All roads lead to the little rabbit barn, but today of all days the council decided to re-dress the road outside just as everybody was about to arrive, but that didn’t stop what was to become a memorable show for all those lucky enough to attend.
First up was Hannah White on her first visit to LRB, fresh from supporting double Grammy award artist Tim O’Brien at London’s prestigious Bush Hall. With one leg in plaster she hobbled on crutches to the stage and despite suffering from a cold, performed a wonderful half hour set standing up..
Not a very rock n roll injury either, no falling off stage during a frenzied guitar solo or kicking over a Marshall stack, nope she simply dropped a metal pan on her leg whilst cooking.
This was a gentle warm up to the evening with Hannah singing and accompanying her self with her Gibson acoustic guitar. She told the tale of being stopped at customs with two children both having different surnames being a classic profile for a drug trafficker.
In true style she turned the experience into a song Whoops on her fine album WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON and played it for everyone.
We also heard of her trips to Calais to bring drum workshops to the refugees and how this led to a major experience of the pure joy music can bring to people in tough circumstances.
Hannah, without her side player this evening shined performing solo. With her last number, I see sky, Hannah admitted she never normally plays that song on guitar but that didn’t stop her getting everyone singing along. A shame it was all over in what seemed like a flash but we loved it. Thank you so much Hannah.
A quick stage turnaround and Carter Sampson took the stage with B J Baartmans on guitar.
Carter is known now as the Queen of Oklahoma because she decided to be and it caught on. (Look where dreams of royalty in your fantasy land can lead you?) She has a fine musical heritage being related to the Okie legend Roy Orbison, ‘uncle Roy as we use to call him’, Carter tells us. Being A play listed on BBC Country, Bob Harris Radio 2 country music show doesn’t hurt either and we were about to find out why she is currently one of his favourite artists.
She sang songs from her excellent release WILDER SIDE, opening with Wilder side. Immediately the audience knew they were listening to a very fine artist not to mention the superb guitar work from BJ.
Telling tales of falling for a Flamenco Guitar player, Runaway and a bass player but that song led to Queen of Oklahoma.
Carter also runs a Rock ‘n’ Roll workshop for girls introducing them to the positive power of music.At a time in life when all her friends seemed to be settling down she decided to buy an RV and hit the road. She named it Mother Mabelle Carter and this led to the amazing song Highway Rider from the WILDER SIDE album. (This RV is for sale now if you`re in the market)
And so the stories fell out one by one, linked to some wonderful songs like Medicine River after her favourite place on earth, Medicine Creek. ‘That didn’t scan so well into a song’, she tells everyone.
She finished to a well deserved standing ovation after Rattle Snake Kate, a tribute to a really tough and inspiring lady. The song tells the story. B J Baartmans on guitar was another revelation, adding so much to the music and really getting his Telecaster to sing. He played 5 different guitars during the set and his performance never detracted from Carter’s fine singing.
This was another unforgettable performance of pure quality. A perfect example of what live music is all about.
Editor: Carter hinted during the show but later confirmed she has been invited to play Glastonbury so will be back in July
And so to the food break prepared, served by Lyn and her small team of volunteers who never fail to impress. This is also a great opportunity to chat with friends old and new, marveling at the performances we have already enjoyed and anticipating what’s to come.
The ‘Wall of Fame’ is always a good talking point. I even won a raffle prize this time, a Carter Sampson CD.
Gig number 3 of the year, set 3 of the gig and already another record. After 5 previous visits we finally get to enjoy the magnificent Danni Nicholls with a full band including her wonderful guitar player Max Milligan.
What a great band too with Danni and Max who we all know so well supported by Robbie Stewart-Mathews (Bass), Stewart Noakes (keys), Flow Toulman.
Danni took time away from her nationwide tour opening for major artist, Shakin’ Stevens. We were all delighted to get Danni to play at the barn.
“This is a million miles away from the alternative universe that is ‘Shaky-land’ playing to thousands of people”. A more grounding experience as she opened with Long Road Home followed by Let somebody love you and Beautiful Game. It’s fun being with the band after 20 solo gigs she says launching into Hey there, Sunshine
“I’ve put all my sad songs and break up songs together to get them out of the way”, she tells the audience.
It’s time for a sing song to I don’t know where the blue train goes, “What could possibly go wrong” Max retorted … laughs….Next we had the Randy Newman song Guilty a song Danni makes her own with some signature Max Milligan guitar work. A shout out for whisky was duly answered with Lyn bringing whisky to the stage for Danni.
For Look up at the moon Danni put down her guitar and only had her whisky to hide behind. She doesn’t need to hide behind anything though.
Back to Memphis and more audience participation. This time mobile phone light swaying as everyone sang. “This isn’t allowed at a Shakey gig” says Danni as phones are banned.
We closed on Little Redemption, written from a poem published by the Westleton WI in 1926. Only to later find it was a famous poem and copyright still applied. That could have been trouble if she hadn’t chanced to google it before release.
But we couldn’t leave it there, we demanded an encore with a standing ovation. So Travelling Man was played as she introduced the band followed by the Will Kimborough song aptly named Goodnight Moon.
With Danni’s CD ‘The Vintage TV Recordings’, she is donating £1.00 per sale to Nordoff Robbins Charity if you needed an excuse to buy it. This is a very generous gesture from a great artist.
Again the sound was controlled by Simon Allen who always seems to work his magic which brings confidence to the artists in knowing we can hear them as they intend us to and joy to us the listeners.
Editor: Thanks to the wonderful performing artists, Danni Nicholls, Carter Sampson with BJ Baartmans, Hannah White, and all the musicians, Max Milligan, Robbie Stewart-Matthews, Stewart Noakes, Flow Toulman for such an enjoyable evening. Everyone involved with the production: Chris, Simon Allen on sound production, Stan and Fran, Brian and Chris, Helen and Nigel; Carter and Karen for helping on the takedown. To our guests, big thanks for supporting live music and hope to see everyone for the fabulous Fred’s House, The Flyin’A’s, The Rosellys (Simon and Rebecca) on SATURDAY 03 JUNE)
Best, Jonathan and Lyn, Terry
Editor’s favourite picture! An LRB first with Carter Sampson securing her place on our wall of fame.
Photography, and review credit: Chris Kyan
Guest places available for 03 June. Full details on the Gigs page.