Reviews 2013

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh

Ben Trowper 24 May 2013

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What a marvellous evening at the Woodman! Unlike ordinary people some are blessed with having more than the five digits per hand. I can only think this is the case with Dan Walsh. His main instrument is the banjo but he is equally at home on the guitar with a command of both instruments that belie his age. Dan had been to the club only once before to do a spot on a singers’ night, from this came the booking.

He started the evening with a set of tunes, and not having seen him before I wondered if he sang as well. I need not have been concerned because immediately he sang an excellent version of ‘Shady Grove’ and showed that he was indeed a quality singer in addition to his incredible instrumental talents.

This was soon followed by a song about his home town, Stafford, ‘The Same but Different’ a song with a catchy tune and also the title of his new album.

Coupled with jazz-orientated numbers such as ‘At Least Pretend’ we had a sitar influenced polytonal melody line of four tunes inspired by his visit to India earlier in the year and ‘Mwashah’ an Egyptian tune learnt from Hamza El Din re-titled ‘Tomorrow’s still to come’. All in all a wealth of talent!

He went on to explain that most Bluegrass songs are sad - about lost loves and death so he thought he would write a happy Bluegrass song. He achieved this with ‘Every Day is a Better Day’. It certainly had happy lyrics but such a soulful tune that for me it came over as a sad song. This was to be his last song but such was the enthusiasm in the room we were treated to an encore of ‘Snow in March’ a slow beautifully crafted tune on the banjo.

I think Dan will be returning to the Woodman very soon.