Sunday, 13 April 2014

Radio shows over the next two weeks

An early posting about tomorrow's Folk & Acoustic Music show and the following week's Off The Beaten Tracks as I'm taking a break from recording shows over Easter. 

The featured album on Monday 14th April's show on Acoustic Spectrum is 'Clear Run Over The Bridge' by Martin Stephenson & Jim Hornsby. The full playlist is...

Carole King - I Feel The Earth Move
Martin Stephenson & Jim Hornsby - Poor Part of Town
Alan Frew - Living The Dream
Birds of Chicago - Sugar Dumplin'
Davy Cowan - Answerphone Song
Sheryl Crow - No One Said It Would Be Easy
Neil Young - Out on the Weekend
Ian McNabb - Absolutely Wrong
Blackbeard's Tea Party - Devil in the Kitchen
Indigo Girls - Midnight Train to Georgia
Patsy Matheson - Chasing Rainbows
Luke Jackson - Fumes and Faith
Martin Stephenson & Jim Hornsby - Home
Eleanor McEvoy - Don't Blame The Tune

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Then on Tuesday the 22nd at 7pm on Beyond Radio you'll be able to hear tracks by the following artists. As it's St George's Day on the 23rd I've gone for an all English line-up...

Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy, Fairport Convention, Kate Rusby, Martin Simpson, Angie Palmer, Ottersgear, Turnstone, Steeleye Span, Seth Lakeman, Nick Drake, The Bad Shepherds, Pentangle and Martin Stephenson & Jim Hornsby.

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Monday, 7 April 2014

Acoustic Spectrum playlist 7th April

Coming up at 9pm on Acoustic Spectrum radio...

Show of Hands - Arrogance Ignorance & Greed
The Red Pine Timber Company - Different Lonesome
Madison Violet - Emily
Pilgrim's Way - The Handweaver & The Factory Maid
Breabach - Forvie Sands
Christy Moore - Missing You
Djonne & Borsheim - Besse Vikingson
Peter Mulvey - Josephine
Beausoleil - Valerie
Richard & Linda Thompson - Streets of Paradise
Emily Smith - King Orfeo
Michael Woods - South North
Joni Mitchell - Blue
Tyde - The Hidden Spoon


The Folk & Acoustic Music Show
Mondays at 9pm / Tuesdays at 2am
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Martin Stephenson and Jim Hornsby, Victoria Hall, Settle

The concert was advertised as starting at 7:30 but on arrival there was the sound of live music coming from the floor just below the stage. On closer inspection we discovered that it was none other than Settle resident Mike Harding leading a band. There was no amplification, just a group of, I'm guessing, locals who were providing some music before the support came on. But that's the sort of relaxed atmosphere you'll find at the Victoria Hall, especially on these music nights which Mike is organising on the first Sunday of every month.

After they'd finished playing, Mike appeared on stage to tell us of a change to the evening's programme. For reasons which weren't entirely clear, Canadian band The Once hadn't turned up. Mike explained that emails had been going back and forth confirming their appearance that night but something had gone wrong somewhere and they weren't here. So support was instead provided at the last minute by two friends of Mike who had come up from Manchester. Both were called Matt, one on guitar and vocals and the other on harmonica, flute, small pipes and vocals. If you had arrived late and hadn't heard about the late substitution you wouldn't have guessed anything was amiss. Their playing was superb, especially Matt on harmonica and their material ranged from traditional Irish fare to a wonderful murder ballad about a woman who took a knife to her husband before throwing him down a well.

After the interval Martin and Jim took to the stage along with percussionist Finn McArdle. Martin had a rather unusual-looking amp for his guitar at the front of the stage which, as he joked, had been mistakenly used once for a pole dance. Playing quite a variety of venues, Martin told us that it's useful to have their own PA. The previous night they had played in a church with a large PA which made it sound like “a submarine coming from the back”.

Starting with 'The Lilac Tree' we were treated to selections from Martin's extensive back catalogue with one song, 'Joe McCue', having been written when he was a teenager but it was then left unused for 20 odd years. The reason for this was the subject matter. Joe was an older youth who Martin described as being somewhat frightened of when he was growing up. Joe was struggling with depression and finally could take no more. Tragically he took his own life by pouring petrol over himself and setting himself alight. This was one of a number of heart-wrenching stories we heard during the course of the evening and shows how Martin, like so many other songwriters over the years, use music as a way of trying to make sense of the world especially when there seems to be so much negative stuff affecting you at every turn.

But this was not a sombre occasion. Martin has a wonderful sense of humour which came through during the set. He is also a very spiritual person and there were references to a higher power, reincarnation and how we need to try and keep our egos under control. He described the constant chatter in our heads as the ego being like Google forever looking looking things up and not giving us any peace. Martin is obviously keen to share his thoughts on such matters with his audience but when it seems to be getting a bit deep he lightens things up with a humourous comment and he spent much of the evening with a smile on his face.

Jim Hornsby provided some fine electric guitar playing but very much in a supporting role, almost waiting at times for Martin's say-so to let rip with some country and bluegrass licks. Martin joked about how Jim doesn't really like his material so they have to play other stuff every four songs. So along with original compositions such as 'Home', 'Spirit Child', 'Long Forgotten' and 'Running Water' we had some wonderful guitar playing from them both on numbers like 'The Cannonball Rag' and the night ended with a lovely finger-picking guitar introduction to 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken'.

It was not far off being a full house and the audience certainly enjoyed the music. Near the end of Martin's set we had the added bonus of Mike Harding being invited up on stage to play harmonica. On the way out we discovered that the cd stall had cunningly been moved from the bar to the foyer and so I treated myself to a copy of Martin and Jim's latest cd “Clear Run Over The Bridge”. Back in the hall Mike Harding and the house band had struck up again providing Martin and co with some music as they packed away their gear.

Colin Bertram