Monthly Newsletter - Hitchin Folkus

September 2019

Hi Folks

First week of a new season, and my first mistakes on Facebook and the Mailchimp mailshot.  Next Sunday is, of course, September 8th, (not the 9th ) when we will be welcoming back Sam Carter. Sam is a British guitarist, singer and songwriter, who has released two albums of mainly original material which fall loosely into the folk/roots category. He won the "Horizon" award for best newcomer at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2010.  Highly regarded as an instrumentalist, described as 'the finest English-style finger-picking guitarist” and "one of the most gifted acoustic guitarists” of his generation. As a songwriter, Carter marries a traditionally English narrative style with elements of American gospel and R&B and has been described as an "impressively original" performer. YouTube   Supporting tonight will be Odette Michell. Odette is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and bouzouki player with a bold new take on the acoustic tradition and a voice capable of demonstrating the finer points of both folk and traditional song with genuine craftsmanship. We saw her for the first time at the Kimpton Festival and, being taken by her performance, had to get her to the club as soon as possible!  YouTube 

It is hard to think of any more superlatives describing Martin Simpson, with us on Sunday 15th, so I won’t try, he is simply the best at what he does!  Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety. There is no doubt that after 46 years as a professional musician Martin is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving.  There is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-timey music than Martin, his 15 years living in the US were well spent. In addition his own songwriting has produced some real gems, from the truck-stop epic, “Love Never Dies” to the profoundly moving “Never Any Good” and "One Day".  Martin has been nominated an astounding 27 times in the fifteen years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - more than any other performer - with 9 consecutive years as nominee for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice. YouTube

Sunday 22nd we have a return visit from the Melrose Quartet, (Nancy Kerr & James Fagan and Jess & Richard Arrowsmith).  From deep roots in their hometown’s vibrant music, song and dance scene, to smashing concert appearances in the UK and abroad, Sheffield-based Melrose Quartet have attracted a reputation for making music that truly connects with people. All four are internationally renowned singers, instrumentalists, writer/composers and teachers. In concert, they perform a diverse repertoire – carousing chorus songs, lively dance tunes, ancient stories and modern pieces written in celebration of everything from weddings & birthdays to issues that affect all of our 21st century lives. This is music for everybody, great harmonies, great instrumentals, and great entertainment.  As with last year, they will be supporting themselves with duo sets from Nancy & James and Jess & Richard. YouTube  YouTube

We close September on Sunday 29th with a new act to the club, Sam Kelly & Jamie Francis.  Sam was winner of the Horizon Award at the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, now with multi awards to their names, they are two of the most respected and innovative musicians on the current scene. Sam & Jamie are the main writing partnership behind the superb folk band Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys. After meeting at university in Brighton in 2010 and discovering a common interest in roots music, Sam and Jamie began playing together in a folk band, with Jamie (a guitar player first and foremost) deciding to learn to play the banjo because Sam was already the guitarist. They also performed at many open mics and venues as a duo, performing original, folk and blues songs. Naturally, the lives of two young musicians and flat mates, who have absolutely no idea what they´re doing, became choc-full of many colourful experiences (including Sam auditioning for ITV´s Britain´s Got Talent whilst in London for a gig, and ending up getting all the way to the final). Expect inventive interpretations of traditional songs and tunes and toe-tapping original compositions, interspersed with humorous anecdotes and stories of their misadventures.  The smallest combination of the big band, I guess we could call tonight, Sam Kelly and the Lost Boy! YouTube

Hitchin is often quoted as being the gastronomic centre of Hertfordshire. Sun Street alone boasts eleven food outlets, with Bucklersbury adding a further nine. This weekend, 7th & 8th Hitchin hosts the 2019 Hitchin Food Fest.  Why not spend time in town enjoying all Hitchin has to offer in culinary delights before coming to the club?

Baldock Folk Club, held at The Orange Tree, Norton Road, have three guest nights this month, 11th with Fred’s House, 18th with Brooks Williams and 25th with Bernard Hoskins. For further information click here.

Keiron & Maureen Jones


Picture gallery
Who played when?(work in progress, now adding links)
Directions to the club