Reviews 2017

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby

Les Jones 20 October 2017

Click on photo to 
Click on photo to 
see larger image

After the energy we all expended on the last guest night how nice it was to enjoy a more calming session with Cathryn and Brian. Cathryn’s beautiful voice and Brian’s virtuoso guitar playing together with some entertaining stories to explain the context of the songs all combined to provide a great evening. Both are lovely people so chatting in the interval and at the end of the performance was a real pleasure. They have been to together as a professional and personal team for 20 plus years and as Cathryn told us they had finally “Done that thing” and married relatively recently.

Their two sets were a mixture of traditional and their own songs both old and new including their latest single which is soon due to be released.

Set One:
• That Old Guitar – lovely song about the way non-players feel about the love of the players’ life.
• Malahide Moon from the album In America dedicated to Brian’s dad Walter.
• These Old Stone Walls, also from In America, is about Brian’s journey to Northern Ireland with his uncle Tommy who had not been back there since emigrating to Australia many years ago
• Cathryn and Brian have 3 nieces and 4 nephews. Each niece has a song of their own – Why not the nephews said Cathryn? A Soft Place to Fall was written for Maria. What a lucky girl she is.
• Mr Jefferson, from the I Will album, tells some of the truth about America’s third president. Having drafted all or part of America’s Bill of Rights which gave equality to all from his vast estates in Virginia, where he had some 400 slaves, he fathered 4 children with one of his slaves Sally Hemming; none were accorded recognition by him.
• I Wish I Was in Dixie – is a song by Daniel Decatur Emmett and original performed in the blackface minstrel shows in the 1850s was adopted as a de-facto anthem by the confederate states during the American civil war.
• All the Way to Denver – a song personal to Cathryn finished the first half.

Set Two:
• Brian opened the second half by talking to us for five minutes or so. It was a sort of request from someone during the interval who asked about his career to date. In short, he started in the 60s playing guitar for Mary Hopkin – became part of an Opportunity Knocks Band New World which gave us Tom Tom Turn Around amongst others. Became a Joe Brown Bruvver and supported Roger Whittaker. The stories were funny. Spent 26 years with the Strawbs in different forms which included The Monks – Nice Legs Shame About the Face. There was more but there is a limit to how much I can remember at my age. However, if he should fall on hard times he could fall back on this as a very entertaining crowd pleaser.
• For Two Hearts One Love the pair were joined on stage by the superb Nick Evans – their friend and ours - who provided second guitar and backing vocals.
• Cathryn dedicated You Lost That Loving Feelin’ to Bill Medley who was there at the start of her career.
• Mary Hopkin's Those Were the Days needs no explanation.
• The Cooley & Mourne is the yet unreleased new single.
• Cotton Fields – written in the 1940s by Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly) segued neatly into the Willie Nelson song My Window Faces South and provided the last scheduled song of the evening.

Given the much-deserved applause there was of course an encore.
Will the Circle Be Unbroken gave us all a chance to join in verses and choruses.

Support this week was provided by Barry and Corrine who gave a Stan Rogers song title of which I forgot to write down and the eternal Autumn Leaves which fell nicely into place. Dick Woodhouse was under instruction to provide funny songs. He did The Lodger was not only funny but “Dirty” sic Jake Thackray and On Again On which may or not have insulted the women in the audience. After the interval Bryn Phillips performed Moon Spin and the ever-popular Silver and Gold dedicated to the late Vin Garbutt.

I always end these reviews with –
A wonderful night was had by all.
As always, I mean it.
Here’s to the next time.