Baldock and Letchworth Blues, Folk and Roots

the club starts at 8.30pm every Wednesday at The Orange Tree, Baldock

Entry to the club is £8/9/10 unless otherwise shown

Club Programme 2017

Jan 11 Open floor and song cycle floor spots £4/audience £6/under 16s free

Al Hewson
Naomi Randall

The first part of the evening is open to floor singers; then our three performers take the stage and alternate in leading the music. Plenty of opportunity to listen, perform and/or join in the choruses. Spots can be booked in advance by calling or emailing Alan or Sue.

Jan 18The Boxwood Chessmen £8/9/10 Boxwood chessmen

The Boxwood Chessmen: four very experienced musicians on the folk scene coming together to present an evening of musical styles which include traditional folk, jazz, original songs and tunes, americana, cajun, music hall and tunes from all over the world. Their musical prowess is mixed with humour and storytelling which ensures an inclusive evening for everybody.

The Boxwood Chessmen are:
Penni McLaren Walker ....vocals, guitar, whistles, mandola
Bryan Causton.....mandolin, guitar, bouzouki, cittern
Steve Collins....melodeon, guitar, vocals, harmonica
Campbell Armer....bass, guitar, vocals

Jan 25Les Cailloux £8/9/10

A highly talented trio coming directly from their beloved Morvan (Burgundy, France) mountains, with only one mission: to share their love of traditional Morvan music, friendship, good vibes and beer!

Les Cailloux is also a story of a meeting between two Pierres: Lise Pierre (diatonic accordion) and Pierre Marceau (diatonic accordion). What they have in common : a strong energy. With them is the Great Quentin Millet (french pipes) from the trio DMR

On the set list : the best traditional pieces of Morvan's music but also compositions of their good friends (Christian Maes, Sebastien Lagrange). What they want from you : to dance, to shake your hands, to share a beer, or anything else.

May the Morvan way of life be with you.

supported by Paul Macnamara of na-mara and Tam Lin.

Feb 1Mark Harrison (blues) £8/9/

Original roots and blues from one of the top bluesmen in the UK.

While trying out new resonator in a London shop, Mark says, I was directed to a recent arrival. ‘The way you play, you’ll like this one,’ I was told. It was still in its case. It was a 1934 National Trojan, a wood-body resonator. ‘It’s got a sweet sound but it’ll bite if you want it to,’ the man said. He was right. Eric Bibb ( had just brought it in. Fate. Of living blues artists, he was the one I’d most cottoned on to. Naturally, I bought the guitar. Gigging all over the country, doing radio sessions such as Jazz FM, festivals, including Love Supreme and Ealing Blues, and a real highlight was a sell-out concert at Celtic Connections in Glasgow.

Mark has 4 albums behind him, and loves performing live. He will be joined by double bass player Charles Benfield.

"his music is both beguiling in content and authentic in tone" - The Blues Magazine

"his music is intriguing ... singular ... really very good and it's different" - David Freeman, Jazz FM

"an original sound that is put together with class and cohesion" - Blues Matters

Feb 8Terence Blacker £8/9/

Singer, musician, writer (columnist and novelist) Terence writes and performs very funny satirical songs, many of which are perfect to sing along with – great fun - as he proved on his last visit.

Feb 15 Session - free

Our friendly session, come along and sing or play, or just enjoy the music!

Feb 22Martyn Wyndham-Read £9/10/12

Traditional and contemporary songs from England and Australia; a fabulous melodious voice, beautiful guitar and often very funny introductions and tall tales. A fantastic evening guaranteed.

Martyn is supported by Doug Jenner

Mar 1Chris Lord and Her Blues Express £8/9/10

We are delighted to welcome back for a full evening this powerful and raunchy rhythm and blues five-piece, producing classic blues, R&B and blues rock with exuberance and joy.

Mar 8Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston £10/£12/

Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston have emerged to become one of the most sought-after duos on the English folk and roots scene. The striking combination of the double bass and virtuoso mandolin creates music which Folk Roots says is: “A musical partnership made in heaven. Scintillating, sensitive and brilliant!” Well known for the last eight years as a central component of Show of Hands, Miranda has an exquisite and spine-tingling voice, while Rex, with his exuberant and flamboyant playing style, has built a reputation as one of the finest mandolin players in the UK.

Mar 15 Open floor and song cycle floor spots £4/audience £6/under 16s free

Liz Taylor Liz Taylor
Mark Gamon

The first part of the evening is open to floor singers; then our three performers take the stage and alternate in leading the music. Plenty of opportunity to listen, perform and/or join in the choruses. Spots can be booked in advance by calling or emailing Alan or Sue.

Mar 22Chris Green and Sophie Matthews £8/9/10

Formerly known as Blast from the Past, Chris Green and Sophie Matthews play English traditional songs and tunes in a thoroughly 21st-century kick-ass style. Using a beguiling blend of ancient instruments such as cittern, English border bagpipes and shawm as well as modern folk instruments such as guitar, flute and piano accordion, Chris and Sophie breathe new life into material from hundreds of years ago, making it fresh, relevant and accessible for a modern audience.

“Sophie and Chris have a gift for choosing great tunes and songs from our rich and complex English folk tradition and performing them with skill and imagination” - Paul James, Blowzabella

Mar 29Foxglove Trio £8/9/10

A welcome third visit from this multi-talented band; traditional and contemporary songs with superb musicianship.

Apr 5Said the Maiden £8/9/10

One of our most popular acts, Said The Maiden sings traditional songs from around the UK and America, often in three-part a cappella harmony but also using guitar, violin, mandolin, woodwind, accordion and percussion to embellish their sound. From tentatively performing a few songs at their local folk club in 2012 and later appearing at a guest night, the group soon secured support and headline slots at folk clubs and festivals around the country, including Folk By The Oak, Folkeast, Gate to Southwell, Shepley and Bunkfest. These opportunities have in turn led to invitations to support many fantastic artists including The Fisherman's Friends, Jim Moray, Megson, Martin Carthy, Sam Carter, Hannah James and Sam Sweeney, Treacherous Orchestra and Clannad. They were also honoured to join legendary fiddler Dave Swarbrick on a successful UK solo tour in the spring of 2014, and released their debut album 'A Curious Tale' in June of the same year.

Apr 12 A double headline with two terrific singer songwriters/guitarists £8/9/10

Phil Hare

In recent times Phil Hare has contributed guitar to live and recorded projects by artists including Ian Prowse, Tanglefoot, Lucy Khan, Kiss The Mistress, Garva, Blarneystone (Terry Coyne, Tony Gibbons) and the Dragon Slayers, in addition to undertaking landmark acoustic concerts with the likes of Woody Mann, Jacques Stotzem, Clive Carroll, Tony McManus, Terry Lees, Gareth Pearson, and Paul Brett. All this work has neatly dovetailed into everything from guitar workshops for the disabled to a guest appearance on Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me!

Ben Smith

Ben started playing the guitar at the age of nine. Shortly after starting to play a neighbour introduced him to the blues, and B B King in particular. His style and music is influenced by the greats of the blues, funk, folk and beyond, and after years of playing many gigs in many styles, with many different bands and people, he was inspired by a three-month stay in New Orleans to branch on his own, to pursue his own style and sound. During this time, Ben has supported the great Joan Armatrading on her two most recent tours, as well as Robert Cray, Jon Gomm, Matt Schofield, Wilko Johnson, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Stefan Grossman and Ian McCullogh. He also recently shared the bill with Gordon Giltrap, John Etheridge, Paul Brett, Gareth Pearson and 'Tubular Bells' producer Tom Newman.

Apr 19Fleetwood Cave £8/9/10

Marion has a voice which has been described as mesmerising and 'siren-esque', and plays all things bowed. A well-known figure on the folk scene, she is probably best known as a multi-instrumentalist member of new folk supergroup TRADarrr and, until recently, The Jigantics. She was a member of Meet on the Ledge and the award-winning ColvinQuarmby - now known as The Gerry Colvin Band, with which she still performs. She has also appeared live with Feast of Fiddles, amongst many others. Marion released her first solo album, 'Holding Space', in the summer of 2015.

Since forming folk-rock band CAVE when he was 18, Gregg Cave has been performing in concerts and at festivals in the UK and mainland Europe. In recent years he has collaborated with musicians and storytellers and was commissioned by the Arts Council and National Trust to produce two separate pieces of performance. Gregg is also a founder member of TRADarrr. His new album ‘Old England Grown New’ is now available. In addition to the fine collection of Northamptonshire musicians joining Gregg on this album, Dave Swarbrick (ex-Fairport Convention) plays fiddle on the opening track ‘The Bonny Lass of Anglesey’.

Apr 26Pyrates! all tickets £10

The club's 18th birthday, where we welcome back fantastically popular band Pyrates! to help us with the celebrations!

Pyrates! be a seafaring band of musical marauders, sailing from th’ shores of the olde lowlands of Holland to rowdy ports across the world! A notorious band of buccaneers, who’ve imposed their own brand of pirate-themed folk music to fellow pirates an’ unfortunate landlubbers across tha’ seas themselves! Able-bodied bawdy balladeers armed wi’ guitar, bass, drums an' fiddle.

Dressed in full pirate costume an’ all in tha' quay of ARRRR!

More fun than you can shake a cutlass at!

Pyrates! will be supported by a full crew of regular club singers and pirate costumes be welcome they be!

May 3Tim Edey £9/10/12

Tim was voted BBC Radio Two’s Musician of the year 2012 and Best Duo with Brendan Power (BBC R2 FOLK AWARDS).

Tim is a multi-instrumentalist and singer. He has toured the world and recorded with most of the major names in Celtic/Contemporary roots music, including; The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Natalie MacMaster, Altan, Stockton’s Wing, Capercaillie, Brendan Power, Michael McGoldrick, Seamus Begley, Dougie Maclean, The Barra MacNeills, JP Cormier, Shaun Davey, Session A9, Wolfstone, Lunasa, Vinnie Kilduff, Mary Black, Session A9, Julie Fowlis, Frankie Gavin, and more… Tim, now a name on the world stage in his own right after seventeen years of hard work, is rated by many to be one of the world’s finest ever melodeon and guitar players on the folk and contemporary scene today!

May 10Americano £8/9/10

Songs from the great American back catalogue with a style inspired by country, old time, bluegrass and contemporary music from the 1920s onwards. Guitars, harmonica, percussion and double bass underpin three vocalists who, between them, have performed from Shetland to Dorset.

May 17Pete Coe £9/10/12

Singer, songwriter, melodeon, banjo, dulcimer and bouzouki player, bandleader, arranger, broadcaster, dance caller, teacher, step dancer, entrepreneur, folk club organiser, record label boss, sallow-faced wit, raconteur and all-round good guy, Pete Coe in many ways represents the backbone of the modem folk revival. He’s been a key member of numerous significant outfits across three decades. He’s still one of the most committed, most versatile, most important folk artists in Britain.

May 24 Open floor and song cycle floor spots £4/audience £6/under 16s free

Barry Goodman
Mark Gamon

The first part of the evening is open to floor singers; then our three performers take the stage and alternate in leading the music. Plenty of opportunity to listen, perform and/or join in the choruses. Spots can be booked in advance by calling or emailing Alan or Sue.

May 31Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage £8/10/12

Hannah grew up travelling Europe singing unaccompanied folk songs in four-part harmony with her family band, The Dunns. She then left music to pursue a career as a cultural anthropologist, becoming a leading expert on contemporary witchcraft and popular culture. She lived in Boston, MA where she sung with Liz Simmons (Low Lily). In February last year she released her solo debut, Charms Against Sorrow, described in Helen’s Folk Radio UK album review as 'finely-crafted and beautifully realised'.

Ben Savage is the dobro player, guitarist and singer from The Willows. Ben was one of the backing musicians on Hannah's debut album.

"Spellbinding… Hannah and Ben were born to play and sing together." - fRoots

"They have created an excuisite soundscape, which is the result of passion, precision and unbridled intimacy… An album to venerate.” - R2 Magazine

Jne 7Bob Fox £9/10/12

One of the best voices on the folk scene, a superb guitarist he can boast having Fairport Convention as members of his fan club… Bob was enjoying great popularity as a solo artist and having much fun touring as a duo with Billy Mitchell; and the new Pitmen Poets with Jez Lowe, Billy Mitchell and Benny Graham were all set to take the scene by storm when a meeting with John Tams changed his life completely! John suggested that Bob would be an ideal Songman in the National Theatre's production of War Horse in the West End. Three months later Bob was rehearsing in London with the new cast and travelling up and down to the North to fulfil Pitmen Poets gigs. He opened in the New London Theatre as Songman in October 2011. He became the longest serving Songman in the West End, and has since been recruited to take Warhorse on tour.

Jne 21 Open floor and song cycle floor spots £4/audience £6/under 16s free

Gary Woolley

The first part of the evening is open to floor singers; then our three performers take the stage and alternate in leading the music. Plenty of opportunity to listen, perform and/or join in the choruses. Spots can be booked in advance by calling or emailing Alan or Sue.

** Underwritten by The Arts Council for North Herts

Floor spots and open night acts may be booked in advance by calling Alan or Sue on 01767 683583