Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Winter Certainly Feels Warmer Now

I look from my window this Sunday morning and once again the landscape has been turned white by a 1.5 inch thick layer of snow and I can’t but help wonder where the bright sunshine and green fields of rural North Yorkshire had gone.

It was a tiring day for The Mashers as we made our way up the M1 to join in with the Winter Warmer festivities in Kirkby Fleetham. To help beak up the duo syndrome, we were joined on our travels by Phoebe, she of Wyrd Witch fame.

Paul Arrowsmith, he of banjo playing fame, mainly with Blind Summat, puts together a couple of weekends a year drawing on the Folk talent of Yorkshire and for the evening concert, well beyond.

The day session we attended was a five hour sing around. A veritable feast of music from across the spectrum of folk music. And it was so good to hear and meet up again with Acoustic Rotherham friends and other friends of The Mashers. It was also good to put faces to people that up to now we had only met via the pages of Facebook and Myspace.

With Joolze Cavel in solo mode and Husband Glyne keeping us all in order, we were able to relax to the classy sounds from the likes of Barbara Helen, Heather Woodhead and the very entertaining Hamish Currie who also demonstrated his, I think immense was the word he used, talent by becoming MC for the main concert.

It’s hard to be critical – but I think Hamish’s showcase did deserve to be part of the main concert performance, as it was interesting to see that many people did not arrive until the main billed Evening Concert.

The atmosphere for the main Concert was crackling, and what a kick off with the unlikely duo of Canadian fiddler Sophie Lavoie and her Irish Bag Pipe expert Flachra O’Regan whirling us through a series of Jigs and reels. Where they got the energy from I don’t know, it certainly left me completely exhausted.

And it was then we had to leave to make our way back down the M1 – with those lucky enough not to have such a long drive able to stay on and enjoy the songs of Dave Gibb followed by the Ruth Notman Duo.
I’m told we missed a real treat.

We’re also proud to say that South Yorkshire reigns supreme as Champions for the “No finger In The Ear” Singoff competition. The Wyrd Witch took on all comers from around the World including The North East and North Yorkshire to take the Kirkby Fleetham title.

This is said to be an ancient County Durham thing, where two singers, face to face, with only eighteen inches to separate them sing a song of their own choice, importantly different to their opponent. The winner is the singer who can hold melody, key and timing throughout and not choke.

So well done Phoebe.

But where was the prize? Come to that where are all our raffle prizes?

And while we were all enjoying ourselves poor Wendy, violin safely packed away, was slaving away in the kitchen preparing all sorts of goodies to keep those of us who made a day of it going, except that is for a short interlude at the end of the singaround when a banjoles Paul provided us with a song accompanied by Wendy on guitar and then Wendy gave us a song.

It’s worth checking out the Kirkby Fleetham Folk Club programme for the year, a special line up of talent and I’ll add the list to our Gig section on the Acoustic Rotherham News page later in the week.

Oh go on then, typically, just as we were leaving, our Terry (Ferdinand) gate crashed the Party. Great to see him and I think his Mrs. What a supporter of local talent and events that man is. Hats off to you Terry and keep the good work up. And you North Yorkshire lot, get tuned into Bishop FM Do we get that spot now mate?

Earlier in the week The Mashers had one of those surreal experiences at the end of their practice session on Monday.

We tuck ourselves away in Conference Room at The Bridge where quite clearly we are forgotten by everyone, including it seems, the Land Lord, Ben.

You might well be able to guess the look of total confusion on our faces upon attempting to leave the Pub to discover that all the doors were firmly locked against us. Worse, the dogs were a barking, sounding a little less than friendly.

I think Myke had made up his mind that he was in for the night and was already eyeing the optics very closely, but the barking dogs had him on edge so I boringly went and knocked on Ben’s door praying that he would not let the dogs free before finding out who it was.

Fortunately he had not got into his PJs so it was only a couple of minutes before he had kicked us out into the cold night air.

Thursday and we both made an appearance at the Thursday session at The Bridge for the first time in ages. It was a bouncing evening with everyone in Party mood to celebrate Phil’s sixtieth birthday. Yet another of our number hitting official “Old Bugger” status.

It almost seems churlish to comment upon the childish antics of some who clearly still hold a grudge against The Mashers for having ended Stan’s short involvement with us. Neither Myke nor I understand what it is all about, and I won’t pretend that we do not notice the little antics, we do, but to be honest if people do not discuss the issues they have with us then there is very little we can do about it.

On a more positive note The Mashers Influences page has been fully updated, and at last all the Links work. HERE It's a trip down memory land.

As many will already know The Mashers are great fans of Matt McGinn the song writer / poet from across the Northern boarder. While I was updating I noticed that his Web Site has undergone a major face lift. It now boasts some super video of film associated with some of Matt’s songs, and video from the various Tribute Shows that have recently been taking place of other artists singing some of Matts songs. Well worth a visit. HERE

Currently the Jon Isherwood site is down, but I’m told that it will not be long before it is back on air.
Big thanks to the guys who are down loading the Making Your Musical Footprint E- booklet, your donations to the Acoustic Rotherham cause are much appreciated. By the way, if anyone did not get the download message and are wondering when I’m going to send it please Email me and I’ll Email the file over to you. And if you’ve no idea about what I’m talking about GO HERE

A big welcome to Chris Milner, who joins the artists listed in the Acoustic Rotherham CD Shop with his latest CD Four Fields Meet. If you’ve not come across Chris in the Clubs then check out the sample track from the album HERE

And the message goes out to all you artists with a CD to sell. The more the merrier. And if you are listed on Amazon and would like your CD listed in our Amazon Associate Shop then please Email HERE You’ll find Anna Shannon’s Over Land MP3 version in the shop now for an amazingly low price of £5.99.

Incidentally, you Winter Warmers will also find offerings from Barbara Helen and Heather Woodhead in the Shop – go listen and buy.

I’m told by The Barnsley Folk and Acoustic Club that their meetings will continue at The Shaw Inn, certainly in the short term. So all you Barnsley Folk your Monday nights remain unchanged.

While in Barnsley, make a note in your diary for the 1st May when Barnsley Folk and Acoustic / Folk Against Fascism is putting on a short afternoon outdoor session near the market place. Look out for the Mashers, we’ll be there somewhere.

This week you will find The Mashers at Nellie Folk on Monday Night and on Thursday we’re doing a spot at the Princess Royal, Crookes, Sheffield. Go to their Web Page for directions………….. Here

And I think that covers another week in the life of The Mashers and Acoustic Rotherham.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Loads of stuff From Acoustic Rotherham and The Mashers

We like to think that The Mashers tell it as it is without the “bullshit” (sorry to those of a delicate imposition) and so it is with the Acoustic Rotherham Guide To Making Your Musical Footprint, published this week.

Over quite a long period I’ve been looking at a lot of the material available on the Internet claiming to help musicians to make a lot of money and become stars of their genre. It’s expensive advise to, you can spend a mini fortune down loading Directories and Manuals, all leaving one feeling a little ripped off as the bottom line is that essentially they are passing on nothing more than some common sense solutions that often cost even more money.

We also found that much of the material assumes that people have more than just a little basic knowledge of how their computer works and how other Web Sites work, which we now know from experience, is not the case.

So we’ve put together this small booklet of 50 pages to get people going. No fills or anything. It tells it as it is was for the musician currently playing every week in their Folk Club or Open Mic but would like to take the next step – and perhaps for those of us who have taken that next step, a basic reminder of what we should be doing.

We’ve packed the booklet with links to other mainly FREE sites that we have found to be valuable in helping to get our music heard by a wider audience: there’s illustrated step by step guides for some of the basic computer procedures needed to bring your various profiles together: we look at the useful tools available on the main Social Network sites: we even throw in the basic hmtl code you need to make some of the profiles look a little more slick: and there’s loads of advise about how to use all the tools, build publicity packs, get your own Web Site up, find Gigs etc.

It’s not just about Rotherham.

And it’s only £2.50 – with automatic updates when we amendments are made. With every penny going to keep Acoustic Rotherham up and running.

We make no promises of stardom tomorrow, or huge Bank Accounts in twelve months. We do give you the starter tools that if you are prepared to spend the time working on can help to push you on your way.

So go and down load, even if you think you know it all, there’s bound to be something new, just as we in The Mashers are always finding something new.
So that’s the “no bullshit” advert out of the way. HERE
The Mashers had a nice week. Our normal Monday Practice went off according to plan at The Bridge.

On Thursday we packed our instruments into the back of the Mashermobile and headed out to the wastes of outer Sheffield. Crooks to be exact.

Remarkably we found Crooks Social Club quite easily, only two wrong turns, not bad for us, in fact the most difficult bit was finding somewhere to park, the Club Car Park and surrounding roads being jammed packed with parked cars.

The Crooks Social Club appears to be a hive for the local community activities, which is great to see in these days when WMCs appear to be suffering so much, if for some different reasons to the Pubs.

The acoustic music night hosted by Jacks Rake, who on their own can fill most car parks, is clearly very popular. I’m not sure what the format is suppose to be, but the Band did one of their fantastic thirty minute sets before inviting guests to make a contribution, which included music as diverse as traditional Irish numbers to Neil Young and of course Paul Pearson – no session is complete without one of Paul’s super sets.

And of course there was The Mashers.

Best of all there was an audience, not one made up of the performers only, an appreciative one at that. Even the Mashers went down well.

To return to the Club though – activities on Thursday included, everything from Pool / Snooker to Community Meetings and of course Speed Dating – and no I didn’t “pull”. Myke didn’t try as he’s still in love. Speaking of which there’s a nice lovey picture of the man himself on Facebook somewhere.

So it was a pity that Sainsbury’s Long Life Batteries failed to live up to their name thus making the camera defunct. I think they might also have something to do with my guitar not sounding quite as it should. Well, it’s a good excuse to visit Crooks again sometime.

This is a session that deserves to go from strength to strength and our congratulations to Jacks Rake for a super enjoyable evening.

On to other things.

Monday 15th – and a land mark CD launch day. Anna Shannon’s “Over Land” has a bottle of Champagne cracked over it and finds it’s way out to a wider audience than those of us who have been lucky enough to enjoy the live previews she has been doing around the Folk Clubs. HERE

There’s a David Kidman review + extra’s to be found on our special Anna Shannon page, including a track from the CD for you to enjoy.

Not forgetting links to where you can buy the CD. It’s available through our Amazon Associate Shop for only £9.99 – and it’s post free. HERE

The 19th February – 21st should see you heading for Kirkby Fleetham for The Winter Warmer. I trust you already have your tickets – I’m told The Mashers tickets are safely tucked away somewhere. Go to the news page to reserve / book yours.
The overall rebuild of the Acoustic Rotherham site continues. I’ve had so many folks say that there is so much information on the site now that I’ve added a site search engine which should throw up items you are looking for a little quicker than sometimes heading for the main navigation buttons. HERE

The site seems to be working quite well at the moment, we’re closing in of the one million mark for world wide sites and 28,000 in the UK for the most visited sites. We can still do a lot better though, and would really appreciate it if you can link us in somewhere on your Social Networking Profiles and Web Pages.

Lots coming up this week – so check out the Gig Guide HERE

And don’t forget the CD SHOP – there’s some great albums listed and what’s not there you’ll find via the Amazon link up. HERE

Thanks to all you folks for your continued support.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Acoustic Rotherham is Buzzin'

After the full on excitement of Acoustic Rotherham 6, this past week has been a bit of a recovery week for me.

Thanks again to all those who made musical contributions to the afternoon or popped into The Queens to have a listen. I’ve had a brief chat with Chris the Land Lord at the Queens and he was delighted with the event.

Acoustic Rotherham 7 will be held on 25th April. It looks as if the list of acts is now full, with more local talent showing their skills as well as contributions from the North East and the Midlands.

The pictures from the event are up HERE or if you want to grab copies you’ll find them in Albums on both Myspace and Facebook.

The Mashers have not been idle though. Monday found us at The Bridge for our regular practice session. We’re dusting off the stock of Irish songs – yes we’re getting ready for Paddy Night already. In fact on the 13th March at The Bridge we will be putting on a Mashers and Friends Night to kick the Irish season off.

More of that as we get closer to the date.

Being completely skint, we didn’t get out for a song together during the week and Myke Masher was busy helping his significant other clear houses.

However, I did sneak into the back of the Catherine’s Charity Band Night on Friday. A fantastic night of different genre of music, from the traditional roots of Toein’ In The Dark to the rock folk fusion of local singer song writer Karen Mulcahey and the punky sounds of Peppermint Charlie. The place appeared to be packed so one hopes that a lot of money has been gathered in for the Biology trip to South Africa.

And guess who unusually forgot his camera?

Myke Masher was of course at Play On, at The Fat Cat it being the first Friday of the Month.

And Saturday! There I was getting nice and cosy and not thinking about the cold damp foggy stuff outside when Mrs Masher got a call to that was to drag us out. My Daughter thought that she had left her house without locking the Front Door. And if we were out we may as well stay out.

My daughter was in fact out celebrating her birthday in Rawmarsh. This was once a very popular past time of her parents, e.g. tripping merrily around the pubs of the Rawmarsh Village. In fact it used to be popular with everyone in Rawmarsh. The pubs at the weekend would have crush room only and if anyone attempted to dance to the music, everybody danced.

But sadly no longer.

A clear sign of the times. It’s hard to believe that things have changed so much in such a short period of time. OK there were lots of people out, but not in the numbers we used to see. Plenty of pint sipping elbow room in all the pubs we visited.

In fact I heard someone from the Pub Trade claiming that we simply have too many pubs now, as the effects of the smoking ban really kicks in and folks invest in 50 inch televisions, cheap ale from the Supermarket and a comfy sofa for their entertainment. Social activity being reserved for Facebook.

Too many Pubs!! I never thought I would ever hear those words.

This representative also made another claim. He said that more independent pubs were shutting than those run by the Leasing Chains like Punch. He wasn’t able to produce the figures for this claim. Me thinks that it’s “spin” as the chains, having kicked Land Lords out stick Managers in until another Mug can be found to buy the Lease. So technically the Pub has not closed.

I know – life cannot stand still – the World changes, but I can’t help feeling that it’s changing for the worse sometimes.

And of course with every pub that closes a potential live music venue closes as well.

But I’m glad to say there are some folks bucking the trends. I want to sing the praises of local music Promoter Mick Hill. Now here’s a chap dedicated to live music. For years he has Promoted music at live events at different venues throughout Rotherham, in fact the successful Mini Folk Festival at the now defunct Blues CafĂ© was his baby. But now he has a place of his own converting what was “yet another” disco bar into a live music venue.

And what a success Dicken’s Bar, Rotherham has become. What was a dieing bar has come back to life, packed out every weekend.

What’s more Mick has opened the Pub on a Sunday afternoon for an Open Mic Session – The Mashers have not paid a visit yet but it’s on the books that we will creep along very soon.

You can find the Dicken’s Bar listings on the News page.

Well done Mick – you’re a legend mate.

And while you’re there check out the live music going into The Bridge in Rotherham on a Saturday night. I’d draw your attention to Crossfire, old friends of Acoustic Rotherham, and made up of Tom Hezct and his mate, playing an interesting mix of rocky acoustic music. I find them very innovative. They’ve been very quiet recently – sorry quiet is not really word – so it’ll be great to see them out again. They’ve also committed to playing at Acoustic Rotherham 7.

But there’s also plenty more great music to be found at The Bridge on a Saturday night, so get down there and give your support – and you’ll still have time to walk up the hill to Dicken’s Bar to catch the great Bands up there.

And talking of innovations. Two more CDs came into the CD Shop this week.
Jude Cowan is a lady with South Yorkshire roots, living now in the South…. Tut tut. Her new CD Doodlebug Alley, her second, is a wonderful collection of often dark songs. Jude accompanies herself on her trusty Uke, which gives the CD a really simple feel and allows the lyrics to come through. Go give the sample track a listen.

Jude is multi talented and she has another collection of her poetry published later this year.

And at long last we can now also feature the CD from Acoustic Rotherham’s good friends Tina McKevit and Matt Hegarty, Dewdrop On The Barley. Those of you who have heard the music of Tina and Matt around the Folk Clubs of South Yorkshire will want to have this one in your collection.

I’m pleased to say that CD sales are starting to take off, and we now feature CDs from twelve different Acts – the more the merrier though – so if you’re an artist with a CD that you carry around and sell at Gigs – why not get it listed in the Acoustic Rotherham CD Shop. And you don’t have to be from Yorkshire. So long as you are Indie, we’ll list you. Details HERE

The slow rebuild of the Acoustic Rotherham site continues, but we are getting there.

The regular Gig Guide page has been reconstructed, and Book the Acts has been sorted – although on checking a technical thing needs to be done, but it should be up and working properly by the end of the day.

The more observant folks amongst you will have spotted that we have been adding bits of advertising content to pages. We’ve been very careful about who we place on our pages and you can find links to some excellent products and services. Using these links help keep Acoustic Rotherham going so please support them.

The same applies to the link up with Amazon. Use Acoustic Rotherham links and it helps to keep it all going.

Those interested in the stats might be interested to know that the past week has seen the site come into the top world wide 1.5 million of sites visited, that’s the top 30,000 in the UK. Not bad for a local based site. And we’ve held onto the Reverbnation number one spot for another week, but that’s mainly due to the artists who support Acoustic Rotherham and their brilliant music which makes the player so popular.

Could that be another reason to have your CD in the CD Shop?

While we’re in our commercial mood – don’t forget to get your tickets for the Kirkby Fleetham Winter Warmer 19th– 21st of February. Yes there’s still a few left, even after The Mashers said that they might drop in, so get to the news page and get yours ordered now. Paul is waiting for your email or call.

Keep an eye on the status bar for news of anything The Mashers might be up to this week.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Buzzin' Mashers and all The News From Acoustic Rotherham 6

Buzzin’ – that’s the word that probably best describes the past week for Acoustic Rotherham and The Rawmarsh Mashers.

For the first time there is a sense that the green shoots of Acoustic Rotherham are beginning to grow adding more confidence to the feeling that artists, musicians and the general Folk / Acoustic enthusiast can see the value of a focal point for news and music distribution.

The Acoustic Rotherham Web Site is now within the top two million of all Web Sites, having reached 1,750,000 according to the Alexa ratings. That places us firmly within the top 50,000 of all visited UK sites.

And standing at number 1 in the South Yorkshire Reverbnation Charts is just confirmation that your efforts are beginning to have an impact.

The Acoustic Rotherham week was topped off with Acoustic Rotherham 6, making it’s second visit to The Queens in Rawmarsh.

It was, to say the least, yet another fantastic afternoon of music, with every one of the acts, following The Mashers warm up set that is, produced simply brilliant performances.

Matt Shore the brilliant young singer song writer from Sheffield demonstrated that here was a lad with super future ahead of him in music, if he can demonstrate the patience we all know that is required. His body of work and confident performance will make him a stand out performer of the future to watch.

And if we needed even more evidence that young people can find and enjoy Folk Music, Folk On Fire from Halifax certainly demonstrated that they too have a fantastic future ahead of them. The simple joy that they demonstrate as they play their tunes has to be seen. The Mashers have now seen them three times, and each time they become more relaxed and more confident with their material. Folk On Fire are bound to be really popular around the Festivals this year, so if you’ve not yet seen them, search them out, you definitely will not be wasting your time.

We had a now rare appearance from Pete Higgins who entertained us with many of the songs that we grew up with in the Folk Clubs. It was lovely to be taken back to the way Folk used to be – what’s more he sung a few of my personal favourites. Thanks Pete your efforts to work with the PA were much appreciated.

Acoustica, the other two thirds of the singing Higgins family then gave us one of their super sets. We don’t have to tell you folks just how popular they are around the Folk Clubs. We should see a lot more them. And if you’ve not seen Andy and Cath in action, (musical that is) I promise they are well worth going out of your way to see.

With a sideways look at Folk, performers and the acoustic tradition The Misk Hills Mountain Rambler had us all chuckling and thinking. His new song When Coal Was King being a super reflection upon the destruction of the Coal Industry. He’s relatively new of the South Yorkshire music scene and looking for places to play. I’m sure you’ll all oblige. The opening number simply should not be missed.

A special treat just before the new “Chat Break” when Catherine and Andy (daughter and Dad) treated us to a short set of three songs in return for plugging their Charity Event coming up at The Rotherham Rugby Club on 5th February. Catherine was breaking off from her A Level Revision, but every minute was worthwhile as she treated us to a performance of maturity far beyond her comparative tender years. And Andy was on form to. You can check out the full concert details on the News page.

And here it might be worth mentioning the good old Mashers PA system, made and bought to be used by duo wishing to bash out their numbers. Well it had to be pulled in at short notice again to fulfil the needs of Acoustic Rotherham. It was not built for bands over two, so when Dead Cat Bounce arrived with their multi instruments and full electronic drum kit Dickie Masher went into nightmare mode.
However by hook and by crook and simply just letting the boys of Dead Cat Bounce get on with it, we were able to get the full effect of the Band in all their glory. The chewing gum and string held out wonderfully.

This was Dead Cat Bounce’s first public outing and what debut. We at Acoustic Rotherham will never forget it, and even the cheers and singing from the massed choir of The Queen’s Football Team were drowned out by Phill’s powerful delivery. We look forward to being able to feature some studio recording s on the Acoustic Web Site soon.

Great supporters of Acoustic Rotherham Tina McKevit and Matt Hegarty treated us to a delightful set as usual. Why this fantastic duo do not get more exposure leaves me at a loss. Their debut CD, already in circulation, will soon be on the Acoustic Rotherham CD Shop page so if you’ve not yet heard this brilliant duo at work that will be your chance. We also look forward to a new CD perhaps featuring some their new material, which I personally find spell binding.

Then a Band which is always good to feature, if only because they fill a room!! Jacks Rake, our old adversities on the Reverbnation Charts.

Performing a completely acoustic set (thank God said Dickie) Jacks Rake produced some great tunes in their own arrangements. They even nearly got me dancing and that would have been a first. I think they also go down as the Band to have played the least number of numbers within their time slot an all time record at three in twenty five minutes, of full on music. Hats off to you guys and I know we’ll be seeing a lot more of you in the future.

Fools Gold, a band that The Mashers had not seen before then put on an amazing set made up of a mixture of their own songs and covers. With the same double bass, guitar and female vocal / second guitar build that made The Seekers sound so popular, Fools Gold are going to be very popular on the circuit.

They play a mixture of their own songs backed by popular covers that had the audience tapping their feet and singing along. You can check out their sound and buy their CD in the CD Shop.

A virtuoso of the guitar followed. Rawmarsh’s own Mark Hearne or Mark O’Flynn to his mates. Mark’s main claim to fame is to having played a key role in the development of The Rawmarsh Mashers by being so short sighted enough to have encouraged Dickie Masher to play his guitar again!!

It’s a long time since I’d seen Mark in action, and despite the limitations of the PA he produced a fantastic set of technical guitar playing to some brilliant traditional folk songs. This man needs to get out there more and deserves to be seen more in the Folk Clubs of South Yorkshire. Give him a call and you’ll be in for a treat.

Paul Pearson, accompanied by Charlie Barker on cello then produced one of his brilliantly passionate sets. He seems to get better every time I see him. This is Roots music at it’s very best and it’s a pity that no one can pin him down long enough to get him into a recording studio to produce a CD from his collection of songs.

Ending the evening a real special treat. Charlie Barker who despite the Music Quiz man setting off the bar speaker system as he started to prepare and a very dry throat from her recent cold produced one of those magical endings to the event. Not a lot can be said about Charlie that has not already been said, and why she is not up there with the headlining stars on the Folk circuit in her own right remains a mystery to me. Her current CD is available from the Amazon Associate CD Shop. Watch out for a new CD heading your way from Charlie later this year. It’s to be a collection of her all time favourite songs.

So as usual my thanks to everyone who took part in and visited Acoustic Rotherham 6. It’s you that make these events work and so special and without tangible reward as well. I very much hope that you enjoyed as much as The Rawmarsh Mashers did in hosting it.

But moving on before I do a Murray blub.

Into the CD Shop has come the latest offering from Stormcrow. A duo from the that prolific Folk Region, the North East. Now, when I listened to this CD I found it refreshingly different and original. The lyrics have a cutting edge and the accompaniment is just super played to a folk and roll tempo. Well worth a listen and well worth an investment. The MP3 Down Load version will be available later this week – in the CD Shop as well.

Also to come into the Shop will be the new CD from Jude Cowan. Doodlebug Alley. But more of that next time. I’ve just had a quick listen, and if Stormcrow’s offering is quirky, (their word not mine) then Jude’s CD is certainly out there with them. Again, so refreshingly simple in lyrics and production.

But then I’m not professional reviewer so expect the good words of David Kidman to be hitting the site in the not too distant future.

While we’re on CDs the much anticipated new CD from old friend of Acoustic Rotherham Anna Shannon will soon be hitting the shelves. Anna now has a full on distribution Agency doing the leg work for her and the official launch date for “Over Land” is the 15th of February. You might be interested in a couple of launch Concerts that Anna is giving and the dates will be in the Gig Guide very soon if not sooner.

And Gigs. Loads of great events coming up. If you’ve not already got your tickets for the Kirkby Fleetham Winter Warmer weekend, what have you been doing?

It’s a fantastic weekend of folk music and good folk, all in the Village Hall. You might even spot a Masher or two, OK a questionable reason to go, but The Ruth Notman Duo, Brian Peters, Dave Gibb, The Hall Brothers, Fiachra O'Regan & Sophie Lavoie, Nebula, Hamish Currie, Joe Solo, Richard Parkes are each and everyone of them good reasons for making the excursion. Full details on the News Page.

The Mashers have had a good week to.

Nellie Folk at the Bridge on Monday night was again back to it’s old buzzing stuff as singers and musicians all decided to make progress now that the snows have cleared. A bouncing night, and we even got asked to do an extra tune.

Then Tuesday we were off to do the main guest spot at Hillsborough Folk Club at the Burton Street complex. Always a fun place to go and always such an appreciative audience. And as a special bonus, amongst the familiar faces was a stranger we’ve not seen before, Phil Cockerham a singer writer from Leeds who entertained us royally with his witty lyrics and masterful treatment of more traditional material. But thanks to Pete and the regulars at Burton Street for a really nice evening.

I should add if you’ve not been to the Club, make a point of putting it in your diary.

Saturday found us at a Private Party to celebrate a major birthday for Theresa a well known and much loved face on the Rotherham music scene. Ill health and family concerns have sort of curtailed her activities of late, but the esteem in which she is held was demonstrated by a Mass turn out of Rotherham music people. Indeed some of the faces we had not seen for years and it was well worth the trip out just to meet up with so many old friends.

Meanwhile I’m told the Rotherham Rogues were playing to a packed house at The Yellow Lion in Greasborough. They deserve it after suffering at the hands of The Venue back in December.

A full report this week then.

I’ve not forgotten the much promised Publicity Advice update. It will be with you soon. Some minor amendments and it will be ready for publication. Keep your eyes on this space for details.

You’ll have to forgive me but to get all the pages updated will take a few days so please be patient with the Web Site. We’re getting there since the disasters of last year.

So with yet more thanks to all of you folks who made Acoustic Rotherham 6 so fantastic I’ll leave you for this week.

Oh!! We’d really appreciate it if you could where possible link to your Web Sites and Myspace pages – every little helps.

Find all the pictures from the events on