Baldock and Letchworth Blues, Folk and Roots

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

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

Club Programme 2018

Apr 18Mark Harrison and Charles Benfield £8/9/10 www.markharrisonrootsmusic.com

Mark Harrison plays the Blues in the loosest meaning of the word. Playing a resonator guitar previously owned by Eric Bibb, Mark writes his own material which is a unique blend of blues and folk influences. With six albums notched up to date, Mark tours widely solo, with a full band and as a duo with the highly accomplished Charles Benfield on double bass.

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

'If you like acoustic masters such as Eric Bibb, you will love Mark Harrison. - Blues Blast US

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

'Mark Harrison belongs to the kind of songwriters who are able to convey contemporary stories of life using classic musical elements and thereby bridging the gap between music from the early 20th and early 21st century.' - Wasser-Prawda Germany

‘One of Britain's great blues singers and guitarists …. totally and absolutely original’ - Live @ Eastwell

'UK-born song master is a revelation' - Justin Stone, Fatea Magazine/Roots & Blues Radio, March 2015

May 2 Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer £8/9/10 www.swan-dyer.co.uk

Vicki and Jonny have been regular guests of the club for seventeen years. Through their tireless touring with hundreds of club and festival gigs and workshops every year, they have developed a strong reputation for delivering great performances time and time again. Their instrumental skills with Scottish smallpipes, accordion, custom gandola (guitar shaped octave mandola), Swedish nyckelharpa and flute have made them favourites from Sweden to Australia and they are now also accepted as impressive song arrangers and writers.

Vicki and Jonny effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary interpretations while equally creating original self-penned tunes and songs that are entirely at home in the tradition.

"Free smiles with every performance"

May 16Tildon Krautz £8/9/10 www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQKU6K1PtFY

Originally from Brooklyn NYC, this old-time travelling band delivers a classy mixture of original and traditional rootsy sounds, encompassing bluegrass, oldtime folk, jazz and blues.

'There’s an integrity and intelligence at play here that one comes across so rarely and I really am in thrall to these hugely gifted people – true artists at work. Do yourself a favour and grab a listen, you won’t regret it.' - Bob Butler (Grapevine Music Agency, UK)

‘Several songs recall the Tin Pan Alley era when folk country and jazz collided with popular song...Nothing less than wonderful’ Paul Kerr (Americana UK)

May 30 Penni McLaren-Walker and Bryan Causton £8/9/10 www.bbc.co.uk/music/tracks/n2bh36

Cambridgeshire-based Penni McLaren-Walker is an accomplished singer-songwriter with a lovely, melodious voice and a fine turn of phrase in her writing. She is also a fine singer of traditional songs and a first class guitarist. You may have had the pleasure of hearing her as a member of The Boxwood Chessmen.

Bryan Causton (Shave the Monkey, Strangeworld, The Boxwood Chessmen) is a talented multi-instrumentalist, mostly with eight strings or more and not the trombone… In addition, he is a talented composer. Certainly the most musically complex and beuatifully arranged music on my iPod was all written by him. Join us for lots of good songs and healthy dollop of silliness.

Jne 6Jack Blackman £8/9/10 www.jackblackman.com

Jack Blackman is one of the UK's leading young blues guitarists, and we are delighted to have him return for his third visit. His guitar playing has been described as 'exquisite' (FATEA Magazine, 2013), and his songs have been generating a great deal of attention from many in the music industry.

Although always haunted by the ghosts of the blues, Jack's music fuses this with classy song writing and a folk sensibility. His voice has been described as sounding 'older and more careworn than his tender years should allow' (Acoustic Magazine, 2011), and he is also arguably the best slide guitar player of his generation. In summer 2013, Jack made his second trip to the Mississippi Delta in the US, the birthplace of the blues, and performed at venues including Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi and on King Biscuit Time Radio Hour on KFFA in Helena Arkansas.

'Blues has a bright future' – Maverick Magazine

'At last! A brilliant young guitarist coming through' - Martin Simpson

'On 'Whisky Grave', he picks up a slide, pulling out a barrage of licks that would make Robert Johnson proud' - Acoustic Magazine, November 2013

'River Town is a remarkable record and should win legions of admirers among blues fans and fans of roots and acoustic guitar playing, showcasing, as it does, the talents of an artist about whom we shall doubtlessly be hearing a lot more over the next few years' - Acoustic Magazine August 2011

Jne 20Oka Vanga £8/9/10 okavanga.com

Oka Vanga comprises Angela Meyer and William Cox, an award-winning UK folk & roots duo. Whether singing, playing guitar, ukulele or mandolin, this husband and wide duo offer a strong set of original songs and well known tunes. Originally from Cape Town in South Africa, Angie is the creative driving force in the partnership and has been described as having “considerable vocal and songwriting talents” by fRoots. Performing at acoustic clubs and festivals, Oka Vanga was born after Will and Angie met by chance at an open mic night. A short EP of original guitar instrumentals became its calling card and in 2013 Oka Vanga was invited to represent the UK at the International Madame Guitar Festival in Italy, alongside Clive Carroll. Shortly thereafter, the duo released its debut album Pilgrim to critical acclaim. Described by Songlines as “beautifully pure”, it was awarded Best Instrumental Album by FATEA magazine.

Oka Vanga's much anticipated second album, Dance of the Copper Trail, has been hailed as its best work yet. Released in 2017 on Crazy Bird Records, it is described by Songlines as 'profound, concise and meticulous' with Angela’s lyrics displaying 'a talent for conveying emotion and joy.' Songs of faith and superstition, love and loss, death and everlasting hope are all seamlessly woven together and showcase all manner of musical influences. Described by fRoots as 'distinctly classy' and an album of 'serious accomplishment and musicality', it has secured Angie and Will a place in the hearts and minds of many fans with what RnR describe as its 'upbeat feel' and Celtic-deep universality.

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