Category Archives: Me singing folk songs

How to write a song (as told by someone who’s never written a song)

As long-time readers will know, I’ve been singing folk songs in pubs and clubs for a couple of years now. It’s great fun, and I highly recommend it: anyone who can strum a couple of chords and hold a tune really ought to look out what folk cubs are in their area and give it it a go.

But although I’ve built up a repertoire of more than fifty songs now, they’re all covers. (11 Beatles songs, if anyone’s interested; five Dar Williams, three Paul Simon, two traditional, two each by Richard Shindell, Joni Mitchell, Frank Sinatra, Deep Purple and Crosby, Stills and Nash. All the rest are singletons.)

So my dirty little secret is that I’ve never written a song of my own. And in fact, on reviewing what I’ve written on here before about music, I see at least three different occasions when I’ve lamented this.

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My solo set at the Mitcheldean Festival

I’ll write separately about our band’s prog-tinged gig at the Mitcheldean Festival. Here I just want to report back briefly on my solo set in the evening. last Saturday.

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I had a half-hour, which was enough time to get through eight songs. Continue reading

Final programme for the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

As noted previously, I am doing both a solo set and (with my wife, son and next-door neighbour) a band set in the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival next Saturday. Here is the final program (click through for a PDF of all four pages):

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It would be great to see any of you there who can make it.

 

Also coming up (and more exciting): band set at the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

As I noted last time, the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival will be held on 18th-20th July this year. Not only did I get a solo slot in the evening, but — much more exciting to me — we have a band playing in the afternoon:

Mitcheldean Fete Concert Listed Flyer Afternoon Events Finalised-500px

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Coming up: solo set at the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

I’ve been going along to Mitcheldean Folk Club in the last few months. And it turns out I got involved just in time for the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival, which will be held on 18th-20th July 2014, but mostly on Saturday 19th.

Mitcheldean Fete Concert Listed Flyer Evening Finalised-500px

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Cinderford Music Festival fundraising gig

This afternoon, I did my first solo gig. Up till now, I’ve done a few gigs as a part of combos (including as a jazz singer, bizarrely) and plenty of short solo spots at folk clubs, but this was the first time I’d done a complete set, with just my guitar and voice.

It takes a certain amount of courage.

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Guinnevere, at Goodrich Village Hall

For anyone who retains some scepticism that I sing at folk clubs, here is a rather poor-quality video of our indifferent performance last night of the superb Crosby, Stills and Nash song Guinnevere, which you can hear on their first album. Or on YouTube. You should listen to that, not this:

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