Review for folking.com: Paul Cowley

A very nice blues album by Paul Cowley  that I reviewed for folking.com.

“It turns out that what Paul Cowley knows is country blues, and he really does know his subject, with influences including Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt et al. This CD features eleven songs: five of them are his own, and the rest are from classic blues artists like Memphis Minnie and Furry Lewis.”

David Harley

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Miriam Backhouse Erasmus 70th Birthday Tour

Many of the people who were very important when I was hanging around the pro/semi-pro folk scene in the 1970s have left the stage through retirement, changes of direction, or – all too often – the ministrations of the Grim Reaper. Though it’s (pleasantly) surprising how often I see names from that era still popping up on festival bills and folk club listings. Miriam Backhouse and her husband moved to South Africa – where she’s better known as Miriam Erasmus – at the end of the 1970s, but has continued to record and tour.

Right now she’s well into her 70th Birthday Tour of Europe, which includes gigs at Bedworth Folk Club on the 11th July and the Bromsgrove Folk Festival between the 12th and 15th July before a series of appearances further North. And she’s back in the Sabrinaflu-ish area on September 18th for a gig at the Wurzel Bush in Brinklow.

Sadly, I’ve not had the chance to hear Miriam live in recent years – one of the less happy consequences of living so far West that if I went much further I’d be in the Isles of Scilly –  but I’m still hoping to catch up with her at some point on this tour, and anticipate some fine, expressive singing of largely traditional material, hopefully with a sprinkling of her own songs. If you can, get to one of her shows and see why some call still call her the ‘First Lady of Folk’ or ‘the African Rose’.

David Harley

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Floorsinging for Beginners update

Floorsinging for Beginners‘ is a slightly modified version of the document that has been available for some time from one of my personal blog sites. (And originally from another site – or probably sites – that I no longer have. A version also appeared many moons ago in fRoots (at that time called Folk Roots: it was the issue from July 1998, No. 181).

At the time it was entirely focused on advice to floor singers in folk clubs, but some of it may helpful to people performing at open mics and such, too.

Version 1.1b incorporates an information update kindly forwarded by Paul Clarke of focsle.org. The last section is reproduced here so you don’t have to read the entire document, if you don’t want to. 🙂

———————————————————————

[Thanks to Paul Clarke of focsle.org for his update on the Brian Hooper booklet and Folk On Tap.]

Another area which seems to interest people is running clubs, especially in terms of MC-ing. Apparently Brian Hooper of Southampton published a booklet a while ago called “So you want to be a Folk Club MC”.

Paul Clarke tells me that “Brian Hooper’s book on MC-ing is still available, and I’m sure he’d post a copy in exchange for a small fee to anyone who asks … Brian is our longest-standing club member (about 45 years) and is the nearest thing we have to a “Mr Focsle” (or a Mr Central-South-Coast-Folk-Music, for that matter).  He was our immediate predecessor in running the club.” You can contact Brian via:

By George Publications
44 Janson Road
Southampton
Hants
SO15 5GJ

Paul also tells me that Folk on Tap, formerly referenced here, is “long defunct, and won’t ever get resurrected, given the dominance of the Net as a resource for much of its material.”

Folk on Tap was published by SCoFF, the Southern Counties Folk Federation, a confederation of clubs from Somerset to East Sussex/Kent and from Bucks/Oxon/Berks to the Channel Islands including Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, Wiltshire, and Surrey. Sam Satyanadhan, 3 Cranbury Road, Woolston, Southampton SO19 2HZ. tel/fax 023 80 570082. Paul says that “the Satyanadhans run the Woolston and Bursledon Folk Club, across town from us, and they must still have a lot of connections with others in the folk world.  They may have back copies available, of archival interest to some.”

I’ve retained this  information regarding ScOFF – slightly edited in the light of what Paul has told me – as a courtesy, but I won’t be adding contact information regarding other folk-related organizations and publications to this article unless it’s of direct relevance to the topics addressed here. However, I’ve also added the SCoFF contact info to the Links page here and to the Events Listings/Resources page, where it should feel more at home. 🙂 


David Harley


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CD review – Rab Noakes

For folking.com: RAB NOAKES – Welcome To Anniversaryville (Neon Records NEONCD021)

Added to the album review page.

David Harley

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CD Review: archive recordings from Fellside

Another of my reviews for folking.com: archive recordings from Fellside Recordings by an amazing line-up of performers. Three CDs for the price of one…

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Destination (Fellside Recordings FECD282)

David Harley

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Hotspur acoustic session: changes of venue

Changes are afoot at the Hotspur Club, which has been running as a weekly Friday acoustic session starting at 8.30pm.

Phil Heinricy says the session is no longer running at Shobdon airfield. The group is now looking for a different venue for each week of the month. A 1st Friday session is confirmed at Brockington Golf Course, Bodenham, HR1 3HX. The search is on for more venues closer to South Shropshire and North Herefordshire. For the moment, he recommends that you check the club’s Facebook page to see what venue is lined up for that week.

David Harley

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CD review – SERIOUS CHiLD (sic)

Another of my reviews for folking.com: SERIOUS CHILD – Empty Nest (TCR Music TCRM75099) – it actually went up yesterday, but I’ve been catching up with work and domestic stuff.

Based around the songs of Alan Young, a late-developing singer-songwriter with a very nice voice, though some of the songs are at the pop-y end of the spectrum. He actually reminds me just a little vocally of Scott Walker at times. Supported by some fine musicians here.

Also linked from the Sabrinaflu reviews page here.

David Harley

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