Mittwoch, 24. November 2010

Next Meet 3rd December 2010
with Special Guests SILVERSIGH

(for English scroll down)

Liebe "Folkers!"

In November veranstalteten wir ein erfolgreich und mit über 60 Leute, gut besuchte, wenn auch etwas gruselige, “Singers' Night”, durch die Halloween Kulissen aus der Woche zuvor, also bitte nicht sich beim Betrachten der wirklich Furcht erregende Bilder zu sehr erschrecken!
Pix of Folk Club 09

Für die Geschichte von Guy Fawkes waren die aber genau passend. Guido Fawkes, wäre laut eigener Aussage bereit gewesen, der erste, und bestimmt heute noch berühmteste fundamentalreligiöse, Selbstmordattentäter alle Zeiten zu werden, wenn er nicht fünf Minuten vor der Entdeckung des Sprengstoffs im Parlamentskeller, am Morgen der Parlamentseröffnung nach einer langen Nachtwache auf dem Pulver, gerade Brötchen holen gegangen wäre und dann erst bei seiner Rückkehr die Soldaten des Königs vorfand. Sachen gibt's!

Danach haben wir die Kulissen einfach ignoriert und gespielt und gesungen, wie man in den Bericht von Detlef lesen kann.
Detlefs Bericht hier lesen

In Dezember haben wir wieder ein "Special Guest" und zwar:


Das sind Esther Oberle(voc), Bernd Heunemann(git) und Helga Lukas(backingvoc.)

Die Songs von SILVERSIGH bewegen sich zwischen Himmel und Erde, sind geliehen
(z.B. von Amos Lee, KD Lang, Tina Dico und anderen)
oder selbstgemacht und setzen sich schon mal auf einen Ast im Baum.

Sind nachdenklich, natürlich, frech, fröhlich, feierlich,
in der Singer-Songwriter-Tradition verwurzelt aber selbst gegossen.

Viel Spaß bei der akustischen Ernte wünscht


Im Januar am 07.01.11 haben wir wieder ein "SINGERS' NIGHT", und Barry hatte wieder ein blendende Idee, künftig bei Singers' Nights ein "featured instrument" zu haben. d.H. ein Instrument das an den Abend besonders vorgestellt werden soll, und bei jeder Spot, mindestens in einem Lied vorkommt. Um sanft anzufangen haben wir für Januar den "Kazoo" ausgesucht, so jetzt wißt Ihr was Ihr euch vom Weihnachtsmann wünscht!

bis bald,

John Harrison & Barry L. Roshto et al.

- E N G L I S H -

Belated greetings dear "Folkers" !

In November we had a successful, and with over 60 people, well attended, "Singers' Night", albeit a somewhat gruesome one, due to the wall and ceiling decorations from the Halloween party the previous week still being in situ on the folk night. So be prepared, and don't get too frightened when you look at the November evening's scarier photos on the blog.
Pix of Folk Club 09

However, as it was the 5th of November, the decor was just right for at least the first story of the evening. Guido Fawkes was, by his own admission, prepared to be the first, and probably even still today, if the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 had been successful, most notorious fundamental religious suicide bomber of all times, if he hadn't after a long and lonely night vigil watching over the gunpowder, decided to pop out for some breakfast only five minutes before the explosives were discovered in the cellars of parliament by the King's soldiers, and upon his return it was too late, the game was up.

So afterwards, we just ignored the backdrops, and played and sang as one can read in the wonderful review by Detlef Stachetzki, which is unfortunately only in German. We try to maintain bi-linguality as far as possible, but because both Barry and I are English mother speakers there is normally a bit more English than German, so Detlef's review is only in German as a way of compensation. (and it's so good it would be too difficult to translate Detlef!)
Read Detlef's review in German
Review of FC 09 in English

We hope that all of you will come along next week to Folk Club 10, to sing, listen and/or play. Please feel free to broadcast this to family and friends! So we'll look forward to seeing you in December when we have as "Special Guest" the much acclaimed trio "SilverSigh".

Here something from them to whet the appetite:


That is Esther Oberle (voc), Bernd Heunemann (git) und Helga Lukas (backing voc.)

The songs from SILVERSIGH swirl between heaven and earth and are borrowed from
(e.g. von Amos Lee, KD Lang, Tina Dico and others)
or their own compositions, which are of a similar ilk and in a similar vein to the aforementioned composers.

They are thought provoking, yet natural, sometimes cheeky, but mainly happy and cheery and in the Singer-Songwriter-Tradition, true to their roots but still individually crafted.

Much fun with the acoustic harvest wishes,


So that's nice.

In January 07.01.2011 we are reverting back to a "SINGERS' NIGHT" and Barry has had another blinding idea, that in future we should have a "featured Instrument" at each "Singers' Night" . This is an instrument which must be featured in at least one song, and hopefully more, in every one's spot. To break everyone in gently we've chosen the Kazoo for January, so now you all know what to wish for in your Christmas stocking, or to place silently smiling in someone else's! :-)

See you all soon,

John Harrison & Barry L. Roshto et al.

"Folk is great - Bier ist gut - and people are crazy"

Andy Irvine in Concert -
FIF Bad Honnef

A review of folk legend Andy Irvine's recent concert at the “Feurschlößchen” in Bad Honnef on the Bonn English Network, written by our own legend, John Harrison:

You can hear Andy Irvine in Concert
the 18th of January 2011 at 8.05 pm (20.05 Uhr)
on WDR 3 Konzert

A short review in German
a bit of the concert, can be seen
and heard on the WDR 3 website

Sonntag, 21. November 2010

OpenMic in der Mausefalle 33 1/3
John & Paolo rock the house

Sometimes you don't know what you have until you lose it. Don't want to go there actually, I mean the (potential) problems that we have had / or could have had with our venue in Graurheindorf... When we begin to look around...for example on 20. Nov 2010 at the OpenMic evening in the Mausefalle 33 1/3, we realise immediately that we are very, very lucky to be in the place that we are... 3 mal hoch.... Furthermore, I actually have nothing personally against someone smoking in a pub, but in a Smoking Club, underaged people must be excluded... too bad, we would really miss our younger members at the Folk Club.

Just to be brief, John and Paolo, two infamous Folk-Clubbers, rocked the house.

For a full review of the evening check here:

OpenMic November 2010

and then come around to FC10 on the 3rd of December...

Samstag, 20. November 2010

Review of FC 09
in English

Folk Club Nr. 9 was quite a diverse evening, as usual. Detlef Stachetzki wrote a wonderful review, which is unfortunately (for some of you maybe)only in German. We try to maintain bi-linguality as far as possible, but because both Barry and John are English mother speakers there is normally a bit more English than German, so Detlef's review is only in German as a way of compensation. (and it's so good it would be too difficult to translate Detlef!)

Nonetheless, we thought it might be good to do an alternative in English.

So John penned the following passages:

Suffice to say Christine Moos played some tremendous violin accompanying me on four songs in the first set with a wonderful rendition of the traditional instumental piece "Oran". So music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England with a song from a famous musical and a negro spiritual for good measure. Hopefully Christine will be coming again soon with a klezmer vocalist.

First floor spot of the evening was Andreas who played the guitar and sang. The first Dylan we've had for a while. Andreas, was actually at the previous folk club and did an "involuntary" floor spot as Reiner Weiss asked for a volunteer from the floor from someone who had never had any piano tuition before, and he was roped in by Reiner to learn and eventually play "Faustus" before the audience. Well something worked (and this must be another folk club first) because I heard last week that he had since bought a piano and is now learning a new instrument! Andreas was than accompanied first by Gabi on vocals and then also by Lothar Wosny. Nice one guys.

Next up for a short set were our now regular visitors Muriel Paris and Gerhard Haug who form 40% of a jazz band called "Oldies GmbH", and who take as much pleasure in performing purely acoustic and "unplugged" for us, as we do hearing them. You Tubers (or " Du Röhrers" as Detlef insists on calling them :-) will easily be able to hear Muriel's singing and Gerhard's piano online with the full backing of the band.

After the break Barry opens the second half and rocks our souls, with what we now realise is seemingly much desired - viz more audience participation on the choruses. Barry is continually "upping his game" each month, so much so that I'm beginning to suffer from vertigo trying to keep up with him! Bringing in Shawn Spicer on guitar and vocals on "Boulder to Birmingham" by Emmilou Harris, is a master stroke as Shawn is from Alabama and actually knows the places that he is singing about, and you just can't fake that.
I'd been pleading in vain for a violin in the hall for the first 6 folk clubs, and now by 09 we have two on one evening as Barry's wife Christiane joins with Barry and Shawn and plays the fiddle on "The Water is Wide". My initial assumption was correct, the acoustics of the hall are just predestined for the violin. Another stroke of genius was to finish an all-American set of songs with "Imagine" written by Liverpool's most famous son, John Lennon, who was so famous that they even re-named the airport after him and stole the 4th line of the song " Above us only sky " for their advertising slogan. The words of this song are just so good and are still as relevant now, as when they were first written, if not even more so. Well chosen Barry!

IMAGINE John Lennon

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

The world could certainly do with a few more John Lennons, but don't be down hearted that he was born a "Brit" Barry, at least he was shot by an American!

Anyway a very tough act to follow, I wouldn't have liked to follow it, I don't know anyone who would.

For "You Tube" lovers here's a wonderful old classic US TV clip of Mahalia Jackson linking George Gershwin's "Summertime" seamlessly to "Motherless Child" and re-claiming it without doubt as a negro spiritual. Listen to the end where Dean Martin is talking to Frank Sinatra about what they should sing after Mahalia finishes..........

The clip is from Frank Sinatra's own TV show and after both of them compliment Mahaliah, on her singing being so good and beautiful. Frank then with a sense of duty says to Dean, "Well I guess now we go to work?
To which Dean Martin replies, " SIng now after that ? ....No Sir! I wouldn't do it !", to which Frank finally concedes, "Yeah guess you're right, a little tough to follow"


Well, this was exactly the position that our next floor spot was in, Joachim a busker who Barry had "brought in from the cold". Not only did he have to follow Barry and Shawn's magnificent rendering of "Imagine" but he also had to get used to the fact that the faces in front of him were still there halfway though the song, and all of them were even still there at the end of the song!
What a dilemma ! Joachim's first song was, as was to be expected, a little wobbly, but he quickly got used to his static, yet attentive, audience and the off-putting backdrops and got his guitar and his voice together, and ended his spot with a resounding folk club applause! Well done Joachim! you're braver than Dean Martin.

Once again Muriel Paris and Gerhard Haug are back again, thus qualifying almost for "Special Guest" status. Muriel's rendering of Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose" in French is tear-jerking and there are many jazz standards sung in her other mother tongue such as Kurt Weill's "Mack the Knife" which was popularised by Satchmo. Bravo!

So another wonderful evening of such different and diverse musical genres. Many sincere thanks to all the many participants for making this possible.

At the end of the evening all the singers come up to the front and sing the old Scottish traditional folk club song "Jock Stewart". (There is an Irish version of this song, but in that version, instead of getting taken out for a walk, tha dog gets taken out to be shot and the rivers are renamed. So we stick with the Scottish version) and we all go home happy, content and exhausted.

NB - Actually Shawn chose all the songs in our set except for the Rock a' My Soul spiritual. I was really accompanying HIM!

Bericht vom November Treffen
von Detlef Stachetzki

Folk Club im November

Eigentlich hatte John vor diesem neunten(!) Treffen des Graurheindorfer Folk Clubs schon den Eindruck verbreitet, nahezu Alles allein bestreiten zu müssen. Keine Special Guests in Sicht und auch sonst ein wenig Flaute mit dem Interesse der Aktiven. Wer hätte gedacht, dass sich der Abend am 5. November zu einem der schönsten und gefühlvollsten der bisherigen Sessions mausern sollte.

John verstand es wieder einmal, mit seinem unvergleichlichen, humorvollen Warm Up, den Saal in Stimmung zu bringen, der sich erst langsam und dann heftig füllte.

Zunächst gab es eine kleine Auffrischung der Schulkenntnisse, denn es jährte sich zum 405. Mal der Tag (Anno 1605), an dem der „Terrorist“ Guy Fawkes (damals war es ein katholischer, oder sollte man besser sagen ein „katholistischer“?) und seine Kumpanen beim Versuch ertappt worden waren, das englische Parlament mitsamt dem protestantischen König Jakob I. in die Luft zu sprengen. Die Jungs wurden nach der damals in England üblichen Strafe für Hochverrat gehängt, ausgweidet und gevierteilt („hung, drawn and quartered“). Also deklamierte John das bekannte Gedicht „Remember, remember, the fifth of November“, dessen gruseliger Inhalt gut zu den nicht minder gruseligen Deko-Hinterlassenschaften der Halloween-Party ein paar Tage zuvor passte (Grrrrr!).

Nach einer witzigen Eigenkomposition (Albert McTavish’s Brand New Frigidaire) schwenkte John auf die Lieder mit „Gefühl“ um (u.a. „Bee’s Wing“ von Richard Thompson und das Spiritual „Motherless Child“) und wurde dabei professionell und einfühlsam von Christine Moos auf der Geige begleitet.

Als ob sich alle Floor spot-Musiker abgesprochen hatten, ging es munter weiter mit den Liedern fürs Gemüt – Andreas Nick mit Sängerin Gabi und einer kleinen, improvisierten, aber hörenswerten Gesangsunterstützung durch Lothar Wosny waren ein echter Ohrenschmaus. Besonders „Freight Train“ von Elizabeth Cotten erzeugte eine kleine Gänsehaut und blieb als verflixter Ohrwurm hängen.

Nach der Pause musste auch das Publikum ran und zusammen mit Barry Roshto den Refrain zum Spiritual „Rock my Soul“ singen. Die Begeisterung war groß aber auch die Enttäuschung darüber, dass dies Barrys einziges Mitmachlied war. Barry muss seinen „Bildungsauftrag“ als Musikschullehrer ernster nehmen! Entschädigt wurden alle durch die folgenden großartigen Lieder, die Barry mit seinem Musikschul-Kollegen Shawn Spicer vortrug (Emmilou Harris „Boulder to Birmingham“, Jackson Brownes „These Days“ und John Lennons „Imagine“). Shawn überzeugte dabei sowohl als Sänger wie auch als Gitarrist, obwohl sein Hausinstrument das Saxophon ist (Wann hören wir das denn mal??). Zum Weinen schön wurde es, als Barry mit seiner weichen, intonationssicheren Stimme begleitet von Shawn auf der Gitarre und Barrys Frau Christiane auf der Geige die Ballade „The Water is Wide“ vortrug. Das ging unter die Haut – mehr davon!!

Eine kleine Überraschung war der Straßenmusiker Joachim, den Barry nach der letzten Session beim Heimweg in der Stadt aufgegabelt und überredet hatte, in Graurheindorf aufzutreten. Er spielte seine Nervosität weg und bekam begeisternden Beifall.

Als letzten Floor spot gab es Chansons von Muriel Paris, die am Klavier von unserem Stammpianisten Gerhard Haug begleitet wurde, der bereits vor der Pause mit einigen Solostücken geglänzt hatte. Muriel begeisterte mit ihrer swingenden Altstimme bei „Mack the Knife“ und „La vie en Rose“. Ein großes Dankeschön zudem an Gerhard für seinen wiederholten fachmännischen Einsatz, das Klavier am Beginn der Sessions richtig in „Stimmung“ zu bringen.

Zum Abschluss kam nochmals das Publikum zum Zuge, um John bei seinem Rausschmeißer, dem Lied über Jock Stewart, dem „man, you don’t meet every day“, beim Refrain tat- bzw. stimmkräftig zu unterstützen.

Die Glückshormone mussten nun leider wieder eingepackt werden und müssen bis zum 3. Dezember warten, wenn es eine neue Session gibt, diesmal wieder mit einem Special Guest.

Montag, 8. November 2010

Errata / Corrigendum

Hi Folk Clubbers!
Was just trying to make clear with the title, that I speak Swiss...
John thought, and Andreas also commented, that the back drops for our recent "unbelievably-so-good-that-it's-scary" FC evening, provided our photo documetation with photos that really ARE scary, or at least leave the uninitiated reader to wonder, "what the.....Folk...?"


Statement from John (and I must add, it is quite grand that we had the FC evening on GF night.BLR)

"On Friday the 5th of November we had our "Horrible History" folk club event commemorating "Guy Fawkes Night" and the Gunpowder Plot which was a failed attempt by religious fundamentalists to blow up the English and Scottish King James I along with his family and parliament in 1605. Wicked tongues have rumoured that this is how people end up who attend the folk club, and either do not join in the choruses, or sing the choruses, but out of tune. This is of course, not the case and the extremely frightening and realistically macabre back drops to the last meeting were in fact a leftover from the Halloween Party the week before. Even Guido Fawkes himself did not suffer this fate, although his fellow conspirators did, when they were hanged, drawn and quartered for their crime. Guido "got lucky" in the end, as the last to be hanged, and as his final act, simply threw himself off the scaffold and merely broke his neck, thus sparing himself from a fate, "much worse than death itself".

Other wicked tongues have rumoured however, and especially in recent times following the political scandals of false expense claims by so many members of parliament, that neither in the time before 1605 or in the centuries afterwards has any man or woman ever entered through the doors of parliament with such "honest intent" as Guy Fawkes, whose effigy to this day is still ceremoniously burnt on bonfires throughout the land."

We couldn't possibly comment on that one!
(However, now you know the reason for the strange backgrounds on some of the photos. Hopefully Beethoven will be back soon to cast his watchful eye over us again.)

MORE PHOTOS from the November Meet:

Finale - All the singers back on stage for a resounding
"When your drinkin' with me..."

Well Done! John and all those singing clubbers....
WELL DONE all you "Guy's"

Sonntag, 7. November 2010

"Singers' Night " -
Pix of Folk Club 09

Another rich evening with a great crowd spanning several generations.

Youngest Clubber!

Christine and John get us going

First Floor Spot of the evening - Andreas
check his blog :

Joined by Gabi

Stand By Me! starring Lothar

Et quelque chose en français...

Muriel & Gerhard

Next, a very scary duo...

Barry & Shawn "A' Rockin' their souls"

Joined by Christiane for "The Water is Wide"

Second Floor Spot - Jochin

Another successful evening at the Folk Club, with a nice size crowd of all ages

Montag, 1. November 2010

Folk Club 09 - “Singers’ Night”

(for English scroll down)

Liebe "Folkers!"

In November veranstallten wir am Freitag, den 5ten ein “Singers’ Night”, d.H., dass wir keinen “Special Guest” haben werden, damit unsere sehr vielfältige und talentierte “Floor Singers”, die nicht wie üblich, entweder zu kurz, oder manchmal leider gar nicht daran kommen, die Chance haben, uns etwas mehr von ihrem Können zu zeigen.

In Oktober hatten wir Besuch von Edvard Grieg, George Gerschwin, Mozart & Listz, Leonard Cohen, Robert Johnson, und all das war nur im Publikum, ohne die Namen der Komponisten zu nennen!

Unser "Special Guest" war Reiner Weiss, ein Musiker mit unfassbarem Talent, ist einmal nach New York gereisst, hat ein "upright" Klavier und ein Oldsmobile Station Wagon gekauft und reisste durch die Staaten als "musikalische Botschafter". In Graurheindorf hat er uns nicht nur zur schönen Stille beim Anblick eines magischen Sonnenaufgangs an einen See in Norwegen teleportiert, sondern auch mit dem "Warschau Concerto" zur Ehrung von Polens Vergangenheit uns positiv gewaltsam wachgerüttelt.
Er spielt wahrhaftig mit Leidenschaft, wenn es sein muss, und mit "passion" wenn es so ist.

"Um sonst" gibt es nicht mehr in Köln, sagte er, aber in Graurheindorf dürften wir es erleben. Trotz so vielen offenen Munden im Saal, gab es so eine Stille während des Spielens aber desto mehr Applaus am Ende.

John Harrison & Barry L. Roshto et al.

"Folk is great - Bier ist gut - and people are crazy"

--- ENGLISH ---

Belated greetings dear "Folkers" !

The October folk club was a veritable patchwork quilt of different music styles. We had Edvard Grieg, George Gerschwin, Mozart and Listz, Leonard Cohen, Robert Johnson, and that was just amongst the audience, without mentioning any of the composers' names!
"Special Guest" was Reiner Weiss, a musician of immense talent, who once travelled to New York, bought an upright piano and an Oldsmobile station wagon, and toured around the States as a roving musical ambassador. In Graurheindorf he managed to both teleport us to the serene magical stillness of a lakeside Norwegian dawn and frighten the living daylights out of us with Poland's war-torn volatile tears in the "Warsaw Concerto".

Now one can understand why mere "passion" in English is called "Leidenschaft" in German.

A tremendously intense performance which moved and inspired everyone in the room, particuarly as it was not what many of them expected to hear in a folk club.

I remember the very first folk club evening we had in February when the wonderful surpise of bagpipes (which I have never heard before in an English folk club) were taking a while to tune up, so I slipped outside for some fresh air, to find upon returning not just the bagpipes in full swing but also half a dozen people dancing. I anticipated then that this was going to be a rather extraordinary folk club, and I am pleased to say, this has certainly turned out to be the case.

So thanks again to Reiner Weiss for remembering to not forget, what has, in his opinion, been long forgotten in Cologne, that there is sometimes still something good for nothing. We wish you much success Reiner with your latest musical project..." Die Hexe Katherina" (" Catherine the witch") which deals with a mediaeval topic in his home city of similar fanatical religious intolerence which engendered the gunpowder plot on 5th November 1605 in London.

Many thanks too deserve all our floor spots, who included Kate and Peter Ferrow who regaled us in typical English folk club fashion with Kate's wonderful dulcet singing tones and Peter whose accomplished accompaniment required him to tune an average of 10 strings on each of three different instruments. Both are very welcome guests and Peter has threatened to hit us with his agèd English button concertina in the very near future.

Muriel Paris, who sings equally well in her mother tongues of English and French, and fronts the regional jazz band "Oldies GmbH" visited us for the first of hopefully many times, showing us that she knows "no fear and no danger" but certainly knows "how to sing" and sang totally impromptu and unrehearsed versions of "I can't give you anything but love" accompanied by Günter on piano, and "Kansas City Blues" accompanied by myself on guitar. Rumour has it that she is coming again in November but accompanied by her usual pianist and our piano doctor Gerhard.

We are really so blessed with both the number and quality of our floor spots, that we are heeding the astute advice of our most avid and learnèd reviewer, John Hurd of the "Bonn English Network" that we oft times have " in truth too many riches on offer for one evening" and so we are holding the November folk club as a "Singers' Night" without any "Special Guest" in order that our wealth of home spun talents, who often come too short, have more time to play and sing. It is not always easy to reconcile all the floor spots we have of an evening with often an hour and sometimes more from a "Special Guest" and yet still comply with the strict 22:00 hours curfew which is imposed upon us. So with a Singers' Night we wish to right an acknowledged wrong.

So what's exactly in store for you all on "Fireworks Night"?

Well, to be honest, until John Hurd has checked all the incoming musical baggage, we don't really know the full details ourselves. We've dropped a few hints already, and doubtless Barry and I as the residents will be playing, as usual, a mixture of songs from the deep south of Louisiana, Derbyshire and Texas, but Susanne Phillips, who you have heard before with brother Peter, has undertunneled us all and come up with an even deeper southern set of tunes from Mexico. So don't be surprised, if you find amongst several guitars, many accompished pianists, pipes of all hues, breathing instruments with knobs on, acappelo voices, many different harps, perhaps a blanket and a pair of spoons, and a couple of fiddles and maybe even a saxophone?
At the end of the evening all the singers can stand up and sing "Jock Stewart" also known as "So be easy and free, when you're drinking with me" and we can all go home happy and exhausted.

If anyone has any sparklers, please bring them along!

So you are more than welcome to come along sing, listen and/or play, and we would be most grateful if you did, and please feel free to broadcast this fact! So we'll look forward to seeing you on "Guy Fawkes" night, and in December we will revert to having an esteemed "Special Guest" with the much acclaimed trio " SilverSigh".

John Harrison & Barry L. Roshto et al.

"Folk is great - Bier ist gut - and people are crazy"