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Ropery Hall News

From Down Under to Ropery Hall

By janetuplin |

A duo from the southern hemisphere, The James Brothers, will be bringing their own brand of folk, blues and bluegrass to Barton upon Humber when they appear at Ropery Hall.

The duo comes from Australia and New Zealand, countries in which the traditional songs and tunes of the British Isles have evolved their own unique characteristics and it’s these songs and tunes, and several of their own making, that The James Brothers have united to play.

“The James Brothers are not brothers and only one of them is called James but this duo allows them to be centre stage away from their other musical commitments,” said Liz Bennet of The Ropewalk.

“The James Brother who is called James is Sydney-born James Fagan and is best known as one half of Nancy Kerr and James Fagan (both musically and maritally), and has also been spotted playing guitar and bouzouki in The Cara Dillon Band, the live circus that is Bellowhead and with his parents and sister as The Fagans, where his folk career began (in a decade which has only just become fashionable),” she said.

“The James Brother who isn’t called James is Jamie McClennan, a Kiwi who found himself in a duo with Scotland’s BBC-award-winning Emily Smith (whom he also married),” she went on.

“While both men are quick to point out that their work with their wives is still the primary passion, The James Brothers allows them to be centre stage – playing the music of their roots and telling jokes without fear of being told off.”

Drawing from the folk, blues and bluegrass that inspired them, the Brothers’ repertoire includes  songs written in the 1800s as well as  self-penned tunes.

For Fagan and McClennan this is about bringing their distinct Antipodean-steeped folk to a new audience, with songs and tunes brought to life by a fraternal bond between two very silly, but captivatingly gifted musicians.

“And that’s the James Brothers. Two men. Two Voices. Two Instruments… No Sheilas,” said Liz.

The James Brothers will be appearing at Ropery Hall on Saturday, March 25, starting at 8pm  Tickets cost £13 in advance or £15 on the door.  Advance tickets can be bought online at www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at The Ropewalk’s Craft Gallery or by calling 01652 660380



A Taste of Nashville at Ropery Hall

By janetuplin |

Talented guitarist Martin Harley and bassist Daniel Kimbro will be appearing on Barton upon Humber’s Ropery Hall stage to give the audience a taste of Nashville.

The duo will be at the Maltkiln Road venue on Saturday, March 4, with a sound that has been described by Guitar Magazine as “staggeringly good, no one is making music like it.”

“Martin is a supremely talented acoustic roots and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter with a burgeoning global reputation,” said Liz Bennet of The Ropewalk. “His new studio album ‘Static In The Wires’ that was recorded in Nashville has just been released and follows the critically acclaimed ‘Live At Southern Ground”.

This is Martin’s seventh album to date and the second to feature Daniel Kimbro as well as 14 time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas (Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, and Dolly Parton), Derek Mixon (Chris Stapleton, Sam Lewis) and Micah Hulsher (Alabama Shakes).

“Their live shows seek to bring aspects of blues, Americana and folk to the table,” Liz went on. “ Martin plays a 100 year Weissenborn (Hawaiian acoustic lap guitar), while Daniel plucks beats, scratches and bows his double bass to create and an unexpected array of textures and sounds”.

Recently Martin has headlined Music City Roots in Nashville, while Daniel has played the Ryman Auditorium, Grand Ole Opry, and Bonnaroo.

Last summer in Canada the duo played Winnipeg, Vancouver, Canmore and Calgary Folk Music Festivals as well as shows in the Caribbean, the US and Europe.

The duo will be on stage at 8pm and tickets to the show cost £14 in advance or £16 on the door.  Advance tickets can be bought online at www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at The Ropewalk’s Craft Gallery or by calling 01652 660380.

Dominic Kelly weaves a story at Ropery Hall

By janetuplin |

Performance storyteller Dominic Kelly will be weaving his magical story-telling when he appears at Ropery Hall on Wednesday, March 1.

Dominic Kelly has an international reputation for dynamic, powerful, and entertaining work and has played venues such as The Barbican, National Theatre, Soho Theatre, York Theatre Royal, The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, The British Museum, and festivals around the world from India to the Arctic Circle.

“Dominic will be performing The Hero Light which has been several years in the making, and delves into the stories of The Ulster Cycle, one of the great cycles of Irish mythology,” said Liz Bennet of The Ropewalk.

“He masterfully weaves stories from more than a thousand of years of Irish mythology and presents them to the audience with his trademark wit and energy.  Set against a backdrop of the wild Irish landscape, the story is huge in scale, with a cast of thousands, all conjured by a single storyteller on an almost bare stage.”

“This show is an epic immersive experience for the audience, over two halves of 60 minutes each.  The audience are guaranteed to be swept along in the energetic storytelling, the rhythmic drumming, and the intoxicating drama of the story and the continually changing dynamics of the performance.  Battles and bloodshed and epic feuds are interspersed with moments of laughter, romance, and pure magic,” Liz continued.

Dominic has directed storytelling programmes for festivals including Litfest, Larmer Tree Festival, and Solfest and is a member of ground-breaking performance storytelling company Pandvani108, peer development group Talking Skull Collective, and Fabula Storytelling in Stockholm.

He has also helped thousands of young people find their voice as storytellers, and has trained hundreds of professionals in education and heritage on using storytelling in their work.  He is based in Lancaster, UK and Stockholm, Sweden.

Dominic will be on stage at 7.30pm and tickets to see him cost £7 in advance or £9 on the door and can be bought online at www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at The Ropewalk’s Craft Gallery on by calling 01652 660380.

Alasdair Roberts appears at Ropery Hall day after latest album released

By janetuplin |

Just a day after his latest album, Pangs, is released Alasdair Roberts appears at Ropery Hall in the company of bassist Stevie Jones and drummer Alex Neilson.

Playing at the Maltkiln Road venue as part of Mad Dog Folk’s monthly folk nights, Alasdair is based in Glasgow Scotland.

He has worked with Drag City Records since 1997, firstly releasing three albums of self-written material under the name Appendix Out and then several albums under his own name, the most recent until now being A Wonder Working Stone by Alasdair Roberts & Friends (Drag City, 2013).

“His work mainly consists of two parallel strands: self-written song material (which can be heard on albums such as Farewell Sorrow, The Amber Gatherers, Spoils and A Wonder Working Stone) and interpretations of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond (which can be heard on albums such as The Crook of My Arm, No Earthly Man and Too Long In This Condition),” said Mick Harding of promoters Mad Dog Folk.

“He  has collaborated widely with many different musicians throughout his musical career, including the Scottish Gaelic singer Mairi Morrison, as well as with artists from other disciplines such as puppeteers (Shane Connolly, with whom he worked on a puppet theatre interpretation of the Scottish folk play ‘Galoshins’), film makers (including Luke Fowler, contributing a soundtrack to his film ‘All Divided Selves’) and, most recently, a poet (fellow Scot Robin Robertson, with whom he made the 2013 album Hirta Songs).

A tireless gigging musician, Alasdair has toured extensively throughout Scotland, the rest of the UK, Ireland, continental Europe, North America and Australia, both alone and with various bands and collaborators.

In 2013 Alasdair became a member of the Scottish/English folk group The Furrow Collective, along with Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Emily Portman. The Furrow Collective has released two albums 2014’s At Our Next Meeting and last autumn’s  Wild Hog.

The Furrow Collective was nominated in the 2015 and 2016 BBC Radio Two Folk Awards and  Alasdair was nominated as Scots Singer of the Year in the 2013 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.

The Alasdair Roberts Trio will be on stage on Saturday (February 25) starting at 8pm.  Tickets cost £13 in advance or £15 on the door and can be bought online at www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at The Ropewalk’s Craft Gallery or by calling 01652 660380

Scarborough Writers Move Down The Coast

By janetuplin |

Three talented Scarborough writers who make up Poetry on Fire will be making their way down the east coast to Barton upon Humber’s Ropery Hall with their brand new show, Rebirth.

“Poets Jane Sudworth and Felix Hodcroft and poet/musician Sarah Dew believe that performance poetry can be moving and mesmerising in a way few other creative endeavours can match,” said The Ropewalk’s Liz Bennet.

“Together they are three of North Yorkshire’s finest poets and performers as they pioneer a new way of encountering poetry,” she went on.  “Poetry on Fire is intense but never strident. It is intelligent, moving, beautiful and funny but always – and above all – it’s accessible and entertaining.”

“Together they will demonstrate how intense, how amusing and above all, how moving good poetry can be when you meet it in performance.”

Jane Sudworth is a relative newcomer to the literary world. Possibly as an antidote to a career in medical microbiology, she has begun writing poetry that not only reflects on internal and external observations, but also, of course, on the inherent self-doubt that those observations expose.

Felix Hodcroft has already performed at Ropery Hall as one half of The Hull to Scarborough Line, a double act with Barton’s Sue Wilsea.

He is the author of Life After Life After Death (2010), a collection of poetry, and Lives of Lilo (2012), a children’s novel with adult appeal and in  2014 he edited the anthology A Pocketful of Windows, 66 poems by writers from North and East Yorkshire.

The third member of Poetry on Fire, Sarah Dew has many years’ experience as a music teacher, music leader and composer and as well as  teaching music in primary schools also leads the popular community choir Global Voices for Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Poetry on Fire will on on stage at Ropery Hall on Wednesday, February 15, at 7.30pm.  Tickets costing £5 in advance or £7 on the door can be purchased online at www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at the Craft Gallery, or by calling 01652 660380.

Mark Nevin of Fairground Attraction to play at Ropery Hall

By janetuplin |

Appearing at Barton upon Humber’s Ropery Hall in mid-February is Mark Nevin who came to prominence in the late 80s as the founding member, guitarist and songwriter of Fairground Attraction, with whom he enjoyed the Number One single, Perfect, and multi-platinum album,  First of a Million Kisses with both receiving a Brit award.

Mark will be appearing at the Maltkiln Road venue prior to his latest album, My Unfashionable Opinion, being released in March.

“His live shows are a master-class in storytelling, song-writing and musicianship which feature his former Fairground Attraction band-mates, Roger Beaujolais on the vibraphone, Simon Edwards on bass and Richard Marcangelo on drums,” said Liz Bennet of The Ropewalk.

“Although he is always associated with Fairground Attraction his story goes back much further to the music that inspired him, his first forays in the industry and to his work with Kirsty MacColl and Sandie Shaw,” she went on.

After Fairground Attraction broke up Mark formed Sweetmouth and formed a song writing partnership with Morrissey,  as well as  continuing to write songs for and with artists such as Kirsty MacColl, Carole King and Lloyd Cole and his songs have been covered, among many others, by David Bowie, Joe Cocker and Ringo Starr.

In 1999 he made the move to centre stage and has since producing his solo albums,  Insensitive Songwriter (1999), The Mighty Dove (2002), Stand Beside Me In The Sun (2011) and his latest, Beautiful Guitars (2014) with each album marking a milestone in the growth of his confidence and the honing of his unique narrative style which continues with the release of My Unfashionable Opinion.

Tickets to  see Mark on Saturday, February 18,  cost £14 in advance or £16 on the door.  Advance tickets can be bought on www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person at the Craft Gallery or by calling 01652 660380.  The gig starts at 8pm.

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