NEWS

14th August – Davie Craig and Rod Sinclair

Two men who have been round the block a few times – Rod Sinclair & Davie Craig – are the special guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 14th August – the final Club night before this year’s Marymass Folk Festival.

Denmark based Rod Sinclair is a guitar virtuoso who plays banjo too and is a fine singer. Rod has been part of a number of musical collaborations including with Dick Gaughan, the late John Munro and of course Davie Craig. He is also a member of the band Ransvik. In short, Rod simply likes performing. He is also a published author and has a number of CDs to his name including a forthcoming one with a Danish band featuring Burns’ songs.

This is the second appearance this year at the Irvine Club for Davie Craig, the first one being with Rab Noakes which suited all concerned when the scheduled artist had to cancel. The booking for 14th August has been in the Club diary for a while and is part of a Scottish tour by Rod and Davie.

Davie is a Fifer. He plays fiddle and guitar, does vocals and has a fund of stories which he likes to share. Davie also has a mischievous sense of humour. Well known on the Americana music scene, Davie was part of the legendary Great Fife Roadshow from which sprung High Speed Grass of which Dave was founder member. His other bands include Honky Tonk Ceilidh Band and the whimsically named The Streets of Raith.

So, gear up for the 52nd Marymass Folk Festival which starts on Friday 23rd August by being at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 14th August to hear Rod Sinclair & Davie Craig. The Club meets at Vineburgh Community Centre and starts at 8pm.

And finally, on Saturd Two men who have been round the block a few times – Rod Sinclair & Davie Craig – are the special guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 14th August – the final Club night before this year’s Marymass Folk Festival.

Denmark based Rod Sinclair is a guitar virtuoso who plays banjo too and is a fine singer. Rod has been part of a number of musical collaborations including with Dick Gaughan, the late John Munro and of course Davie Craig. He is also a member of the band Ransvik. In short, Rod simply likes performing. He is also a published author and has a number of CDs to his name including a forthcoming one with a Danish band featuring Burns’ songs.

This is the second appearance this year at the Irvine Club for Davie Craig, the first one being with Rab Noakes which suited all concerned when the scheduled artist had to cancel. The booking for 14th August has been in the Club diary for a while and is part of a Scottish tour by Rod and Davie.

Davie is a Fifer. He plays fiddle and guitar, does vocals and has a fund of stories which he likes to share. Davie also has a mischievous sense of humour. Well known on the Americana music scene, Davie was part of the legendary Great Fife Roadshow from which sprung High Speed Grass of which Dave was founder member. His other bands include Honky Tonk Ceilidh Band and the whimsically named The Streets of Raith.

So, gear up for the 52nd Marymass Folk Festival which starts on Friday 23rd August by being at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 14th August to hear Rod Sinclair & Davie Craig. The Club meets at Vineburgh Community Centre and starts at 8pm.

And finally, on Saturday 17th August, a tribute Rugby Match between Ardrossan A.R.F.C. and Irvine R.F.C. takes plays at Ardrossan Accies in memory of the late Dick McAllister who as well as being a faithful supporter of Irvine Folk Club had long-standing associations with Irvine R.F.C. and The Accies.                             ay 17th August, a tribute Rugby Match between Ardrossan A.R.F.C. and Irvine R.F.C. takes plays at Ardrossan Accies in memory of the late Dick McAllister who as well as being a faithful supporter of Irvine Folk Club had long-standing associations with Irvine R.F.C. and The Accies.                                                       

31st July – Archie Fisher

Nicknamed affectionately by Danny Kyle as folk music’s old smoothie, Archie Fisher is the guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 31st July. He’s played in Irvine on many occasions over the years and it’s always good to welcome him back again.

Archie last played Irvine at the 50th Marymass Folk Festival as one of The Four A’s in a sell-out concert where he took to the stage along with Adam McNaughtan, Arthur Johnstone & Alastair McDonald. Folk singer, songwriter, master guitarist, producer, broadcaster and a marvellous ambassador for folk music are all aspects that would feature on an Archie Fisher CV.

From birth Archie was surrounded by music. His Mum from Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides was a native Gaelic speaker and also a fine singer. His Dad was a member of The Glasgow Polis Choir. Exposure to a variety of singing styles contributed no doubt to Archie and his two sisters Ray and Cilla all becoming professional singers.

Growing up as folk music was hitting new-found heights, Archie discovered and was hugely influenced by role models like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Through musicians like them he found the power of song as a way to comment on politics and as a way to voice protest.

His long and wide- ranging musical career with many collaborations along the way paved the way for him to present BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship Travelling Folk programme for over 25 years. The ‘folk music’s old smoothie’ description was probably first aired live on Travelling Folk by Danny Kyle who was a contributor in its later years.

Archie is known for his skilful guitar picking ability, choosing good songs that suit his voice and a gentle presentation style. He has many solo albums to his name and his singing and guitar skills have seen him feature on the albums of a number of other artists. Canada and the USA are familiar stomping grounds for Archie as well as regular UK tours.

Clear your diary for Wednesday 31st July to hear Archie Fisher at Irvine Folk Club in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry. The Club starts at 8pm.And finally, Information Flyers for the forthcoming 52nd Marymass Folk Festival are now out. Check out your local library and if you can’t do that then go online at www.irvinefolkclub.org.uk for full details or phone Joyce on 07798572926.                                                        

Marymass Tickets now on sale, Online

Tickets for Friday and Saturday evening Marymass Festival concerts are now available to purchase Online. FRIDAY 23rd August. 8pm Vineburgh Community Centre – The outstanding Celine Donoghue – fantastic tenor banjo player and fiddler and vocalist – will be joined by Neil Sturgeon on guitar and vocals and Thomas McCabe on Button Box for the opening concert on Friday Night at Vineburgh Community Centre. It would be advised to book a seat – Celine is a firm favourite with Irvine audiences.
SATURDAY 24th August. 7.30pm The Volunteer Rooms The Tannahill Weavers headline the Marymass Saturday Night Concert in the Volunteer Rooms.

To book online http://www.irvinefolkclub.org.uk/tickets/

For all info on the 52nd Marymass Folk Festival email JoyceIFC@aol.com phone 01294 551047 mob 07798 572926

17th July – Kim Edgar

Singer, songwriter, member of Germany based band CARA, Music Director of several choirs and workshop leader – that’s Kim Edgar’s CV and she is the guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 17th July.
Edinburgh based Kim is fully committed to using music and, in particular, singing in bringing about positive change. She says she is ‘quite shy’ and began performing music as a way of blending in to the background, but now finds it very satisfying to write and perform songs where she can articulate her ‘joy in, hopes for and concerns about’ the world around her.
Kim had a classical training in piano and also plays guitar. It’s her voice though that is her main instrument and it has been described as haunting and beautiful. Her rave reviews mention her ability to write absorbing, inspiring and uplifting songs that tug at the heart and the head. She has one foot in the traditional singing camp and one in the contemporary and that will be reflected at her Irvine gig. Kim is known to take a trad ballad and set it to new music – not an easy skill.
Kim has a number of solo albums to her name and all of them well received. As well touring with CARA, Kim is also part of The Burns Unit. She has played at Cambridge Folk Festival, played on TV’s Late With Jools Holland and, alongside Karine Polwart, played for HRH Queen Elizabeth,
Kim’s range of work demonstrates that she is passionate about the social and emotional benefits of singing. One example of this is her involvement with Vox Liminis, a charity which harnesses the power of music to assist the reintegration of ‘offenders’ in Scotland.
The impressive musical pedigree and interesting range of work of Kim Edgar makes for an intriguing debut at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 17th July. The Club meets vat Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road, starts at 8pm and everyone is welcome.

52nd Marymass Folk Festival

The 52nd Marymass Folk Festival – already!
Seventeen events over three days of live music, storytelling and sessions plus two World Championships – it must be the annual Marymass Folk Festival! Springing into life on Friday 23rd August and continuing right through to Sunday 25th, this will be the 52nd Marymass Folk Festival – acknowledged as the longest continuously running Folk Festival in Scotland.
Who’s playing? Only The Tannahill Weavers, Celine Donoghue & Friends, Tom McConville & Andy Watt, The Jeremiahs, The Alistair McCulloch Trio, John Graham & Jim Jack (ex-Clydesiders), Stephen & Pernille Quigg and, all the way from Norway, The Stavangar Harbour Band. None the wiser? Read on about some of them.
The Tannahill Weavers headline the Marymass Saturday Night Concert in the Volunteer Rooms and given their musical pedigree, that’s a night not to be missed. Their combination of traditional melodies, driving rhythmic accompaniment and rich harmonies will once again demonstrate the rich and varied musical heritage which they do so very well. The Marymass Saturday Night Concert is always a terrific night. Just go!
The outstanding Celine Donoghue – fantastic tenor banjo player and fiddler and vocalist – will be joined by Neil Sturgeon on guitar and vocals and Thomas McCabe on Button Box for the opening concert on Friday Night at Vineburgh Community Centre. Be advised to book a seat – Celine is a firm favourite with Irvine audiences.
The softly spoken Geordie and brilliant fiddler and singer Tom McConville is back again at Marymass, on this occasion with Andy Watt on guitar. Tom is a world class act. From slow airs, to jazz, to fiery reels and great singing plus a canny humour, he often steals the show. Guaranteed not to disappoint.
And these are just some of the quality line-up at this year’s Marymass Folk Festival. If you know the names you will want to go and if you don’t know the names you’ll kick yourself if you don’t go!
For all info on the 52nd Marymass Folk Festival email JoyceIFC@aol.com phone 01294 551047 mob 07798 572926

3rd July – Barbara Dymock and Chris Marra

The very good news is that the special guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 3rd July are Barbara Dymock & Chris Marra. Expect a night of well-chosen songs well sung with hunners of opportunities to join in!

Between them, Barbara and Chris have been part of a number of musical collaborations. Dundonian Chris began playing guitar when he was a teenager and has been in every kind of band imaginable – from Bighair Rock to sophisticated pop plus a lot of time recording and performing with his late brother Michael.

Barbara on the other hand learned Scottish and Irish traditional songs from her grandparents in Fife and probably it was from such early influences that Barbara’s natural storytelling talent came to light. Whilst at Dundee University playing at sessions in the 70’s, Barbara was one of the founder members of the celebrated band Ceolbeg – their inspiration coming from bands like De Danann and The Bothy Band. Then, after a 20 plus year break to concentrate on her career and raise three sons, she became known as a tradition bearer. As well as Ceolbeg, Barbara has been part of Rathlin and Palaver and, along with Christine Kydd, she formed a duo called Sinsheen. Barbara freely admits that she doesn’t like singing on stage on her own – preferring the comfort of other musicians.

After her 20 year enforced break from singing, Barbara’s return to the folk scene was very well received and she was happy to hang around sessions and festivals and has since released a couple of albums. She was invited to do a track on Malinky’s 20th anniversary CD Handsel which was released at the beginning of this month – a recognition of Barbara’s enduring quality singing.

Barbara loves being part of the constant evolution of tradition. It’s that enjoyment which has sustained her 35 plus years interest in music. At the Irvine Club expect Barbara and Chris to play Jacobite songs, Bothy Ballads, Burns, Michael Marra and perhaps a bit of Dylan.

Barbara and Chris have a considerable musical pedigree. Make sure you are in the audience on 3rd July at Irvine Folk Club to hear this duo. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

19th June – The Mile Roses

A new band for Irvine Folk Club, The Mile Roses are the special guests on Wednesday 19th June and perhaps there might be an explanation during the evening of how their name came about.
The band describes themselves as a contemporary British folk band with a nod to Nashville. Kate Bramley, Simon Haworth and Kari Macleod are the band members – three singer songwriters with eclectic and diverse roots. Their set list includes haunting ballads, swinging country, celtic roots and driving folk choruses.
Kate and Simon have most likely played in Irvine before as members of the excellent Jez Lowe & the Bad Pennies. A multi-instrumentalist, Kate is best known as a Fiddler and she does vocals too. She is also a member of Montana based band Sweetgrass and is an established playwright.
From Morpeth, Guitarist and vocalist Simon has toured as accompanist to Tom McConville & Pauline Cato among others and also plays in ceilidh band Real to Reel.
Most recent Mile Roses member Kari Macleod hails from Tain in Ross-shire and is now based in Newcastle. A virtuoso Fiddler, Kari’s unique vocal style is well suited to Americana music. This week The Mile Roses release their new CD Blue Skies. It features 12 new original songs on the Tantobie Records label.
The Mile Roses are known for close three part harmonies and playing guitars, fretless bass, cittern, mandolin and fiddle. Hear them at the Irvine Club on Wednesday 19th June at Vineburgh Community Centre starting at 8pm.
Elsewhere, the Stonehaven Folk Festival is on from 11th – 14th July and, down in the heart of Galloway, the Newton Stewart & Minigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival will be in full swing from 12th – 14th July. And from 2nd July – 20th August there are events galore at the Skye Festival: well-nigh two months of music, theatre and events all over the island. Just go!

5th June – Kent DuChaine

Kent DuChaine the nomadic Bluesman from Minnesota and Leadbessie, his National Steel Guitar, are back at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 5th June – welcome news for his many fans in the area. His abundant energy and enthusiasm for the Blues plus his exceptional guitar playing, combined with the power of his voice means it’s a night not to be missed at the Irvine Club.

Born in Wayzata, Minnesota, Kent was six years old when his father taught him to play the Ukulele and from then he knew he wanted to be a musician. Having formed a garage band at 13, it was reading Eric Clapton album notes that led him to check out a Robert Johnson album at his local library – the music of the Mississippi Delta had captured him.

Kent learned to play slide guitar and after a ten year search, found his beloved Leadbessie – ‘a beat-up 1934 National Steel Guitar’ as he describes her. Kitted out with extra heavy strings to cope with Kent’s powerful style of playing, the name Leadbessie is an affectionate amalgam of Blues legends Leadbelly and Bessie Smith. Kent has listened to, hung out with, opened up for and travelled and played with most of the great Blues men and women his whole adult life.

He has played at almost all of the major Blues Festivals in the UK and Europe, and his popularity is such that for the last 25 years, Kent has been doing UK tours three times each year. That adds up to thousands of shows and millions of miles! Plainly, Kent is a hard worker and off stage he is a quiet almost shy man who lives to spread the Blues – and watch the beautiful sunsets and enjoy fishing in Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma.

Kent sings and writes songs about the people and situations he has met in his life and always brings something of his own interpretation to covers of standards such as Little Red Rooster, St James Infirmary, I’ll Be True To You and Trouble in Mind. One of his albums features a song he wrote about Marilyn – a 1956 Cadillac in which he lived and toured throughout the ‘80s. It’s maybe Kent’s guitar playing that he is noted for as much as his voice. His intricate, finger-picking slide-guitar and use of his hand as a hand-hammer is a much admired skill of Kent’s.

For sheer intensity of performance, it’s difficult to beat Kent DuChaine. If you like the Blues, make sure you are in the Irvine Folk Club audience on Wednesday 5th June for 8pm. The Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road and it’s BYOB.

22nd May – The Lasses (Dutch Duo)

With a name sounding like they could hail from Ayrshire, The Lasses are from Amsterdam and they are the special guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 22nd May.
Margot Merah and Sophie Janna are The Lasses. They started off their singing partnership after meeting at a session in an Irish bar in Amsterdam in 2012 and since The Lasses have released three albums and toured extensively including the USA fairly regularly plus Japan, Germany, Belgium, Canada and the UK.
The Lasses sing trad songs plus some original material. Their harmony singing is much admired and their effective arrangements on bodhran and guitar make for a strong package.
The Lasses are on tour in Scotland in the second half of May and the 22nd May date will be their debut appearance at the Irvine Club. To hear this Dutch duo make sure you are in the Irvine Folk Club audience on Wednesday 22nd May at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB. All info on Irvine Folk Club is at www.irvinefolkclub.org.uk
And finally, the final farewell to the late Malky MCormick at Kilmarnock was an upbeat occasion – just as Malky had planned. It was attended by some 3/400 people including Irvine Folk Club representatives. His daughter Jane speaking for the family quoted a line that her Dad frequently used at home – ‘He always said that he could draw a crowd! Rest in peace Malky.

8th May – Alastair McDonald

Veteran troubadour Alastair McDonald is the guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 8th May. He has played in Irvine so often that he nearly has the vote!

Alastair is the folk-singing, jazz banjo player or the jazz banjo playing folk singer – it all depends where he’s appearing! He is equally at home in folk clubs, jazz venues, theatres, concert halls or churches. His TV and Radio appearances are too numerous to mention and likewise the number of albums he has recorded. Suffice to say that since becoming a fulltime performer in 1970, Alastair has built up a successful career in Scotland and globally too.

Glasgow born Alastair emigrated with his family at the age of eight to Australia. It was while growing up in the Australian outback that he developed an interest in ‘home made’ entertainment. Returning to Scotland four years later, there was a growing pop scene and skiffle had also arrived. At just 21, Alastair was already regarded as one of the leading jazz banjo players.

As years passed Alastair’s musical horizons extended and took him into variety shows, pantos, plays, TV and Radio work. His continued popularity is down to his commitment to entertain. Performances by Alastair McDonald can be described by words like wholesome, uplifting and entertaining. He likes humorous material and Matt McGinn’s terrific song Sam the Skull often features in Alastair’s playlist.

Hear Alastair at the Irvine Club on the 8th May at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

Elsewhere, this coming weekend being the May holiday means that many roads will lead to Girvan for the annual folk festival. Whilst the emphasis is on traditional music, there is a lot more besides so it’s well worth checking out the programme online.