With some prominent Welsh gigs to tell you about and, in the absence of a coin to toss, I will opt for the 'charity begins at home' route and start by telling you about a great guest night in prospect at Wrexham Folk Club, The Nag's Head. Mount Street, Wrexham next Thursday (Dec 5) at 8.15pm.

The evening is billed as "two guests for the price of one" and is certainly one of the best BOGOF offers you will find this Christmas! It features two artistes, each of them performing a 45-minute set and both equally talented.

First up will be Ben Robertson, one of my 'tips for the top' in 2015 when he was just 17-years-old. Ben's reputation grows every time he plays, and he has really blossomed since his fledgling appearance at Chester's February Folk Day in 2014.

During the intervening years he has recorded a first CD, On A Mountain, followed it with a debut EP, North, which was received with critical acclaim by the music press, and performed many gigs in North Wales and the North West. On what we have seen and heard so far, he certainly looks to have a phenomenal future ahead of him.

Ben, the son of folk parents has been going to festivals and clubs since before he was born and, as a result, has soaked up every genre of music he has come across. Not only does he play guitar exceptionally well but also plays the fiddle too.

His singing, already strong and sensitive can only mature with age and his repertoire is an eclectic mix of styles.

This is not surprising when his Facebook page lists his influences as Pink Floyd, Capercaillie, Led Zeppelin, KT Tunstall, Levellers, Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention (I thought they would get in there somewhere) and even Full House!

With a sensitivity and maturity far beyond his years he can inhabit a song and make it his own using a pleasing and melodious voice linked to beautiful finger-style guitar playing. Even better is that he is one of ours, born in Bangor and now living near Mold.

It seems that, where we once mined 'black gold' we have now started unearthing diamonds and Ben is certainly one of them.

Looking back, remember that this is where you first heard about a very young Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, and another premonition of greatness for a certain trio, Trials of Cato and look what has happened to them all so far - keep watching this space!!!

But, let us move on to the second set of this remarkable evening and yet another youthful gem, Phoebe Rees who was originally from Oswestry. She has become a great singer, musician and interpreter of folk songs and tunes.

Phoebe grew up in Scotland, studied classical music in Edinburgh and London on viola and fiddle, and is a real find. She also writes and performs her own songs drawn from her musical influences in Scotland, and the Celtic, English and American traditions.

With a compelling voice and the precision and the instrumental and expression that you would expect from a classically trained musician, she is simply a joy. Her debut EP album, Roe Deer, was released in September and will be available for purchase on the night.

Go along and listen to, and rejoice in, the next generation. It proves to me that the folk/acoustic music that has been so much a part of my own life for the last six decades is in good hands. Admission is a mere £6 on the door.

Now, flipping the coin as it were, we move on to our next North Wales gig. This time it is on Monday (Dec 2) at The Mucky Duck Folk Club, Ewloe Social Club, Old Chester Road, Ewloe at 8pm.

The lady guesting at the club has really earned the status of 'legend' despite its over-use on many occasions. Jacqui McDonald, whose longevity, from her early 1950s days with The Spinners, through her many decades with her partner, Wrexham born Bridie O'Donnell, and their equally long-lived folk club on Merseyside, has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Her enthusiasm for and performance and promotion of all thing's folk marks her out as one of the true greats of the folk revival movement. Go along and listen to and join in with this remarkable lady.

Nostalgia may be a thing of the past, as the old joke goes but Jacqui looks like she is still very much of the present.

Rounding off our North Wales gigs this week is yet another cracker and guess who is popping up again at Ty Pawb, Market Street, Wrexham on Wednesday (Dec 3) at 7.30pm.

Already mentioned, earlier in the column, and with good reason, the English and Welsh Folk Award winners, our very own Trials of Cato, are performing in concert at the Arts Hub. Tickets, at £11, are available online or you can phone Ty Pawb direct on 01978 292144 for more information.

I suppose it was inevitable that the fourth of the great young acts mentioned at the top of the column would not want to be pushed out and, strangely enough, so it has turned out. That dynamic BBC Folk Award-winning duo, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, are also playing this week.

They are the guests of Alexander's Live, Rufus Court, Off Northgate Street, Chester on Thursday (Dec 5) at 8pm and tickets can be bookied online or phone Alexanders on 01244 401402 for more information.

Also, on Thursday (Dec 5), this being one of the most popular nights of a busy week, The Hungry Horse Acoustic Club, The Whitby Club, Chester Road, Ellesmere Port have their free admission 'Big Spot' night. The band occupying pride of place for the evening are The Old Firm and will be familiar to many local folk club fans as three members of the Chester band Full House.

They are Nick Mitchell, Dave Russell and Chris Lee and are sure to provide an evening of good music for the Hungry Horse faithful.

Finally, winding back to this weekend to reprise gigs mentioned last week we have, on Saturday (Nov 30), a concert that will certainly interest fans of the iconic songs of Paul Simon. A tribute show, Something About Simon, that has toured the UK and was a smash hit at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will be performed by North Wales singer, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Edward Jones at Denbighshire Theatre Twm or Nant. On Sunday (Dec 1), at Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Chapel Street, Oswestry the folk-rock band, Merry Hell take centre stage at 7.30pm with tickets from 01691 662196.

On the Parish Notice Board this week there are just two gigs for you to note. Next Friday (Dec 6) at St Mary's Creative Space, Chester the Christmas season kicks off with O'Hooley & Tidows', Winter Folk 2019, tour gig.

Tickets from the Soundbox website as usual. The Rave on Folk Club on Sunday also gets in the spirit with Pete Morton who brings his So This Is Christmas: The Troubadour's Carols show to the venue at 8.30pm. Tickets are £8 each from Nick or Chris on 01244 677212/343788.

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

By D.C.M.