From: Martin Snodin [martin_dot_snodin_at_homecall_dot_co_dot_uk]
Sent: 24 November 2007 17:34
Subject: Acoustic Sussex Newsletter 24 November 2007

Newsletter        24th November 2007


Contact details
Tel. 01342 716975
or email:


Folk, Roots & Acoustic music returns to the airwaves this weekend!

East Grinstead’s community radio station, Meridian FM, returns this weekend and will again feature a folk, roots and acoustic programme from 8-10pm on Sunday evenings!  Acoustic Sussex is delighted to have been invited to host the programme again. This week’s show will feature some great new music from Ruth Notman, Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, Kate Walsh, Unce Earl plus many more.
And this week there’s an exclusive and rare interview with the late 60s/early 70s singer,
Bridget St John, who is in the UK this week for a handful of gigs.


FM 87.7 or listen on line at


Ø     Monday 3 DecemberSam Baker (support: Adeline) at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne

Ø     Monday 17 December The Haley Sisters at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne

Ø     Monday 14 JanuaryMartin Stephenson (support: Emma Kirby) at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne


Ø     Thursday 7 February - Rachel Unthank & The Winterset at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

Ø     Monday 18 February Charlie Dore (support: Chris Simmons) at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne

Ø     Saturday 1 MarchAshley HutchingsLark Rise to Candleford at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

Ø     Click here for other 2008 dates


For sound samples, visit our Myspace website

Now playing on the Acoustic Sussex MySpace site  - Sam Baker, Adeline, The Haley Sisters

3 December
at The Ravenswood
Support: Adeline

£10 (£12  door)     8pm
Tickets 01342 714810
buy online via Acoustic Sussex website



20 years ago, Austin songwriter Sam Baker was riding on a train in Peru when it exploded, the result of a terrorist bomb. Many people died and Sam was seriously injured, enduring 17 reconstructive operations over 10 years. Sam doesn't understand how he survived. He wrote about it in the song Steel on his 2004 debut album, Mercy -  "God have mercy / I believe my heart has failed / Smoke rises through a hole in the roof / The dead say fare thee well."  Sam began writing stories in an effort to make some sense out of the chaos in his mind. He also re-evaluated his songwriting. "My prior songwriting was pretty boilerplate: 'I love you, you love me, you don't love me.' After (the incident) those songs didn't make as much sense to me. I was a better observer of other people and how they lived their lives." The bomb damaged Sam’s hearing and he now plays guitar left-handed. At times, he almost talks through his songs, with his gravel tones inflecting deep humanity into the stories he is telling.

These days, Sam is becoming one of the biggest underground Americana names of recent years. His debut album gained much critical acclaim, largely by word-of-mouth. Within days of its release in Europe, his new album, Pretty World, was sitting at the Number 1 slot on the Euro Americana Chart, compiled from returns sent in by over sixty Americana music journalists, radio show presenters and internet sites in the UK, Eire, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.  The album looks set to project this unassuming Texan out of his cult-hero status and into mainstream consciousness.

On the inside cover of Pretty World, are the words "how beautiful are these days". Come and discover Sam Baker’s beautiful world for yourself.

"His vocals are halting, spoken like he is singing to himself with no mind for the audience, this is a private dialog, the songs are short films playing in his head. It doesn’t exclude the audience though; you are drawn in to these tightly sketched dramas by the imagery, the broken vocal and most importantly for the initial listens – the sympathetic musical

“Absolutely fantastic reaction to the Sam Baker track I played last Saturday. He is a major artist. He'll be playing play live on the show when he's in the UK in December. 'Pretty World‘ is magnificent - one of the great albums of the year."  Bob Harris

Support for this show is French songstress Adeline, who now lives in Hastings.


Sam Baker




17 December
at The Ravenswood
Support: tbc

£9 (£11  door)     8pm
Tickets 01342 714810
buy online via Acoustic Sussex website



Jo-Ann and Becky - The Haley Sisters – have been described by Maverick magazine’s Alan Cackett as “the great undiscovered natural talent of the UK music scene” and we couldn’t agree more. 

Born and Raised in West Yorkshire, in the village of Harden, just outside Bingley, they followed in their parents’ footsteps showing a strong interest in music, especially Country Music. They first appeared professionally back in 1989, when they launched themselves into a successful singing career. Since then they have appeared at leading venues, festivals, theatres and clubs throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe, gaining massive popularity by virtue of their natural talent, dedication and down to earth personalities.

In June 1993 top guitarist Brian Smith joined them, having previously worked in Nashville, Tennessee, on Crystal Gayle’s “Three Good Reasons” album.

Here are just some of the many awards and accolades they have already received:- 1990 Most Promising New Act - British Country Music Association. 1990/91 Most Popular British Duo - Country Music Round-Up Paper. 1992 Top British Duo - British Country Music Association. 1993 Top British Duo - British Country Music Awards. 1993 Top British / Irish Duo or Band - Country Music People Awards. 1993 British / Irish Rising Stars - Country Music People Awards. 1994 Most Popular Group – Country Music Round Up 1995 Top Female Vocalist (Becky) - North Country Music Magazine 1996 Best Duo/Band - Great British Country Music Awards 1997 Best Band – Country Music Round Up 1998 Best Trio – North Country Music Magazine 1999 Best Band – British Country Music Awards 2000 Best Band – British Country Music Association.

"I fell in love with the Haley Sisters when I first saw them in 2006 at the Soul Cafe in Maidstone (on a 'Bob Harris Presents' evening - he's a big fan). They were a sensation at this year's Crawley Folk Festival as the 40-strong queue to buy their CDs afterwards testified - what amazed me was to hear afterwards that everyone in the queue bought more than one CD - I've never heard of anything like it before, or since."
Martin Snodin, Acoustic Sussex




Brian Smith

Click here to visit
The Haley Sisters
MySpace site

14 January
at The Ravenswood
Support: Emma Kirby

£10 (£12  door)     8pm
Tickets 01342 714810
buy online via Acoustic Sussex website



Martin Stephenson, formerly of The Daintees, is an extremely gifted singer, songwriter, musician and performer. Originally influenced by the punk rock era, his free spirit incorporated a musical range from rockabilly through show tunes and straight rock to the success of The Daintees, of which he was a founder member in the '80s.

The band became one of the first bands to sign with the Newcastle-upon-Tyne independent label, Kitchenware, and their debut single, "Roll On Summertime" was a sparkling, cheerful item that announced the arrival of a considerable new talent. Now relocated in the Highlands of Scotland, Martin remains a gifted, but self-effacing, and modest individual. He ploughs his own furrow, still refining his already prodigious musical skills.

“The originality in Stephenson's work comes from something much deeper than chords and notes and lyrics - it is essentially about a belief in music as a healing device, as a power for good, and as a tonic for emotional trauma - 'The Song Of The Soul' - yes, that will do nicely”
Richard Cundill (from ‘The Song of the Soul’ biography)


Martin Stephenson

Listen to sound samples on Martin's MySpace site

7 February
at Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
Support: tbc

£13 (£11 conc)     8pm
Box office 01342 302000



This week nominated in 4 of the 9 categories in the BBC Folk Awards, the all-girl Northumbrian quartet have courted the mainstream without diluting their folk roots, luring fans as disparate as Phil Jupitus, Kate Rusby, and Stuart Maconie. They bring honesty and imagination to the tradition alongside charming interpretations of songs by the likes of Antony & The Johnsons, Robert Wyatt and Bonnie Prince Billy. In fact, while Rachel & co. come from a very traditional starting point, viewing them in a folk context could be misleading, not to mention limiting. Rachel & co are better seen alongside the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Joanna Newsom; eclectic artists whose only common ground is in sounding like nothing that has come before.

“a magical album...a work of towering quality" The Telegraph

"Quite possibly the folk album of this generation" ***** Rock'n'Reel

"utterly gorgeous" **** The Guardian»

"deeply atmospheric" **** MOJO

"glorious" **** Uncut

Intimate, epic, overflowing with feeling and musical intelligence”’
The Independent



BBC Folk Awards website


Rachel Unthank & The Winterset

18 February
at The Ravenswood
Support: Chris Simmons

£10 (£12  door)     8pm
Tickets 01342 714810
buy online via Acoustic Sussex website



Charlie Dore is one of the UK’s most respected songwriters. Initially a highly original solo artist (her self-written single Pilot Of The Airwaves reached number 13 on the Billboard chart back in 1980), she went on to ply her gifts for inspired melodies, big harmonies  and clever, quietly subversive lyrics in the wider commercial marketplace, and with great success: Tina Turner, Celine Dion, George Harrison, Lisa Stansfield, UB40, Jimmy Nail, Sheena Easton and Hayley Westenra are just a handful of the diverse artists to have covered her songs.

Originally trained as an actress, Charlie has worked in TV, Theatre, Radio and Film, starring opposite Jonathan Pryce In the award-winning 'The Ploughman’s Lunch'

With her acclaimed album, Sleep All Day, Charlie hit a new vein of creativity, drawing freely on her acoustic folk/country roots. Written simply and organically with Julian Littman, the album drew unequivocal media praise and many new fans. Her most recent album, ‘Cuckoo Hill’ also received rave reviews; if you appreciate good songs, beautifully sung, it’s highly recommended.

Imagine what might happen if you shut the McGarrigle Sisters in a room with Gillian Welch and made them listen to Lennon and McCartney all day
Alan Jackson


Charlie Dore

Chris Simmons

1 March
A musical adaptation by Ashley Hutchings’ Lark Rise band
at Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
Support: tbc

£14 (£10 conc)     8pm
Box office 01342 302000



Lark Rise to Candleford, written by Flora Thompson, recalls the rural England of the late 19th Century, leading up to the Great War of 1914 - 1918. It is crammed full of stories, customs, music, singing games and much more besides.

When the National Theatre decided to put on a play of Lark Rise two decades ago, it was Ashley Hutchings who was appointed Music Director and his Albion Band provided the music.  A follow-up, Candleford, employed the same team.  A record of music and stories from the National Theatre productions soon followed. 

With the recent CD release of this classic album, Ashley has formed the Lark Rise band to once again draw focus to the memorable music of the plays. Joining him in the band is a new generation of singers and musicians, all of whom have discovered the magic of Lark Rise and its words and music.

A concert performance by the Lark Rise band will present music, words, dance and song from the book and the plays, celebrating a lost way of life so memorably captured by Flora Thompson.

A superb glimpse of an England that is now lost
here for a review of the show from Huntingdon Hall, Worcester

STOP PRESS - A ten-part adaptation of Lark Rise to Candleford featuring an all-star cast (including Dawn French) begins on Sunday evenings on BBC One early in 2008.


More about Lark Rise and
Flora Thompson’s books


Lark Rise Band


Lark Rise CD on Elephant Records website

Don’t forget that as well as our own shows, the Acoustic Sussex website has a Regional Gig Guide and links to venues and clubs in the South East that offer folk, roots and acoustic music – and our MySpace site contains over 500 links to a variety of other MySpace ‘friends’ sites, including musicians, venues, magazines and lots more.


Regional Gig Guide

For your future diaries...


Other 2008 dates in the Acoustic Sussex programme include:

Ø    10 March – Tom McConville (website)

Ø    31 March – Brooks Williams (website)

Ø    21 April - Corinne West (website)

Ø    15 May– Tannahill Weavers (website)

Ø    2 June – Amy Wadge (website)

Ø    26 June - Lucy Kaplansky  (website)

Ø    21 July - Eve Selis  (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 do not wish to be on this mailing list,  please reply to this email, ensuring you include your name in the email and the word 'unsubscribe' in the heading. (Please note the list has recently been re-built so please accept our apologies if you have received this newsletter in error.)
Thank you.


No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.16.5/1148 - Release Date: 23/11/2007 19:39