Gig two of 2018 already and we have managed to dodge ‘The Beast from The East’ with the weather twice. Phew!!

Jonathan tells us in the intro that Steve Young played with Lionel Richie, before setting out as a Singer Songwriter in his own right, he has finally seen the light. Laughs… “That was my first proper job, I know we must mention it, but I shudder every time I hear it” quips Steve modestly. More Laughs…

Tonight, he is joined by Alex Johnson on Acoustic Guitar and Jade Cuthbert on Violin.

Truth and lies from his album TROUBADOUR opens the set.

Trembling Heart, is next from the GREAT NORTH ROAD EP only available at gigs. A fine song that allows Jade to shine on the violin as the song tempo rises and falls.

Steve freely admits to not talking much tonight as he doesn’t want to waste any of his valuable playing time. The music stands for itself with some lovely violin picking from Jade to Steve’s whistling on In my dreams. “The only song I’ve had played on Radio 2 by Bob Harris”. Steve tells us with some pride. I am sure he would like more of them played on air anytime soon.

Slide guitar time, but first we had a great tip from Steve for all you slide players. To prevent the slide falling off your finger, try using the foam from inside a cycle helmet as a grip. I need to try this out myself, I just need to butcher my cycle helmet first, hmmm?

Steve has just hit the target on his Pledge campaign for a new album. Justin Johnson is the producer. “Here we have a new song from it called It’s a good thing”, says Steve.

It’s a good thing it’s a good song though.

Back to mine is next. “This was the first ever song that people came back to me with positive feedback”. “It meant something to them”. “It wasn’t written anywhere flash like Nashville but in Welwyn Garden City”. “Songs are written from the heart and not on the back of a postcard anyway”. Quips Steve. Track 4 on TROUBADOUR.

“We now have a cover”. “The first song I ever heard at the first gig of my life and the first song I ever learned to play”, says Steve as he launches into Shine on you Crazy Diamond, again with some haunting violin from Jade who seems to have a real feel for Steve’s choice of songs.

“Time for two quick ones” Steve announces after the commercial break for pre orders on the new album/Free T shirt offer. laughs…

“The next song is for my dad who died 22 years ago and it’s a shame we weren’t on the best of terms”. “It’s an imaginary conversation in a song”. My Son. 

“This will be on the new album”. More delicate violin playing brings this great song to its heartfelt climax.

“Thanks for letting me unload my demons on you”, said Steve “and please come and chat to me later”, as he starts his last number Wholeheartedly, inviting the willing LRB audience to clap along as he introduces the other musicians.

A snippet of The Devil went down to Georgia on violin brought us back into the song with a lovely finish. That was a great opening set. Thanks Steve, Jade and Alex.

Next up Jonathan introduced Tom Collison as AMAUK instrumentalist of the year playing with Hannah Rose Platt pointing out that she is one of the finest emerging artists in the UK today and tonight, on her first ever ‘Full Band’ Show.

“A lot of the songs tonight will be on the new album” says Hannah, who is perfectly spot lit centre stage resplendent with her light blue and pearlescent Fender Stratocaster, “But we start with Chanel and Cigarettes”, Hannah’s 2017 single release.

“That was fun, I never want to play solo again, Ever”! She says with the biggest smile on her face, clearly enjoying the event.

“For those of you who have seen me before, you will know most of my songs have been story-based hiding behind a third person narrative”, Hannah remarks.

“These are more personal songs and this next song is called Checkmate”.

Hannah swaps her Fender Stratocaster for a lovely Gibson acoustic for the next number, remembering to avoid the beam above her head. Laughs…

A haunting intro leads into When Audrey Came to Call after which she introduces Tom Collison on Lap Steel and Keyboards.

The next song was debuted at Hannah’s last LRB gig and now we get to hear Your Way with a full band for the first time.

Steve Brookes (Danny and the Champions of the World) on Drums, Jack Randall (Hannah’s friend of 12 years) on Bass.

Time for something more serious as we have a charity single supporting ‘Woman’s Aid’ called Sorry. 

Written from personal experience Hannah sings this song solo. “This is a song that has been going around and around in my head and I needed to get it out” Hannah tells us.

The song has a powerful lyric that I think took a lot of courage to write and sing. If you download or stream it all monies go to the said charity. Look out for the accompanying video on You Tube.

Back to the Stratocaster for Brooklyn, New York. This film inspired Brooklyn, New York the song, a story of the labourers who, having built the city, were no longer needed by Brooklyn New York.

Tom Collison plays acoustic guitar here and he looked like he was really enjoying it as the song picks up the pace at the end supported by some great drumming from Steve.

A shout out to Steve Young and his band precedes Jay Stapley joining the stage for To Love You. 

Jay was Hannah’s stage craft tutor at college, so this made her nervous as she doesn’t always practice what she has been taught. “It’s ok, you’re doing fine” says Jay as he gets ready to add some nice subtle slide guitar to the mix. Lovely.

Tom Collison on electric guitar now as we get the heartfelt thank yous from Hannah. You can clearly see she is so pleased to be back at The Little Rabbit Barn again.

“A brand, brand new one to finish called Black Smoke Rising”. “You seem like a friendly crowd here, so we will try it out”, says Hannah.

Well that brought the set to a rocking close with a hearty applause as we anticipate the food break to come. “Wow, these guys are rather good aren’t they” announces Jonathan as we say farewell to Hannah Rose Platt and her great band.

Lyn has again worked her magic with Sweet and Sour Chicken and Trifle for us all to enjoy along with the raffle whilst the stage is reset for the final act of what has already been a brilliant night of music.

Part Two, after the break.

“Sure, you have enough cameras running Chris?” quips Don Gallardo as I dash to my position not wanting to miss anything for posterity. Laughs…

“Hiya, how’s everyone doing”? asks Don, his warm voice singing out across the Barn.

“I’m starting off with a song for my 5-year-old boy as I have done on every show of this tour”. “When I heard Jade play earlier I tapped the sound mans (Tom Fairbairn) shoulder and said; You can leave that DI plugged in”. “Does she know”? Asks Tom. “No” came Dons Reply, “But she’s going to”.

That must have been a lovely surprise for Jade Cuthbert, to be invited by Don Gallardo on his first solo number, prior to him inviting his band of Travis Stock on Bass, Jim Maving on Guitar and Steve Brookes on Drums, to the stage.

Steve has already played on Hannah Rose Platt’s set tonight and like all great drummers should, he played perfectly to the acoustic of the room.

Stay Awhile opened as the band’s first number. A catchy infectious tune with an easy singalong chorus. Perfect to set the tone for the rest of the evening. ‘Stay awhile, the sun is gonna shine again’, goes the lyric. We live in hope lol. Taken from STILL HERE.

The next song, Don tells us, “was featured on a Netflix series called The Ranch”. Diamonds & Gold. Track 2 from HICKORY. A Don Gallardo classic and another great singalong.

Now we have a song that was written for Don’s family in North Carolina as he doesn’t get to see them very often what with spending so much time away on the road touring. I’ll Never Be Alone is Track 9 on STILL HERE. “You’re never alone when you’re with family, right”? Calls out Don.

A shout out for Steve Young and Hannah Rose Platt received warm applause as Don’s band embarked on a beautiful version of Van Morrison’s great song Tupelo Honey. 

Jim Maving (Case Hardin) played some lovely guitar here. His blonde Fender Telecaster glowing orange under the stage lights. It looked and sounded just amazing.

Later on, Don told me he would like to work a version of Into the Mystic into his set and I’d personally love to hear that. He is a Van Morrison fan.

More catchy music next with The North Dakota Blues. Track 8 from HICKORY.

Jim stroking his guitar on the mic stand to great effect. You just can’t help singing along and there is great advice in the lyric. “Never trust a woman whose name is Risky and make sure you don’t run out of whisky”.

Another couple of great guitar solos from Jim here. Pure magic that surely got everyone’s attention!

It’s getting warm now as Don takes off his grandpa’s jacket and tells us how his wife hates the flower he wears. When he asked why? she said, “it would be a lot cooler if water squirted out”. “Perhaps that’s my next prop”, quips Don. Laughs…

“This next song, Ain’t That the Golden Rule, is also for my son, who loves to FaceTime and dance off with Travis”. Laughs… But Travis wouldn’t play by doing the moves on stage for us tonight. Laughs…

“This is the single in the United States, Something I Gotta Learn”. Don tells us “We had to pick it ourselves although I think that should be the record companies job”, states Don. It’s the opening track on STILL HERE and another great catchy tune.

Now Lyn was jokingly invited to the stage by Don, but Hannah Rose Platt stood in for some harmony vocals. Laughs…

Midnight Sounds. Don has this on his live album 3RD AND LINDSLEY, performing with ‘How Far West’. That was so nice to hear again.

Hannah stays for the next song, an apparently true story. Don tells the tale, tongue very much in cheek.

“I took my girlfriend to the valley and asked her to marry me”? “When she said no, I thought; if I can’t have her nobody will, and I threw her in the river”. Laughs…

Banks of the Mississippi, a murder song. ‘Down by the banks of the Mississippi I watched her slip away’. Another great evocative lyric and more amazing guitar from Jim Maving accentuated by its orange glow under the stage lights.

It was such a treat to hear Jim play as Don managed to segue Miss You from the Rolling Stones into the song before even more blistering guitar from Jim. Wow!

“Time to end is that right”? Asks Don. “Lots more” replies Jonathan from the back, with the audiences in full agreement.

“O.K. Home is next”, bringing the evening down just a little for contrast.

“I had a request earlier for Jonathan from Lyn for some Burgundy wine”.  Says Don

Track 10 from ART OF TROUBLESOME TIMES, Dons vintage 2012 album, and another Don Gallardo classic to sing along to. You just cannot keep your feet still. Wow!

Now some thank yous with wild applause before the encore that was preceded by Happy Birthday to Tom Wiggins.

Fran was also honoured with a special cake from Lyn for her recent birthday and we all sang along heartedly. Such a nice touch.

“Right; Memphis Train, the first song I ever wrote about 15 years ago” says Don as the tune begins that will close another magic LRB evening of music.

Tom Collison on lap steel, Jade Cuthbert on violin were augmenting the great band for this final hoedown.

That’s it; there was another well-deserved standing ovation for Don Gallardo and all the great musicians who performed tonight. Especially Steve Young and Hannah Rose Platt.

The clocks were put forward for British summer time tonight, so we were all a little more weary than usual after we had cleared everything away on Sunday, but with music of this calibre, it was very much, more than worth it.

Editor: Thanks to the wonderful performing artists, DON GALLARDO, HANNAH ROSE PLATT, STEVE YOUNG and a big shout to the superb side musicians. Everyone involved with the production:   Tom Fairbairn sound engineer ; The fabulous little rabbit team of Chris Kyan on video cameras and setup, Stan and Fran, Richard and Sally, Brian and Chris, Nigel and Helen, Chris and Karen, Cris

Picture credits: Chris

To our guests,  big thanks for supporting live music and hope to see everyone on Saturday 28 April for CALLAGHAN | BARBARA NESBITT.
Jonathan and Lyn, Terry and all at LRB.

Posted in Gig Reviews