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Sundays - Hitchin Folk Club Concerts

Author: Keiron & Maureen Jones Published: 28th September 2017 15:06




01462 436411; goodmusic@hitchinfolkclub.co.uk;

Doors open at 7.30pm; concerts start at 8.15pm. 

October 1st: Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker

They visited us for the first time last year, and what a delight it was. Josienne & Ben had the audience enthralled, spellbound. Josienne's voice was enchanting, then there was Ben's guitar work, what a great act. They were winners of the Best Duo category at the 2015 Folk Awards. Just two years prior to this accolade Josienne and Ben were virtually unknown on the folk scene (or any other, for that matter), so their success was quite remarkable. What truly sets them apart is the combination of Josienne's exquisitely nuanced, emotionally affecting voice and Ben's intricately expressive, adroit guitar technique. The elegance and sophistication of their music comes entirely from their own discipline, rigour and craft. To emphasise the point, Josienne has been known to quip: "We're not posh, just pretentious!" This self-deprecating humour is key to their much-loved live shows.

Supporting will be Emily Mae Winters. Emily Mae was born in England, raised in and around the rugged coasts of southern Ireland, moved to London in 2009 to pursue a History degree and is now based in Cambridge. Growing up listening to a wide variety of English and Irish Folk music as well American country, she always felt most at home blending transatlantic sounds together. Whilst at university, she began writing her own songs and in 2010 was a finalist in the UK Live and Unsigned competition

October 8th: Slaid Cleaves

What can we say about him? Slaid Cleaves:- Grew up in Maine. Lives in Texas. Writes songs. Makes Records. Travels around. Tries to be good. Granted, there's a whole lot of history and detail that could be shoehorned into that most minimal of biogs to flesh out Cleaves' story. But all that's really called for, from time to time, is a footnote or two to bring folks up to speed on his latest batch of literate, sepia-toned Americana songcraft. This year's bounty comes baring the spooky title of Ghost on the car radio. Slaid really is a great performer, and the only American act of this type that we have at Hitchin. On a recent TV programme presented by comedian Rich Hall, tracing the history of American country music, Slaid was described as one of the great country writers.

This year he will be accompanied by Danish singer/guitarist M C Hanson.

October 15th: Clive Gregson & Liz Simcock

Following the popularity of the last tour, revisiting the Collister & Gregson back catalogue, Clive and Liz have released an album of brand new songs, Underwater Dancing. Since the whirlwind years of Collister & Gregson (1985-1992), Clive's illustrious and varied career has continued apace.  He has toured and recorded with Richard Thompson, Nanci Griffith, Eddi Reader and Boo Hewerdine, Plainsong and Any Trouble, not to mention releasing 13 solo albums.  In 2015 Clive asked songwriter and singer Liz Simcock to join him in a UK tour, a chance to revisit some of the songs from Gregson & Collister days.  Clive says "playing shows that celebrate a hugely enjoyable part of my musical career was well overdue. It had been a very long time since I performed many of those songs..."  Liz was delighted to be asked, saying ... "I've always been a huge fan of Gregson & Collister and couldn't think of anything nicer to be invited to do. They were what got me into writing songs and I think it's a real privilege to be doing this."  The 2015 tour was a resounding success. So much so that Clive and Liz decided to keep the train rolling, play more duo shows and record a CD of brand new Gregsongs.

Sunday 22nd: Martin Simpson

Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety. There is no doubt that after 45 years as a professional musician Martin is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving.  There is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-timey music than Simpson. His 15 years living in the US were well spent. In addition his own songwriting has produced some real gems, from the truck-stop epic, "Love Never Dies" to the profoundly moving "Never Any Good" and "One Day".  Martin has been nominated an astounding 27 times in the fifteen years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - more than any other performer - with 9 consecutive years as nominee for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice.

Sunday 29th: Chris While and Julie Matthews

Winners in the Best Duo category at the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and nine times nominated since 2001 in the Best Duo, Best Song & Best Live Act categories. Chris and Julie's musical partnership began in 1993 when they were key members of the legendary folk super-group The Albion Band. In 1997 they left the band to concentrate on their work as a duo which has seen them tour throughout the world and gain an ever growing devoted fan-base. Both are multi-instrumentalists, Julie plays guitar, piano, ukulele, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica and accordion while Chris plays guitar, bodhran, banjo, dulcimer and percussion. Their musical careers have produced successful solo albums and a variety of projects away from the duo including the Christmas band ‘St Agnes Fountain' with David Hughes and Fairport Convention's Chris Leslie and now the magnificent Daphne's Flight again. Ten studio and two live albums later their partnership flourishes... They are simply the best at what they do, and what they do is beautiful!



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