OF LIFE before DAVID took a more modern approach with BROKEN STRINGS by James Morrison as AL showed us THE WAY OUT OF MANCHESTER with another of his own compositions. Coming to a climax RICHARD complained there is NEVER ENOUGH TIME before DON & HEATHER took us across THE BORDERLINE.