Exciting months ahead for String Jam Club

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Summer is nearly over but regulars to Selkirk’s String Jam Club don’t need to be downhearted as there is a bumper programme of music for autumn and winter.

The lineup includes two BBC Radio Folk Award winners and one of the most revered American singer-songwriters to have emerged in recent years.

Now happily thriving in its new home at the County Hotel in Selkirk, the club is preparing to present three of its hottest ever back-to-back events for October, November and December.

Making an appearance on October 5 is Mary Gauthier, a woman pronounced as ‘one of the greatest voices of our time’ by Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris.

Hailing from Nashville, Mary can count Bob Dylan and Tom Waits amongst her fans and she will be making her second appearance at the String Jam Club after going down a storm first time around.

From someone making their return to the String Jam Club to a debutante in the shape of Radio 2 Folk Award winner Anais Mitchell, who will perform at the County on November 8.

Her 2012 album Young Man in America was described by the Independent as ‘an epic tale of American becoming’, and made it onto many ‘best of 2012’ lists in the national and international press, including MOJO, Uncut and The Wall Street Journal.

The Radio 2 winners come thick and fast as another, Bella Hardy, will entertain on Friday, December 12, to mark a year since the String Jam Club made a home for itself at the County Hotel.

Radio 2’s Folk Singer of the Year for 2014, Bella performed at the club back in 2009, when it was based in Galashiels, as she made her first foray into the club and festivals circuit.

The new season should get off to a flying start on Saturday, September 13, when Benny Gallagher entertains.

One half of hit makers and blue-chip songwriters Gallagher & Lyle, he began his career as a staff writer with the Beatles Music Publishing Company, Apple, writing songs for Apple Records’ biggest artist Mary Hopkin.

Benny has always considered his formative days at Apple, and especially the constant encouragement of Paul McCartney, as one of the most important factors in his development as a songwriter.

And he developed into quite the wordsmith, writing songs performed by the likes of Status Quo, Bryan Ferry and Ringo Starr, as well as Gallagher & Lyle’s own hits, Heart on My Sleeve and I Wanna Stay With You.

In between song-writing visits to Nashville and composing soundtracks for film and television he has toured the world, performing at festivals and sell-out shows, culminating in his first solo studio album, At the Edge of the Wave, in 2010, which was selected as BBC Radio 2’s disc of the week.

The String Jam Club’s 
autumn/winter diary has already caught the interest of music fans, much to the delight of one of its organisers Allie Fox.

“This year’s gigs have gone like a rocket,” she commented.

“It’s been our most successful year ever since we started 17 years ago, with some of the best acts in the business gracing the String Jam stage.

“We are especially honoured to end our first successful year at the County Hotel by welcoming some of the greatest artists you’re going to see anywhere in the world.”