Jumpin Hot Country Cantina Sat 11th Aug 2018

Our annual celebration of songwriters, rockabilly, folk, country, western swing and roots-driven music :
Sat 11th August @ Acklington Village Hall 18'

Country Cantina 2018

In the wilds of Northumberland for the last three years, we have had a very special summer day full of live American & cool British roots music in Acklington Village Hall & garden. Its called Country Cantina & run by Jumpin Hot Club where they transpose the Hall into a real life 40’s Cantina. You have to get their sharp though, to catch all the wonderful acts & starting off this years event prompt at midday where a band from California USA. As the sun shone a little outside, the sunny harmonies floated around the hall inside, from the country rock quartet I See Hawks In LA. Having been around for many years they were very classy, & it was well worth setting off early to catch them .The Hawks themselves had set off at the crack of dawn to be there & the crowd grew bigger & bigger as their music drifted along. They even got an encore. All the afternoon sessions in the hall are easy paced & Shipcote & Friends played a lovely acoustic set of their swinging music in the back bar before we where treated to a relaxing singer songwriter circle featuring four young talents. Elaine Palmer, Al Shields, Jess Morgan & Serious Sam Barrett were all on fine form & the contrast in their styles whilst delivered with the same guitar/vocals set up was amazing & quite uplifting. Their two- hour circle swap went by ever so quickly. Unfortunately Johnny Dickinson wasn’t able to do his early teatime spot but we had 78’ rpm country/rock n roll records playing in the bar & then the quirky but fine Shipcote and friends do another spot supported by other musicians on sax and harmonica, which was a highlight for me. I think they would call that a proper jam session! The haunting fiddles/guitar of a new duo Calico Bonnet featuring Phoebe & Phillipa got the evening off to an old timey start then Phoebe’s Dad Martin Stephenson took the stage with a solo show. Martin has always had brilliant tunes no matter weather he’s with The Daintees or any other of his collaboration’s. He also got great humour. Although he did get Joe Guillan – guitarist extraordinaire up for a couple tunes at the end & of course his stories weren’t that much stripped down. It was nice to hear Martin’s music as he wrote it. He’d driven straight down from the Highlands but you’d never have known & got a great reception. Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards from Boston Mass also got a standing ovation. Their pretty unique as the quartet play very different string folk roots music with an indie touch & don’t use a guitar. The twin fiddle attack, Cello & double bass made a truly wonderful sound around the hall and on a few occasions they very nearly “rocked out”. However the main rock n roll was left to headliners Howlin Ric and The Rocketeers who got everyone up and dancing. Their a young band from Leeds and their authentic brand of soulful rock n roll could well take them far …

Big thanks to all involved in setting everything up & the musician Joe for appearing in two bands and getting the beer’s in. Vive la Cantina

Juan Fitzgerald