Sarah Jarosz – Run Away video

Nice little video from Sarah Jarosz for her song Run Away. I’m still listening to her CD on the iPod in the car and enjoyed her set earlier in the year in Bedford, so I hope she visits these shores again soon and maybe this time with a band, a slow burner but one to watch me thinks.

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What’s on – 25th September – 1st October

So here we go, Sunday 24th some song, some comedy, some fun then Richard Digance as Hitchin Folk Club is for you. Tuesday 27th at The Stables are four musicians, known throughout the Irish folk world Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine, Arty McGlynn and John Carty but collectively they are known as Patrick Street and they bring a little bit of Ireland to Buckinghamshire.

Over at Rowell Charter Inn in Northampton there’s a chance to see US guitarist / singer Janet Robin. Janet played two great shows earlier in the year one in support of Dead Rock West at Tingewick Village Hall and the previous evening at The Ent Shed in Bedford, I can highly recommend checking this show out. Thursday 29th Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion Band will be playing The Civic Theatre in Bedford for East West Promotions. Sarah is part of the fold dynasty, her father being Arlo Guthrie and grandfather Woody Guthrie but along with her husband Johnny Irion they have been carving out their own musical identity and this is their first visit to the UK in sometime with a band.

Friday 30th with Fascinating Aida already sold out at The Stables my actual recommendation in the form of Rebecca De Winter is also close to doing the same so don’t delay. Rebecca will be playing as a trio and in support of her fabulous CD Higher Skies (Sad Songs), which will no doubt be on sale on the night. Although not mentioned of The Stables web site support for the evening will be from another Bedford based group, Dynaphone Records, who I suspect will play as a duo. This is another band to watch and already have a fine body of work from prolific song smith and front man, Andrew Smith, don’t delay this will sell out..

Saturday 1st October Empty Room Promotions have what is a great double bill of music at The Bullingdon in Oxford. First up is the amazing Brian Houston, a big favourite of the promoter and the audience, though this will be the first time the promoter as booked him in Oxford. Renowned for playing up to as many as three and a half hours, Houston is a gifted and charismatic showman who leaves his audience baying for more. Whether opening for a big name or headlining his own show, Brian Houston is doing what musicians were born to do. Making real music and giving the people the night of their lives! Peter Bruntnell Band is also no stranger to the promoter having played Empty Rooms second every show back in 2002 he has also returned on a few more occasion over the past 10 years. Promoting his new CD ‘Black Mountain UFO’ sees Peter finally making the great pop album he has always threatened to produce. It mixes West Coast harmonies with the requisite dab of psychedelia, all delivered in a characteristically British fashion. Please watch the promoters web site on this one, it is possible this show might have to be cancelled, due to the fact that the advance ticket sales have been less than expected, a timely reminder to encourage people to book tickets in advance for any show so the independent promoter can gauge that their event is a viable proposition

* 27/9/2011 Update – As feared the Peter Bruntnell / Brian Houston gig has now been cancelled due to poor advance ticket sales, so remember buying them early helps promoters know they have a viable show.

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Ben Howard – The Junction Cambridge, December 7th

Just announced via Facebook, Ben Howard has now added Junction One in Cambridge to his tour schedule, which is rapidly selling out everywhere else. This will be on Wednesday 7th December and tickets are already on sale from the web site, so best not delay.

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What’s on – September 18th – 24th

As far as I can see there is not too much happening during this week, but then again I could be accused of not looking too deep, but here goes. Sunday 18th and if you like guitar playing then get over to Hitchin Folk Club for three exponents in the form of Clive Gregson, Andy Roberts and Mark Griffiths, who go under the name of 3 Boxes. All three artists are listed in Hugh Gregory’s book ‘1,000 Great Guitarists’ so we can be assured of some quality guitar playing. Tuesday 20th and if your instrument of choice is the voice then you may enjoy the vocal dexterity of acapella / beatbox group The Magnets as they return to The Stables in fine voice. Jumping to Thursday 22nd then there will be a first time visit to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre for Kate Rusby and her band. You are always assured of a great night with Kate and her mix of traditional and original song and normally a few laughs from the Yorkshire lass, thrown in for good measure. Saturday 24th and it all comes at once. Over in Bedford at East West Promotions, they have Richmond Fontaine with support from Laura Gibson I can highly recommend this gig after their wonderful show last week in Oxford. Their first set is the complete run through of the current album High Country, a story come concept album about life in a small tree logging town, while the second set is a collection of older material, I didn’t think I would like this but it’s fast becoming one of my favourite gigs of the year.

Over in Buckingham there is a double headline event arranged by Empty Room Promotions from Slaid Cleaves and David Olney. It’s two years since Slaid’s last visit to Buckingham and he should have some new material to try out as well as the old favourites, he is here to promote his new live CD. David Olney is not only a singer songwriter but a published author too and his songs reflects this with his intelligent compositions that radiate an intensity and have earned a place as one of the most respected singer-songwriters in the world today. Acoustic Routes in Cambridge have an evening with the lovely Bella Hardy who no doubt will be singing and playing tracks from her self composed album Songs Lost and Stolen. Up the motor way to Northampton and The Royal and Dernegate have invited folks flavour of the month with The Unthanks and not content with their usual 8 piece band they will be joined on stage with Brighouse and Rastrick Band.

So that should keep you busy but dont forget to hunt around for any other events that might be happening.

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Chris Corney Band – CD launch at The Stables, 12th October

Bedfordshire based Chris Corney has been playing and writing since in his teens and already has two solo albums as well as one CD from his band The Ravines. Tonight see the launch of his third solo album “Airway Mansions” released on 17th October, but the good people at The Stables will get their chance to hear it first.

His first single and video “America” from the album was released on Monday, the clever lyrics questioning if America really is the land of the free, though there is not doubt his love of the music form across the pond has always been a major influence on his output, with a nod to his musical hero’s. So I’m really looking forward to hearing the rest of the album and adding it to the iPod along with his debut “Built To Be Burned Down” which still gets a lot of play in the car and “Sans Everything”

When he’s not involved in his own recordings he lends his production talents at his own studio in the area, with collaboration and production on albums by Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), The Quireboys (who he often plays bass on tours of UK and Europe) local favourites The Whybirds, Tracie Hunter and Tensheds.

Tensheds (aka Matt Millership) joins Chris tonight in support. Trained as a classical pianist, he too has been performing from a very early age and is now almost constantly on tour, like the true troubadour he has become. With tours throughout UK and Europe, playing support to the likes of Pam Tillis, Hazel O’Connor, The Arctic Monkeys, Roger Chapman, he’s been likened to Tom Waits (though for me he’s a lot more easier on the ear) and Ryan Adams


His current CD Crazy Beautiful gaining a 4 star review in Uncut magazine who said “lyrical balladry recalls Tom Waits days at Asylum . . . a country twang that the young Steve Earle would approve”. and a

5 Star Maverick review “I didn’t expect to find anything quite as beautiful as the opening song” “pours his heart and soul out on some of the best songs I’ve heard for a while”

So don’t forget to get your ticket for this one, but hang on a bit as I haven’t got mine yet! Then lets sell this one out.

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St Pancras International – The Station Sessions

I’m not one for travelling up to London much these days, either for a day out or a gig. I can’t be bothered with a late night journey home on a train after a concert, also during the weekdays if you go for a day trip you are restricted with leaving the station by 4pm or have to hang around until after 7pm. However a day drip might soon be on the cards, especially if it’s on a Thursday.

In June 2010 some clever people decided to hold live music sessions at St Pancras International Station (which is worth a visit in it’s own right). After a short summer recess in August the sessions are back again during September and October and will be held every Thursday from 6pm to 7pm and the stage will be set up in the space between the Eurostar platforms, the Betjeman Arms Pub and Carluccio’s restaurant.  just look for the station clock and the giant statue of the lovers, if you can’t find that then follow the music.

There are already over 100 videos on their You Tube Channel and check out their web site and like them Facebook for the up and coming events. It might just be worth getting stuck in London for once.

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Sam Baker, Betty Soo and Po’Girl

Empty Room Promotions have a run of four gig in September two of which are in quick succession. On Friday 9th, what is fast becoming the regular opener for the autumn season is Austin based Sam Baker and he is a firm favourite with the Buckingham crowd. His performances and stories are always very thought provoking, especially when he re-counts he experience of being caught in a terrorist attack on a train and his fight back from the severe injuries he sustained.

This years gig is being billed as a double header as they welcome fellow Austinite Betty Soo with Doug Cox. They are here to promote there new CD Across the Borderline : Lie to me, which can be heard in full on their Bandcamp site Sam and Betty are not touring the UK together but it is great to get them both on the same bill in Buckingham as they often performed together back in Austin.

On Saturday 10th the amazing Po’Girl bring they amazing array of instruments gutbucket bass, accordion, clarinet, banjo, dobro, guitar, to electric bass, glockenspiel, piano, harmonica, bicycle bells, drums The Radcliffe Centre, which is ideally suited for an acoustic event like this and a stage big enough to hold it all, not sure if they fancy playing the Steinway at the same time. Hailing from Canada their music range takes in Folk, American Roots to Jazz and beyond and their fluid and joyous musicality is one of the group’s most endearing and irresistible features. Support for the evening is from Tasmanian born and London based Ange Boxall, who played for Empty Rooms earlier in the year. Having also made frequent visits to Nashville has brought her into contact and contributions with JD Souther, Jim Lauderdale and The Wrights, as heard on her new album, ‘Writing Letters.  Ange has also just sent out an e-mail confirming this will be her farewell tour as she intends to move back to her native Australia after an eleven year stop over in the UK, so better not miss this opportunity.

Both shows are at The Radcliffe Centre in Buckingham and doors open at 7pm with a 7.20pm start and 10pm finish, not a bad way to start the season.

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What’s on – September 11th – 17th

So what to look forward to during the second week of September, well here are some I can find but if you dig around I bet there is more. Sunday 11th and Jez Lowe, he of the stripy pullovers, plays Hitchin Folk Club, even Richard Thompson describes him as “The best songwriter to come out of England in a long while” praise indeed. Tuesday 13th it’s either Animals and Friends at The Stables or a trip into Stony Stratford and The Crown Public House for another helping of Ange Boxall who plays support for Po’Girl in Buckingham on the previous week.

14th two shows in Bedford to look out for, Ashley Jane Welberry in Holy Moly’s Bar at Esquires or Katie Buckhaven at Harpurs Bar, both gigs are free. 15th and if you like the music loud then Bedford based Del Bromham brings his band Stray to The Stables. If you missed Ellio Pace at The Stables you can get a second chance if you pop into Harpenden Public Hall. Ellio is known for his soulful voice great piano playing and being the house band for Wake Up To Wogan and BBC Radio 2. Friday 16th and you need to split yourself up a bit, if you enjoy Christine Collister and Dave Kelly the you need to be in Milton Keynes and The Stables or if you don’t mind a drive out to Cambridge and Junction 2 in particular for a great double bill of music with Southern Tenant Folk Union and Megson, see it’s worth the drive. I on the other hand will be driving to that other University City Oxford, to The Bullingdon Arms Richmond Fontaine with support from Laura Gibson.

Saturday 17th and you have to be at Holy Moly’s in Esquires  in Bedford for the amazing Otis Gibbs and his brand of songs and stories and as a plus the support is from the equally wonderful Eliza Shaddad. There is some other music on offer, including Hayseed Dixie in Junction One and young folk band Tyde at The Limelight Theatre in Aylesbury but I’ve already decided for you, get yourself to the Otis Gibb gig.

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Martin Simpson CD – Purpose + Grace and tour

This Monday, 5th September is a date for the diary to remember to buy the new CD Purpose + Grace by Martin Simpson. In the attached video Martin explain how this new project is a collection of songs in honour those people who have influence him over his years of recording. Not only does he delve into traditional songs but from his contemporaries too, from Richard Thompson, Bruce Springsteen to Yip Harburg’s 1932 song Brother Can you Spare a dime, which has as much relevance today as it did in the great depression. And this album is not just a solo effort as he call upon his band of Andy Cutting, Andy Seward, B J Cole as well as friends Richard Thompson, Jon Boden, the young harmonica player Will Pound and singers June Tabor, Dick Gaughan and Fay Heild.

Continue reading

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Bedford Summer Fayre 2nd – 4th September

It’s still Summer, honest it is! So that’s why it’s all down to Bedford’s Priory Park on Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September for the Bedford Summer Fayre, three days of music over two days and all for free.

The full line up can be found on their web site but be assured it’s an eclectic mix. Friday night is handed over to BBC Introducing from 7pm with the likes of Sean Morris, Tonight We’re Electric, Kito Take and Cherry Lee Mewis.

Saturday it’s a 12pm start, with the main stage with 12 act, including Envyfour, Lionsex, Rebecca De Winter and Pearl Handled Revolver, headlining for the night is Abba Gold, so expects a lot of dancing and singing as the hit keep on coming. While in the Daisy Field we have the Acoustic and Singer Songwriter stage. Some names hear familiar to me Fran Bove, Sarah Doe, Katie Buckhaven, Danni Nicholls, Elliot Morris and Andy Smith/Dynaphone Records * all hosted by Jez Brown

Sunday includes Sweet Felicity Arkwright, The Silver Brazilians and headline Are You Experienced – Jimi Hendrix tribute. The second stage is taken over by club / dance promoters Ultra Vegas.

The poster also declares Great Festival Food – Bar – Market Area and Kid Fun Fair, so lets hope the weather stays fine, the people are good and this is a big success for all those involved

* I have just heard that Dynaphone Records regrettably have cancelled their set for Saturday evening

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