26th OCTOBER 2012: Kathy Stewart plus Tommy Ashby


Friend of St Boswells Live! Kathy Stewart and her brilliant band The Frequent Flyers are making a much-demanded return visit for our October 26th double bill. Last year she stunned the audience with her beautiful vocals and moving songs along with the brilliant musicianship of the band.

New York singer-songwriter Kathy Stewart has been delighting audiences on this side of the Atlantic with her thought-provoking and exciting style of Country-based music for many years.

Kathy’s song writing draws on many influences of American popular culture and other spectrums, resulting in her own distinctive sound. She has been sought after for her composing and arranging abilities and is well known for her harmony work on recordings by established artists such as Andy M. Stewart, Silly Wizard, Dick Gaughan, Davy Steele, The John Wright Band, and British Country artists, John Hinshelwood and John Miller.

The Frequent Flyers combines the talents of Kathy Stewart on vocals and guitar, Ken Kennedy on double bass, harmonica and vocals, and lead guitarist, Big Al Rae. Both Ken and Big Al currently play in the Peebles-based “Red Clay Dirt Band”. In addition to the trio, specially for this show will be guests on pedal steel and mandolin, ensuring a huge sound.



Hailing from Innerleithen, local lad Tommy Ashby is continually gaining momentum as a songwriter and live act on the London music scene. Tommy’s rural roots are clear in his songs, with folk and blues stylings seamlessly integrated with pop songwriting to create skilfully crafted, warming and beautiful songs. What really shines through Tommy’s music is how natural the songs are; they are idiosyncratic to his voice, guitar playing and personality, and this makes for an absorbing live show.

Tommy is supported by a group of extremely talented musicians who are integral to creating the tight, vibrant sound. His new single, ‘Broken Bones’, can be downloaded for free at http://tommyashby.bandcamp.com/

Tickets available online or at St Boswells Post Office: £10 / £5 (under 16) / £25 (family of 5, Post Office only)

Doors 7.30pm, bring your own refreshments.

Click the image to buy discounted tickets:

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RESCHEDULED: FRIGHTENED RABBIT, 15th DECEMBER

Owing to circumstances beyond the control of both us and Frightened Rabbit, the show previously to be held on Friday 21st September has been rescheduled for Saturday 15th December.

Tickets can be purchased online (price £10, sorry no concessions) by clicking the image below:

Thank you for your patience.

The St Boswells Live! Team

21st SEPTEMBER 2012: FRIGHTENED RABBIT (Acoustic) + Support

07 SEPTEMBER: PLEASE NOTE, TICKET SALES ARE CURRENTLY SUSPENDED WHILE TOTAL ALLOCATION IS RECALCULATED – PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE FOR NEWS.

St Boswells Live!  is delighted to welcome FRIGHTENED RABBIT to our stage.

Originating from Selkirk, Frightened Rabbit have picked up a huge following over their 9 year career, which is about to become stellar as they embark on a major tour along with the release of a new album due in 2013 to follow up 2010’s critically acclaimed The Winter of Mixed Drinks. Now based in Glasgow, Frightened Rabbit have an eclectic style ranging from heavy rock to acoustic folk, always daubed in melancholy, tinged with anger but ultimately looking forward to better things, exemplified perfectly by their most recent release State Hospital and the anthemic, Swim Until You Can’t See Land.

In advance of their homecoming Selkirk gig on 25th September, FR are performing as an acoustic line-up, undoubtedly showcasing their most recent works. This gig comes near the end of a tour of Ireland and the UK, in advance of tours of Europe and the USA, so they were extremely generous to fit us in as a fundraiser for the club.

Please note, this is advertised as a family show, but there may be some strong language.

In support of our headline act are Crow Road, a brilliant unsigned band from Glasgow who will be playing an acoustic set. We’re delighted to have them on the bill so early in their career as, given the quality of their material, we doubt they’ll be a support act for long.

Also, playing a short set will be local singer-songwriter and friend of St Boswells Live! Madeleine Dow who will bring her unique and enchanting vocal style to our stage.

£10 all tickets (sorry, no concessions) – click the image below to buy.

Doors open at 7.30pm. All seated, BYOB.

31st AUGUST 2012: Gren Bartley plus Fiona Laing and Sally-Anne Scott

This August 31st at St Boswells Live! we are proud to host the highly-talented and, dare we say it, extremely nice man Gren Bartley. This begins a new season of performers, all of whom we are very excited about.

Gren Bartley sits on the edge of the ever growing link between English and American folk music. He is a songwriter who explores a wide range of styles from traditional English songs to the darkest American blues ballads. Add to this his impressive songwriting with “a depth and insight of someone twice his age” and you will find an artist who is being very highly praised and has become a much sought after musician.

Gren’s live act is his strongest asset. His guitar playing is “effortlessly astonishing” and his lyrics serve perfectly to accompany the audience through the spectrum of musical landscapes he visits. But it is his soft yet absorbing voice that provides the thread of continuity throughout the set.

“As an acoustic finger-picking guitar and banjo player he has few if any equals in his age group; as an acoustic rooted-in-folk writer he’s developing an alarmingly good canon of work” – R2 Magazine

Supporting Gren are two very different artists from the Borders who have both been talent spotted over the summer as potential stars in their fields. Sally-Anne Scott [note change of bill] is a brilliant harp and clarsach player who has excelled under the tutelage of the legendary Elspeth Smellie and who is on her way to the Royal Conservatoire this year, such is her musical ability.

Fiona Laing, becoming a regular at venues around the Borders, plays guitar to accompany her soaring voice and self-penned songs. At the Lauder Jubilee Celebrations this year, she wowed the audience and we are really looking forward to seeing what she can do at St Boswells Live!

Open Mic slots are available by calling Keith on 01835 822692 (answerphone available).

Doors for this show open at 7.30pm with Open Mic slots from 8pm. Tickets cost £8 (adult), £4 (under-16) and £20 (2 adults and up to 3 under-16s). Tickets are available from St Boswells Post Office and via We Got Tickets (click for link).

A Summer Break

Just a short note to let everyone know there will be no St Boswells Live! in July.

Traditionally this is the time when many people are on holiday and also, assuming there will be some sun this summer, people are less keen to attend indoor events, so we felt it best to have a break, returning in August with a great show.

So have a great summer and try to make the most of the glimpses of sun. And if it keeps raining then you could always put a boat on the village green.

29th JUNE 2012: Summer Acoustic Session

In the interests of giving our sound man a break, but also because it’s sometimes nice to hear what talented musicians can do in the absence of any amplification, this month we are having our first ever acoustic evening. The Summer Acoustic Session, on 29th June 2012 (doors 7.30pm) is a showcase for Borders-based acts that excel in the unplugged environment.

Headlining this intimate, in-the-round show will be Denholm band Real Time who have been playing both the national folk circuit, as well as internationally for many years. Playing as a duo this time, core members Kenny Spiers (guitar and vocals) and Judy Dinning (vocals, guitar and bodhran) play an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary songs and tunes, with Scottish and Northumbrian influences. Judy Dinning has recorded solo, with Dave Smith and with Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies, as well as being a founder member of Real Time since 2002. Kenny Spiers is the driving force behind the Denholm Folk Festival and Folk Club, and also a founder member of the John Wright Band. Together they comprise an irresistable duo.

We discovered Dere Street at a St Boswells Live! open mic session in support of Rory McLeod, and instantly fell for their brilliant musical interplay and tight harmonies. Keith Leisk and Gary Smith, from Selkirk, are brilliant exponents of pipes and guitar, playing traditional and original songs and tunes inspired by the land that surrounds their home. We are sure you will be as much taken with them as we were.

As usual there will be an Open Mic session, and being acoustic we can fit a few more people in – if you play an instrument, can sing or even want to recite something then contact Keith on 01835 822692 (before 26th June please) or email keith@stboswellslive.com.

Tickets are priced £8 each, £4 for under-16s and just £20 for a family of 2 adults and 3 under-16s. They are available now from St Boswells Post Office, or on the door.

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.