The Jess Morgan Trio at The Maddermarket. Morganway, Dove and Boweevil, Don’t Lose Heart at Bedfords Crypt, OST at Cinema City.
On what was my first gig, possibly even first visit to The Maddermarket Theatre, I was somewhat relieved to hear Howard Burton (on banjo) of Howard Burton and The Burtones confess similar from the stage. The Burtones actually consisted of Nic Zuppardi (Addison’s Uncles, Georgia Shackleton Trio, Clark & Zuppardi etc.) on mandolin for this Shackleton Sessions support slot to The Jess Morgan Trio. It was a very enjoyable set of bluegrass with some nods to Earl Scruggs and some entertaining stories. The acoustics in the venue were extraordinary with every squeak on a floorboard audible (put to good percussive use) as well as the vocals and music of course.
The Jess Morgan Trio were on the final date of their tour, a homecoming gig and played a couple of beautiful sets (with Jess in triple-denim!). The sound was gorgeous, Jess’ voice clear and beautiful and the playing of Noel on dobro and Jose on electric bass (“Judas!”), restrained, subtle and very sweet with the soft sound of blackbirds singing outside occasionally audible only adding to the beauty of the evening. Most of the songs were originals including lovely new single Natalie, a couple of new songs and covers from Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle plus, my personal favourite to close the second set, Annie of Greyfriars. Gorgeous sets.
UPDATE 01 June: The Jess Morgan Trio have been added to the line-up of this weekend’s Red Rooster Festival!
The evening actually started at the very friendly and welcoming Black Horse on Earlham Road for a music night put on by Mark “Boweevil” Howes, starting with a set by the wonderful Yve Mary B. Indeed the night also ended here with Mark joining Sam Coe and the Long Shadows onstage for their set, with Dove and Boweevil playing earlier, joined by Henry Greenwood on blues harp.
A few days earlier there was a terrific sell out gig in Bedfords Crypt for a Grapevine special celebrating the 60th birthday of Dickie Hartt, guitar player, Grapevine soundman and all-round good egg. After a hectic soundcheck it was Dickie and Lou who started off the music for a lovely set by Don’t Lose Heart. This was followed by a beautiful guitar-shaped cake presentation from Jenny before Dove and Boweevil took to the stage playing acoustically as a duo, joined by special guest Yve Mary B for This Life. Yve looking super cowgirl cool.
The night ended in stunning fashion with a hugely impressive set from Morganway who were in sensational form with new drummer Simon adding that element we never really realised was missing until we heard it. Their sound full and strong. Storming set and fittingly brilliant music all night to celebrate the birthday of music-lover Dickie.
More photos to follow.
Bank Holiday Monday saw me pay a visit to Wymondham’s Green Dragon for the return of Miserable Man, although the weather stayed true to tradition with cold, blustery conditions MM kept everyone entertained with his popsteady. Good to have him back, hopefully the weather will follow soon!
Tuesday’s OST provided a wonderful line up to lift the spirits on a really gloomy evening with Jay Ducker playing a superb headline set in a trio featuring guitar, bass, and drum and some sublime harmonies. Jay, formerly of Cove Hithe is one to catch, this was my first time seeing him in this venture and I was really impressed. The song they closed with was absolutely wonderful.
The evening was opened by Tristan McKelvey playing the best set I have yet heard from him (I think I said that last time but he gets better and better!) Intricate guitar playing and the songs were so emotive. A flawless display.
Inbetween these two acts was the sublime Milly Hirst playing relaxed and comfortably in familiar surroundings, she was clear as a bell and as moving as ever. Newer songs like Peggy sat well alongside the older I Still, Book or a Film and the masterful Mary.
Many thanks to Jess Morgan, Dickie Hartt, Grapevine, Bedfords.
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