Whitstable Sessions Music Club https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk Sun, 11 Jun 2017 12:47:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/cropped-whitstablesessions-32x32.png Whitstable Sessions Music Club https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk 32 32 First Night in New Venue https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/first-night-new-venue/ Thu, 18 May 2017 09:59:56 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=370 We had a great “first night” in our new venue – St Mary’s Hall – with Martha Tilston on May 7th. Below are some excellent photos kindly provided by Peter Campbell Saunders.    

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We had a great “first night” in our new venue – St Mary’s Hall – with Martha Tilston on May 7th. Below are some excellent photos kindly provided by Peter Campbell Saunders.

 

 

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Bronwynne Brent Interview https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/bronwynne-brent-interview/ Wed, 10 May 2017 13:37:41 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=365 Bronwynne Brent interviewed by Neil Myners… includes WSMA winners.

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Bronwynne Brent interviewed by Neil Myners… includes WSMA winners.

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Whitstable Sessions Music Award Winners 2016 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/awards-2016/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:59:31 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=314 The winners of the Whitstable Sessions Music Awards 2016 were...

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The winners of the 2016 Whitstable Sessions Music Awards were:

Critic's Choice

Chosen by Debbie Neech, Whitstable Gazette

The Small Glories

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Soundman's Choice

Chosen by Matt Bate, FI Sound Company

Ben Murray & Rosie Doonan

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Interviewer's Choice

Chosen by Neil Myners, Radio Producer

Sam Lee

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Song of the Year

Chosen by Johnny Fewings, Whitstable Sessions

Bronwynne Brent / 'Devil Again'

Session of the Year

Chosen by the audience

Furnace Mountain

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Lewis & Leigh Interview https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/lewis-leigh-interview/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 09:58:30 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=294 Alva Leigh and Al Lewis interviewed by Neil Myners for the Whitstable Sessions Feb 24th 2017

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Alva Leigh and Al Lewis interviewed by Neil Myners for the Whitstable Sessions Feb 24th 2017

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Rayna Gellert Interview https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/rayna-gellert-interview/ Mon, 06 Mar 2017 20:36:50 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=291 Rayna Gellert interviewed at the Whitstable Sessions by Neil Myners on 20th January 2017

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Rayna Gellert interviewed at the Whitstable Sessions by Neil Myners on 20th January 2017

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Review: Lindsay Lou and The Flatbellys – February 2017 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/review-lindsay-lou-flatbellys-february-2017/ Fri, 10 Feb 2017 15:39:04 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=221 “I wrote this song sitting on my front porch in Nashville,” said Lindsay. “It was one of those days when the air is so hot and heavy you feel like you could cut it with a knife – do you get days like that?” As if in answer, at that moment one of the 60mph […]

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“I wrote this song sitting on my front porch in Nashville,” said Lindsay. “It was one of those days when the air is so hot and heavy you feel like you could cut it with a knife – do you get days like that?”

As if in answer, at that moment one of the 60mph gusts they’d been forecasting hit Whitstable with such ferocity that we could hear the wind howling from inside the building, the windows shook in their frames and the sea crashed onto the shingle outside. It was all a long way from a summer in Tennessee.

And yet, by the time she had sung Easy on Your Mind to us we could all imagine ourselves on that porch – no mean feat on a February night in Kent.

The Flatbellys are singer-songwriter and guitarist Lindsay Lou, husband Josh Rilko, a star on mandolin, bass player PJ George and Mark Lavengood on Dobro resonator guitar. Not long before this gig, the band had played to an audience of thousands in Glasgow. Now, singing for 150 of us in the room it felt a little like we were being treated to a private performance and it really was a treat.

They trade instruments and sing harmonies with ease, playing with that kind of intuitive, slick togetherness that looks easy but isn’t and can only come from months and years of touring and playing, perfecting their sound. With one foot in Michigan and the other in Tennessee, that sound blends bluegrass with indie-folk, roots, pop, gospel – it draws on all sorts of influences to emerge as their own brand of Americana.

For a flavour, check out their own song Magic Man or their versions of The River Jordan by May Erlewine or Criminal Style by Todd Grebe to name but three of a seemingly endless stream of great performances from them. I also loved their cover of High Sierra which started the evening, and Dancing in the Moonlight which was part of their encore. From start to finish they were a class act, earning a standing ovation at the end and a clamour to buy their CDs.

We may not have been able to recreate the climate of a summertime Nashville front porch but the reception couldn’t have been any warmer.

 

This review by Debbie Neech also appeared in K M Group newspapers.

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Review: Rayna Gellert Trio – January 2017 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/rayna-gellert-trio-january-2017/ Sat, 21 Jan 2017 16:56:43 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=127 Friday was a pretty big day. First there was the small matter of the 45th President of the United States . Then there was the visit of the Rayna Gellert Trio to Whitstable Sessions . “Tonight we inaugurate the new album and our tour… and that’s the only inauguration I want to talk about!” Rayna […]

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Rayna GellertFriday was a pretty big day. First there was the small matter of the 45th President of the United States . Then there was the visit of the Rayna Gellert Trio to Whitstable Sessions .
“Tonight we inaugurate the new album and our tour… and that’s the only inauguration I want to talk about!” Rayna began.

So we all put the thought of President Trump to one side for the evening and got on with enjoying the visit of this renowned American fiddle player along with Kai Welch on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and percussionist Jamie Dick.

Actually it proved almost impossible to ignore the Trump spectre at our feast, but we made the best of it. When Kai joked of the apocalypse and remarked “we’re f****d” someone in the audience shouted back “join the club” – having agreed on that, laughter and music proved the best possible medicine on an extraordinary day.

I’m a big fan of the American old time string band Uncle Earl, of which Rayna is a founder member, but with this trio tour and the launch of the album Workin’s Too Hard, Rayna is blending a love of the old-time traditions and fiddle tunes with her own songs and music, which means we get a chance to hear her lovely voice as well as the fantastic fiddle playing she is known for.

So in a nicely varied mix we got tasters of the album including the beautiful, lilting Perry, the instantly catchy Grey Bird and the soulful River Town, interspersed with blazing fiddle playing, the hilarious disarray of the gospel song I’m Bound For The Promised Land which went a bit awry, and then the storming finale encore performance of the traditional tune Julianne Johnson.

It was a flying start to the tour and to the album launch. Afterwards Rayna tweeted “Man oh man, Whitstable Sessions is the best! Amazing gig, perfect (and forgiving!) first audience of the tour. Thank you!”

So at least one inauguration on Friday heralded the start of something great.

 

This review by Debbie Neech also appeared in K M Group newspapers.

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Review: Ben Murray and Rosie Doonan – November 2016 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/ben-murray-rosie-doonan-november-2016/ Wed, 30 Nov 2016 20:31:43 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=130 If you’re in East Kent and yet the locals suddenly sound a bit more Geordie, the answer lies in the latest Whitstable Sessions gig. There was a crash course in Geordie from Ben and Rosie in an admittedly ambitious attempt to get the audience to sing along to Rap ‘Er Te Bank. Hands up if […]

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If you’re in East Kent and yet the locals suddenly sound a bit more Geordie, the answer lies in the latest Whitstable Sessions gig.

There was a crash course in Geordie from Ben and Rosie in an admittedly ambitious attempt to get the audience to sing along to Rap ‘Er Te Bank. Hands up if you know exactly what that means.

No? Well I’m half-Geordie and I had to look it up, so don’t feel too bad. It’s the call to send the cage down the mine to pick the pitmen up at the end of a shift. It’s also the title of a lovely traditional song which was a great showcase for the vocal harmonies which were the stand-out feature of this night.

Phrases like ‘wind ‘er away keep tornin’ and ‘the back shift men are gannin’ hyam’ may have defeated some in the audience as far as singing along went, but perhaps that was no bad thing as it allowed all the focus to remain on Ben and Rosie’s voices blending perfectly.

Both Ben, who starred as the Songman in War Horse on the West End, and Rosie, prolific musician and member of the Mighty Doonans family folk band – play keyboards, guitar and accordion beautifully but it is their voices that are their greatest instrument, both separately and especially together. Another layer of sound was added by the superb viola playing of John Metcalfe who joined them for some numbers.

Their performance had something of a work-in-progress feel to it as Ben and Rosie have only recently reunited as a duo, so there was much shuffling around of instruments, chairs, arrangements and set lists to the extent that we probably could have had another three or four songs in the time they took to get organised. Whether you found that irritating or a kind of raw charm perhaps depended on your mood!

While Rap ‘Er Te Bank might have had us needing a phrase book, we were on firmer ground with The Water of Tyne, still Geordie but this time with nothing more tricky then “bonny hinney” to translate, and another traditional folk tune which was beautifully performed by the two of them.

The evening kicked off with singer songwriter Joe Tilston in the support slot (is there no end to the musical talent that runs through the Tilston family?) displaying some great musicianship on guitar and vocals and an easy charm on stage.

Did we have a canny time? Why aye man.

 

This review by Debbie Neech also appeared in K M Group newspapers.

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Review: Furnace Mountain – October 2016 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/furnace-mountain-october-2016/ Mon, 31 Oct 2016 14:00:22 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=155 “I hope y’all don’t mind being called y’all,” mandolin player Danny Knicely asked the Whitstable Sessions audience. Mind? We were so far under the spell of Furnace Mountain we were wishing we lived in the Shenandoah Valley and could be surrounded by the incredibly rich musical history of Virginia which these four musicians embody. So […]

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“I hope y’all don’t mind being called y’all,” mandolin player Danny Knicely asked the Whitstable Sessions audience.

Mind? We were so far under the spell of Furnace Mountain we were wishing we lived in the Shenandoah Valley and could be surrounded by the incredibly rich musical history of Virginia which these four musicians embody. So if you’re greeted by a neighbour in Whitstable this week with a cheery “How y’all doing”, you’ll know where it came from.

We were doing just dandy, listening to the sublime vocal harmonies and mandolin, fiddle, bouzouki and bass which Furnace Mountain served up. This was their third appearance at the club and it was a sell-out – I think word had spread that this band are really something.

There was ample proof of that, from the charm of Ooh Belle to a lovely version of Dink’s Song or their song Graveyard – more uplifting than it sounds. Whether singing about lonesome pines or winter’s nights, setting W.B. Yeats’ poetry to their own music, or playing high-speed instrumental fiddle tunes, they had the audience under that spell and kept them there.

There is something so atmospheric about music drawn from the American Appalachian tradition and performed as well as this that it makes you start planning your trip to Virginia – although listening to West Virginia Boy’s catchy chorus about johnny cakes (fried cornmeal gruel, I looked it up) and sassafras tea (made from tree root and possibly toxic) might not whet your appetite!

The four members of Furnace Mountain have been blessed with a prodigious amount of talent. Danny Knicely, complete with cowboy hat, boots made for dancing and a winning wit, must be the coolest mandolin player around, and the speed at which he can produce a flurry of notes at times defied belief. It doesn’t stop at mandolin, he also plays fiddle and guitar. On fiddle, David Van Deventer gave a master class, while I could listen to the voices of Aimee Curl, who also plays bass, and Morgan Morrison, who also plays bouzouki and guitar, all night long.

So there y’all have it – Furnace Mountain left us on a high.

This review by Debbie Neech also appeared in K M Group newspapers.

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Sean Taylor Interview https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/sean-taylor-interview/ Sat, 29 Oct 2016 19:45:31 +0000 https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/?p=138 Sean Taylor interviewed at Whitstable Sessions by Neil Myners on 14th October 2016.

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Sean Taylor interviewed at Whitstable Sessions by Neil Myners on 14th October 2016.

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