An amazing evening of live music at Little Rabbit Barn.
Finally the weather came right as LRB welcomed Shelly Fairchild and Morganway to a full house including music industry representatives, UK Americana Bar, Black Deer Festival, W21 Music, Grapevine Magazine.
From the out-set, with a borrowed tambourine courtesy of Morganway, Shelly had the LRB crowd clapping along to Damn Good Lover, admitting she was as nervous as she gets playing the Grand Ole Opry where she performs monthly.
Shelly talks to us about her roots in The Deep South as she introduces her grandmother’s favourite song Muddy Water.
Shelly doesn’t just sing these songs, she performs them with Adam doing a fine job on acoustic guitar.
Mississippi Turnpike is a single taken from her latest CD, BUFFALO.
Apparently there are no turnpikes in Mississippi but, hey! Artistic license.
Shelly tells us that she left her merchandise at home so had to take CD orders for a later delivery… Based on tonight’s performance, this is going to be a great listen when mine arrives.
She took care to get Adam into the right tempo for this next song, a love song, I Want To Love You. Track 5 from her 2005 album RIDE.
That was a beautiful anthem until Les’s phone rang, so with great humour she called him out. Laughs… It was fun though. A timely reminder that when you come to the LRB, you are in the band, for better or worse.
Next we have a Lisa Carver song, ReadyTo Fall.
Shelly urges us to check out her music and from this performance you can see why.
“I love a good British boy learning to play the blues” laughed Shelly as Adam got nicely into the groove. Shelly vocalises a guitar solo now to great applause “This is ridiculous” she laughs… At home and comfortable now on the LRB stage.
People often asks where we find these great artists? but Shelly has a few for us to consider and one thing leads to another, ain’t it great…
After a pause to gather herself, Shelly introduces another song from her first record RIDE, Track 11, Fear Of Flying. “This is my favourite song from that record” Shelly tells us and it’s another beauty.
Mr Tony Moore (Iron Maiden and Cutting Crew) is called to the stage; the last time Tony appeared at LRB he played with Ilona. Tony tells us he is very pleased to be sharing the stage tonight, indeed blessed. Well, so were we all.
Shelly tells us of her time on the David Letterman show and she sang this next song Kiss Me. Then her record company dropped her, but it worked out great… laughs…
Her ring stone fell off and flew across the stage about now. I’m not sure the designers appreciated how expressive Shelley is on stage, but we are now… she gives it her all.
The next song Shelly wrote recently with Tony Moore, inspired by a mutual love of whiskey and it’s effects.
Fire Water, a brand new song for the LRB tonight, and another great performance!
A song that could go on for ever. Tony suggests they rehearse the ending next time, Laughs…
Another newish song next, this time written with Hayley Steel. A song about going back to the Juke box and vinyl to enjoy the old music. On The Highway.
That was fun, and now Shelly borrows Tony’s Guitar to accompany herself on a Tanya Tucker song that is recorded but not released; yet?
Shelly hopes it will be one day but we had the honour of hearing something unique tonight. Put Yourself in my Boots. Remember you heard it here first!
After some debate and lots of laughter, Shelly finally decided to close the set with an acapella version of the Patsy Cline classic Crazy.
That brought the house down and showed just what a talent Shelly Fairchild is and how honoured we are to have hosted her tonight.
Finally Shelly did a video intro for the UK American Bar on her phone with us all cheering her along. A coup for Sam Millar that’s for sure.
Thank you Shelly Fairchild, we loved it.
And so, as we process that amazing performance, and anticipate the next, it’s time for the food and raffle break with a new voice, Nigel, in the spotlight of the number calling.
Lyn and her team provided a super hot and tasty curry followed by chocolate gateaux whilst we re-set the stage, lights and cameras for the highly anticipated LRB debut of Morganway
After a brief introduction, this six piece Americana powerhouse opened with Devils Canyon, track 1 on their live EP, LIVE AT EPIC. You can hear the Fleetwood Mac influences and are taken aback by the energy they exude.
That hit the spot as Callum introduce the My Love Ain’t Gonna Save You, the opening track on their new Self Titled album. Nicole made a great impression on the fiddle from the very start and SJ gave a shout out to Shelly Fairchild who made her cry whilst rehearsing in the Green Room. It would have been great to be a fly on the wall there.
In A Dream (Coming Home) follows at an equal pace, Track 4 on MORGANWAY.
Callum swaps the Red Gibson Guitar for his Rickenbacker Bass to rock it up even more with Let Me Go, Track 2 on the album. Some nice slide guitar here from Kieran too. We do like a bit of slide at LRB.
There is so much going on on stage, it’s difficult to know where to look with fiddle and guitar duelling across the room.
SJ and Kieran invite us to stomp along now, as if we haven’t been already…
First Day Track 3 on LIVE AT EPIC starts slowly only to lull us into a false sense of calm… Calm are not what Morganway are about as they had us clapping along with them.
A cover of Breaking The Girl from The Red Hot Chili Peppers is next, and it fits perfectly into the Morganway vibe…
Callum tells us off how it is a pleasure to play a longer set as a change to half hour slots at festivals. This allows them to delve into the catalogue to play songs that don’t get heard live so often. I see People is a case in point, Track 10 on the album. Something that took a long time to write but was well worth the effort involved.
SJ was so happy to meet the rabbits, the idea of Benedict Cumberbunny certainly tickled her.
Callum now introduces their James Bond song, dedicated to the rabbits, You Can Only Die Once. Track 3 On MORGANWAY.
We are now invited to sing along to a cover of the late great Tom Petty Free Fallin.
Tom and his music has and always will be a great influence on this band and they really caught the spirit and energy in this performance… Marvellous!
Ed, on drums must get a special mention here as he has powered the band along all night without seeming to break a sweat. Also Matt on keys was tucked away in the corner but we could hear him… great!
Finally they bring the tempo down, but that could be a deception, with I Want No Other Love. The last track on the album, but this builds and finishes with a flourish for sure… we were deceived… love it…
Now SJ and Callum introduce a brand new song as they thank us all for the support they have received over the year, you can see they are touched emotionally. Across This Land is the title, and if you want to hear these special moments such as the birth of a song, you have to go to the gigs. SJ playing her guitar without the lead in, with the excitement. It can happen to the best…
Time for another cover, Shelly threatened to play this earlier so it’s just as well she didn’t haha… Jolene, but Morganway have made it their own tonight with some fine solos. Piano from Matt, fiddle from Nicole and a big guitar solo from Kieran along with SJ’s commanding vocals and lovely harmonies. A classic.
Kieran shouts out some thank yous along with SJ, so we know things are drawing to a close. An atmospheric song now, Frozen In Our Time. Track 5 from MORGANWAY. Another song that just builds, ebbs and builds again with the haunting fiddle sound floating around the barn… Wonderful!
Time for the twins to swap instruments and a big shout out to Felix Milton on sound before the uptempo stomp that is London Life. Track 6 on the album. Great to see Matt on the melodica here… and Nicole playing a mean fiddle again.
The audience were in uproar and wanted more and so we end on Hurricane. Track 7 on MORGANWAY and another rocker, I have no idea how they keep up the energy levels but they do.
This is a band you really must see, don’t miss the opportunity, you won’t be disappointed. Thank you Morganway for a great show.
Editor: Do I spot two new band members
Huge thanks to the performing artists MORGANWAY, Callum, Kieran, Ed, Matt, Nicole and Sarah Jane| SJ and SHELLY FAIRCHILD, Adam Wedd & Tony Moore.
Thanks to everyone involved with the production. The fabulous little rabbit team of Chris and Karen, Stan and Dave on guest list and artist merchandise, Brian and Bob, running Little Rabbit Bar, Chris A, Helen & Nigel raffle.
Big thanks to Stan for helping with set up on Friday.
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: artist liaison & booking
Felix Milton: Sound engineering.
Picture credits: Andy Sheard and Chris multi task
Cameras, Blog and Facebook and setup/take down: Chris Kyan
Editing, video and audio mixing: Jonathan
To our guests, big thanks for your continued support of live music and hope to see y’all on 26 October for the end of year show
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