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sidetracks & detours present PASS IT ON 60 weekend supplement Sunday 7 7 2024

sidetracks & detours

present

PASS IT ON 60

weekend supplement Sunday 7 7 2024

CONTENTS

Hear The Call

COME FOLLOW YOUR ART

with Akela

FOLLOWING THE FESTIVALS

Worsley Festival

Manchester Music Festival

Cambridge  Folk Festival

with Alfred Michael

Live Folk Music

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

preview by Manchester Folk newsletter

Recorded Folk Music

Official Folk Chart Ratings June 2024

reviewed by Manchester Folk newsletter

Live Jazz at The Progress Theatre

JAZZ SUITE: UNDER MILK WOOD

ART THEMEN Sax on Thames

CLARE TEAL FIVE

AN OSCAR FOR ELLA

CONCERT FOR UKRAINE

preiews and reviews by Jazz In Reading and Trevor Bannister

Jazz On Air

HOT BISCUITS served on a silver platter by Steve Bewick

Live classical Music

Rochdale Music Society: HZ DUO AND TIAN WU

review by Graham Marshall

A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward.

Edale Bluegrass Festival. I WAS THERE

by Peter Pearson

Island Insights

Dancing in the aisles, 2nd July 2024, Playa Blanca

by Norman Warwick

REELING IN THE YEARS with Norman Warwick

Hear The Call

COME FOLLOW YOUR ART

with Akela

Hello, and welcome to another bursting at the covers edition  of PASS IT ON 60, our weekly Sunday Supplement of all  the stories, listing and news article we couldn´t squeeze into our daily posts to Sidetracks and Detours last week. Today´s collection therefore includes a piece by our festival following correspondent and stories of festivals, gigs and recordings as reported by the I Love Manchester newsletter. Jim Wade and Trevor Bannister from Jazz In Reading between them preview and review the jazz scene in that part of the UK, and Steve Bewick delivers his weekly recipe for Hot Biscuits, as served in his mixcloud jazz programme. Graham Marshall reports form The Rochdale Music Society  and Peter Pearson proudly proclaims ´I Was There´ as he reports on a fondly remembered Edale Bluegrass Festival. Norman Warwick closes proceedings with a further Island Insight, as he introduces a very popular singer and live performer on Lanzarote.

If you have missed any of our posts on sidetracks & detours this week you can always find them in our easy to negotiate archives. The most recent posts of almost 1,200 free to read items include  a look at familial harmony and content, and we highlight a historic theatre looking to a bright future.  We remind you that, even the 21st century, folk rocks ! Whilst gathering all this news we have been listening on our headphones to a new album of Sheku Kanneh Mason and friends playing Beethoven´s Triple Concerto, and even whilst we have been reading up on Sheku and his six musical siblings.

And, as I mentioned earlier, there is so much new stuff into PASS IT ON 60, so,…

o

FOLLOWING THE FESTIVALS

Worsley Festival

Manchester Music Festival

Cambridge  Folk Festival

with Alfred Michael

I remember my son in law´s birthday is 31st August so I thought I might drop down below and explore some of his old haunts. He never stopped telling us of all the cricket grounds he played on in the North West as a junior player for Prestwich. So when I found myself down at Roe Green Cricket Club, where Norman used to play against Worsley a poster caught my attention. Worsley Festival, claimed the poster, will be Featuring 3 Headline Acts over the bank holiday weekend at the month end of August. These acts include:-

Reggie n Bollie – X Factors Runner Up

Nathan Moore – Everyones Favourite 80’s entertainer.

Ultrabeat – DJ Set

Along with a stellar line up of tribute acts this promises to be a fantastic day out with all the family.

Do It Like Dua (Dua Lipa)

Rock Stewart as Rod

THR33 – Tribute to the iconic Boybands

Ultimate Coldplay Live Band

Early Bird tickets on sale now priced from £6.99

Book Worsley Live at Roe Green Cricket Club

I also received a newsletter about the forthcoming Manchester Music Festival, although the classical music genre of this festival will be in stark contrast to the acts previously described.

Fundraiser & Reception: Pianist Vassily Primakov in Concert

Sunday, July 14 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Manchester Music Festival is thrilled to welcome the return of renowned pianist Vassily Primakov to our 50th Anniversary Season.  Vassily will take the stage to perform 12 virtuosic Etudes by Saint-Saens, Scriabin, Blumenfeld, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Chopin, as well as Mussorgsky´s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. Join us for an unforgettable evening at SVAC´s Arkell Pavilion followed by a special reception at Yester House.

Whilst down there in Manchester I also noticed a new poster listing the musicians who will be taking part in Manchester Folk Festival 2025.

I hope to be coming back down to earth before then, of course, for more Manchester Folk  events in 2024 such as those listed below.

Don´t forget, too, another notable forthcoming event. Cambridge Folk Festival.

Following Festivals with Alfred Michael

25 – 28 Jul 2024 Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL

preview by Manchester Folk newsletter

With a line-up featuring Robert Plant, Transatlantic Sessions, Peggy Seeger, Oyster Band and
many more fabulous folk artists, Cambridge Folk Festival is set to be one of the music highlights of 2024.

We are thrilled to continue our annual presence at the festival by bringing four Manchester artists to Stage 3 on Friday 26th July, thanks to support from Greater Manchester Combined Authority. You can find out more about the fantastic Brown Wimpenny, Harp & a Monkey, Kirsty Almeida and Robbie Cavanagh

Live Acoustic Folk Music

Hannah Scott

Band On The Wall Saturday 19th October

previewed by Manchester Folk newsletter

In support of her eagerly awaited new album, Absence Of Doubt, acclaimed story-teller Hannah Scott returns to Manchester in October. Scott´s writing might be deeply personal but her music has a universal appeal, that extends beyond the melodies you catch yourself humming almost immediately after hearing her songs for the first time.

So visit Manchester in October to catch this concert by an artist who is admired by her peer group, with even Seth Lakeman praising ´her wonderful song-writing´.

Live Acoustic Folk Music

THE UNTHANKS IN WINTER.

New Century Hall, Manchester, Sunday, December 15th 2024

previewed by Manchester Folk newsletter

A little later, towards the end of this year, you might want to have a listen to The Unthanks In Winter. After a stunning sell-out show at The Albert Hall last year it will be great to welcome The Unthanks In Winter back to Manchester for this event. Fans can expect winter tunes know throughout the Western world amidst a mixture of the traditional and the newly written.

Live Acoustic Folk Music

GRACE PETRIE

Manchester Club Academy Saturday 31 5 2025

preview by Manchester Folk newsletter

Following an earlier stormer of a set played in Manchester it is fantastic to know that cult hero and queer icon Grace Petrie is already booked for a return to the city in 2025. It is wonderful to know already that we can again see a gig by one of the country´s most loved songwriters.

Check out on line sites for bookings and ticket availabilities.

Recorded Folk Music Chart

Official Folk Chart Ratings June 2024

reviewed by Manchester Folk newsletter

Richard Thompson’s twentieth solo album Ship To Shore takes the No. 1 spot this month. The twelve-track album draws from the broad roots of Thompson’s influences, from English folk through jazz, country, classical and more. Mojo says of the album, ‘It is a record about defeat, despair and humiliation delivered with an unsettling avuncular twinkle.´

Another exceptional guitarist and songwriter entering our top ten, Bernard Butler, formerly of Suede, lands at No. 4 with Good Grief. Butler’s folk influences go back through his career including many performances with folk guitarist Bert Jansch as well as producing albums for Sam Lee. The album marks a return to solo work after two and a half decades.

No. 5 is Linda Thompson’s Proxy Music, her first album in over a decade. It features guest vocals from Teddy and Kami Thompson, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, The Unthanks and Eliza Carthy, and includes guitar from Richard Thompson. The album title reflects Linda’s vocal challenges caused by the rare condition spasmodic dysphonia and therefore her call out to her ‘proxies’ to lend their singing to the project.

In at No. 13 is Luireach by all-female Irish vocal four piece Landless. Produced by John ‘Spud’ Murphy (Lankum, ØXN) and featuring Cormac MacDiarmada from Lankum (fiddle, viola, banjo). The Guardian describes Landless as, ‘a deliciously doomier Clannad’. Hot Press describes the album as, ‘sinister and hypnotic, with harmony being the weapon of choice for the band.’

Out Of The Rain, the fifth album from Blair Dunlop, comes in at No. 23. Produced by Jim Moray, Spiral Earth says the album is ‘a celebration of spring, newness and freedom.’ KLOF magazine says, ‘this is a glorious welcome re-energised return that should comfortably reinstate Dunlop among folk rock’s upper echelons.’

o

Live Jazz at The Progress Theatre

JAZZ SUITE: UNDER MILK WOOD

Friday 12th July 2024 at  7.30 pm

preview by Jazz In Reading

Ewen Baird tenor saxophone

Martin Pickett piano

Steve Kershaw double bass

Mike Goff drums

Siân Goff & Tom Neill narrators

You’ve heard the original Radio Drama and seen the Play – now experience the Musical!

OK, not exactly a musical – but read on…

In 1965, inspired by Dylan Thomas’ masterpiece, renowned pianist and composer Stan Tracey, ‘the godfather of British jazz’, composed Jazz Suite: Under Milk Wood – a beautifully constructed set of eight tunes, each with an unmistakably individual character, including the acknowledged genius of the tone-poem Starless and Bible Black.

Jazz in Reading – in collaboration with Progress Theatre – has arranged a performance of the work: Stan Tracey’s music interwoven with Dylan Thomas’ words.

This is a rare opportunity to experience two musical and literary masterworks at their uplifting and life-affirming best.

“A friend of mine has attended every presentation of this performance to date having attended the previous five at Goring, Oxford, Marlow, Bracknell and Reading. He finds new treasures to enjoy on each occasion. So will you. This is not to be missed.”Trevor Bannister.

Progress Theatre
The Mount, Off Christchurch Road
Reading RG1 5HL

Live Jazz

ART THEMEN Sax on Thames

Friday 19 July 2024

Thames Traditional Boat Festival
Fawley Meadows, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2HY

6.15pm Riverside Stage preview by Jazz In Reading

Legendary Henley Musician Art Themen will open this year’s Trad Festival on the riverside, Henley-on-Thames Friday 19th July.
Art’s Jazz and Blues Quintet take to the Riverside Stage 6.15pm; kicking off a weekend of incredible musicians and evening entertainment.

Art Themen’s illuminate presence on the world jazz circuit for over 40 years. He toured the globe fronting Stan Tracey’s quartet and played alongside all the British and American legends. A friend and regular at Ronnie Scott’s club (Art even acquired Ronnie Scott’s sax).

Originally a blues saxophonist back in 1966 with Alexis Korner, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (before Eric Clapton joined when the band became CREAM). Outside the jazz world, he’s worked with fellow Henley Beatle George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Chuck Berry, Joe Cocker, Row Stewart and even Bing Crosby.

The Thames Traditional Boat Festival is the world’s largest gathering of vintage river craft. Remembering D-Day’s 80th anniversary with a flotilla of the original Dunkirk little ships all perfectly restored. Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and bi-plane flypast. Festival stalls galore, street food and a Pop up Crooked Billet Stoke Row bar, canteen and live music stage.

Artists Art Themen, Buddy King, Rob Berry, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Mickey Gallagher (Animals, Clash, Blockheads) Ding Dong Daddios.

Live Jazz

CLARE TEAL FIVE

The Haymarket, Basingstoke Saturday 21st September 2024

preview by Jazz In Reading

She’s back! Expect exhilarating swing from award-winning jazz vocalist and long-time Radio 2 and Jazz FM broadcaster Clare Teal and her marvellous band, who return with a fabulous new show celebrating the hits and hidden gems of the Great American and British Songbooks, plus contemporary covers and originals. The concert will also include favourites from her DVD, The Fireside Sessions.

Teal’s live shows are constantly evolving, always richly infused with jazz and critically renowned across the country for their fabulous arrangements, interspersed with Clare’s warm and witty storytelling.


As one of the UK’s greatest interpreters of popular song and much-loved performers, Clare and her band (Jason Rebello – piano, Ferg Ireland – bass, Will Cleasby – drums, and Dave Archer – guitar) guarantee an evening of inspirational, uplifting music and unbridled entertainment performed by the very best.

Call 01256 844244 to reserve seats.

Live Jazz In Reading Saturday 20 July 7.30pm

Crowmarsh Jazz: Craig Milverton & Joanna Eden
AN OSCAR FOR ELLA

Crowmarsh Village Hall, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, OX10 8ED

preview by Jazz In Reading

Celebrating the pairing of two of jazz’s greatest artists. When Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald first met for ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’ they found they were a natural pairing and a legend was born.


From the throw-away ‘A Tisket A Tasket’ which brought Ella to fame in the forties with the Chick Webb Orchestra, to later songbook album classics like Porter’s ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’ and Gershwin’s ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, Eden mines the rich seam of Ella Fitzgerald’s unrivalled canon with humility, style and obvious deep affection.

“The full house clamoured for an encore to which Joanna fittingly responded with the enduring Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” – London Jazz Review

“Sophisticated, stylish vocals” – Jazz Journal.

“Craig Milverton is Britain’s nearest to Oscar Peterson and the best to come along in the last 20 years” – Digby Fairweather.

With six solo albums to her credit, Joanna Eden is considered one of the finest singer-pianists in the UK with a style that covers a broad spectrum, through jazz, soul, bossa nova and blues. Joanna’s interaction with her audience is warm and she has built up a huge following over her 20 years, performing regularly at Ronnie Scott’s Club, The Stables & Apex concert halls. The quality of Joanna’s live work is reflected by the stellar list of artists she and her world class band have supported including Van Morrison, Tom Jones, Jamie Cullum, Roy Hargrove and The Buena Vista Social Club.

Craig Milverton is very much in demand as a solo pianist, with his virtuoso ability and comprehensive knowledge of the entire jazz spectrum. He is also sought after as a skilled accompanist to a range of star vocalists. His trios are regularly required to back visiting American soloists at festivals and venues across the country including Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski and Warren Vache. Few British pianists have Craig’s thorough knowledge and grasp of jazz styles. His love of the music shines through and he is a natural at whatever he plays.


Craig Milverton – piano
Joanna Eden – vocals 
Ashley John Long– bass
Alex Goodyear – drums

About Jazz in Reading

Jazz in Reading stages regular events with top-class bands at Reading’s Progress Theatre.

We list jazz events in Reading and the wider area at no charge – simply submit your gig details.  We also offer an affordable service to further promote events – such as the one above  by email.

Jazz in Reading, using its extensive contacts in the jazz world, is in an excellent position to help you find the right band for your wedding, party or other special occasion.

Live Jazz Review

CONCERT FOR UKRAINE

Jazz Concert in Support of Ukraine

Reading Minster Friday 14th June 2024

reviewed by Trevor Bannister, for Jazz In Reading

Ukraine Solidarity Jazz Band:

Katrina Likhtman, Fleur Stevenson, Steve Foster vocals,

Robert Otwinowski guitar,

Matt Potts piano,

Steve Kershaw bass

Ben Robins drums

special guest Kyrill Avilov alto saxophone

In bold defiance of President Putin’s latest ‘peace’ offering, the Ukraine Solidarity Jazz Band kept the indomitable flame of Ukrainian freedom burning brightly in their Jazz Concert in Support of Ukraine, held in the tranquil surroundings of Reading Minster on Friday 14 June 2024.

The brainchild of locally based vocalist Katrina Likhtman, who assembled the USJB from like-minded musicians active in the Thames Valley, this unique musical package has already performed to acclaim in Sheffield and Wallingford. Future venues will include Oxford and a much-anticipated appearance in Brighton with poll-winning vocalist Claire Martin as guest artist.

A moving introduction, delivered in both Ukrainian and English, by Yuliia Sytnyk, a member of AUGB (Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain), welcomed the audience to the Minster. The purpose of the concert she explained, was to raise funds for much needed humanitarian support for the people of Ukraine, to ensure that their fight for freedom was not forgotten by the wider world and to deliver a message of peace and unity through the joyous medium of jazz.

Messrs Otwinowski, Potts, Kershaw and Robins set the pace for the evening with a swinging arrangement of ‘Too Close for Comfort’. Matt Potts clearly revelled in the opportunity to play an excellent baby-grand piano, which gave a full voice to his inventive playing and filled the highest vaults of the Minster with its glorious sound.

By comparison, Katrina with her light tones and crystal-clear diction, brought a mischievous charm to ‘C’est Si Bon’ (It’s So Good), once a hit song for the great Eartha Kitt. ‘People’ will be forever associated with Barbra Streisand, but on this occasion, Katrina made the song entirely her own, imbuing the lyrics with a special feeling, supported by the sensitive accompaniment of the instrumentalists. Steve Kershaw contributed an especially fine bass solo.

Katrina took great pleasure in introducing the evening’s ‘special’ guest; a young man, she explained, who had left Ukraine with little more than his mobile-phone and his treasured alto saxophone. He had finished his GCSE exams only that morning and was now ready to play his part in the concert.

Kyrill Avilov will be a name to remember. He thrilled the audience with his flawless rendition of Irving Berlin’s ‘Cheek to Cheek’ conjuring images of Fred Astaire gliding across the dance floor with Ginger Rogers and the more recent vocal partnership of Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.

Next, firm favourite Fleur Stevenson brought her inspirational qualities to the stage to deliver two classic standards, ‘Let’s Fall in Love’ and ‘The Nearness of You’, in impeccable style.

Swapping his role as ‘house photographer’ for that of solo vocal-artist, Steve Foster brought a distinct change of mood with ‘Buddy Can You Spare Dime’. A potent combination Steve’s voice/harmonica and a plaintive bass solo by Steve Kershaw captured the full emotional depth of this anthem of the Great Depression. Steve completed his first set in more uplifting spirits with ‘It Had To Be You’.

As the interval and the promise of refreshments in Ukrainian style beckoned, Katrina and Fleur joined Steve to ride out the first set in party mood with ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing If it Ain’t Got That Swing’.

The warm tones of Robert Otwinsowski’s guitar, which had been such an enjoyable feature of the first set, opened the second set with ‘A Ballad of All Saints’, a beguiling original by Robert himself.

Fleur Stevenson’s remarkable versatility was well to the fore on her second appearance with a seamless switch from the gentle breeze of Antonio Carlos Jobin’s delightful bossa-nova, ‘Dindi’ to the passionate emotion of ‘At Last’ She was well supported by the excellent rhythm section.

Rapturous applause greeted Kyril Avilov’s return to the stage. Given Katrina‘s stunning evening attire, how could he have chosen anything else for his second piece than ‘Lady In Red’? The performance captured all the magic of Chris de Burgh’s 1986 hit song and earned Kyril a hug of congratulation from Matt Potts. We wish Kyrill every success with his GCSE exams and future career as a saxophonist.

Steve Foster chose two of Nat King Cole’s most memorable songs for his second set. Having expressed the mystic qualities of ‘Nature Boy’ he set himself up in the driving seat of a classic Buick, placed his foot firmly on the accelerator and set off to traverse ‘Route 66’, powered by the drums of Ben Robins working on all cylinders.  Great fun!

Katrina brought the concert to a fitting close with two songs from her homeland; ‘Cheremshina (Bird Cherry Tree Blossom)’, a slow, beautifully expressed love song followed by the jaunty ‘Oi, Chorna Ya, Sy Chorna (O, Smarthy, Smarthy), which set heads nodding, feet stamping and hands clapping.

No jazz concert is complete without an encore and the Jazz Concert in Support of Ukraine could not be an exception. The entire ensemble assembled once more on stage to lift the roof with a final jam to ‘Pennies From Heaven’ and’ Bye Bye Blackbird’.

The Jazz Concert In Support of Ukraine succeeded magnificently in all its aims. The Ukraine Solidarity Jazz Band, the AUGB and Reading Minster are to be congratulated on their initiative, an opportunity ‘to stand with Ukraine, the country fighting for the freedom of its people and the wider democratic world’.

Proceeds from ticket and refreshment sales, plus individual donations, raised a magnificent sum in excess of £1,500.  Look out for the Go Fund Me link on line.

I will leave the final word to Katrina Likhtman, ‘It is a great honour to play and sing with these fantastic musicians who make these concerts possible. I am in awe of their generosity and loving spirit.’ Here, here!

© Trevor Bannister

On air sign background

Jazz On Air

HOT BISCUITS served on a silver platter

by Steve Bewick

Here in the HOT BISCUITS studio we feel certain there are a number of reasonbs for you to tune and take a listen to next week´s programme. We wsill then deliver to you `A Love Letter Too Jazz.`

The show features  three bands, one producer and two musicians creating new music from Glasgow. Join me and those musicians, Peter Hamilton and Lewis Mildenhall.

Also crafting their skills is the KEN COLYER SOCIETY. and we also include Jo Harrop with a jazz rendition of a Lenard Cohen piece.

Alex Clarke Jazz will tell us what life is like On The Upside.` Eddie Gripper,  gives us When I Fall In Love.` The Tasos Gkoumas Trio,  take us Flying Home.` Unfurl will also be  Coming Along.`

We will close the edition of HOT BISCUITS with a Goodbye from Peter Cook & Dudley Moore – Appreciating Royal Society Egging (A.R.S.E.) If this piques your interest then you can  follow me at www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick/ day, or night and then PASS IT ON

Live Music

Rochdale Music Society: HZ DUO AND TIAN WU

classical music´s best Scrabble score

review by Graham Marshall (below right)

Here’s my (belated) Review of the last Rochdale Music Society concert, which ended the 2023-24 Concert Series in June.

For this last concert of the Rochdale Music Society’s Concert Series 2023 – 24 a programme of Classical and Romantic music was performed by members of the Hz Duo, Shuwei Zuo (violin) and Xin He (viola) with pianist Tian Wu.

It began and ended with two Mozart masterpieces. The first was the Duo KV 423 for Violin and Viola, a work which gave the two string players plenty of scope to demonstrate from the outset that they were going to be synchronised heart and mind in whatever they would be playing together. A perfectly balanced flourish opened the work, and they continued effortlessly in tandem as they went on through the friendly and agreeable musical conversation of the first movement and the moments of melodic climax in the second movement to the breezy and playful concluding third movement. The audience was evidently delighted with their upfront enjoyment of this showcase display of Mozart’s musical artistry and their own technical skills.

In between were two works from the Romantic era. First, the Max Bruch Concerto for Violin and Viola in which the string players were joined by pianist Tian Wu, who provided them with a suitably colourful account of the original orchestral accompaniment. Accompanying in this kind of way is a skill in itself. Tian demonstrated his skill splendidly. The music was composed with the composer’s clarinettist son, Max Felix, in mind, so was originally for Clarinet and Viola. An arrangement for violin and viola was made very soon after. This has remained a popular alternative, deservedly so as the attractive performance given by Shuwei Zuo and Xin He proved.

The individual personalities of violin and viola were clearly presented by Shuwei and Xin in such a way as to assure the audience that they were completely at one in performing this expansive music with its elegiac warmth which shows no sense of regret. Indeed, the last movement, which might be said to open with an invitation to the duet to give a demonstration dance, proceeds in dance-like fashion with each partner making a colourful and balletic contribution to the display, and ends with the dancers bowing to each other and leaving the dance floor hand in hand thoroughly pleased with their performance. And so they should have been!

The other Romantic era music was Louis Spohr’s Grand Duo for Violin and Viola. This work was performed with admirable attention to its melodic and harmonic detail, showing that the composer is somewhat underrated these days and should, perhaps, be much better represented in the twenty-first century concert hall.

The other Mozart masterpiece was his Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, with which the concert ended. Once again, all three musicians demonstrated their artistry and skill in a performance of the highest order which provided a most attractive and entertaining musical experience that Mozart himself would surely have appreciated.

Details of the Society’s 2024-25 Concert Series will be available shortly on the website: www.rochdalemusicsociety.org

I think the Rochdale amateur LIGHT Orchestra concert last night went well. The audience seemed to appreciate the skill and effort all the players had put in to make it the very happy and rewarding occasion of music making we wanted it to be.

I myself was delighted that we received very warm applause for performing music of wide-ranging scope, from youthful Mozart to mature Mancini. Making effective arrangements for our particular ensemble of instruments is not always easy, but it gives me a real sense of achievement to feel that I’ve done so!

We’ll be repeating the concert on 17 July in Holy Trinity Church Littleborough.

A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward.

The Hills Were Alive With The Sound Of Music.

Edale Bluegrass Festival

I WAS THERE by Peter Pearson

In the 80’s and 90’s my Dad and I used to go rambling in the UK Peak District, Derbyshire, nearly every week-end. It was less than an hour´s drive away.

One of our favourite walks was near the tiny village of Edale, which is at the start of the Pennine Way. The routes we took would lead us through open fields past various farms and barns and often to Mam Tor (known as the shivering mountain).

This is the area famous for the right to roam mass protest of 1932, when hundreds of men and women defied the law to walk over hills and moorland to the plateau of Kinder Scout, Derbyshire, in what would, after several more years of protest and lobbying, become the Peak District National Park.

As music fans we were aware of the famous folk trains that had been running on the local Hope Valley line for many years and continue to this day. The trains are organised by volunteers and cost no more than regular train tickets. Folk music fans travel the line with a group of folk musicians, starting from Manchester Piccadilly or, at the other end, Sheffield. There is a group sing song along the way, culminating in a visit to the famous Edale Rambler Inn, where the music continues before piling back on to the train in late evening for more music all the way back to the starting point.

We were also vaguely aware that there was an annual Edale Bluegrass Festival. There was no internet in those days to find out more information and we were surprised that in this relatively small area, we had seen no signs of the Festival itself or of information about it. We were aware that the Festival took place on one of the Edale farms in the barns and surrounding areas, but had not seen any farms or barns on our travels that we thought might be suitable for such an event.

We continued in blissful ignorance for several years until, in early 1992, we heard BBC Radio 1, DJ Andy Kershaw  announce that the Edale Bluegrass Festival in June that year would be headlined by the rising young American Bluegrass star, Alison Krauss.

That piqued my interest and on our next ramble in the area I began to make enquiries of locals as to where exactly this Festival took place. When I found out I was flabbergasted. It was a farm we had passed hundreds of times on our rambles.

All the barns were full of either livestock or feed, or both and were dilapidated, to put it mildly and it beggared belief that Alison Krauss and her band, Union Station, (though relatively still unknown outside USA Bluegrass circles) would shortly be performing in one of them.

The history of the Edale Bluegrass Festival dates back to 1976. Steve Reed, known as the father of Bluegrass Festivals in the UK, decided that after years of going to the Cambridge Folk Festival and playing Bluegrass, it was time that his local area,

Edale, hosted a Bluegrass Festival. Together with a number of other like-minded individuals they set up the first annual Edale Bluegrass Festival in September 1976. with pickers on the fringe (left) and their own washboard man (right) However, because he liked to go off on his holidays without anything on his mind, he moved it to June the following year and thereafter. It was a 2 day week-end festival. The headline act would perform on both days on a main stage in the barn. Support acts would also feature in the barn and there would be outside fringe events and pickin’ sessions free of charge.

Steve was assisted by local musician Tom Travis. Tom had pioneered Bluegrass music in the UK in the 1960’s, first as a member of Bluegrass duo Tom and Smiley, establishing a recording career in the UK, followed by the Tom Travis Bluegrass Incident Band, establishing international recognition. Along the way, through his administrative work with the British Bluegrass Music Association and a BBC radio series, together with his continuing organisation of the annual Edale Bluegrass Festival, he came to be known as “Mr. Bluegrass U.K”.

The first festival in 1976 took place at the Edale Village Hall, before moving to the local farm at Barber Booth campsite.

Worthy Farm, Glastonbury, this was not. It was basically open access. You could walk into the festival ground and partake of the fringe activities free of charge. Performances on the main stage of the dilapidated large barn were chargeable and you could buy a ticket right up to performance time.

Alison Krauss took to the stage with her Union Station Band, which included Dan Tyminski (Jerry Douglas had not yet then joined the band) to a packed largely seated barn. Many people just watched the show through the gaps in the barn’s structures. Anyone wishing to see the whole set can view it on Youtube. Just Google Alison Krauss, Edale 1992.The show was also recorded by BBC Radio 2 for October broadcast on Wally Whyton’s Country Show.

The previous year, 1991, the festival organisers had staged an even bigger coup by attracting Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley to Edale. Dr Ralph Stanley, as he was known, was revered by all in the international Bluegrass world. Stanley (shown left, on stage) in 1991 was 64 years old and Edale was his first appearance in the UK since playing London in 1966.

A Clawhammer Banjo specialist, Stanley had long since been established as one of the greats of the genre. I missed out on his Edale visit but his full Friday and Saturday sets are available to view on Youtube.

The headline act in 1993 was the Del McCoury Band. The Grammy award winning band are still going strong and are a joy to watch. They were at the top of the Bluegrass tree. Their collaboration several years later with Steve Earle is the stuff of legend and deserves a separate piece on these pages.

In 1995 the headliners were The Lonesome River Band. Less well known than the McCourys, but just as impressive in performance, they were superb. By this time Dan Tyminski had migrated to their number but the highlight of the set for me was lead vocalist and bass player, Ronnie Bowman’s delivery of the song “Listen to the Old Man”. The band were previously unknown to me but I walked out of the barn after their set and went straight to the Festival record stall and bought their new album ” Old Country Town”, which features the song. They mingled freely inside the festival grounds and were only too pleased to autograph albums and other paraphernalia.

Sadly it was not long after that the Festival relocated to a more secure site in Nottingham, and then ceased altogether.

Organiser Tom Travis said that it was no longer a viable proposition. It was impossible to secure the site and too many people were able to view the

headliners free of charge.

headliners free of charge.

 

Island Insights

Dancing in the aisles, 2nd July 2024, Playa Blanca

REELING IN THE YEARS

with Norman Warwick

Our reports from all the across arts on Lanzarote often include reviews of concerts of classical, folk lore and popular music usually staged in grand venues such as Jameos del Agua, for example, or Convento Santo Domingo in Teguise.

There is, of course a rich seam of musical attractions that are, perhaps, aimed at the tourist visitors more than at the indigenous or new resident sector on the island. Jazz music is well represented in this genre as, too, is rock music of the Neil Diamond and Rod Stewart variety. Because we can see and hear this ubiquitous sound-track everywhere we go, we new residents perhaps take it for granted. We know that usually the musicians delivering these sounds are more than competent but we perhaps don´t expect anyone in particular to stand out in the pack.

Last night, though, we found just such a performer.

The setting was a venue we had never previously visited that was, in fact, a concession restaurant, Bailey Bar, on a tourist complex called Jardines del Sol. As so often happens when we set off down sidetracks and detours in search of treasure, it took us only a few steps to realise we had diamonds on the soles of our shoes.

This restaurant was only a quarter of a mile from our home in Playa Blanca and is basically there to serve holiday-makers on the complex. Beautifully lit and decorated with maybe fifty covers, Bailey Bar, has a sister restaurant in Puerto Del Carmen we learned last night.

We were visiting with our friends and neighbours, Linda and Mike who had known of the place and recommended it to us because there is a resident singer, (twice weekly appearances) that apparently they have been following around the island for nearly twenty years now.

When we arrived, Mike having taken advantage of the restaurant´s reservation scheme had booked a table for four, and we entered to find several of the tables already occupied, a very welcoming and professional staff, effusive management greeting Mike and Linda like the old friends they are, and at the same time making us feel very relaxed.

Within a few minutes the waiters had taken our drinks order and we had decided what we each were going to eat. Dee and I shared a fried cheese plate of the tapas starters, and Dee ordered Avocado and Prawn salad, which she later described as absolutely delicious and very filling. I had ordered what was definitely one of the top ten sirloin steaks I have ever enjoyed. Well done, with potatoes, vegetable and pepper sauce, and spectacularly huge. Linda and Mike had shared chicken croquettes off the tapas starters, with Linda having the same avocado dish as Dee, and Mike ordering ´fish of the day´.

Just as we began eating there was aloud cry of greeting from a very attractive lady who came rushing to our table to greet Linda and Mike. They hadn´t seen each other since the previous gig, last Saturday. This, it turned out, was Rut (left), the singer, and even in conversation it was immediately clear that she had the kind of personality that helps an artist stand out from the rest.

I liked the fact that she and the restaurant management scheduled her performance times in a way that allowed diners to enjoy their meal and conversations and have the table cleared, so they can settle back to hear a concert, (it was certainly deserving of that word) that seemed to include all the hits since the sixties.

Rut perched herself behind a mixing desk of backing tracks etc that she and her husband, Andrew, had put together whilst we were all busy telling each other how good our food was.

So what was it that identified Rut as a concert performer rather than a busker? Perhaps it was a track list that I would have happily claimed as one of my own playlists on my computer.

Mrs Robinson was still that jaunty, flirty woman who so distracted The Graduate, and Rut´s Tina Turner powerhouse delivery of Proud Mary was excellent. There was a powerful delivery of Come On Eileen, by Dexys Midnight Runners, and some beautiful jazz numbers, too, associated with the likes of Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin.

We hear a lot of these songs in the pubs and bars of Lanzarote, but Rut´s accent gives her a distinctive edge, and the movement from track to track was seamless; no loud whoops or whistles from the technology no false starts, no head down fiddling with sound controls.

 

Linda waltzes with a waiter

And that allowed her to engage between songs with her audience and deliver her great trick of enticing dancers on to the floor without becoming demanding or aggressive. And because this was the right artist at the right venue the dancers left their tables to dance on the fairly small floor.

That put me in mind of just about the only track I might have added to her playlist, because these dancers were, in the  words of  Steely Dan, rockin´in the aisles and reelin´in the years. I watched Mike and Linda cut a fine rug (who knew?)  on several occasions throughout the set and even persuaded my wife Dee to deliver her barely moving soft shoe shuffle.

Gradually the floor filled, with the couple from our next door table being a surprise Fred and Ginger.

As if I needed any further reason to ensure we celebrate this performance and remember her name, Rut delivered a gorgeous version of Daydream Believer, written by my hero John Stewart and recorded by The Monkees, Anne Murray (who has admitted she never understood the song)  and the rest of the world.

Near the close of Rut´s show she gave us a great version of a hit by Dire Straits that saw one family of four or six join the dancers and give a quite inspired, almost choreographed, Walk Of Life !

I spoke to Rut and Andrew after the performance and we will definitely bring you an interview with them  over the next couple of weeks.

Watch this space.

Thanks to all the team for pulling together today´s comprehensive PASS IT ON  supplement of arts-related stories. They deserved their hard earned weekend off, but of course they will be out there tomorrow wandering unfamiliar soundtracks and detours like characters in search of a story. They will meet down at Jazz Junction around which the world revolves and the music evolves. They will post stories of jazz artists and their albums old and new. On Tuesday our team will find reference on line and join those Travelling On The Path Of Joni Mitchell.  On Wednesday, whilst the rest of the team continue their search for news from all across the arts, our newest recruit, Rosa Marie Staves, will shut herself in our archive rooms to bring you another review highlight. She will meet up with the rest of the gang to have a listen to a new triple concerto album by the remarkable cellist, Sheku Kannah Mason. Given that Sheku is one of seven musical siblings, each with fascinating and solo stories to tell, I´ll be expecting the team back in the office early on Friday morning  with one or two books about the family, so we can continue building our bigger bookshelf, that has now been in construction for over a year. So there will be plenty of reading for you next week.

Please note however, that our office will then cease publication for a very short time due to an unavoidable absence of our editor for medical reasons and will therefore not publish from  Saturday 12th July until Sunday 25th July. I am confident our writers and friends at the listings agencies and readers will continue to e-mail their work to normanwarwick55@gmail.com so that it can be collated during our closure and made available in PASS IT ON 61, to be published on Sunday 25th July.

Our readers, of course, can continue during this short closure to access our easy to navigate archives of around 1,200 free to read items in our not for profit blog.

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