It all worked out rather well, actually.
We had decided to visit the Cambridge Botanical Gardens, but what with one thing and another we missed the train! (Yes, we could have driven, but Cambridge and cars is not a marriage made in heaven!) We finally made the trip on Sunday. We hadn’t realized Sunday, October 25 was Apple Day! A lovely surprise. We wandered around the gardens taking in the sights when we heard music and hurried over to see what was happening. It turned out that the music was being played by Kelly and Woolley, an acoustic duo from Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. Their music had a good rhythmic beat to it and this was inspiring a homegrown Strictly experience in front of them. When people ask what folk music is all about, there are many possible answers, but these two players did more for the cause of folk music in forty minutes than many people do in a lifetime! The way they used their guitar and fiddle caused many feet to tap, bodies to sway and young children to get carried away by sheer exuberance and dance. I shall treasure the memory of one particular young boy for a long time. He must have been just able to walk and clearly thought, “I can do that!” He was jumping, skipping and hopping about to the driving beat, occasionally falling over, but always getting up again and carrying on, lost in the music. I’m sure for that young boy, a love of music was instilled that day. That led me on to thinking about the effects that our own music has on people. Kelly and Woolley were clearly right for that occasion. I’m sure they opened up many people’s ideas about folk music that day. But what of those people who don’t think about their audience? That performance on Apple Day underlined that what is really important is the sheer joy of the music. If you can make a young lad so carefree that he just enjoys himself, that must be enough, surely? P.T.
A little more on the death from cancer of Bill Keith (20.12.39 – 23.10.15) aged 75. (Bury Free Press November 6). Bill was one of the few banjo players who developed a style of playing that took banjo playing a giant step forward. Much as Earl Scruggs had done so before him when he developed the three finger Scruggs style, Bill developed a melodic style that enabled bluegrass banjo players to follow fiddle players note for note. In 1963 he played with the legendry Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys as did Scruggs before him. Together they developed what are known today as Keith Pegs (tuners - formally Scruggs Pegs). Want more – Google.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – LONG MELFORD FOLK CLUB. Cock and Bull. Starts sharp at 8.30pm. Free. Sing around. A new era with Pauline O’Brien as your MC.
MILKMAID FOLK CLUB. Constitutional Club. 8pm. Members £8.
Non mems £10. The Carrivick Sisters supported by Thursday’s Band. Recommended.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16 – THE DOVE P.H. 8pm. Sing-around. Everyone welcome, young, old and others. Real ale. Pork scratchings and birdseed.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 – OAKES BARN. Folk music. 8pm.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20 – MILKMAID FOLK CLUB. Constitutional Club. 8pm. Members £10. Non mems £8. Winter Wilson supported by Tarn.
OAKES BARN. St. Edmunds Day Celebrations in collaboration with Quirkhouse Theatre. Pubs and Pilgrims, with characters from the past who will visit Oakes Barn to tell their stories.