A fortnightly column by Martin Browne of Spalding Folk Club.
From my point of view one of the most endearing aspects of folk music as a genre is that it is not easily definable.
Just when you think you understand exactly what it is a new artist or group comes along and shifts the boundaries: the process is dynamic and ever changing.
One such performer was our guest at Spalding Folk Club, Luke Jackson, a young man in his early twenties. He has been performing since the age of 14 and has developed an innate musical talent and honed his considerable songwriting skills.
His unamplified, pitch-perfect voice filled the room and the audience’s collective jaw dropped as he launched into his first, unaccompanied song: Father’s Footsteps. Of the 17 songs he gave us during the evening only one – Bob Dylan’s It Ain’t Me Babe – was not of his own writing.
Two notable songs were Father and Son and a new, unnamed, song about a man who spent his life building a classic motorbike only to be too ill and frail to ride it on a dream journey across the US; the man’s son then fulfils the dream for him. Luke’s insight into human relationships showed a maturity well beyond his years and generally his songwriting was incisive and well-constructed both literally and musically.
In conjunction with South Holland Centre and Lincolnshire One Venues’ Young People’s Programme, Luke spent an hour earlier in the day leading a workshop with young local musicians and some came to his evening performance. Alfie Jack, a local acoustic duo, entertained us to a couple of great self-penned songs from the floor, displaying that close musical empathy often found with brothers.
Looking ahead, tonight is Spalding Folk Club singaround at Welland Yacht Club (8pm).
On Monday there is a tune and song session at the Pig and Whistle, Swineshead (8pm) and an Acoutstic Café session for young musicians on Tuesday at South Holland Centre (6-7.30pm). On Thursday at Arts Coritani, Swineshead, the guest at the Last Thursday acoustic folk and blues club is Kent Duchaine (8pm). The No Frills ceilidh takes place next Friday with the Beltonas and Slapdash Appalachian dancers at St Mary’s Church Hall, Pinchbeck (7.45pm).
Finally, Spalding Folk Club’s next guest at South Holland Centre on June 3 is Bob Fox.