Wed March 29th - 8.30pm -      Hayes Sisters & Andy Dinan

The Hayes Sisters.

Take three girls. Name them Cathryn, Angela and Jennifer. Bring them up in a home where someone is always singing. Listen to them start to sing in harmony from a very young age. Realise that nature has blessed them with rather beautiful voices. Give them a guitar. Discover that they have a natural musical ability. Mix together; and you have a promising musical trio – “The Hayes Sisters”.

Three young teenagers start to make a name for themselves in local pubs and clubs; reality intervenes… They go off to Uni; start families – do the serious grown up stuff! They pursue careers in different cities, in different fields; in teaching, nursing, and acting (you may have seen Jen (Stage name – Jennifer Hennessy) in The Office, Coronation Street, Doctor Who, and lots more; in fact, she appears soon as Mrs Cratchit in the BBC’s new epic serial, “Dickensian”)

They decide to “have another go” at the music…And then they’re back together on stage; appearing at festivals and gigs across the North West.

They are spotted by Nashville–based, Clive Gregson; one of the most-respected names in the music industry. And things go from there…The Hayes Sisters soon have a producer; and an album in the making.

“Another Man’s Shoes” is produced by Clive Gregson and John Wood, and features the awesome musical talents of Andy Dinan, Andy Seward, Fiona Lander, Simon Whitbread, and Clive Gregson himself.

What are the influences and inspirations behind The Hayes Sisters’ music?

Well, ask any of the three sisters and you will get pretty much the same answer: “Another Man’s Shoes” is a collection of songs borne from personal experiences and emotions; by history, politics, art, literature. It is influenced by the music we grew up listening to: the traditional music of England and Ireland; and always by groups or songs where vocals and harmonies dominate because when we were kids, singing in harmony was just what you did! It was natural.”

Each tends to write individually, and they arrange collaboratively; and, as they are musically untrained; intuitively. Naturally, The Hayes Sisters seem to be in harmony about most things in life…

Andy Dinan

Andy Dinan is a master of the fiddle, having won the All-Ireland fiddle championships twice. He has more recently teamed up with Adrian Edmondson and Troy Donockley to become a member of the punk-folk group The Bad Shepherds.

Appearing next at the Willows

Wed April 12th - 8.30pm -      Singers Night

Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith are a highly acclaimed folk duo who play traditional and original music of the British Isles.

Over the last three years they have built a reputation on the UK folk scene for arresting and moving performances. The songs themselves are always given centre stage but they are brought to life with sensitive musical arrangements and stunning vocals. There is an integrity that shines through their performances and a common thread of political struggle, resistance, and justice.

They have been heavily influenced by the songs and singers of East Anglia, where they both grew up, but their music also reflects the diversity of voices within the folk world. 

Their debut album on Fellside Records was described as 'utterly absorbing’ with ‘excellent musicianship and sympathetic instrumentation twinned with fine harmony singing.'

Their second album 'Night Hours' was released in December 2016 to great reviews across the board and has fast cemented their place of longevity within the folk scene.

"To be a great folk singer, you have to be a great storyteller, as Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith are clearly aware. The duo are both fine singers and multi-instrumentalists." The Guardian 


“Exhilaratingly diverse and full of impeccably crafted and beautifully realised songs”   Folk Radio 

‘Night Hours has to be one of the best albums of the year – I hope it will be fresh in the mind when the awards come around.‘

"Every now and then an act jumps out at you and knocks you back. You’re in for a treat.”  Mike Harding

Wed April 26th - 8.30pm -      Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith

Wed May 10th - 8.30pm -      Hat Fitz & Cara

“Aussie bluesman Hat Fitz and Irish-born folksinger Cara Robinson are a striking pair. He is a giant raggedy-bearded man, maybe the lost member of ZZ Top who lives deep in the woods and eats anything that moves. She is a petite blonde, who barely reaches his shoulders. He has a deep, gruff Howlin’ Wolf-esqe voice while she dances with angels in her vocal. He plays wonderful resonator guitar. Her instrument is that sweet and soulful voice. It’s all she needs…”  Blues & Soul

“Covering a staggering array of instrumentation, the duo embellish impeccable rootsy originals & Robinson shows she can belt it out too.”     Classic Rock Magazine

Classic Rock Heavy Rotation: “Friday Night” … More soulful seductive blues rock. The perfect soundtrack to a laid back Sunday afternoon.”

Get Ready To Rock “this album is a celebration of everything that is good about contemporary roots music, so forget the labels and just enjoy. *****

“Cara Robinson’s addictive voice is something that fans of roots music need in their lives” Guitarist Magazine

“With Wiley Ways, Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson have crafted as genuine a blues record as you can hope to find in this day and age – simple, powerful, full of the inherent realism we’ve come to expect from these two, a stellar effort.” Samuel J. Fell Rolling Stone

“Beautiful, raw and exciting” Jeff Lang

“A nostalgia act with a future” Classic Rock

“If these don’t move you, nothing will” Phil Jackson BITS

“Contemporary but at the same time as old as the hills” American Roots

“They pack more energy, emotion and sheer musical exuberance into one song than most manage in a whole career.” Spiral Earth, UK

Called Canada’s finest singer-songwriter by one of the most respected and lauded music journalists of the last 50 years, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons.

As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent and intensity, and curiosity.

Fusing his insatiable appetite for finding the next unique storyline Keelaghan also forges his pieces with brilliantly defined craftsmanship and a monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices of not only the Canadian scene, but as a member of the international singer-songwriter community.

Wed May 24th - 8.30pm -      James Keelaghan

Wed May 31st - 8.30pm -      Chris Sherburn & Denny Bartley with Emily Sanders

Chris and Denny have been bringing their unique sound to audiences across Europe and the USA since the early 1990s, when a chance meeting at a music session created one of folk music’s most enduring partnerships.  They are joined by Emily Sanders, formerly of Isambarde.  Emily’s fiddle playing and singing brings a new depth that compliments Chris on accordion and Denny’s guitar and stirring voice.   The fast flowing “craic” means that no two concerts are ever the same!!  Enjoy

Wed June 14th - 8.30pm -  Jenn Butterworth & Laura-Beth Salter

Jenn and Laura-Beth have each been a presence on the UK folk scene for a number of years. They were brought together by the close-knit and progressive Glasgow folk music community, spending lots of their time jamming an eclectic mix of folk music from across the globe, particularly the UK, Scandinavia and America. The years of playing together brought a deep affinity between the two artists; their rhythms lock tightly, their voices blend so closely that it’s often hard to tell them apart. They have developed a natural telepathy: two musicians bound together. 

Jenn Butterworth is one of Scotland’s foremost female guitarists, and has toured extensively with the award winning Anna Massie Band. As an accompanist she is in high demand, her most recent collaborations have involved Songs of Separation, Phil Cunningham and Fiddler’s Bid.

Laura-Beth Salter takes influence from the Oldtime and Bluegrass music that her parents played whilst she was growing up in Lincolnshire. After spending time studying a Traditional Music Degree in Newcastle she became heavily involved in the folk scene. She is a founding member of The Shee and her most recent collaborations involve Shooglenifty and The MacLean Project led by the world renowned Perthshire singer Dougie MacLean.


Wed June 28th - 8.30pm -  Phil Cockerham Trio

Philip Cockerham is a British singer, performer and songwriter. He is based in West Yorkshire, England, but plays nationally on the folk and acoustic music scene.

His songs contain a range of sometimes humorous, but always thought-provoking themes, with memorable hooks and irresistible choruses! There are also some familiar traditional songs, but delivered in a refreshingly different way. It's not surprising then, that Phil Cockerham is fast gaining a deserved reputation with his original material and his entertaining performances.                       Supported with his collection of acoustic instruments, Phil Cockerham captivates audiences with his music in a range of styles. His relaxed and confident personality instantly engages and puts people at their ease. Whether he is performing solo, or as most often is the case when he is accompanied by ace double bass player, Dave Bowie  and percussionist/harmonist Dickie Dixon, an enjoyable night is promised.

His influence has often inspired others to pick up their own music and speak for themselves. Since his emergence in recent years, many people have discovered Phil Cockerham and his songs, and other musicians are now covering songs he has written and recorded.

Wed Sept 13th - 8.30pm -  Dave Gibb

HAILING from the village of Wanlockhead in Dumfries and Galloway Dave describes himself as a left-handed, balding, middle-aged songwriting folky from Scotland’s highest village.

A superb guitarist with a style that is as distinctive as it is effective, a voice that can carry traditional and contemporary songs and a songwriting ability that produces songs ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, he is an established performer throughout the acoustic/folk club, festival and concert scene.

Lyrically Dave is a storyteller and is determined to maintain the art of storytelling through song. Musically he draws on both traditional and contemporary sources, especially the finger picking styles of the heroes.

Wed Sept 27th - 8.30pm -  Maria Dunn & Shannon Johnson

Award nominated Canadian Songwriter Maria Dunn ( vocal, guitar, accordian) in duo with Shannon Johnson (violin) draws deeply on the folk tradition of storytelling through song. a true preserver of the spirit of folk music, she is often compared to Woody Guthrie for her keen social awareness and her unvarnished songs about the lives of working men and women.

Melding North American roots music with her Scottish-Irish heritage, Maria celebrates the resilience and grace of "ordinary" people, past and present.

A true preserver of the spirit of folk music, past Juno and CFMA-nominee Maria Dunn is often compared to Woody Guthrie for her keen social awareness and unvarnished songs about ordinary people. In 2016, she released her sixth independent album Gathering, songs of courage and struggle, local and global (produced by Shannon Johnson of Juno-winning band The McDades).

Edmonton-based, Maria tours internationally. Accolades for her songwriting include publication in Sing Out! and Penguin Eggs magazines and the Rise Again songbook (2015). Other artists have recorded (Niamh Parsons, Bob Bossin) or performed (Archie Fisher, Andy Irvine, Nathan Rogers) her songs.

Wed Nov 8th - 8.30pm -  Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have long established themselves as one of the UK folk scene’s most rewardingly enduring partnerships.

Twice recent winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo – 2016 & 2013 – the couple’s intimacy and strength of passion on stage have won them many fans and an enviable reputation as ‘Songwriters par excellence’- (fRoots),  whose greatly varied original songs cover such subjects as wicked mermaids, Norwegian legends, and a lonely whale.

Building upward from their last two highly praised albums ‘‘Tomorrow Will Follow Today’ & Hidden People’’ fans of folk and acoustic music can only wonder where this leading couple will choose to turn next.

With a story that includes over 20 years of music making with the likes of Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon, Levellers, Kate Rusby and Show of Hands, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have consolidated themselves as pillars of modern British folk.

Wed Nov 22nd - 8.30pm -  Ninebarrow

NINEBARROW are a multi-award-winning folk duo, who are impressing audiences across the country with their innovative and captivating take on the folk tradition. Described by Mike Harding as sounding ‘damn fine’ and by Kate Rusby as ‘absolutely amazing’, Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere combine breath taking vocal harmonies and melodies, delivering original songs that are inspired and rooted in the landscape and history of the British Isles. As well as crafting unique and engaging original material, Ninebarrow also take a wide-range of traditional folk songs and rework them in their own, distinctive way. Not only exceptional singers and musicians, Ninebarrow are also equally passionate about the stories behind their songs  - combining their music with history, folklore and storytelling. 

Wed Dec 6th - 8.30pm -  Blast from the Past

Founded in 2011 by Chris Green and Sophie Matthews, Blast from the Past have swiftly earned themselves an enviable reputation for presenting the sights and sounds of the past in a way that is witty, engaging and accessible. Although they are first and foremost musicians, they are equally at home performing as actors, storytellers and street entertainers.

Their music ranges from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, taking in everything between. As main suppliers to English Heritage they are used to playing for a variety of audiences – from an intimate village hall to a large auditorium.

Wed Dec 20th - 8.30pm -  Bernard Wrigley

Bernard Wrigley (born 1948 in Bolton, Lancashire) is a singer, actor and comedian. He is sometimes known by the nickname "The Bolton Bullfrog".

Wrigley's career as a singer and storyteller began in the late 1960s, when a love of folk music led him to perform in folk clubs. Since then he has released over sixteen albums of traditional and original songs, stories and monologues. His main instruments are the guitar and concertina. He began acting around the same time and has made many appearances on stage, most famously in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot alongside Mike Harding at Bolton's Octagon Theatre, and Jim Cartwright's Road at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Wrigley has made many appearances in British TV programmes, including Phoenix Nights (where he was Dodgy Eric, who sold club owner Brian Potter a Das Boot fruit machine, a bucking bronco and an obscene bouncy castle), Emmerdale (as eccentric rocket inventor Barry Clegg) and Coronation Street (most recently as the Rev. Marvin Winstanley, the shady 'internet priest' whom Roy and Hayley approached to arrange their wedding - Wrigley's sixth character in the soap). His other credits include Last of the Summer Wine, Cold Feet, Coogan's Run, Dinnerladies, Victoria Wood With All The Trimmings and In with the Flynns. He also appeared as a union official in Brassed Off and as a school teacher in Rita, Sue and Bob Too. In 1978 he was a night school teacher in Alan Bennett's play Me—I'm Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

On BBC Radio 4 he has acted in plays lasting from 15 to 90 minutes. BBC Radio Lancashire has broadcast many of his pre-recorded series, such as Wrigley's Ramblings and Home Brewed, and his readings of many stories written by Tommy Thompson.

As a writer he has released various combinations of his songs and monologues. In 2006 he produced a book of silly one-verse poems Shorts For All Occasions, which was followed in 2008 by The Longs & The Shorts Of It. - Don’t miss this opportunity to see him.

Come along and enjoy an informal yet structured evening

where you can can unleash your inner-most musical talents!

All generous donations at the door will go to the charity....

The Children of Watamu - Happy House Project

Chosen by Sue of Scolds Bridle. Thanks Sue!

(Apologies to Mary who’s charity Clic Sargent is coming up next.

Blame Dave for getting them in the wrong order!)