Reviews 2004

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Brian Willoughby & Cathryn Craig
Sue Stevens 19 March 2004

It had been my pleasure a couple of weeks earlier to be entertained by the Acoustic Strawbs at a private party held by Lou and Bob Richardson and this is where I had my first exposure to the talents of Brian Willoughby. What a wonderful musician, everything was played with such ease and serenity, he didn't need to play for the limelight, he is the light!. With this in mind, off I toddled to the Woodman to see Brian, this time performing with Cathryn Craig. I have to admit that up until a few months ago, I had never heard of Cathryn Craig, or in fact Brian Willoughby but anyone who knows Nick & Lin Evans or Rob & Lou Richardson can't escape their enthusiasm for the duo (or The Acoustic Strawbs!), so I was a bit surprised when none of them were at the Woodman to see the start of Cathryn & Brian's first set and to also relieve me of writing this review! A deliberate ploy methinks!

Anyway, with no introduction they launched straight into their first song, "Two Hearts", straight away I was struck by how easy they were together, once again Brian's guitar work shone through complimenting Cathryn's great voice and guitar. Next up, again with no introduction was, "Walk Slowly Through This Life", a line from which has stuck in my mind....."It's who you are that remains". Now well into their first set Cathryn began to weave little stories in between the songs, I for one found these very interesting especially the one about Cecil Sharp's visit to the Pig River in 1918 to collect songs from her Great Grandfather. It must be great to have those sort of family

They ended the first set with a song about Thomas Jefferson, written as Cathryn described it from the perspective of one of his girls. I won't say any more about the song other than it seems Mr Jefferson wasn't all sweetness and light, if you get my drift! (if you want to know more, best
look it up!)

The second set appeared to take on a sort of Country feel, which I have to admit wasn't quite to my taste, having said that, one can't escape the sheer professionalism and craftsmanship at how all the songs and patter were delivered, we were in the presence of two very talented people who
knew their craft. Cathryn's lyrics and melodies were wonderful and sparkled when Brian added contrast and colour with his guitar. It was no surprise to me when they were vigorously applauded and whistled at the end of the set.

By the way, Nick, Lin, Rob and Lou turned up half way through the first half, I'd already started making notes by then!