Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Singing Praises of Folk Stars

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Singing Praises of Folk Stars

Article excerpt

This week's assemblage of guests has a distinctly folky tinge with the emphasis on singers rather than instrumentalists.

Of course, they all play something ( guitar or keyboards, typically ( but it is their vocal skills for which they are best known.

There is also the start of the 20th Tyneside Irish Festival. However, before that there are a couple of bands to mention, one very familiar and the other making their regional debut.

Familiar names first, with a double helping of the harmonica-driven blues sounds of Paul Lamb & the Kingsnakes at two venues in the patch.

Firstly, Alnwick Playhouse welcomes the popular act tonight, not too far from Lamb's birthplace of Blyth. Tomorrow night, they turn-up on Tyneside at Blaydon RnB club at the Sports & Social club just off Whitmore Road.

By contrast, The Raleigh, North Carolina quartet, Patty Hurst Shifter, make their regional debut at the Cluny next Friday.

The opening act is the Peter Bruntnell Band with James Walbourne (at The Sage recently with Tift Merritt) on guitars.

The string of folk-inflected shows starts tonight at the Cluny with the highly-rated, Fife-born James Yorkston playing a solo show.

He is normally accompanied by his band the Athletes but this gig should provide the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his acoustic side and melancholic feel of the material. The singer/guitarist, now based in Edinburgh, is one of several new-ish acts from Scotland ( King Creosote and Lone Pigeon are others ( to make an impact.

Another artist with a couple of regional shows is the Texas-based songwriter Slaid Cleaves. Although he grew up in Maine, Cleaves is now based in Austin after the breakthrough success of his albums, Broke Down and Wishbones for Rounder Records. He has a new CD to promote and this one, Unsung (again for Rounder Records), focuses on the work of lesser-known songwriters who happen to be friends, all delivered in his rich, dark voice with sparse, effective instrumentation. …

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