From: Martin Snodin [martin_dot_snowdin_at_btopenworld_dot_com]
Sent: 07 January 2007 23:21
Subject: Acoustic Sussex newsletter - 7 January 2007

Newsletter           7th January 2007


Contact details
Tel. 01342 716975
or email:

 Welcome to this first newsletter of 2007, in the week that would have been the late Sandy Denny’s 60th birthday.

You might want to raise a glass, too, to celebrate the MBE awarded to Shirley Collins in the New Year’s Honours List – deserved recognition for this Sussex resident who has been such a profound influence in the English folk song revival. You can listen again to Shirley’s interview last month on East Grinstead’s community radio station, Meridian FM, by visiting our My Space website.


For more information on Acoustic Sussex shows including sound samples, click on the artists' website links below or visit our
Myspace website

Sound samples for Acoustic Strawbs playing now!


Beth Nielsen Chapman

Click on these links (or visit the website) for more information on our first shows of 2007.

Ø       Friday 19th January – Acoustic Strawbs (+ support) at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

Ø       Saturday 27th January - Beth Nielsen Chapman* (+ support) at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

Ø       Friday 9th February - Keith James – Songs of Nick Drake  at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

Ø       Monday 26th February – Anais Mitchell (+ support) at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne

Ø       Monday 12th March – Thea Gilmore (+ support) at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

*Although the Beth Nielsen Chapman concert on Saturday 27th January is sold out (cancellations only), the event is a fund-raiser for 3 cancer charities, and will coincide with an auction of an electro-acoustic guitar (sponsored by Hobgoblin Music in Crawley) signed by a number of well-known musicians – see below for more information.

19 January
Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
£13 (£10 conc)    8pm
Box Office:
Tel. 01342 302000
or email




The Strawbs have enjoyed major success on both sides of the Atlantic. In the early 1970s, as well as the hit albums Grave New World and Bursting at the Seams, the singles Part of the Union and Lay Down topped the charts. Thirty years on from their early chart successes, the Strawbs now tour three times a year with an acoustic line-up - Dave Cousins on guitar, dulcimer, banjo and vocals; Dave Lambert on guitar and vocals; and Chas Cronk on guitar, bass and vocals.

One of the better British progressive bands of the early '70s, the Strawbs differed from others of the genre because their sound originated in English folk music, rather than rock. Founded in 1967 by singer/guitarist Dave Cousins, the band featured Sandy Denny for a brief period, before she joined Fairport Convention. They were subsequently joined by keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, contributing to the powerful sound for which the band is renowned.

Dave Cousins is undoubtedly the heart and soul of the band - as songwriter, front man and lead singer, he has led the band throughout its many changes. Cousins' complex, epic songs are the cornerstone of the band's appeal, delivered in his unmistakable vocal style and accompanied by characteristic 12 or 6 string acoustic guitar over a rock backing. His compositions form the vast bulk of the Strawbs output. Alongside his musical activities Cousins has also maintained a parallel career in both marketing and local radio.  The Classic Rock Society recently presented Cousins with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

A long-awaited Strawbs boxed set was released in November, featuring live tracks and many previously unreleased versions of well-known Strawbs songs, sourced from the band's own archives. The trio have also recently finished recording their first studio album in ten years, including several new songs for a film on human rights for the Council of Europe, and a song, Not All The Flowers Grow, which reflects on the Aberfan tragedy. On the album they are also reunited for three tracks with Robert Kirby, perhaps best known for his arrangements on the Nick Drake albums.

STOP PRESS The band have recently been invited to play at this year’s Fairport Convention festival at Cropredy

Support for this show is provided by Brighton-based Martin Messant, who creates beautiful music takes in folk, jazz and alt. country, combining it with love of harmony – highly recommended.


Acoustic Strawbs

Click here for full News Release (PDF file)

Buy Now!



Martin Messant

27 January
at Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
£15 (£12.50 conc)    8pm
Box Office 01342 302000




at  Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

Tickets for Beth Nielsen Chapman's concert on 27th January are now sold out (cancellations only). 

The concert is the focus for several cancer charity fund-raising activities, to increase cancer awareness and raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice in Sussex, St Raphael’s Hospice in Surrey and London’s Royal Marsden Hospital.

The event will coincide with an auction (on eBay) of an electro-acoustic guitar, kindly sponsored by Hobgoblin Music in Crawley, which has been signed by a number of well-known musicians, so far including: John Tams, Amy Wadge, Shirley Collins, Ralph McTell, Tommy Emmanuel, Jacqui McShee, Nick Harper, Gretchen Peters, Clive Gregson, Christine Collister, Dougie MacLean, Bob Fox, Billy Mitchell, Dave Kelly, Al Stewart, Laurence Juber, Martha Tilston, Kris Delmhorst, Pierre Bensusan, Martyn Joseph, Simon Nicol, Ric Sanders, Chris Leslie, Gerry Conway, Karine Polwart, Edwina Hayes, Steve Knightley and Phil Beer.

More details on how to bid for the guitar (including a photograph album of all the artists signing) will follow shortly.


Beth Nielsen Chapman

9 February
The Songs of Nick Drake
at Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
£10 (£9 conc)     8pm
Box Office 01342 302000



Although Keith James is still, in some respects, a well kept secret, he has recently seen a gradual emergence as one of the country's most valuable singer/songwriters, and concert performers. During January, February and March 2007, Keith performs his eighth UK tour entitled The Songs of Nick Drake, in which almost the entire concert is dedicated to the work of the most loved of all English singer/songwriters. Previous tours across the country, totalling over 250 concerts, have seen audiences filling arts centres and theatres to hear this music again after an absence from the live music scene of well over 30 years.

Nick Drake himself, was, during his prolific period, somewhat of a mystery. He only lived to record 3 albums, "Five Leaves Left", "Bryter Later" and "Pink Moon", all of which were regarded at the time as being flimsy and without the substance that was called for to engage popular audiences. It has only been in the last 10 years that many thousands of listeners have come to appreciate their beauty. Nick Drake has now, thankfully, become the most revered of all figures to take their place in the world of contemporary acoustic music. It is with this in mind that these concerts are presented.

A fresh and powerful approach to these wonderful songs
Patrick Humphries – Nick Drake biographer


Nick Drake

Keith James

26 February
The Ravenswood
£10adv (£12 door)    8pm
Buy tickets online
or tel. 01342 714810
or email




Anais Mitchell began writing songs at 17.  At 18 she moved from Vermont to Boston, and started playing for whoever would listen. After a year of that, Anais enrolled in a liberal arts school back in Vermont, where she studied political science and languages, ran a folk radio show, and wrote and performed a good deal. She spent a half-year in Austin, waitressing on 6th street and playing as much as she could. She also recorded her debut album during that spring ('The Song They Sang When Rome Fell').  In 2003, The Kerrville Folk Festival honoured her work with the prestigious New Folk Award .

After spending time in Cuba, a semester in the Middle East and some unexpected touring with a rock project called "Circus Guy's Rock & Roll Revue" Anaïs released her acclaimed album, 'Hymns for the Exiled'.

Anaïs is passionate about the music of her native land, from old-school country to dustbowl labour ballads to rebel rock. However, the time she's spent in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East has lent a worldly depth to her writing, which she presents to her audience with a graceful presence of spirit.

With a new CD, The Brightness, released on February 13th, a nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year in the 2007 US Folk Alliance awards (to be announced on February 21st) and with a live appearance on Bob Harris’s Radio 2 show scheduled for March 3rd, this should be the year that this intriguing singer songwriter gets the attention she so richly deserves.

Support for this show is Toronto-based David Celia, described as "roots-rock with hints of folk wrapped up in a pop package” -  and getting excellent reviews whenever he plays in the UK.


Anais Mitchell

The Brightness CD


12 March
at Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
£14 (£12 conc)     8pm
Box Office 01342 302000



Described recently by Mojo magazine as "the most coherent, literate and charged singer-songwriter of her generation", new mum Thea Gilmore has blazed a unique and highly independent trail  since releasing her debut album in 1998 aged 18. Prolific and diverse, her seven albums run the gamut from hushed, intimate acoustic settings to full throttle rock, always unified by her spine tingling vocals and inspirational lyrics.

In August 2005 released "Harpo's Ghost" to unanimous rave reviews. The album includes her collaborations with Mike Scott of the Waterboys and moved the Daily Telegraph to confirm her as "one of the boldest and most poetic lyricists working in British music...".

Thea Gilmore is a stunningly affecting live performer: her own woman and defiantly, unshakeably the real deal.

“One of the boldest and most poetic lyricists
 currently working in British music ." The Telegraph

Support for this show is the eclectic Erin McKeown, whose new CD, Sing You Sinners recently received a 4 star review in the Sunday Times.


Thea Gilmore

Erin McKeown

For your future diaries..

Future dates in the 2007 Acoustic Sussex programme include:

Ø    26 March 2007, Richard Durrant  (see website)

Ø    30 April 2007, Charlie Dore  (see website)

Ø    14 May 2007, Corinne West (see website)

Ø    4 June 2007, Vin Garbutt  (see website)

More information on all up-and-coming artists can be found on our website: You can also find us on MySpace (with samples from some of the artists appearing) at: If you know anyone who you think may enjoy our events, please forward this email to them.




If you no longer wish to receive news from Acoustic Sussex, please reply to this email, ensuring you include your name in the email and the word 'unsubscribe' in the heading. Thank you.