Jumpin Hot Jamboree Festival @ Lea Farm East , Easington, Co Durham SR8 3UT-
DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL , THE JAMBOREE WAS CANCELLED
However we did put a jamboree event in The Cluny Newcastle on the Saturday night ( 20th June) with Hatz Fitz & Cara, Bluebell Cajun Band, David Broad, Kentucky Cowtippers Skylark Song.
Here's a review -
From the start of the evening I knew this was going to be a special night & on so many accounts. Not only were The Jamboree contingent real fighters and still had a party, after the sad cancellation of their little festival in Co Durham. Also The Cluny was given a Festival facelift too with bright coloured banners and Jumping hot club artwork to match the occasion. Before the doors even opened Musicians where being recorded by Lorna & Gary on a Presto lathe recording machine from 1938 which was just a wonder to behold. The lathe looked like a record player but with a heavy needle cut into the acetate to directly record the sound. Leeds songster David Broad literally cut his “Congress St” in two takes & the result - two 78 rpm records, just like when Alan Lomax did those field recordings in bygone times. This really was a vintage start to the evening.
The live musical side was very varied, as you’d expect for a proper Festival programme & to get the evening kicking, we had the ethereal harmonies of local newly wed’s Emma & Alex Mcrae - Skylark Song. Somebody had labelled them doomed Folk but that’s just stupid. Beautiful harmonies, lilting fiddle and great folk-rootsy guitar from Alex, they were just my tonic & with tracks such as their new single “ Only A Thought" they are a credit to the region. Following them, the young blues /jazz/folk singer David Broad with his easy ways & warm mellow sound, got a standing ovation for his 30 minute spot. His self penned tunes like " You Never Can Tell" & amazing finger-picking guitar style really won over the revellers & with a 78 rpm record to take home too, he cant have had many better nights.
David was then, quickly followed by Rupert Hughes and his merry band The Kentucky Cowtippers. Everybody I would & should guess, will know these young local bluegrasser’s. They have been going since, in short pants & they’re not much out of them now. A nod to Bill Monroe and a wink to Flatts & Scruggs & they were off, in a lively set rounded off by a Bluegrass version of "Rocking In The Free World"…. I reckon they would enhance any Festival schedule, honestly.
From there on, dancing was witnessed & the party tempo moved up a notch. Its not that often we get to hear the simple sound of Cajun music these days & The Barn In Easington would have been the perfect place to see, hear & dance to it. However The Bluebell Cajun Dance
Band’s sound was so infectious in The Cluny that it was like a hoedown at the back, with folk twirling, whirling & two stepping around. One of the highlights for me was the cover of " Baby Please Don’t Go” with accompaniment on triangle by Jenny. That’s not something you’d often hear !!
The party was now in full swing with the audience filling the Cluny floor space ready for headliners, Hat Fritz and Cara Robinson. “There bloody good “ Stagger Lee, the deejay was heard proclaiming & he isn’t easily pleased. Irish lady, Cara, in her vintage attire, providing lusty Janis Joplin style vocals as well as drums and washboard, while her partner the Aussie giant Fritz channelled gritty & sometimes fuzzy blues on electric / national guitar. Stagger Lee wasn’t wrong either as towards midnight people where still demanding more of their soul & blues music. Cara and Fritz delivered with the gospel tinged track "Power " which they certainly had in bundles. A call out, should go to sound engineer Dave & Mcee Jon who both did splendid jobs on the night too.
It’s a great shame the Jamboree Festival was cancelled but it was a great evening in The Cluny & well done Jumpin Hot Club for still giving us something .
Juan Fitzgerald - words & pics