I signed off last week by telling you about the gig in Chester featuring two young rising stars of the folk scene, Hannah Sanders and Ben Rogers so, I might as well start this week's column as I left off.

This Friday (October 11) at 7.30pm, the indomitable duo is Soundbox promotions' latest showcase of young talent. They will be performing at the great acoustic venue of St Mary's Creative Space, St Mary's Hill, Chester and they are simply spellbinding. Hannah and Ben were born to play and sing together. Peaches and cream. Horse and carriage, Laurel and Hardy, you name it and they fit into the same close, harmonic category. I can only quote from recent review by that venerable sage of all things folk, fRoots magazine: "Huddled around a single microphone, singing intimate duets with just mountain dulcimer, dobro and guitar, Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage are an acoustic duo that sound classically timeless, yet their music is unique".

The duo has toured the UK, North America and mainland Europe, enrapturing audiences at shows and on festival stages with the beauty of their acoustic arrangements and it is obvious from the results of their Awake Crowdfund Campaign on the web that their fan base is certainly spreading. By the end of February 2018, they had raised the remarkable sum of £5,300, 105% of their initial target figure. The resulting album, Awake, was released in May 2018 to great acclaim and, following on from their debut 2016 CD, Before The Sun, cemented their place among the top acoustic acts in the UK. Go along and catch them if you can on their way to the very top. Tickets from the Soundbox website or on the door.

Moving on to Tuesday (October 15) at 8pm The Dragon's Breath Folk Club, held at Treuddyn Village Hall, near Mold, are the latest local club to book the popular Wirral band, Wet the Tea. WT are full of unrestrained joy in their music as you would expect with its traditional Irish roots of jigs, reels and airs combined with a generous smattering of those irresistable chorus songs. The Anglo-Irish trio of Andy Connally, Andy Saunders and Richie Hayden can certainly work an audience and whip up a storm with their brand of music and blarney and there are echoes of Merseyside favourites Garva and the legendary Planxty in their performances. Those who saw them recently at The Mucky Duck Folk Club, Ewloe will testify to that and they released their debut EP album in Chester earlier this year. Admission is payable on the door for this one.

Talking of the mighty Planxty, one of the founder members, the legendary singer, songwriter and performer, Christy Moore, takes over the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to play to his army of fans. His popularity has never waned and with good reason as he is unique among his contemporaries. Christy has released more than 25 solo albums from Paddy On The Road in 1969 to his 2017 release, On The Road, the latter containing 24 tracks on a double CD, representing an incredible 50 years of live touring. A word of warning, nearly all of Christy's shows are sell-outs so phone the box office a soon as on 0151 709 3789 to book.

Thursday (October 17) is promising to be the busiest day of the week and not for the first time! At the Hungry Horse Acoustic Club, the Whitby Club, Chester Road, Ellesmere Port, the guest band, at 8pm, is the much travelled and in demand, Harbour Moon. Ian Davies, Martin Taylor, Paul Reaney and Carole Newby came together several years ago having already forged successful careers of their own in various music genres. Ian Davies played bass guitar

with numerous rock and pop bands around Merseyside in the 1980s and 90s. He later swapped to the six-string guitar and played with The Dansette Alligators and his daughters' band, Red Voix. Carole Newby (formerly Jankovic) comes from a family steeped in music and worked the club and cabaret venues for several years, also playing in Yugoslavia. She ploughed a lone furrow as a solo artist for 14 years before joining Harbour Moon.

Paul Reaney should need no introduction to local fans as he features large in the North West country, blues, folk and roots scene both as a solo artist and with Harbour Moon and The Dansette Alligators. He is a very talented songwriter having won competitions in America and adds this originality to every band he plays with. Finally, Martin Taylor came out of the North-West cabaret circuit playing right across Europe and shared the stage with Jimmy Weatherspoon and Gene Vincent's original Blue Caps. He met Paul Reaney in 2008 and the rest, as they say, is history. Together they produce some great music and bring their wealth of experience to what is always a smooth and entertaining performance.

They released their debut album, Whisper On The Wind at the end of June 2011 and have appeared throughout the North West's acoustic, roots and folk venues. Their new album, Daisy Lane, illustrates their continuing musical progression and I am sure that copies of both CD's will be available from them on the night. Admission is payable on the door.

Also, on Thursday (October 17) it is the first Singers' Night of the season at Wrexham Folk Club, The Nag's Head, Mount Street, Chester at 8.15pm. Resident trio Offa will again be hosting the evening with all welcome to go along and sing, play, recite or just listen and join in. These popular Free Admission nights have turned up quite a few surprise performers in the past so go along and see!

Looking forward to the end of the week we find that the 2019 Liverpool Irish Festival (October 17-27) will be in full swing. This kicked off with the master himself, Christy Moore, playing the Liverpool Phil, as previewed above, and continues, on Thursday (October 17) with the official launch at The Liverpool Irish Centre, 6 Boundary Lane, Liverpool from 8pm-10pm. This is a free event and, as the always hospitable Irish say, "just turn up"!

More next week but, in the meantime, whatever you do and wherever you go, enjoy your music.

By D.C.M.