Well, heralded to Bonn, this time beneath the sunny skies, by a veritable Russian nightingale by the name of Daria (Dar'ya) Kulesh, who, with her unique and genuine presentational musical style, both thoroughly enthralled and enchanted the somewhat unexpecting audience at Bonn Folk Club last Friday night. "Veni, Vidi, Vici", might have been the motto for the evening as far as Daria was concerned and we had indeed an Italian latin scholar in the house in the guise of our old friend Paolo Pacifico, the harmonica virtuoso, who appeared to blow again after an extended absence abroad. The theme for the evening was "Unusual Combinations" which, coordinator extraordinaire, Steve Perry took as an invitation to not only organise another truly successful folk evening but to also play his tunable digeridoo effectively on as many sets as possible. There followed a cascade of wonderful floor spots with Holger Riedel, reciting Heinrich Heine concerning lover's moods and bringing his stretched Ukelele to wrap around an island with two mountains. Uwe Gillert brought an ensemble with him to tell us that it was time for a picture of a beautiful day, and a most beautiful day it was indeed. Uwe has recently praised the quality of the audience in FCB in no lesser rag than the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", a most prestigious Bavarian, both a regional and national German newspaper.
Cinnamon Trail was the name of a trio where Dominik Gassen plays a role and Dominik also organizes live music concerts in Oberkassel on the eastern bank of the river Rhine. They took us for an unusual but accomplished walk along Baker Street, this time with an accordion rather than a saxophone, which brought us closer to both the Intro - and Outro- of the Weekend. I used to be a great fan of Neil Young in my earlier days and was thankfully reminded by Cinnamon Trail, that I still am.
So what a wonderful evening all round, but for me personally, the most unusual and rewarding combination of the evening, was to have a violin accompaniment, after such a long time of not having one. Such is the apparent allure of Folk Club Bonn, A young lady born in Bonn who despite classical music training on the violin, had spent five years as a resident of New Zealand and had accustomed herself to play without notes in whatever, folk, Blues, jazz combinations were available "down under", wrote an E-mail and said, "I wish and would like to play".
New Zealand's loss, Folk Club Bonn's gain.
Cliques develop everywhere in many guises, but in FCB we have an open door policy where people can hopefully walk-in and thrive. Dear Ulf Breuer the patron of GoVinum in Bad Godesberg, which graciously gifted the Folk Club Bonn a metal bar stool with a black leather top, some years ago, and which is now called CoWiCo, related that his eyes watered when I played "Angel in Disguise" with Eva Henneken on the fiddle. She is accustomed to carrying her instrument in a hard case, but in the past, many troubadours and poets including my favourite English poet John Clare simply slung their violins in a soft sack over their shoulders and referred to them henceforth as fiddles.
Ulf also used to run the BaGo pub opposite the Kinopolis cinema complex in Bad Godesberg and I remember playing there years ago and discovering his love of the Reverend Gary Davis' Blues songs.
Zeppelina is a tribute to both wild brooding animals and refugees. Please read it and come to your own conclusion.
There will be much more to read here, especially about Daria Kulesh in the next few days.
Here she is re-awakening an old well established Bonn pastime in the first half of the seventeenth century, namely witch hunting! Civilisation really is sometimes just a very thin veneer, mijnheer.
I do guided tours of Bonn in English in the year 1698 as a night watchman, and even I found it frightening! "Begone" is a song written by Daria herself based on the true story of Jane Wenham, the witch of Walkern, near Stevenage in England who was tried for witchcraft in 1712. The story of Jane Wenham had an unusually happy ending as she was granted a royal pardon.