Woodman Folk Club - Reviews
|Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby|
|Mike Jessop||7 April 2006|
Having missed this wonderful pair earlier in the week, they being an early performer at the restitution of “The Grotto” in South Shields last Saturday, I made a 200 mile trip here to see them, staying as ever with Paul Bedingfield and family.
It was a delight for a travelling Geordie that the nights MC, Ian Munro, kicked off at 8-40 with a Rod Clements number – Cant Do Right For Doing Wrong – and an explanation on his fibreglass bath!
Bryn Phillips was up next with his “traditional repertoire” giving us Barbara Allen on Capo 2 in D and Black Patch Park, a strong song about developers which I particularly liked - both brought about the egg quartet from naughty corner which both Katy and I had had the sense to sit aside from. Bob & Lou, who I had not seen before, gave us both Stars, and Moonshine, before the resident four piece band, Nothing To Prove, led by Paul’s Smoke On the Water riff, performed I Will Do, then a John Richards song in E flat – Honour & Praise, both sounded full, well practised and enjoyed.
At 9-35, the guests Cathryn with Brian were well received and performed a range of material that demonstrated solid song writing abilities and dexterity in Brian’s picking styles, notably on Dobro and slide. Opener – That Old Guitar – had a superb instrumental middle, ahead of the 1993 tune The Hard Luck Café, before we heard of Aunt in Genevive. Elizabeth, Cathryn’s Guitar provided – Goodbye Old Friend which had deep chorus reaction in the crowds. The more upbeat Mr Jefferson brought back the egg brigade and an excellent spellbinding ending with multiple harmonics; finally, with Dobro – Acadonia was played for Pocohantus.
The second half was set off by Nick Evans playing well on a Taylor, his second tune being – guess what ? – another Rod Clements masterpiece –Train In G Major - with Steve “Potato Chip” Walker accompanying on bluesy harmonica very well.
Then the main act were back again, eagerly anticipated and packing in a few more of the regular set favourites with much joining in on choruses. Brian started alone on his Resonater Dobro, playing a song in Bm , so complicated and deep yet he was only 18 when he wrote it – Fingers Crossed . As a duo we had -Two Hearts- showing off Cathryn’s fine vocal range as well as – Walking Slowly Through This Life. Recounting almost all the 26 people involved in Rumours of Rain (which included Rod Clements we were reminded!) had all tonight’s audience involved in the refrain “peace for all people , Amen..”
The expected – I Will – for Anne tonight had the house captured in its intensity and what fine bending of the strings by Brian. The beautiful single for Brian’s niece – Alice’s Song - came next and was wonderfully jointly picked and wonderfully enjoyed with sincere thank yous before up beat -Old Cottonfields- was led into Acapella style and held up in CDG chords up on capo 5 .
Encore was - May The Circle Be Unbroken - with Cathryn as ever thanking all contributors to the night by name, this close had every mouth singing and the naughty corner and elsewhere in full swing .
A visiting Geordie had a great night as it seems did all others, a very welcoming, friendly club led by Ian that I enjoy returning to, with acts like these I’ll be travelling back again soon.