Jeni Hankins, Barnsley Folk and Acoustic Night – WEDS 21st June 2017

From the Appalchian Mountains via Nashville and now London, Jeni Hankins (Jeni and Billy) returns to Barnsley with a solo set featuring brand new songs, new versions of old songs and tales of her family in Jewel Ridge.

Jeni Hankins grew up in the coalfields of Appalachian in Southwest Virginia among a family of miners, moonshiners, and journalists. Her writing pulls the grit, gumption, and keen sense of observation out of that heritage like drawing water from her grandmother’s well. A songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and flatfoot dancer, Jeni is best known for the sound of the “born-in-the bone twang” of her voice and her true tales of mountain life. For the last ten years, Jeni has toured as part of the critically acclaimed duo Jeni & Billy, spending nine months of every year on the road. From Merlefest to the Maverick Festival, Jeni & Billy swept audiences off their feet with their down home charm and exquisite musicianship. This year sees the pair both emerging with solo projects. Informed by seven years of touring in Great Britain, Jeni’s new collection of songs makes a love letter to the home of her ancestors and to her father who passed away in 2016. In her new songs, Jeni crosses oceans and continents to scatter her father’s ashes. In every song, Jeni’s “true sense of place shines through – old as the hills, but brand new at the same time.”

“We always love to hear Jeni sing at Barnsley Folk Club” said folk club organiser  Dave Bottomley. ”her songs about growing up in a mining community really resonate with Barnsley folk”

Held in the upstairs room at Barnsley Trades Club, Racecommon Rd, the evening starts at 8.30pm with support from local folk acts.  Admission is Free (£6 suggested contribution into the collection during the interval). Jeni will perform two forty-five minute sets.

Jaywalkers SUNDAY 21st May at 5pm, the Old School House

Following on from our amazing Sell Out Wizz Jones Gig, we are pleased to announce there will be a series of top quality Sunday early-doors gigs for your delectation over the next year.

THIS SUNDAY at 5pm we have the amazing Jaywalkers with support from Barnsley’s Del Scott Miller.  Tickets are available in advance from
or on ther door.  This band have the lot, great instrumentalists, fantastic songs, exciting stage performance and a unique blend of traditional British folk, bluegrass and a wide range of musical references (including Soft Cell)!

If you’ve not been to the Old School House before (the old polish club), it is a cracking music venue in Barnsley – the pub side has recently been done up, there is plently of off-road parking, the room is on the ground floor and is run by the best live sound engineer in Barnsley.  It’s early doors too – doors open at 4.30 pm, finish by a sensible time.

See you there!

Barnsley Folk Club

Guest Blog – Review of Wizz Jones 13th March

Tom’s written this review for us – If you’d like to join him in being one of our guest bloggers, please send ideas / copy to

Wizz Jones Gig

Barnsley Folk Club, for its first concert at “The Old School House”, scored a winner. The place is welcoming (once you can find the entrance) and the room was pleasantly set out in cabaret style. The event was sold out and extra chairs were hastily found and added to fit in 50 people. There were enjoyable support acts by Zoe and Dave Bottomley, and Richard Kitson that complemented the main event. Though I wish performers wouldn’t apologise for lack of rehearsal. Marcus did a great job with the sound and lighting.

Somehow in 45 years of folk clubs I have managed not to hear Wizz Jones play. I enjoyed every moment of his being on stage, even the frequent changes of guitar tuning and the PA adjustments. He was just being himself, frank, funny and supremely talented. Some people have such mastery of their instrument that they make it look easy. Not so Wizz, whose left arm seems to wrestle with the guitar whilst with the right he hews notes out of the air. Stooping over the strings he manipulates the neck to shape the notes, so that I wonder how long the battered Epiphone will stay in one piece. There is a bluesy inflection to most of his music. Starting with Henry Hipkens’ “That’s how I learned to sing the blues” and ending with his own ‘hit’ “Leaving Berlin” he kept a respectful audience, including some local legends, spellbound with his playing and singing. Each song felt like a gift that had matured over the years into a rare treasure.

I look forward to more gigs of this calibre at the Old School House although if word gets out that the music is this good, the club might need more seats.

Dr Tom Heyes

Barnsley Folk Club Newsletter April 2017

So here it is – the big, big news that we were hinting to in the last email we sent out. We’re not very good at keeping secrets so If anyone hasn’t picked up on the recent and future club changes, hopefully the following summary will help:

– Singaround sessions continue at the Trades Club on Monday evenings at 8.00pm. When available we will use the more private upstairs lounge. The final Monday session will be 17th April.

– From Wednesday 26th April the club moves to a regular 8.00pm Wednesday session in the upstairs lounge at the Trades Club.

– Guest nights will be split between the Trades Club on Wednesdays and the Old Schoolhouse gigs will be held on Sundays. At the Schoolhouse we will aim for a main guest with support acts.

– We have a number of guest nights in the programme for 2017, the next being Shaun Hutch at the Trades on Wednesday 3rd May. Shaun will be known to many of you and his eclectic/acoustic style is something to look forward to.

– To follow we have 21st May Jaywalkers, 21st June Jeni Hankins, 16th July Dr. Butler’s Hatstand Medicine Band, 10th September is Dave Burland and the Awkward Squad.


PS, we will be changing the way we send out emails soon – to make sure you keep on getting emails from us, please add and to your address lists!

WIN Entry to Wizz Jones 13th March – Survey to Determine Future of the Club

Just to let you know we are still here and our next Gig is Wizz Jones on the 13th March at the Old School House (ex Polish Club) up near the Hospital.

More details here

Tom Heyes, new committee member, has devised a survey for as many people as possible to complete – as an incentive we are enterering everyone that fills in the survey in Feb a chance to win 2 guest list places to Wizz Jones.  Here’s a bit more form Tom:

“Barnsley Folk club is ready for change. We’re looking for a more user friendly venue. And we want to find out what YOU want from your local folk and acoustic music club. Who would you like to hear? Do you want to improve your playing or learn some new songs? Or have you got some completely fresh ideas? As a reward for participating in our survey, we are offering a draw for the prize of two free guest list places to Wizz Jones in March. Everyone who completes the survey and provides contact details before the end of February will be entered. Even more importantly, it gives you a chance to shape what we do for the next few years.
Just click on the link to start the survey: Why not do it now, it only takes a few minutes and could be life-changing!?”

This is your chance to protest the demise of the slow session / a better venue / better beer etc etc etc. you can fill it in here

Hope you see you soon,

Sarah (temporarily back doing the email until Colin has learnt the ropes)
Barnsley Folk Club

Wizz Jones 13th March – at the Old Schoolhouse

Our first gig at the newly refurbished Old School House (the old Polish Club);  To be in with a chance of winning 2 tickets simply fill in the survey at Draw closes at the end of Feb.

“Inspired by hearing Big Bill Broonzy and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Wizz Jones learnt his guitar licks from the likes of Davy Graham and Long John Baldry whilst playing in the coffee bars of London’s Soho in the late 1950’s.
He then followed the time-honoured buskers’ trail from the streets of Paris to the markets of Marrakech during the early 1960’s and returned to Britain with a unique acoustic guitar style,
an eclectic repertoire and a ‘right hand worthy of Broonzy’!
John Renbourn, Clapton and Keith Richards have all named him as an important early influence and in May 2012 Bruce Springsteen opened his Berlin show with Wizz’s song ‘When I Leave Berlin’.
After more than 50 years ‘on the road’ Wizz continues to tour on the Acoustic Folk and Blues circuit, usually solo but sometimes with his Son Simeon on Sax, Flute and Harmonica.”

Support from Barnsley’s own Richard Kitson and Zoe and Dave Bottomley. Seated, £7 on the door.

More details at

Christmas and New Year

Just a quick post to let you know about the Christmas Party – Monday 19th – it’s in the concert room and there will be food. A normal singers night, but bring your carols and seasonal tunes.

Minutes of AGM are taking a bit longer than I hoped – to summarise, Linda is still treasurer. Dave is still doing bookings but cutting back on mc-ing, Colin Wilson will be looking after publicity (with me assisting), Ken Baker has agreed to chair the meetings and Michelle Howell, Tom Heyes, Scott Heald (Doonican) and Jim Potter are committee members.  Monday nights will now start at 8.30 with no Slow Session before-hand. There is still plenty to sort out so we’ll be calling a committee meeting sometime in the new year.

There will be no club on the 26th, singers and musicians nights starting in the new format on Monday 2nd Jan.

Newsletter Nov 2016 – Future of Club in the Balance – Jed Grimes 12th Dec

Newsletter Nov 2016


Great night last Monday from Paul Pearson and Chris McMahon – you’ve not heard the House of the Rising Sun until you’ve heard their version. Check out the Treebeard website – for upcoming gigs (Paul is now in Treebeard too) I’m hoping to make Haze’s Christmas do in Sheffield – just one of Chris’s other bands

The great thing about Singers and Musicians nights are that you never know who’s going to turn up. Vic Shepherd and John Bowden joined us last night with some top class trad. They are drumming up trade for their fundraiser this coming Sunday for a memorial for the Oaks Disaster – see pic at the bottom of this newsletter for details.

Note the guest booking we had booked for 28th Nov has been cancelled. This is due to general low attendence on Monday nights.

The AGM will be on the 5th Dec – Without wanting to sound melodramatic (but being anyway) the future of Barnsley Folk Club is hanging in the balance – attendence has dropped to an unsustainable level (no-one seems to go out midweek anywhere these days, let alone Mondays) and a shake up is required to keep it going. Dave will be resigning as Bookings Secretary and I (Sarah) will be resigning as Publicity Officer which means those posts will be free. There will be a discussion about the future of the club – (new venue?/ night of the week?/ switch to monthly?/ close the club and donate funds to charity?)

Full agenda and start time tbc, this is likely to be 9pm, so there will likely be an opportunity for a quick session before the meeting starts.




Newsletter 21st Oct

The Rolling Down Hills rounded off a busy few weeks for us with an excellent couple of sets on Monday.  Thanks to everyone that tuned out. They are local so no doubt will be playing again (or knitting!) somewhere in Barnsley soon – keep an eye out.

The next couple of weeks will be quiet (I recomment that you get in touch first if you are thinking of coming, just to make sure there’ll be someone there!) and our next featured act will be Paul Pearson and Chris Treebeard from Sheffield on 7th Nov.  The next guest will be Jed Grimes on 12th Dec.

Sometime in the next few weeks we’ll have a chat about where the club is going – I’ll keep you posted.  If you have any feedback you’d like to contribute, please email us on info ‘at’