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Gillow Folk Line Up for June features Jon Harvison and Pete Morton

John Freeman
Jon Harvison plays the Robert Gillow on Thursday nightLancaster's Robert Gillow hosts another fine line up of folk music this month, with ace guitarist Jon Harvison appearing this week (Thursday 2 June).

From Keighley, Jon plays guitar and sings and has an exceptionally powerful voice, acknowledged as being “one of the finest exponents of English contemporary folk song” (Folk On Tap magazine).  This time out at the Gillow, his set will be a mixture of his own material, other contemporary song and traditional English and Scottish folk.

Thursday 9 June sees an appearance by The Duo (Tony Cooke and Dave Emptage), described by one reviewers as Lancaster’s numero uno acoustic act and "the perfect choice of material is brought to life by their superb playing and vocal harmonies.”                                

Graham Robinson, appearing Thursday 16 June, is originally from Jarrow on Tyne but now living in Colne, Lancashire. Graham’s playing reflects the styles of the early blues masters - particularly the east coast, syncopated styles of Blind Boy Fuller and Blind Blake. Other major influences include Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Fred McDowell.

A typical performance will include impassioned renditions of songs from the above artists played with energy and conviction on a very old Stella and National resonator guitars.

As we reported earlier, Free Reed Band will be at the Gillow on Thursday 23 June as part of their 30th anniversary weekend, which also features a big gig at the Gregson. Based in Lancaster and formed in 1981 Free Reed Band is the region’s oldest-established Ceilidh band and has a well regarded pedigree of musical ability and experience, playing for ceilidhs and barn dances across the UK and France.  Most of the music comes from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, although don’t be surprised if you also hear pieces from Finland, the USA or France.

June's folk nights round off with a welcome appearance from Pete Morton (Thursday 30 June), about the best songwriter in the UK today. He's been performing to audiences worldwide for over two decades with his unique and involving style of songwriting and traditional singing. His songs are an unruly mix of humour, politics, religion, love and social comment, wrapping their way around the folk tradition.  His stageshows are intense and dynamic.

The national Guardian pronounced him “not only impressive but a revelation … totally original” and fRoots magazine said he is “… amongst the best the British roots music scene has produced in living memory.”  He has recorded eight albums of original material and one of traditional English songs. 

• There's folk music every Thursday night at the the Robert Gillow, 64 Market Street, Lancaster, LA1 1HP. Tel: 01524 36092 Web: