The Cromar Folk Club landed on St. Andrews day. The club is the last Friday of each month at the Aberdeen Arms, Tarland. This months club’s guest were the Sangsters. They had an extra role to play this month too, to kick off the start of the Cromar Folk Festival 2012, the first ever. The Sangsters hail from Fife and they gave us a stirring evening of songs, ballads and tales. Every song filled with passion and their acoustic harmonies being a special treat. A couple of songs on the video below:

St. Andrews weekend saw the first Cromar Folk Festival take place.  Starting on the Friday evening with the Cromar Folk Club itself.  Joe Atkin compared the evening with no shortage of local open mic talent to get the evenings entertainment going.  The Sangsters where the evening guest.

Saturday started with a fiddle Work Shop at 11am in the Aberdeen Arms by Paul Anderson and then after a bit of lunch a session from 2pm till the early hours.  Here is the session in full flow:

Come and join in St. Andrews weekend 2013.



The Cromar Folk Club has been going all year and eventually I’ve got a video prepared for October.  Paul Anderson, Tarland fiddler leading the way followed by ballad song from Shona Louise Donaldson.  Alistair McDougal also caught on film.  A cracking night of local talent again.

With video production back operational, the October 2011 blog post.  This months guest was Alistair MacDougall, a regular at the Club and at the weekly Tarland session at the Aberdeen Arms.  Before Alistair took to the stage, a healthy list of open mic guests.  Aboyne fiddler, James Littlejohn opened with a sombre slow air before livening up the notes with a pipe march and strathspey.  Next an accordion set by Gary Anderson, foot tapping tempo jig followed by a more continental style that wouldn’t have been out of place on the streets of Paris.  Ballads from Shona Donaldson with a spooky Halloween theme, a robust bothy ballad from Eion Taylor.  David Anderson on fiddle teamed up with Norman on guitar to produce a rich toned waltz and more.  The star guest and our MC for the evening Paul Anderson completes the guests on the video at the end.  A great variety of entertainment, thanks to all, on and not on the video.

The star guest then took to the stage.  Playing both solo and with accompaniment along the way with Rob on mouth organ and Paul Anderson on fiddle.  Songs and ballads that ranged from ‘Black is the colour’ to ‘The water is wide’  to the tales of the ‘Rambling boy’.  Thoughtful words and relaxing tones on guitar made for an enjoyable evening of music.

The Cromar Folk Club was full to the gunnels this month.  Jonny Hardie and Normal were the special guest but before they took centre stage there was a raft of open floor guest eager to entertain.  Gary Anderson got the evening off and running with some waltzes before upping the tempo.  A Derby singer then shared a couple of ballads.  Guests from afar continues with Australian flute playing along with a guitar for a hearty rendition of the Irish Rover.  Open floor acts of all ages prepared the stage for the entry of Jonny and Norman.

First half open floor acts:

Second floor acts:

Here is some links to other performances,  Healther Anderson & James Littlejohn  and the finale.

A brighter summer’s night greeted the Cromar Folk Club.  The Club opened the floor to all and that produced singers from as far as East Germany to Alford, and Dess to Essex, England!  Not only an international dimension but the ages of artists ranged from the young to the not so young but all young a heart.  The evening was opened by a few tunes from Aboyne fiddler, James Littlejohn followed by a first time artist at the club, Chris Sawyer also fae Aboyne that “pushed the definition of folk” with a couple of more modern ballads.  Next our youngest artist of the evening, Rhiann Matthew sang a beautiful ballad and followed it up with touching fiddle playing with her mum, Heather Anderson.  More fiddle, song and guitar playing followed.  Here is a summary of the first half of the evening artists that include: Chris Sawyer, Rhiann Matthew, Heather Anderson, Eilidh Anderson, Ellis Milton, Ian Taylor, Alastair MacDougal, James Littlejohn.

Alan Taylor sang heartily a ballad about the changes seen in our local economy and entertained and produced laughter telling the bothy ballad about a local bobby (policeman).  The second half started with our regular MC and host of the Cromar Folk Club, Paul Anderson, fiddled out a few toe tapping tunes before treating us to the first public playing of a new composition, a Lament he had just written to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Harlaw,  a bloody affair by all accounts.  Next our German guest took to the floor with guitar to sing heartily a couple of well know Irish songs. Songs and tunes kept flowing until a combined sing-a-long of the Wild Rover brought the evening to a rousing end.

The second half floor acts included, Paul Anderson, Klans Luckan, Glinde, East Germany, Pat Bartlet, Chelmsford, Essex,  Alan Taylor, Matt Milne and Sandy fae Dess.

The first Cromar Folk Club of 2011 took place on the last Friday of May 2011 and while it has been a few months since the last club this evening was worth waiting for.  The evenings guest was singer,  Shona Louise Donaldson.  But before Shona took to the floor, open mic spots were snapped up by local artists.  The first being local fiddler David Anderson, followed by a couple of first time performers at the club, who sang ballads, then back to the fiddle with James Littlejohn playing March, Strathspey and Reel by J. Scott Skinner followed by the Blue Mount Waltz, Pipes filled the Aberdeen Arms hall as Matt and co. stirred the audience, with the first half artists completed with a song by Alistair on guitar, accompanied by Paul Anderson, our MC for the evening.  With the audience warmed up, Shona took to the stage.

The video below contains just a few of the ballads and songs Shona treated the audience too.  Each introduced with intriguing background stories or tales.  From her first note to her last, the tone, empathy and rhythm of her voice produced the most majestic and enjoyable listening.  The audience was encouraged to join in many a chorus line even in Gaelic but we let Shona marvel us with that!  To close the first half, Shona team up with our MC for the evening (and husband) for a fiddle duet, that included tunes from Sweden and those closer to hame.

Part II review coming soon:

Open Floor artists First half: