5th July 2022
This enjoyable evening was kicked off by Manus and Helga, with a Jazzy-Latin instrumental improvisation on guitar and flute – Jazzy Latin in 6/8 – which went off smoothly.
Next was Simon with two short songs: Rollin’ Rollin’ (Randy Newman), followed by How Do You Like Your Coffee in Bed (Tom Paxton), which showed Simon’s ragtime guitar skills to good advantage. Anticipating next open mic night’s Bob Dylan theme, Steph contributed a beautifully soft rendition of his classic Blowing in the Wind, which suited her lovely voice. Her second song, I live not where I love, featured lyrics dating back to 1630. Manus played two R&B numbers on his mini-guitar which he had just finished refurbishing: Robert Cray’s Bad Influence and his own arrangement of Singing the Blues (Altered Blues), adding an instrumental part by Pat Metheny.
We all appreciate Helen’s a capella singing, and enjoyed her interpretations of This Wheel’s on Fire (Bob Dylan & Richard Dalco) and A Groovy Kind of Love (Wayne Fontana and the Mind Benders). Great voice and guitar harmonies came next: Jason and Lisa playing the classic Helplessly Hoping (Stephen Stills), followed by Perfume Garden, one of their own songs with a haunting, tuneful melody. Newcomer Charlie offered two great songs, Ginseng Sullivain (Norman Blake) and Raggy Levy, an old worksong from Georgia (USA), reimagined by Jake Xerxes Fussell. Keith brought his usual infectious energy to the evening, performing two of his own songs, Dusty (about a typewriter awaiting new compositions) and Don’t, featured on his CD.
Terry’s renditions of the American Ballad of Long John Dean and Scottish Miss McCloud’s Reel showcased amazing sounds and twangs, giving you the sense that several guitars are being played at once. Paula followed with the lively tune Dance, Dance, Dance and then a new self-penned song which only had its second outing on the night. Next up was Jayne with Twisted Whiskey, a song she recently wrote, showing her skills with thoughtful lyrics, beautifully sung and accompanied. She finished with Across the Great Divide (Kate Wolf).
And then we had the great pleasure of something completely different! Garry brought this Scottish Bag Pipes, and filled the entire pub with rousing renditions of Flett from the Flotta Wings and the Flower of Scotland Skye Boat Song.
To round up this evening of great musical diversity, everybody got a further song. Manus and Helga: Blues in E Improvisation. Simon: Rocket Man (his satirical tune about the North Korean dictator). Steph: Fling it here! (Yetties). Manus: Desperate Don (own song). Helen: She Moves Through the Fair (Loreina McKennit). Lisa and Jason: Calcutt’s Fair (joint composition). Charlie: Midsummer Day (own song). Keith: The Worst Thing (own song, CD). Terry: Eilan Donan (Scottish tune). Paula: Caravans (Mike Bates). Jayne: Why Worry (Mark Knopfler).
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