From: Martin Snodin [martin_dot_snowdin_at_btopenworld_dot_com]
Sent: 27 August 2006 01:42
Subject: Acoustic Sussex newsletter - 27 August 2006

Newsletter            27th August 2006


Contact details
Tel. 01342 716975
or email:

Please note there is a change to our programme in September. The Richard Durrant concert is being re-scheduled to a date in 2007. Instead, on Tuesday 26 September, we are delighted to confirm the appearance of Teddy Thompson solo supported by sister Kamila Thompson (see below for more details).


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




Shirley Collins



Carrie Tree

But before then, don’t forget that next Saturday 2 September, Shirley Collins begins her nationwide tour of the book ‘America Over the Water’ at East Grinstead’s Chequer Mead Arts Centre. “There are nights that are good, there are nights that are great, and there are nights that are truly unforgettable. Shirley Collins and her presentation ‘America over the Water’ was one of those truly unforgettable nights” (extract from a review of the show from Long Eaton, near Nottingham)

You can hear a sample of music from the show (and a track from Shirley herself) on our MySpace website (click on the link to the right).

Other news…

On Sunday 3 September, Shirley Collins is among a number of musicians appearing at Horsham’s Old Town Hall (10am onwards) to support the venue as a potential Folk Arts Centre. Click here for more (and sign the online petition) or telephone 01403 257442.

On Monday 11 September, Brighton-based Carrie Tree will be doing a support slot for Johnny Dickinson, at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne. Arrive early to make sure you catch this excellent new singer on the circuit. Details of Johnny Dickinson gig below

And finally a reminder of other dates later in the 2006 Acoustic Sussex programme:

Ø       16 October, The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne  - Bob Fox and Billy Mitchell (see below)

Ø       6 November, The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne – Pierre Bensusan (see below)

Ø       28 November, Chequer Mead, East Grinstead – Tommy Emmanuel (see our website)

Ø       11 December, Chequer Mead, East Grinstead – John Tams & Barry Coope (see our website)

2 September

‘America Over the Wate

Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
£12 (£9 conc)    8pm
Box Office:
Tel. 01342 302000
or email





Shirley Collins, one of the most important figures on the British folk scene, is touring a show based on her book America Over the Water, telling how, in 1959, Shirley, a young folk singer from Hastings, set out across the American South with the legendary folklorist Alan Lomax, collecting and recording songs from both black and white communities across six states.

Shirley:“It was a journey that started in Virginia, took us into Parchman Farm, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, up Kentucky mountainsides to record Primitive Baptists’ Open Air Prayer meetings, to the heart of Alabama for the Sacred Harp Convention, into tiny hamlets in the tornado belt of rural Arkansas where the pioneering spirit still existed, and into isolated black communities in Northern Mississippi…. ending our journey on one of the Georgia Sea Islands that had been settled by escaped slaves.”

America Over the Water combines the personal story of Shirley’s relationship with Alan Lomax with a unique first-hand account – through the song collecting - of the evolving social history of a racially segregated America on the cusp of the Civil Rights Movement. It goes to the roots of Anglo/American traditional music. The American story is interleaved with Shirley’s other journey: that of growing up in Hastings during and just after the Second World War, becoming a folk singer, and so meeting Alan Lomax in London.

The show features readings by Shirley and actor Pip Barnes, many musical excerpts from the field recordings themselves, and a visual display incorporating photographs taken on the trip or derived from contemporaneous sources.

“'I found it very touching indeed....... truly movung” - David Attenborough


“I think the show surprises people because they think it might be serious and studious but it’s full of this wonderful music” Shirley Collins


“Shirley Collins is without doubt one of England’s greatest cultural treasures.”  Billy Bragg


“Alan Lomax is a completely central figure in 20th century culture. Without Lomax it’s possible there would have been no blues explosion, no R&B movement, no Beatles and no Stones and no Velvet Underground. He was the conduit, mainlining the uniqueness and richness and passion of African-American music into the fertile early beginnings of Western pop music.”   Brian Eno


Click here for more on Shirley Collins  and
‘America Over the Water’

Alan Lomax

Monday 11 September

The Ravenswood
£10 adv (£12 door) 8pm
01342 714810/716975
or email



Nominated as Musician of the Year in the BBC Radio 2006 Folk Awards, Johnny Dickinson is regarded by many as the UK's most potent slide player, with a unique and individual style of playing which crosses Celtic flavours with American Blues. He’s also a truly talented songwriter and powerful singer.  Reminiscent, sometimes of Kelly Joe Phelps, and sometimes of Martin Simpson, he’s a fast rising talent bound for international recognition.


"I'd go a long way to listen to Johnny Dickinson.  You hear a lot of good influences in his music but the result is something special.  For me his playing really hits the spot."    John Renbourn


"Johnny is a soulful player, singer, and a damn good writer! Don´t miss him!"

Tommy Emmanuel


Support: Carrie Tree


Johnny Dickinson

Tuesday 26 September

The Ravenswood
£11 adv (£13 door) 8pm
01342 714810/716975
or email




Teddy Thompson is the son of Richard and Linda Thompson, the finest folk-rock duo in Britain in the days when they were together. London-born, New York based Teddy has a musical wisdom beyond his years. His much-praised new album ‘Separate Ways’ distils perfectly what makes Thompson an artist to take notice of – honest songs, honestly performed. 


"Ten confident and smart folk-pop tunes filled with fetching hooks and engaging melodies perfectly suited to his warm, winsome voice." All Music Guide


"You'd be hard-pressed to find a prettier set of songs about love and disappointment...". CD Now


"An impressive display of how far he has progressed, both as a singer and as a songwriter." Robin Denselow, The Guardian


And, returning to our programme after nearly two years, Teddy will be joined by his sister, the delightful Kamila Thompson.


Teddy Thompson

Kamila Thompson

Monday 16 October

The Ravenswood
£10 adv (£12 door) 8pm
01342 714810/716975
or email


This collaboration between Billy Mitchell and Bob Fox has been a long time coming. Both men learnt their musical trade around Tyneside and have been delighting audiences at home and away for many years.


They are both fine singers and musicians of stunning ability who can bring magic into any auditorium. Now, after many years of mutual admiration, they will share a stage and pool the wealth of talent at their disposal.


In concert Billy and Bob will perform alone and together, the material will be cherry-picked from their solo work and the combined back catalogues of Lindisfarne, Jack the Lad,The Hush and Bob Fox & Stu Luckley, to produce a memorable night of songs.


Support to be confirmed


Bob Fox & Billy Mitchell

Monday 6 November September

The Ravenswood
£10 adv (£12 door) 8pm
01342 714810/716975
or email


French-Algerian Pierre Bensusan is rated as one of the top 10 finger-style guitar players in the world, and one of the most eloquent and diverse musicians of our time, effortlessly moving from classical to jazz to ethnic.


In solo concerts that have been described as “a must-have experience“ (sometimes lasting up to 3 hours), each performance is brimming with passion, drama, rich ornamentation, grace and sheer joy, along with some of the most dazzling acoustic guitar playing on the planet.


"Pierre’s music gives me the shakes. No other guitarist shares his  strange gifts of sophistication, accessibility and downright joy.  Even at its most complex, Pierre’s music only needs ears to be enjoyed."

Leo Kottke


Support: Matthew Ord


Pierre Bensusan


For your future diaries..


Acoustic Strawbs (19 January 2007, Chequer Mead); Beth Nielsen-Chapman (27 January 2007, Chequer Mead – to be confirmed); Keith James – Songs of Nick Drake (9 February, Chequer Mead)

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.



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