Reviews 2014

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Richard Heath Band

Bryn Phillips 17 January 2014

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It has been almost four years since The Richard Heath Band played at the Woodman and I was looking forward to seeing them again. There was a change in the line up which now comprises Richard Heath on parlour guitar, mandolin, ukulele and vocals, Buzby Bywater on double bass and Lucy Collinge-Hill on violin. The change in line-up was mirrored with a change in material. Some of it was familiar Richard Heath Band numbers such as Hank Williams' "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It" and "Lucky Old Sun" which Richard remembered playing last time he was here, but there was new material as well, including some excellent self penned numbers. He sang a very poignant song about drugs which he introduced by way of "I only wrote this last week - let's see if I can remember it". Of course he did and he earned some enthusiastic applause which prompted Buzby to come in with "I told you they'd like it". In a way that little exchange summed up the evening. Richard was smiling happily at the response and was clearly enjoying himself, as were Buzby and Lucy. Three musicians playing music that they enjoy playing, with an attentive and appreciative audience.

As well as their own material they played covers from various iconic musicians including Hank Williams, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and the whole evening just drifted by, interspersed with comments from Richard such as "The beer's beginning to work - I can't see my tuner" and "They're all beginning to sound the same, I can only play with one rhythm." To be fair, the "one rhythm" is a classic "chopped blues" style, used by some of the old country blues guitarists, which fits perfectly with the music they play, so no complaints there! The whole band fits together really well with Buzby's accomplished double bass playing adding nice little runs in amongst the rhythm of Richard's guitar, mandolin or parlour guitar, and then that extra finesse added with some excellent fiddle playing from Lucy.

All in all an excellent evening's entertainment, with the laid back atmosphere complemented perfectly with the expertly arranged ambient sound, set up by  Derry Jones.

Support for the evening was provided by Nothing to Prove, Velvet Green and Bryn Phillips.