Variety is music to the ears

The Chris Ronald Trio had the audience singing along. Photo: Johan Pabon (Rapid Eye Movement).
The Chris Ronald Trio had the audience singing along. Photo: Johan Pabon (Rapid Eye Movement).
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A weekly look at the area’s folk scene by Martin Browne of Spalding Folk Club:

It has been a good few days for folk music recently albeit with artists from opposite ends of the spectrum.

Firstly, Spalding Folk Club’s April guest was veteran performer Pete Coe. He has been treading the folk club and festival boards for over 50 years, both home and abroad and has acquired a voluminous repertoire, mainly from the tradition but augmented by some of his own original songs in similar vein.

He entertained us with songs and tunes drawn mainly from his latest album capably accompanied by melodeon, guitar, mountain dulcimer and bouzouki and interspersed them with interesting facts and background details – a great night for the traditionalists among us.

Then we visited Boston Folk Club earlier this week to see the Chris Ronald Trio from Vancouver. Chris’s songs were mostly self-penned with an Americana feel.

Chris’s sweet vocals were underpinned by his sympathetic guitar picking and ukulele strumming. The other band members – Mike Sanshyn (percussion and fiddle) and John Ellis (guitar, mandolin, banjo and lap steel guitar) added greatly to the overall sound.

Rapport with the audience was superb and they had us all singing along especially with standards such as Paul Simon’s The Boxer and Ralph McTell’s Streets of London.

Chris is an incisive, observational songwriter and with a good ear for melody. The two songs that particularly appealed to me were Everything Goes Green, describing nature’s facility for renewal through the seasons and Mosquito, an allegory for the dangers of big business’s exploitation of the earth’s resources – particularly through fracking for shale gas.

○ The folk calendar for the next two weeks starts Thursday, with Spalding Folk Club’s Tune Session at the Lincoln Arms, Bridge Street, Spalding (8pm). All are welcome to join in or just listen.

○ Also at Gedney Hill Village Hall, Hillgate, Gedney Hill The Settlers are giving a concert (7.30pm – tickets £5 on the door).

○ On Sunday 15 there is an afternoon open mic singaround at the Old Ship Inn, Pointon, Sleaford (2pm to 5pm). Contact Rick and Annette on 07827 953252 for details.

○ Haconby Hare Tune Session hosted by Pete Shaw and friends takes place on Monday 16 at the Hare and Hounds, Haconby, Bourne (8pm). Call 01778 571563 for further information.

○ Spalding Folk Club’s singaround session meets at the Welland Yacht Club, Cradge Bank, Spalding, on Thursday 19 (8pm). All welcome to join in or just enjoy the music.

○ Pennyless appear at Moulton Windmill, High Street, Moulton on Friday 20th (7.30pm). Tea and coffee are available but bring your own other drinks. Call 01406 373237 for tickets.

○ On Sunday 22 there is a singaround at the Horseshoes, London Road, Silk Willoughby, Sleaford (4pm) – details from Tony Dobson on 01529 302647.

○ There is also a song and music session at the Castle Inn, High Street, Castle Bytham (7.30–10.30 pm). Ring 01780 410563 for details.

○ Lastly, on Tuesday 24 former Bellowhead member Jon Boden is in concert at the Guildhall Arts Centre, St. Peter’s Hill, Grantham (7.30pm). Box Office 01476 406158.

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ALBUM REVIEW: More a wild Saturday night than a gentle Sunday afternoon

The economics of folk music