It is always nice to see performers making their debut in the area and one such duo, Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, who played their first ever guest spot at Wrexham Folk & Acoustic Club, The Nag's Head, Mount Street, Wrexham in 2016, make a welcome return next Thursday (April 4) at 8.15pm.

They are both gifted musicians with Vicki, of Swedish descent, following her father's footsteps. She started playing at the tender age of five and went on to study the double bass at The Royal College of Music. She also took up the English border pipes, the Scottish small pipes and the Swedish bagpipes and flute. Johnny, a composer and competition-winning guitarist, has been singing choral music, soul, jazz and folk for as long as he can remember. He too has added other instruments to his musical armoury over the years including the bouzouki, bass, piccolo accordion, whistle, trumpet and cow horn!!!

They effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary sounds and their performances showcase new interpretations of old songs alongside original self-penned tunes and songs whilst retaining the traditional ethos. This produces a sound that is both familiar yet fresh and, such is their mastery of the bewildering range of instruments they bring to their stage performance, they can adapt, interpret and evolve almost any genre of music they care to turn their hands to.

As with their previous visit, it promises to be a very exciting and very enjoyable evening for the club and, with admission payable on the door being a mere £7, it will leave you with enough change to buy one of their brilliant albums too. I have also just heard that the club has been chosen to host a trio of Singers' Nights as part of this year's Focus Wales event. These will take place in May on the Thursday (April 16), Friday (April 17) and Saturday (April 18) in the early evening (6pm to 8.30pm). I will keep you advised as and when I receive any further information.

On the same evening (April 4) , and elsewhere in our 'travel to folk' area, the veteran singer songwriter, Michael Chapman, plays Alexander's Live, Rufus Court, Off Northgate Street, Chester at 7.30pm with tickets available on 01244 401402 while the Hungry Horse Acoustic, The Whitby Club, Chester Road, Ellesmere Port hold a themed night of 1960's and 70's Songs at 8pm. Basically. a Free Entry wallow in nostalgia night for those of us old enough to remember those far away days!

Now, returning to this weekend there is still time, this Friday (March 29), to catch the Soundbox event at the Lock Keeper, Canalside, Frodsham Street, Chester at 7.30pm where everybody's favourite band, it seems, Merry Hell, are in concert. On the other hand, you can make the short trip to The Wirral and visit Heswall Folk Club, Heswall Squash Racquets Club where their monthly guests are the Lancashire female duo, Scold's Bridle supported by my old mate, Brian Jones, at 8pm. Admission is payable on the door.

On Saturday (March 30) at 7.30pm, the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall stages its next big concert when the (now) famous son of a famous father, Nick Harper, continues his latest UK tour, the 58, Fordwych Road Tour. Tickets bookable from the box office on 0151 709 37898. The music this week ends on Sunday (March 31) when the month goes out with another Free Session at with The Deportees at Alexander's Live, Rufus Court, Off Northgate Street, Chester in the afternoon (2pm to 5pm).

I know that, whilst there are those of you who don't mind 'winging it' on the night to fetch up where your whims take you, there are also those who like to plan ahead so, with that in mind I will look forward to next weekend and, especially a very unusual and quite historic event taking place in Wrexham.

The event on Saturday (April 6) that certainly grabbed my attention is the Tom Jones Festival, the celebration of the life of a remarkable local man. Tom Jones, a miner from Rhos, who spent 14 years hewing the 'black gold' down the pits in the Wrexham area, walked out of his home one day to, allegedly to go to Colwyn Bay but his 'day trip' turned out to be a bit longer than anybody thought! He travelled to France and then on to Spain to join the International Brigades fighting General Francisco Franco in the infamous Spanish Civil War. It was a brave but, ultimately, futile a struggle and many volunteers from Wales never returned to the Land of their Fathers. However, Tom did, despite being wounded, and he went on to become a champion of the working people, continuing to fight injustices wherever and whenever he came across them. This unassuming man from a working-class background of sweat and toil was instrumental in forming the TUC in Wales, dying in 1990 after a long and selfless life. That trip to 'the seaside' was certainly no picnic but it was to change his life forever.

Now, after all these years, the town of his birth pays its ow tribute starting with a march from Queen's Square around the town, backed by the Cumbria Band, followed by an afternoon of music, talks and discussions at Ty Pawb, before concluding with an evening of music from local and International artistes at the same venue. Tom would have also been pleased that this is a free event open to all regardless of class or creed.

On the same evening (April 6) anyone wishing to exercise their itching feet can go along to a Ceilidh hosted by the Time Bandits at Burton & Rosset Village Hall at 7.30pm. All money raised will be donated to the Village Hall restoration fund and tickets, at £12 each, include hot food. There is also a licensed bar and you can book by phoning 01244 571264.

Finally, fans of the brilliant singer songwriter Steve Tilston, whose songs have been covered and recorded by many of his contemporaries, including Fairport Convention, should phone Nick or Chris now on 01244 677212/01244 343788 if they want to secure a ticket (£10) to see his performance at the Raven Folk Club, the Bear & Billet, Bridge Street, Chester next Sunday (April 7) at 8pm.

Whatever you do and wherever you go, enjoy your music.

By D.C.M.