Samstag, 20. November 2010

Review of FC 09
in English

Folk Club Nr. 9 was quite a diverse evening, as usual. Detlef Stachetzki wrote a wonderful review, which is unfortunately (for some of you maybe)only in German. We try to maintain bi-linguality as far as possible, but because both Barry and John are English mother speakers there is normally a bit more English than German, so Detlef's review is only in German as a way of compensation. (and it's so good it would be too difficult to translate Detlef!)

Nonetheless, we thought it might be good to do an alternative in English.

So John penned the following passages:

Suffice to say Christine Moos played some tremendous violin accompanying me on four songs in the first set with a wonderful rendition of the traditional instumental piece "Oran". So music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England with a song from a famous musical and a negro spiritual for good measure. Hopefully Christine will be coming again soon with a klezmer vocalist.

First floor spot of the evening was Andreas who played the guitar and sang. The first Dylan we've had for a while. Andreas, was actually at the previous folk club and did an "involuntary" floor spot as Reiner Weiss asked for a volunteer from the floor from someone who had never had any piano tuition before, and he was roped in by Reiner to learn and eventually play "Faustus" before the audience. Well something worked (and this must be another folk club first) because I heard last week that he had since bought a piano and is now learning a new instrument! Andreas was than accompanied first by Gabi on vocals and then also by Lothar Wosny. Nice one guys.

Next up for a short set were our now regular visitors Muriel Paris and Gerhard Haug who form 40% of a jazz band called "Oldies GmbH", and who take as much pleasure in performing purely acoustic and "unplugged" for us, as we do hearing them. You Tubers (or " Du Röhrers" as Detlef insists on calling them :-) will easily be able to hear Muriel's singing and Gerhard's piano online with the full backing of the band.

After the break Barry opens the second half and rocks our souls, with what we now realise is seemingly much desired - viz more audience participation on the choruses. Barry is continually "upping his game" each month, so much so that I'm beginning to suffer from vertigo trying to keep up with him! Bringing in Shawn Spicer on guitar and vocals on "Boulder to Birmingham" by Emmilou Harris, is a master stroke as Shawn is from Alabama and actually knows the places that he is singing about, and you just can't fake that.
I'd been pleading in vain for a violin in the hall for the first 6 folk clubs, and now by 09 we have two on one evening as Barry's wife Christiane joins with Barry and Shawn and plays the fiddle on "The Water is Wide". My initial assumption was correct, the acoustics of the hall are just predestined for the violin. Another stroke of genius was to finish an all-American set of songs with "Imagine" written by Liverpool's most famous son, John Lennon, who was so famous that they even re-named the airport after him and stole the 4th line of the song " Above us only sky " for their advertising slogan. The words of this song are just so good and are still as relevant now, as when they were first written, if not even more so. Well chosen Barry!

IMAGINE John Lennon

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

The world could certainly do with a few more John Lennons, but don't be down hearted that he was born a "Brit" Barry, at least he was shot by an American!

Anyway a very tough act to follow, I wouldn't have liked to follow it, I don't know anyone who would.

For "You Tube" lovers here's a wonderful old classic US TV clip of Mahalia Jackson linking George Gershwin's "Summertime" seamlessly to "Motherless Child" and re-claiming it without doubt as a negro spiritual. Listen to the end where Dean Martin is talking to Frank Sinatra about what they should sing after Mahalia finishes..........

The clip is from Frank Sinatra's own TV show and after both of them compliment Mahaliah, on her singing being so good and beautiful. Frank then with a sense of duty says to Dean, "Well I guess now we go to work?
To which Dean Martin replies, " SIng now after that ? ....No Sir! I wouldn't do it !", to which Frank finally concedes, "Yeah guess you're right, a little tough to follow"


Well, this was exactly the position that our next floor spot was in, Joachim a busker who Barry had "brought in from the cold". Not only did he have to follow Barry and Shawn's magnificent rendering of "Imagine" but he also had to get used to the fact that the faces in front of him were still there halfway though the song, and all of them were even still there at the end of the song!
What a dilemma ! Joachim's first song was, as was to be expected, a little wobbly, but he quickly got used to his static, yet attentive, audience and the off-putting backdrops and got his guitar and his voice together, and ended his spot with a resounding folk club applause! Well done Joachim! you're braver than Dean Martin.

Once again Muriel Paris and Gerhard Haug are back again, thus qualifying almost for "Special Guest" status. Muriel's rendering of Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose" in French is tear-jerking and there are many jazz standards sung in her other mother tongue such as Kurt Weill's "Mack the Knife" which was popularised by Satchmo. Bravo!

So another wonderful evening of such different and diverse musical genres. Many sincere thanks to all the many participants for making this possible.

At the end of the evening all the singers come up to the front and sing the old Scottish traditional folk club song "Jock Stewart". (There is an Irish version of this song, but in that version, instead of getting taken out for a walk, tha dog gets taken out to be shot and the rivers are renamed. So we stick with the Scottish version) and we all go home happy, content and exhausted.

NB - Actually Shawn chose all the songs in our set except for the Rock a' My Soul spiritual. I was really accompanying HIM!

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