(Pontardawe's) VALLEY FOLK CLUB
(Pontardawe's)VALLEY FOLK CLUB 


 ‘Among Britain’s finest traditional singers.’ - Folk Radio UK

‘An outstanding performer.’ - The Independent

‘In the spirit of the old traditional singers, Jack Rutter takes a song, shapes it, lives with it and brings out something unique. This album makes my heart sing.’ - Kathryn Tickell OBE, BBC Radio 3 


Jack Rutter is a highly respected folk singer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist from West Yorkshire. His second solo album Gold of Scar & Shale is available CD/DL from October 4th 2019. 

Produced by Joe Rusby and recorded as live, the new album continues the stripped back approach of its critically acclaimed predecessor, Jack’s debut solo outing Hills. The songs are unearthed gems from the folk canon – almost all of them rare and many previously unrecorded – gathered from old books and source singers as Rutter uncovered material for this major new release of traditional song. 

Jack’s soaring vocal takes centre stage on the album, delivering each folk tale in a fresh and current way; his masterful playing and arrangements providing the perfect accompaniment. Jack contributes guitar, bouzouki, duet concertina and harmonium to the album with featured guest musicians Sam Sweeney on fiddle, Alice Robinson on Northumbrian pipes and Sam Fisher on flugelhorn. 

There is a strong sense of place on the new record too, with over half of the songs having some sort of Yorkshire connection. The album title itself Gold of Scar & Shale comes from a line in one such track, ‘The Hills of Longdendale’, with words written by ‘The Moorland Poet’ Ammon Wrigley (1861-1946). 

 Says Jack “to me Ammon Wrigley is describing the rough and bleak parts of the moorland with this line, the scar and the shale that is always nevertheless gold to him. I love this line and realised that for me it’s also a great metaphor for traditional songs; rough, stark and honest things that contain such riches. I found then that I’d stumbled upon the perfect title for this album, or at least one that I really loved anyhow.”

Jack Rutter grew up in the Holme Valley area of West Yorkshire, a place steeped in a wealth of traditional song, and following a BSc degree in Countryside Management at Newcastle University has forged a highly successful career playing music across the UK and Europe. In addition to his acclaimed solo work, he has become a highly sought after collaborator for a host of the biggest names in folk music such as Seth Lakeman, Sam Sweeney and Jackie Oates as well as playing in the celebrated instrumental trio Moore Moss Rutter. 

The release of Gold of Scar & Shale is set to confirm Jack Rutter’s place as a solo artist, singer and performer of traditional songs first and foremost, marking him as one of the standout voices of the folk, roots and acoustic music scene.



For more than 40 years, Calennig have been one of south Wales’ leading dance bands. Specialising in Welsh dance music, they have played twmpaths from Aberdare to Aberdeen, from Chicago to Christchurch, for experts and novices alike.


And now they are a concert band!

With the voices of Pat Smith (plus concertina, spoons, harmonica) and Ned Clamp (guitar, harmonica), and the expert musicianship of Iolo Jones (fiddle) and Jem Randles (bass, whistle, bodhran), they guarantee a night of thoughtful and entertaining songs from, of, and about Wales, plus a fair smattering of Welsh tunes, from delicate airs to foot-stomping jigs.



Taking the audience on a musical journey around the world, English instrumental duo The Hut People – accordionist Sam Pirt (ex-Chipolatas) and percussionist Gary Hammond (ex-The Beautiful South) – have firmly established themselves as one of THE most unique, entertaining and best-loved acts on the UK folk scene today. Mixing global rhythms with folk tunes from Quebec to Spain, Scandinavia to Sussex and everywhere in between, this is a quirky celebration of our rich musical heritage – and it works so well!

This is a show like nothing you’ve ever seen before – expect feel-good dancing tunes, audience participation, step dancing, Quebecois foot-percussion (whilst playing the accordion!) and humour aplenty.

Here are some reviews: “A bewildering array of percussion and accordion-fired compositions…truly infectious!”  (R2)…

“Remarkable” (The Living Tradition)…  

“The festival season is nearly upon us, and with The Hut People gracing many of this year’s bashes, their infectious ‘World Folk’ will surely be winning them many new fans” (Songlines)

“This is a brilliantly unique sound…piano accordion and percussion defiantly unbounded by British traditions as they stride into world music” (The Scotsman)…  

“The only band to have been asked back 10 times consecutively – because they’re so good!” (Swaledale Festival)

“Really wild night at Newport Folk club last night with 'The Hut People'. Sam and Gary had us all totally immersed with their amazing performance. They had us all 'Percussively participating' as well, brilliant!” Roy Zeal

Video - Chester Folk Festival 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap4uNP9cO4c 

MARTIN SIMPSON - A Master of his Art.

Martin Simpson is one of England’s most revered folk performers. The remarkable intimate solo performances that Martin gives go from strength to strength - every gig is a masterclass. He travels the length and breadth of the UK and beyond, giving rapt audiences passion, sorrow, love, beauty, tragedy and majesty through his playing. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, Martin's interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving. Martin has been nominated an astounding 31 times in the 16 years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - more than any other performer - and has won numerous awards.


“One of the virtuoso instrumentalists of the English music scene” ‘Sounds better than ever’ **** The Guardian

Martin Simpson has transcended borders and oceans to quietly become a superb storyteller and musician of great depth and unquestionable taste. Stephen Fearing


“What’s it like being the best guitar player in the world…?” Martin’s modesty and grace prevented him from answering this BBC Radio 4 interviewer’s question recently, but the facts speak for themselves.


40 years after he recorded his first album, Golden Vanity, in 1976, Martin is known as a guitarist of formidable talent. Equally at home playing English traditional folk, American folk and blues and his own compositions, he is consistently named as one of the very finest fingerstyle guitar players in the world.


He is listed in Gibson Guitars’ Top 30 Acoustic Guitarists of all time, and Acoustic Guitar readers voted him number 12 guitarist in the world in 2005. 


Universally acclaimed as one of the finest ever acoustic and slide guitar players, and a fine banjo-picker to boot, his solo shows bear witness to an artist at the very top of his game. Whether interpreting material from tradition or singing his own potent self-penned songs, Simpson is a remarkable storyteller: captivating and profoundly moving. His own songwriting produced the poignant ‘Never Any Good’, from Prodigal Son, 2007’s Folk Album of the Year.


Martin continues to collaborate with a dazzling array of people from across the musical spectrum: Jackson Browne, Martin Taylor, June Tabor, Richard Hawley, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Thompson, David Hidalgo, Danú, Richard Thompson and Dom Flemons are among the great musicians he has worked with.


In recent years, he has been a lynchpin in the award-winning Full English, The Elizabethan Sessions and, in 2015, recorded Murmurs, an exciting new album with Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr. Martin’s latest solo album entitled Trails and Tribulations was released in September 2017 on Topic Records. Album guests include Andy Cutting, Kathryn Tickell, Nancy Kerr and John Smith. In September 2019 Topic Records will release Martin’s new album ‘Rooted’, a mixture of Simpson originals and traditional songs and tunes with guest appearances from friends old and new. As ever Martin is pushing in new directions, expect exquisite ensemble playing and solo magic.


He has had the most nominations of any performer in the 18 years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, an astonishing 32 times, 13 of those as Musician of the Year, winning that particular accolade twice.


A virtuoso player without question, but above all Martin Simpson conveys his diverse treasure trove of material from the heart, performing with rare subtlety, intensity and honesty. A true master of his art.


Praise for ‘Rooted’:

“Every track cuts like glass. The folk singer and guitarist continues his winning streak.” Sunday Times


“Martin Simpson is a superb teller of a song. You just have to listen to the opener on this double album, his own composition, Trouble Brought Me Here, to appreciate how his articulation brings the substance of a song alive, borne on his flowing guitar or banjo accompaniment.” The Scotsman 



Other quotes:

“Martin is in a class of his own. He is such an expressive player; he is ingenious in his use of the guitar. You can listen to one of his songs and three or four minutes in, he has only used the top four strings and not even played a bass note yet, and when he does, it feels like an orchestra coming in. His clarity of playing is just amazing.” Jackson Browne

“One of the virtuoso instrumentalists of the English music scene” ‘Sounds better than ever’ **** 4 Stars The Guardian
“Simpson has become a fine interpreter of traditional and other songs, as well as a notable writer of his own.” The Times
‘Simpson’s latest is a potent blend of the highest calibre…Simpson has never sung or played better’ Acoustic Magazine
‘One of our finest traditional musicians, Simpson’s latest album offers a roving overview of his talents’ **** 4 Stars Uncut
‘An excellent collection of material drawn from both sides of the Atlantic handled with loving care by Simpson and aided by some of the biggest names in folk’ **** 4 Stars Maverick


For the umpteenth time we welcome back an old friend to the Valley Folk Club. John started performing in folk clubs in 1968, at first fronting various groups with long time friend Pat Drinkwater. During the 1970s he formed the well travelled group Stonegallows with Pat and Alan Briers. This group lasted quite a few years with different personnel, John being the only constant. Then after balancing solo performance with a puppet / live action folk group The Old Will Folk Entertainers Company he formed a couple of duo acts with Joffre White and Tony Batten.


Long time organiser of folk events he was in at the start of the Village Pump Folk Club which is running successfully again after a break. He was chairman of the committee that set up Trowbridge Village Pump Folk Festival which he helped run for more than 35 years and he was one of the main movers in reawakening this giant in a new format.


Still happily doing things in his own inimitable fashion he continues to captivate his audience in folk clubs and festivals with songs collected from friends over the years, side splitting humour and a nearly 50 year wealth of stories. For this gig he performs solo again, accompanying himself on various stringed instruments and since his move to a less hectic life in Wales he has found time to add to his repertoire.


John James is a fingerstyle guitarist,composer and entertainer. His popular appeal is attributed to his ability to entertain with humour & musicianship,a blend of presentation and performance that has brought the art of the fingerstyle guitar from the dedicated guitar fans to the appeal of a wider audience. 


James learned the rudiments of music at the piano, switching to the guitar at the age of 12. He played in pop and R&B bands before concentrating on solo acoustic guitar. In 1968 he made a name for himself in the folk clubs of the U.K., playing his own songs & arrangements of blues, jazz, and ragtime pieces (by composers such as Scott Joplin, and Reverend Gary Davis). Critics dubbed him the "Welsh Guitar Wizard".[1]

He recorded several albums for Transatlantic in the early 1970s, including an album of duets with guitarist Pete Berryman[2] called Sky in My Pie. His contemporaries on the label included Pentangle, Gerry Rafferty, Ralph McTell, Gordon Giltrap, Paul Brady, and Steve Tilston. He was one of the first guitarists in the UK to arrange and record the music of Scott Joplin.[citation needed] In the mid 1970s he signed with Kicking Mule Records and in 1976 released an album of fingerpicking guitar solos and duets called Descriptive Guitar Instrumentals. This album included guitarists John Renbourn and Duck Baker. According to Stefan Grossman, James's compositions were written in musical form without the aid of the guitar, enabling him to develop ideas without being limited by his technique.[citation needed]

With a career spanning over four decades, James has recorded over 15 albums and toured extensively, playing with Jools HollandRalph McTellJohn MartynLed Zeppelin Happy Traum, Eddie Walker and Dick Heckstall-Smith famed for playing in the jazz rock band ColosseumJohn Mayall, and Jack Bruce. He was a guest on the last tour by Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry of the UK in 1976. He has performed at Royal Albert HallParis OlympiaEdinburgh and Cambridge Folk Festivals.

His compositions have appeared in method books by Stefan Grossman. He was a columnist for Guitar International magazine and produced best-selling guitar tuition cassettes[3] and videos.[4] He has appeared on many UK radio and TV shows, including presenting the BBC TV series Broadsides.

James has played a variety of different acoustic guitars over the years: Levin Goliath, Gibson LG1, Fylde Oberon, Fylde nine-string acoustic, and Martin M36.




Xmas Party with LES BARKER

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Glais Rugby Football Club

609, Birchgrove Rd.

Glais, nr Clydach

Swansea SA7 9EN

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Huw & Heather Pudner 01792 862062

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