Friday May 29th 2020.

In these unprecedented times, we are all doing things differently, as our Zoom folk club
evenings can testify. So, I make no apology to giving a plug to the PSB programme (BBC4 and iPlayer)
which is “the History of Country Music”. Nine, hour long episodes, about music and its development
in the USA. It touches on all aspects of music, given the huge melting pot that it dips into and is
never less than entertaining. Ideal lockdown stuff, though no mention of Joe Ely or Butch Hancock.
In another added bonus to this week’s report, I can reveal that Andrew WR has worked his
magic and we have the technological extravaganza from last evening and (how do you underline in
word?) the live performance of those nice young men from Wrexham (??  probably closer to the Mersey? – JS)- Wet The Tea, when they
visited the club in 2019. A veritable cornucopia of entertainment awaits, well done AWR and well
done Jeff for MC duties.

Alun came early and went early with bandwidth issues. His new router and laptop appear to
be incompatible with the world of Zoom. Maybe he could beam a couple of tracks to Andrew WR as
insurance, in case of similar issues next week.
I am happy to report that we had a few new faces last night as well as a first for the club. An
outside broadcast from Moscow!, Andy G was back, Chris was asleep, Jeff was dispensing advice to
the lovelorn in Pentre Llyn Cymmer and Mike H kicked us off with everyone’s favourite Jockey Cap.
Mike finished off the opening with Raglan Road. A belting (or is it banging?) start.
David Hytch weighed in next with Dylan and Little Richard, Andy had two Johnny Cash
standards. John Warburton preceded his own” Dragons” with a song by a man who played guitar on
David Bowie’s Space Oddity. So there! Mel has obviously got this Zoom business taped. He can
change his background and make people appear. Chas has also been doing his homework too,
because it looked as though he was caressing a somnolent Chris Ruane- ugh!. Mel gave us the usual
high quality fayre. Lindisfarne and Jeremy Taylor’s Jobsworth. Next up were the Brighton duo,
Charlotte Oliver and Richard Spong with a self-penned number and glorious mud. Charlotte has a
very impressive looking concertina (if, indeed, it is a concertina) that Brian Bull would be envious of,
I’m sure. Best wishes to you and yours Brian. Keep well and we hope to see you soon.
We are well into the evening with Jeff keeping all his balls in the air. John Shepherd next
with Jock O’Hazeldene after the Ralph McTell number- Factory girl. More new faces, this time from a
little nearer Wales. Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer are from Staffordshire (and Stuggart) and it was a
pleasure to hear them. Two lovely melodies, one written in and about Ireland, the other more
serious, tackling the homelessness issue. Jeff quickly put them on notice for the second half.
Jeff popped up next with a couple including a Tom Waits song about being able to cadge
cigarettes of good-looking girls. Geoff D was on the Streets of London before a new (to me) one that
Dafydd does Leonard Cohen and T Gwyn has Guto Benfelyn. Gwyn’s second was the Johnny Cash
favourite written by Pete Lefarge- the Ballad of Ira Hayes. The image of a weather-beaten JC was
used on the cover of the Bitter Tears album in 1964, subtitled Songs of the American Indian. The
album was re-released as a “various artists” in 2014 called Look Again to the Wind, with stalwarts
like Emmylou Harris, David Rawlings, Steve Earle, Gillian (hard G) Welch and Rhiannon Giddens
among others. It is a splendid album and one that you should Spotify in these lockdown times.
Next up was our first, very first Muscovite turn. Hello Moscow and hello Natasha. She said
her song was about a horse and a man, so I guess it was a Russian version of Pancho and Lefty. Or
was it Lefty and Pancho?. Anyway, Natasha promises to be back next week with some instruments
and has promised a rendition of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring using a box of Swan, a bread knife and a
blue biro.
We had just time for one from John S, a L Bart one from the duo from Brighton. Did I
mention the huge concertina? Brian, log on to see Richard and Charlotte, maybe you’ve seen them
out and about? Paul and Karen finished what was a rather splendid evening. From Mike Hawkins to
Auf wiedersehen- me duck, we were hugely entertained by all concerned. Once again, many thanks
to both AWR and the Lord Gallt Melyd. See you next week, and don’t forget the two recommends
this week. Stay safe and stay well.

 

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