Thursday, 5 February 2009

Gig of the year

I should have mentioned this earlier, but a high bar has been set for Gig of Year 2009, even before January is out. the other evening we went to "Folk America - Hollerers, Stompers & Old Time Ramblers" at the Barbican. Hosted by the inimitable Seasick Steve, it featured Alison Williams & Chance McCoy, The Wiyos, Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole, the fantastic Diana Jones and someone who's well on the way to being an all time fave - C.W.Stoneking.

Described by Seasick as totally stuck in the 1930's his mixture of old time jazz, deep south blues and street "Hokum" held us spellbound. With a truly authentic vocal sound, you'd be forgiven for thinking he was one of the original bluesmen, but no. In his 30's Stoneking hails from Australia - unbelievable.

A quick mention for some of the other artists - The Wiyos mix of Vaudeville, swing and old time hill billy had the whole audience stunned with their brilliance. Diana Jones is becoming well known in the UK, having (I think) recently supported Richard Thompson and had a feature spot on the Bob Harris show. Alison williams started out playing in punk bands in the 90's but soon crossed over to old timey country. She plays a mean clawhammer banjo and her band is pretty hot too. Guitarist chance McCoy put his taps on and gave a super demonstration of of Appalachian clog, which took me right back to my time with Loose Screws, which some of you may remember.

We came out of the Barbican at gone 11, very late for Barbican gigs, but with our ears ringing and a very long list of "must have" CDs. It's going to take a VERY special artist to top that one.

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