Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Wes Martin Benefit gig mix

This mix, which includes a special track by The Low Countries, ties in with the Benefit/Celebration Night at 8pm on Saturday 12th of May at the Yorkshire House for our friend Ukulele Boy aka Wes Martin. 

For more info see

Re my tribute to him at

First up is Kish McGuire's version of Angie, an instrumental track made famous by 60s guitarists like Davy Graham and Bert Jansch. Kish, who happens to be my stepson, was a regular performer at the Gregson Open Mic nights. He was still at school but dazzled us older musicians with his skills on the guitar.

Of Waxed and Waned Nigel Parrington says, "I've written a song for Wes. You can listen to it here and, if you like it, download for free (just enter £0 at the checkout). All I ask is a donation on the 12th or to a mental health charity - or simply talk to someone you think might appreciate it."

Wes was a massive fan of Bert Jansch who died in 2011 and when we did our review of that year on our Diversity FM show, Wes selected Bird Song by Bert. But I've chosen this re-working of I Cannot Keep From Crying which he included on his album "Edge of a Dream" and features Bernard Butler on slide guitar.

The intro music we used for our show, which was called Off The Beaten Tracks, was from the Kate Rusby song Elfin Knight. Wes seemed to have something of a fascination with Kate's hair as he always remarked on it whenever I played a track by her. The title of this song, Bitter Boy, has a double meaning as Wes did enjoy his beer.

I had the pleasure of seeing John Renbourn play in Lancaster at the Yorkshire House in 2007 and I'm sure Wes must have been there as he was a big fan of the other guitarist who, along with Bert, made his name playing in the legendary band Pentangle. Blues Run The Game is a Jackson C Frank song covered by both Bert and John and various other people over the years.

Continuing the beer thread I've chosen a version of the Richard Thompson song God Loves a Drunk which you may be unfamiliar with. This is from a RT boxed set and features Norma Waterson on vocals. And I'm guessing that's Danny Thompson on the double bass.

Wes used the name UkuleleBoy on Soundcloud for a while and one week we decided to have a uke theme on our radio show. The Ukulele Orchestra of GB's cover of Joni Mitchell's (He Played Real Good) For Free is followed by one of Wes' selections on that show, No Surprises from Amanda Palmer's album, "Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele".

These songs are followed by another cover, this being the Squeeze song Up The Junction given the "punk songs on acoustic instruments" treatment by Ade Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds and then we have a classic folk song by June Tabor about a pigeon fancier in Derby following his dreams with a bird he calls the King of Rome.

For some reason Wes found the name Notman amusing and when I played a song by Ruth on the show - can't remember if it was Si Tu Dois Partir - he pronounced it as Not Man and said that his name could be Wes Not Woman. Ok Wes, whatever you say.

Back to the beer with the jolly song Ale is Physic For Me by Mike Harding before we end with another instrumental piece, Still In Dreams by Ralph McTell from his album "Sofa Noodling".

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