Shammick Acoustic programme
Oct 26

Bob & Gill Berry:  It’s hard to believe that it’s well over six years since Bob & Gill Berry last gave a concert at Shammick Acoustic – and it’s been far too long!  The duo have a long history within the folk movement, having run Chippenham Folk Festival for many years, sometimes to the detriment of their ability to take their own music around the country.  They’re now beginning to hand that job over to others, which means that many clubs and festivals will have the chance to hear more of them.  They also regularly run events at Sidmouth and Towersey Festivals.  They were honoured by the English Folk Dance and Song Society for their significant contributions to the development and continuity of traditional English folk music, song and dance.  But aside from all that, their strong voices with harmonies and some accompaniment on guitar, mandolin or bouzouki, are more than impressive!  Last year saw the release of their latest album, ‘Echoes of Alfred’ with songs from the Alfred Williams collection from Wiltshire and the surrounding counties.  Nothing fancy – just good, honest presentation of good, honest songs.  Can’t wait to welcome them back!

Nov 23

Rag Mama Rag:  Shammick Acoustic puts on a wide range of acoustic music, including blues when something worth booking comes along – and this duo is certainly that, so they’re back again!  Formed in 1991, Rag Mama Rag have built up a reputation as one of Europe’s finest country blues acts, making use of an interesting and interesting array of instruments from Dobro and ukulele to washboard and harmonica to accompany classic vocal renditions.  Touring non-stop, the duo of Ashley and Deborah Dow play at many major festivals throughout Europe and beyond, with their exceptionally full and hard-driving rhythmic sound which gets audiences’ feet tapping or even stomping!  Their repertoire is ‘20s and ‘30s blues based, but encompassing Mississippi Delta, East Coast ragtime, and white country tunes, as well as their own original compositions.  Presenting a huge range of material from slower melodies to fast-paced rocking blues, with superb finger-picking thrown in for good measure, this unassuming but multi-talented couple won’t leave anyone disappointed!

Dec 14 Afternoon workshop special. Narthen, who are the concert guests in the evening, will be running a carol-singing workshop during the afternoon, from 1:30pm to 5:00pm (including a 30 min, break with tea or coffee, etc.), investigating some of the lesser-known carols in the English tradition. You may have heard of the Sheffield carol tradition, or of West Gallery carols. Here's a rare opportunity to learn more and get involved in these wonderful old localised settings of carols - some of which will be familiar. You can download a booking form for the workshop (with or without the evening concert as well) by clicking HERE  
Dec 14 Narthen (Jim Causley, Barry Coope, Jo & Fi Fraser). Hark! HarkNarthen may be a name new to many – but not for long, I suspect.  They are a quartet of fine singers: Barry Coope from the famed but now defunct Coope, Boyes & Simpson, with Jo Freya of Blowzabella and Moirai, and Fi Fraser of PolkaWorks and Old Swan Band, plus Devon's very own Jim Causley who got together to concentrate on a winter shows, but then took it further so that they could perform throughout the year.  So the pedigree is there for all the members of the band, but their Christmas show is not just a bunch of folk with good voices belting out traditional carols.  It’s a welcoming hotch-potch of stories, poetry and jokes threaded through with carolling and wassailing, both a capella and accompanied by a proper bagful of instruments, blown, plucked, bowed and struck.  The show is rich in Variety tradition – there are various nods to Music Hall – and steeped in folk’s past and present. The way the show veers effortlessly between solemnity and silliness makes it a wonderful, and wonderfully warm, winter night out.
Dec 22 The 18th Midwinter Carols Night (@ The Castle):  This is the eighteenth annual Combe Martin Midwinter Carols Night. We have carols (both common and unusual), wassail songs, local midwinter songs. Hand-out books of the songs are provided - with or without music. With punch, sausage rolls and mine pies. Accompanied by a motley miscellany of instrument players (a 15-piece band at the last count!). Just bring your voice (and instrument if you play) for an enjoyable singing evening in the Castle function room - with a bar.