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.
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 https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/barnsleyfolkclub
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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!?”
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 https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7628BLD 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.