25th May 2012: Mike Whellans and Sara Grey, with Kieron Means

Another double-header for May’s St Boswells Live! taking place on Friday 25th May, 2012. The theme this month is definitely the roots of music, with a mixture of traditional songs, stories, country and blues all wrapped up in a lovely sonic package.

Once you have heard Sara Grey you will never forget her. She has a certain quality of voice that compels you to give her your undivided attention. Her voice is both powerful and sweet with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to native American ballads and ballads of Ireland and Scotland.

It is not Sara’s lovely voice alone that makes her one of the most popular singers on the folk scene, on many of her songs Sara accompanies herself by frailing a five string banjo and, when playing tunes, it is obvious why she is regarded as one of the foremost exponents of the old-time style. As well as singing and playing superbly Sara is a fine story teller specialising in stories from New England where she grew up and learned many of her stories from her father.

Kieron Means is a singer primarily of traditional songs but also of contemporary songs and guitar player of great merit. He has a great rapport with an audience and has an exceptional professionalism for a young performer. His voice is as smooth as silk, rich and mellow and he sings to his audience not in spite of them.

Kieron is the son of the traditional singer Sara Grey and music journalist Andrew Means, one time writer for Melody Maker. He was born in the United States and grew up in Britain gaining a great love of the music of both traditions as well as the contemporary scene. He has become a performer of traditional songs from the US and from the UK and many of the contemporary songs he sings he has written himself.

Mike Whellans is the real thing, a keeper of the one-man blues band flame that burned so passionately in the work of this highly specialized form’s masters, including Doctor Isaiah Ross, Jesse Fuller and Whellans’ great British forerunner, Tony ‘Duster’ Bennett.

Like all true bluesmen and women, when Whellans sings and plays, he means it. He can set a scene of darkness and foreboding as the Boogie Man lurks, play twelve-string guitar in the grand driving blues tradition to propel his Winding Track, and sing of hugging his baby’s deserted pillow so that you really feel his loss.

If you’re already familiar with Whellans, you’ll know to expect a fired up and ready one man blues band explosion. But if this is your introduction, prepare to hear a talent who’s not only his own man as a singer, guitarist and ace blues harpist, he’s his own rhythm section, too.

Tickets are priced at £10 (full), £5 (under-16s) and just £25 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 under-16s). Doors at St Boswells Village Hall open at 7.30pm with the show starting at 8pm.

Advanced single tickets are available from We Got Tickets (click link to purchase in new window) or St Boswells Post Office.


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