Folk in Spalding and the surrounding area

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Martin Browne gives us a regular update on folk events taking place in south Lincolnshire.

Spalding Folk Club’s guest on May 4 was Canadian singer songwriter Dan McKinnon. We first encountered Dan as a fellow participant in a week-long songwriting course at a rural retreat in Normandy in 2006. As soon as we heard his mellow baritone voice and the quality of his own compositions we knew that here was someone in a class above the average performer. The tutor on that course was no less than the great Eric Bogle and Dan, at that time experiencing a period of writer’s block, had taken time out from his UK tour to seek a little inspiration from one of the outstanding folk songwriters of the generation. Needless to say a friendship was struck and before long Dan was booked to appear at Spalding for the first of what are now three appearances at the club.

This was another enjoyable performance: Dan’s easy-going yet self-assured manner engaged the audience and he gave us a delightful set of songs. Some were of his own writing, often historically linked to his native Halifax. Among these, Many Miles to Go told of the hardships faced by the unsung heroes of the merchant fleet who ran the gauntlet of the U-boats’ torpedoes while carrying supplies across the Atlantic. Kith and Kin recounted the story of the many British women who were encouraged to a new life as emigrant brides in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. He has an extensive repertoire of the songs of his countryman, the late Stan Rogers, and notable among these were Lock Keeper and White Squall. A most enjoyable evening.

Other local events include, on Thursday, the Spalding Folk Club singaround at Welland Yacht Club (8pm).

On Monday, May 23 Canadian trio (formerly of the band Tanglefoot) Ritchie, Parrish, Ritchie appear at a rescheduled (normally second Monday) Boston Folk Club at the Eagle, Boston (8.15pm).

There is also a tune and song session on that night at the Pig and Whistle, Swineshead (8pm).

Saul Rose and James Delarre are in concert at the Barn, Baston next Thursday, May 26 (8pm). These concerts often sell out. Please contact 01778 560497 to check ticket availability.

The Last Thursday Acoustic Club at Arts Coritani, High Street, Swineshead features the gypsy jazz group Hot Club of Lincoln on the same night (8pm).