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Oak Ash & Thorn at the Castle Folk Club

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RiGGy 30 Aug 99 - 01:19 PM
31 Aug 99 - 01:52 AM
Guy Wolff 31 Aug 99 - 10:29 PM
RiGGy 31 Aug 99 - 11:13 PM
pj 02 Sep 99 - 07:30 PM
RiGGy 03 Sep 99 - 12:02 PM
pj 03 Sep 99 - 12:59 PM
Dave Swan 03 Sep 99 - 01:49 PM
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Subject: Oak Ash & Thorn at the Castle Folk Club
From: RiGGy
Date: 30 Aug 99 - 01:19 PM

Oak Ash and Thorn is back to open the season at the Castle Folk Club on Sept. 2 at 8 pm. Known for great traditional harmonies and irreverent humor, this acappela trio has long been a favorite among bay area fans of British and American traditional music-- tickets $10 at the door.

At the Connecticut Yankee 17th & Connecticut Sts San Francisco

RiGGy ps: MudCat's own Dave Swan is the tenor of OA&T

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Subject: RE: Oak Ash & Thorn at the Castle Folk Club
Date: 31 Aug 99 - 01:52 AM

Where have they been the last few years?

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Subject: RE: Oak Ash & Thorn at the Castle Folk Club
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 31 Aug 99 - 10:29 PM

Sounds like fun <<>>>I thought you were talking about the folk music pub in NEWCASTLE on TYNE. I always wanted to go to that one<<>>Someday..I wander if its still going???? Cheers

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Subject: RE: Oak Ash & Thorn at the Castle Folk Club
From: RiGGy
Date: 31 Aug 99 - 11:13 PM

I JUST received a very loooong letter from Pete Elliott of the Elliotts of Birtley, which stated: " 'The Bridge' does still have a club, but it is a pale shadow of it's former self with none of the regulars that performed when you were over ['71 ] still there..... The bloke who runs the Bridge now is a right bloody plonker & still claims it is the oldest folk club in Britain, in spite of there being no bugger there from the early days, not on the same night, etc......." RiGGy

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Subject: RE: Oak Ash & Thorn at the Castle Folk Club
From: pj
Date: 02 Sep 99 - 07:30 PM

It's late afternoon and Dave is warming up for the gig tonight at the Castle in San Francisco. I'm trying to give him some time alone, so I thought it would be nice to drop in and talk with you guys for a bit.

Today's also our second wedding anniversary, and I keep looking around and smiling at the life I've lucked into. I have good friends, family I love, a job I'd do for free, and a warm house filled with music.

I can hear him in the other room, the voice I fell in love with, and it would be enough if I just got to hear him sing for me. But from time to time, like tonight, I also get to hear him on stage, and watch with pride as he puts that voice together with 2 other wonderful guys to make a sound that's better than the sum of it's parts. I love that I get to have that noise in my life!

Somebody asked where Oak Ash an Thorn has been the past couple of years. They never really went away, they just stopped playing bigger venues for a while as they were re-working their material for the original 3-voice format.

Over the years they have numbered from 3 to 5, Dave is the new kid, he's only been with them 19 years. The current configuration is Dave Swan, Doug Olsen, and Tom Wagner. Three outstanding voices who know each other WAY too well. Watching them rehearse is scary. They speak in Martian code and disagree with a raised eyebrow, or assent with the tilt of the head. It's a little bit like watching an auction, or watching for tells at a poker game.

The guys and their wives and kids are part of our family, and singing together is only a small part of a much stronger relationship. When I started playing Irish music and singing last year, one of my teachers asked me when I had gotten interested in folk music. Without thinking I answered "When I married Oak, Ash and Thorn!"

I'm so glad to have a life and a home that's filled with great music and great people. Mudcat is beginning to feel like an extension of that family as well, and that pleases me very much. Thank you Sandy and Mick for your warm advice, RiGGy and bSeed for your dear company, PeterT, Art and 'Spaw for cracking me up, and all the rest of you who are becoming good friends.

Cheez am I in a sappy mood! Well, I'm off to get dressed for tonight. Hope to see some 'catters at the Castle... Tune in tomorrow for the highlights!

Warm regards to you all


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Subject: RE: Oak Ash & Thorn at the Castle Folk Club
From: RiGGy
Date: 03 Sep 99 - 12:02 PM

It was PACKED ! Never [ in my memory ] before in 18 years of CastleFolkClubDumb did we have to turn folks away [ sorry 'bout that; wish it had been done more "gently" ]. Lottsa people I haven't seen in years, 'cause "they" hadn't been seen in years ! The small HOT room had about 55 folks elbow & happy for it !! They were GREAT ! Relaxed, funny, in great voice and tune; a real treat. They have the chestnuts down, ready to sing in their sleep. They also amazed me that their VERSIONS of other chestnuts had unique twists; BRIGHT SHINING MORNING without repeats, custom-commissioned melody for their signature piece, the Rudyard Kipling OA&T poem, major-minor switches on others to keep us guessin'! My fav was a "non-folk song" about alcohol-free beer HEY NON BARLEYCORN [ got the words Dave ???? ]. Also the sweetest AH ROBIN ah evah herd. Good work guys !!! RiGGy

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Subject: RE: Oak Ash & Thorn at the Castle Folk Club
From: pj
Date: 03 Sep 99 - 12:59 PM

RiGGy's right, it was a grand night! The boys were in rare form and the audience was phenomenal. What a great venue.

What RiGGy didn't tell you, fair 'catters, is that there were other wonderful singers on stage before OA&T's sets, one of which was the RiGmeister hissown self, sounding GREAT!

Rick sings and plays concertina in a lot of bay area venues; aboard the Balclutha, the Castle, at the Starry Plough, private gigs, and others. It's always a treat to hear him, but there's a song he does that always buries my heart, and he did it last night BEAUTIFULLY...

I think the title is "It's Not Yet Day", is that right, RiGGy? The guys were talking about you on the way home, Dave specifically said how perfectly you deliver that style. It sounded wonderful. For bay area 'catters who missed last night's show at the Castle, come to the Plough Sunday night and we'll all beg RiGGy to do it again there.

Also in the audience was Faith Petric. Oh my. Being as I'm a little tiny baby folkie, I didn't realize how impressed I should have been to meet her until the stories started flying. What a sweetheart. We snagged one of her CD's immediately (the newest one is called "When Did We Get Sauerkraut?" and it's GREAT), and we're planning to go to her 84th birthday party later this month.

And, of course Dick Holdstock and Alan McCloud were there to hold court in fine form. Dave kept saying on the way home, how often do you get Holdstock & McCloud in the front row, singing backup on your choruses?

"Tell me, is this heaven?" "I'ts Iowa." "Oh, I coulda sworn it was heaven..."

A grand time was had by all:)


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Subject: Lyr Add: NON-BARLEYCORN (parody)^^
From: Dave Swan
Date: 03 Sep 99 - 01:49 PM

Thanks to RiGGy for beginning this thread, and for the kind support and warm encouragement as we've gone back to work. Rick and his 'tina...that's a sound I wish you all could hear. Everyone at the Castle Folk Club was very kind to us. It felt good last night, but dog knows I'm tired this morning. Think I'll drop over to the tavern for an elixer. Cheers, E.S.

Here's Non Barleycorn, which we learned from the singing(our favorite term for stole from) of Jiggery Pokery on "In Glorious Color". Any old John Barleycorn tune seems to fit it. They list the author as anonymous.

Non Barleycorn as I've been told is good as any beer
Contains no harmful substances and it won't make you feel queer
For it contains no alcohol or calories to waste
No color and no smell at all, no head, no fizz, no taste

CH: Hey Non Barleycorn, Ho Non Barleycorn
Won't do anything at all:
Non Barleycorn

Now it will not make you happy and it won't give you a low
Won't pick you up or bring you down but through you it will go
When you've had six you feel the same as if you've just had one
And when the party's over you won't know if you've had fun


Now do not scorn this noble brew but to me now pay heed
Non Barleycorn will serve you well in any time of need
For when you're out of beer and wine, and vinegar and ink
And petrol, piss and turpentine, Non-Beer's the stuff to drink.

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