Reviews 2008

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby
Pete Brown 7 November 2008

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the USA , was controversially cited as fathering children by one of his slaves Sally Hemins at the same time that he was in favour of abolishing slavery.  What, you may ask, has this got to do with Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby?  Well itís the introduction to one of their famous songs, "Mr. Jefferson", and what a brilliant song it is.  It was the fifth song in their first set, prior to that we had enjoyed "That Olí Guitar" with some superb guitar work from Brian as the opener.  Following this was " Alice ís Song", a search into the mind of Alice, Brianís autistic niece. A beautiful song, sensitively and beautifully sung.  Cathryn captures the audience with her stories and alluring voice, soon we were totally engrossed, enjoying the evening.  We were treated to "Calling All Angels", another song that is thought provoking and one I particularly like.  "Rejected Lover", taken from Cathryn's great-grandfather's version in Cecil Sharp's book "English Folksongs from The Southern AppalachiansĒ was superb. Ending the first half with "Accanoe", a tribute to Pocahontas, Cathryn gave it her all giving us a resounding finish before the break.   

At the start of the evening, Ian, Bryn and finally Sue and Nick as evanStevens set the mood - all well received.  Bryn did his Credit Squeeze song, "Dark Cloud Rising" and sought Cathrynís approval on his Pennsylvania accent.  Iím not sure if either of them knew what a Pennsylvania accent sounded like but both the song and the accent got a seal of approval.  

The second session got off to a good start with Brianís instrumental "Fingerís Crossed", one he wrote when he was eighteen, in the distant days of the early Strawbs.  And then that heart warming, evocative song, "Two Hearts", followed by " Dixie" and "This Night, These Dreams and You" dedicated to Bob and Lou.  Their final song was the powerful, "I Will".  But we would not let them end it there and Cathryn and Brian encored with "Cotton Fields/My Window Faces South".  

A superb, tuneful and thoroughly enjoyable evening from one of the UK ís leading duos.  Iím looking forward to their return.