It seems like the right time to look back on 2018 as final preparations are being made for the 2019 season of shows at Little Rabbit Barn; and what a year it was, possibly our finest to date, and based on other years, that’s saying something.
Editor: What a year indeed, and who would have thought that it would include both the AMA (Americana Music Association UK) Artist of The Year 2018, EMILY BARKER and International Artist of the Year 2018, COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS. So many more world quality artists played throughout the year!
It started just ahead of the Beast From The East with Hannah Paris and Jake Priestly opening for The LYNNeS who later in the year won two Canadian Folk Music Awards Best English Songwriters and Ensemble of The Year. Not a bad haul there for these undeniably world quality musicians.
THE LYNNeS | Blue Tattoo
Then, later in March a very welcome return for Don Gallardo with Travis Stock on Bass and and his fine band of Jim Maving (Case Hardin) on guitar, Steve Brooks (Danny and the Champions of the World) on drums. Steve Young and Jade Cuthbert opened, followed by Hannah Rose Platt with Tom Collison before the break.
DON GALLARDO | Tupelo Honey
Jade, Hannah and Tom all returned to the stage to join Don Gallardo on what was a most memorable performance, the kind of performance that makes a night at the LRB so special.
HANNAH ROSE PLATT filmed and recorded at LRB
April saw Barbara Nesbitt returning to LRB accompanied by Ben Jones on Guitar. It is always fun to hear Barbara perform her special kind of magic for us as she opened the show.
Then, with a change of tack we had a first time appearance of Callaghan assisted by Dan Snyder on keyboards. Many years waiting for the stars to align. Was it worth it? You bet. Wow! What a show this was, one of the purest voices I have ever heard, a performance that moved people to tears with the quality and emotion conveyed. Her solo rendition of Over The Rainbow will never be forgotten by those in the room that night.
We had to extend the marques area for this show, an area that is now fondly known as The Callaghan Extension.
CALLAGHAN filmed and recorded live at Little Rabbit Barn
June saw Emily Faye with Michael Clancy opening the show followed by Hollie Rogers with Thomas Holder, all making their LRB debuts gaining more followers on the way.
Then followed by a superstar, the first artist to play here back in 2008 even before LRB. An artist who just gets better and better at her craft, Emily Barker. AMAUK Artist of the year 2018. When you see Emily perform in such an intimate venue as LRB you can appreciate why she IS the AMA artist of the year. From performing live at the awards in February 2018 in front artists such as Robert Plant (also an award winner on the evening) to performing at LRB.
EMILY BARKER | Disappear
Seeing her close an amazing show with just that powerful voice coming from such a petite frame as she clicks her fingers to Sister Goodbye, a Sister Rosetta Tharpe gospel song written by Emily and Boo Hewerdine, leaves you in awe.
July, and Hannah Aldridge finally gets to play the LRB with a stunning set of songs that move you with their content and delivery. Having seen Hannah a few times now, I knew this would be the case and she does not disappoint.
Editor: Expect to see Hannah Aldridge later in the year and if the stars align Emily Barker with her band line up. Having seen Emily’s end of tour show in home town Stroud it was truly something to behold.
Cherry Lee Mewis closes the evening with a really fun, up tempo show. Supported by Max Milligan on guitar, Robbie Stewart-Mathews on bass, Brian Green on drums and Lee Vernon in the dark corner on harmonica.
CHERRY LEE MEWIS | Western Star
This was a fun show and I’m sure many people wished we had a dance floor but there was a lot of foot tapping going on, the sounds are so infectious, you can’t keep still. The room was hot as Stan controlled a fan for the stage, luckily the music was even hotter…
August was a big month for us as Robin Irene Moss opened the evening for Courtney Marie Andrews and her full band. We have never seen so many flight cases on the lawn, it’s as if Chris Rea and his band had landed. This was a very professional setup and an even more professional performance. An artist that everybody needs to experience, Courtney and her band are that good.
ROBIN IRENE MOSS | Opened the show
COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS | Load In | some of the many flight cases
I will never forget her coming off the stage and singing the refrain of her great song May Your Kindness Remain directly into the video cameras as she brought the evening to a close. Pure magic!
COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS | May Your Kindness Remain
September saw Daisy Chute, Cerian Holland and Meg Ella perform as The HEARD Collective, charming everyone in the room with their gentle tunes. A first for LRB was Cerian with her Harp which was mostly in tune as apparently they don’t like any weather at all… least of all the inclement weather we had on the night. That didn’t stop the fun though.
Then we had Katie Brooks who after a few numbers with Ash Redford had the LRB audience singing like a choir along to her ukulele as she performed from the middle of the audience. I often say, If you come to the LRB, you’re in the band and tonight it was so true.
October and we have our end of year showdown. Never mind how good the performances have been throughout the year, and they have been special indeed, we always like to make this something more…
So the fates were on our side as earlier in the year tonight’s three headline artists had already met and became great friends whilst performing in Nashville. This was a Perfect Storm in many ways.
The week before, we attended an Elles Bailey show in Chelmsford to have a sneak peek at Tamara Stewart as well as another fix of Elles.
Two thoughts came from this.
1. We wanted the Full Elles Bailey Band experience with Stevie Watts on organ, and…
2. We knew you were all going to love Tamara Stewart… and so it proved…
The whole show was MC’d by Elles telling us of how they all met up.
Tamara took to the LRB stage like a duck to water with a wonderful opening set of original songs born from experience and played on her Gibson loaned Emmylou Harris signature guitar.
Jackie Bristow with Mark Punch on Electric Guitar played the next amazing set; more ducks for the LRB pond as they performed so expertly. Wow!
JACKIE BRISTOW with MARK PUNCH | Freedom
As if this evening couldn’t get any better both Tamara and Jackie joined Elles and the band of Joe Wilkins on guitar, Zak Ranyard on bass, Mathew Jones on drums and Stevie Watts on 0rgan with Lesley speaker.
The stage was full, we had used every microphone we have and the experience was worth all the hard work that goes on to make these shows happen, ever!
ELLES BAILEY with Special Guest | Angel from Montgomery
If you were there in the room you will know what I am talking about.
So what has 2019 in store for us all? Well, keep an eye on your email inbox, the website and Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss out on some very special artists in the pipeline.
A special appreciation must go to Lyn and her team who managed to feed the starving multitudes throughout all these shows in a manner that can only be described as miraculous. I don’t believe anyone else could possibly achieve this feat with such consistent quality. The boys on the Little Rabbit Bar and the Raffle Girls should huge thanks. They make such a difference to the LRB experience for us all.
Also we must not forget our sound engineers. We are very proud of the sound achieved at shows throughout the year and this is important to the artists as well as all those in attendance. It doesn’t come easy either.
EDITOR: Thanks to everyone involved with the productions throughout 2018: The fabulous little rabbit team of Chris and Karen, Stan & Fran and Dave on guest list and artist merchandise, Richard and Brian running Little Rabbit Bar, Sally and Chris A raffle, Helen and Nigel.
Lyn : organising artist and guest hospitality and more with a shout to Chris A for all the help with food service on the evening
Terry: organising artists, (including booking and coms)
Simon Allen: Organising sound engineering for 2018 (Thanks to sound engineers Simon Allen, Tomas Fairbairn, James Partridge, Andy Baldwin, Cris Ramos)
Picture credits: Andy Sheard, Nick Rabett
Cameras, Blog and Facebook and setup/take down: Chris Kyan
To our guests, big thanks for your continued support of live music and hope to see y’all on MARCH 02 2019 for the Opening of LRB 2019.
Do keep a check on LRB website and FACEBOOK for updates and interesting snippets throughout the year (icon at top of homepage)
Our very best wishes
Jonathan and Lyn, Terry