QUIZ NIGHT

The first of our regular monthly fun family quiz for 2020 hosted by Daniel Dyson

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The Albion Christmas Band  

An Albion Christmas, which has been touring for nearly 20 years,  is widely regarded as the premier seasonal show and attracts sell-out audiences across the UK.  Indeed many people say that their Christmas doesn’t start until they have seen The Albion Christmas Show.

Featuring the combined talents of Simon Nicol (Fairport Convention), Kellie While (Albion Band) Simon Care (Edward II) and the Guvnor himself, Ashley Hutchings, (the founder of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band)  this show takes you on a guided tour through the Christmas customs of Britain in an evening of traditional English Christmas music, dancing and celebration.

Kellie takes time out from working with her mum, Chris While, for which both the U.K. press and public alike have praised her. Folk enthusiasts will know Kellie from her work with The Albion Band and she received personal praise from Ron Sexsmith for her beautiful version of his song ‘Riverbed’ on her album Tenacious, which put her on the map as a soloist.

Simon Care is currently working with Edward II and Banter, and has always had a passion for traditional English dance and song. Simon also works with Whapweasel, Tickled Pink and the Morris On Band.   Simon Nicol, founder member of Fairport, finishes the line up to make this a truly festive treat. He is regarded as one of the finest acoustic guitarists in the world and his voice is pretty special too!

The Albion Christmas Show is a seasonal mixture of carols, spoken word, humorous readings and dance. It really is the perfect way to start your festivities. This year will see a collection of new material from their new album alongside favourites from their back catalogue.  Also they will have a brand new studio album packed full of new material.

With sell-out tours including venues such as Buxton Opera House, The New Vic Stoke and The Sage, Gateshead, The Albion Christmas Show is a very popular show appealing to all ages.  Described in the Guardian as “the perfect antidote to the corporate Christmas”, this is a show you must not miss!!!!!!

By richardhatfield |

Chantel McGregor

A female guitar prodigy, at 14 years Chantel was told by major labels that she had a “great voice, but girls don’t play guitar like that!”  Wisely ignoring the comments, she enrolled at the Leeds College of Music and became the first student in the college’s history, to achieve a 100% pass mark, with 18 distinctions.  Chantel left with a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music and a coveted prize, the college’s Musician of the Year award.

In previous years, Chantel stepped out in the pro-musician world and her stunning live performances demonstrated that she had the ability to perform rock for the new age, played by a musician born with an effortless virtuosity.  Since then, she has built a loyal and growing fan base who follow her every move.

If you measure an artist’s prospects by the company they keep, then Chantel has been moving in the right direction. Early in her career, Chantel was invited to perform with Joe Bonamassa, on two of his UK tours.

When Chantel released her 2011 debut album, Like No Other, one critic said, “Chantel McGregor deserves to be held up as a messiah of blues-rock and given her own mountain. She doesn’t strum or pick her guitar but almost bends and distorts it, as if she’s channelling the ghost of Hendrix through her fingers”

The album was produced by Livingstone Brown, whose production credits include Ed Sheeran, Robin Trower, and Shakira. The end result was a beautifully crafted debut album that showcased Chantel’s versatility and talent as a singer-songwriter.

Chantel’s follow up album, Like Control, again produced by Livingstone Brown, was released in October 2015 to critical acclaim.

All About Rock’s review of the album said:  “The album in its entirety has a common theme running through of gothic imagery which makes it almost a concept album but each track stands out on its own. Chantel’s double tracked vocals are amazingly tight & the production on this album sounds loose which is a compliment to Livingstone Brown & Chantel who have obviously spent a lot of time on the arrangements. The girl can obviously shred but she does so in a very understated & despite the title of the album, a controlled way. Recommended for fans of blues, rock, Jeff Buckley, Marillion, Big & Rich, Country & Nick Drake. This is a hard album to categorize & pigeon hole which in this day & age of labels & boxes is a good thing”.

Planetmosh reviewed the album with the following comment:  “The album is full of great guitar work, but Chantel McGregor isn’t just a guitar player – she does the vocals too and they are equally impressive.  She’s got a great voice and the variety of songs on the album allows her to demonstrate a range of styles vocally.  It really is a great album”.

The single, Take The Power, was playlisted for five weeks on Planet Rock radio.

By richardhatfield |

Rum Drum Ramblers

Since forming in 2006, the Rum Drum Ramblers have been honing their original St Louis string band blues in barrooms, clubs, street corners, listening rooms, and festivals. Powerful dual lead vocals by Mat Wilson and Ryan Koenig and the ever stylish slap bass of Joey Glynn weave through a tapestry of syncopated resonator guitar, screaming harmonica, mandolin, fiddle, bones, and washboard. This trio of multi-instrumentalists have a refreshing groove that swings at a perfectly danceable pace.

The Rum Drum Ramblers have netted awards such as “Best Blues Band” and “Best Blues Album” over the years, but that only begins to scratch the surface of what the individuals have accomplished in the formative early years of their careers, including performing around the globe, contributing to Grammy nominated albums, and sharing the stage with many cherished roots music stalwarts. Some may remember Koenig and Glynn from their decade long run with Pokey LaFarge, which yielded memorable appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, The Conan O-Brien Show, The Marty Stuart Show, Prairie Home Companion, and guest features in Disney’s “The Lone Ranger”, Jack White’s “American Epic” mini-series, and Jack White’s “Blunderbuss”. One of the final proteges of Henry Townsend, guitarist Mat Wilson is a living link to the origins of St Louis blues.

Now as the re-energized Rum Drum Ramblers return to the studio to record their first album since 2011’s “Mean Scene”, their road-warrior chops shine through in their playing and their song writing glistens with the depth of experience. Their music both timeless and exciting, the band plays with sincerity and respect to the original blues forbearers.

By richardhatfield |

California Feetwarmers 

Grammy-nominated for the work they did with Keb’ Mo’ and counting Sir Tom Jones and Herb Alpert as fans, The California Feetwarmers make a welcome return to those shores after impressing the crowds previously at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Underneath The Stars and Earagail Arts Festivals. As Keb’ Mo’ stated when he spoke about the project, he pulled them in as he wanted it to be “a joyous thing – a party.”

…Now couldn’t we all do with a bit of that in our lives right now!

Should be on prescription for those who need their spirits lifted!” – AmericanRootsUK

By richardhatfield |

Daphne’s Flight

Back in 1995, five of the finest folk, blues and soul singers of their generation found themselves at the Cambridge Festival, decided to sing some songs together, magic happened and Daphne’s Flight took off. Now, more than two decades after their impressive and much loved debut album Daphne’s Flight,  the remarkable ensemble of Christine Collister, Melanie Harrold, Julie Matthew, Helen Watson and Chris While have once again got together again – older, wiser and twice as powerful!  From the 1990s to the present day these women have woven their way in and out of each other’s lives working together on albums, tours and ultimately the collaboration at the Cambridge Festival that begun this unique collaboration, recording their first album and then going on to record and perform independently.

An evening with Daphne’s Flight will be filled with energy, humour and passionas the group draws on itscollective wealth of talent and varied styles, each of them accomplished songwriters, musicians and renowned singers, it was the combination of all five voices, a powerhouse of harmonies, that left audiences breathless and brought them much critical acclaim.

By richardhatfield |

The Black Feathers 

The ability to write songs that are both modern and ancient is a rare thing. The product of an arcane art of weaving in traditional influences so thoroughly that they become the warp and weft of fresh creations.

The Black Feathers, made up of Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler, are two such talents. They first became aware of the magic between them while collaborating on several musical projects, becoming The Black Feathers and life partners in 2012.

Americana, Folk, and Acoustic Indie Rock sensibilities coexist comfortably in their musical world, with Hughes’ guitar work buoying the kind of harmonies often only heard in family bands. Their music quickly draws the interest of listeners, but it is the stage chemistry that will keep them riveted.

Having already built up a loyal following in the UK, The Black Feathers has been spreading their wings across the US. They have performed at Philadelphia Folk Festival and AmericanaFest, and have also been awarded official showcases at the North East Regional and Far-West Folk Alliance conferences.

With a new single and a live album in the pipeline, these are exciting times for what FATEA refer to as “a duo of undeniable talent”.

Once in a blue moon, the whole soars far above the sum of its parts. That’s what happens when The Black Feathers perform live” – Black Mountain News, North Carolina

By richardhatfield |