The main focus of this group is music – introducing each other to new or interesting or less well-known artists. The popularity or obscurity isn’t the issue – we’re enjoying music that is essentially roots based.
  Those roots can be from blues, country, folk, gospel and on through the musical alphabet to zydeco. That means the artists tend not to be from the mainstream, but we’re a broad church, and the important thing is the quality that’s on offer
  Our guiding principle was voiced by Neil Young many years ago when post Harvest he rejected mainstream success: Travelling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride, but I saw more interesting people
  The music doesn’t have to be performed by Americans. There are musicians from across the globe who interest us and we embrace them
  The group also intends to explore some wider culture aspect such as film, theatre, literature, photography and more
▷ Updated gig guide
  If this sound like something that interests you, sign up below

Third Wednesday of every month, 2-4 p.m.
Victoria Stakes, 1 Muswell Hill, Muswell Hill, N10 3TH. First floor room with no step-free access

  Group Convener : Carl Parker

  Status at May 2022
  New members welcome

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    Membership No.


    Our sessions

    April 2022
    The theme : Home coming songs
    Little Steven : Tuscon Train
    Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros : Home
    Rachael Price : Can’t Find My Way Home
    Johnny Cash & June Carter : Jackson
    America : Ventura Highway
    Terry Allen : Gimme A Ride To Heaven
    Ringo : Beaucoups Of Blues
    Joni Mitchell : California
    Gretchen Peters : Leavin’ Kentucky
    Arlo Guthrie : Coming Into Los Angeles
    Jack White : Wayfaring Stranger
    Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn : My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Miko Marks & The Resurrectors : We Are Here
    Hazel Dickens : West Virginia, Oh My Home
    Miranda Lambert : The House That Built Me
    Vassar Clements et al : Long Journey Home
    Emmylou Harris : All My Tears
    Cowboy Junkies : When We Arrive
    Sam Outlaw : Ghost Town

    March 2022
    The theme : Leaving songs
    Jimmie Rodgers  : T.B. Blues
    Rufus Wainwright : Going To ATown
    Confederate Railroad : Daddy Never Was The Cadillac Kind
    Dave Rawlings : Cumberland Gap
    Allison Russell : Persephone
    Jason Dea West : Making A New Start
    Linda Ronstadt : I’ve Had Enough
    Lucille Bogan : I Hate That Train Called the M & O
    William Elliot Whitmore : Field Songs
    Zac Brown : Colder Weather
    Damon Evans : There’s A Boat Dat’s Leaving Soon for New York
    Hal Ketchum : Small Town Saturday Night
    Paul Kelly : Letter In The Rain
    Mary Chapin Carpenter : A Lot Like Me
    Gene Pitney : 24 Hours from Tulsa
    Louis Jordan : I’m Gonna Leave You On The Outskirts Of Town
    Carole King : So Far Away
    Shelby Lynne : Leavin’

    February 2022
    The theme : Tribute songs
    Tim Hardin : Tribute to Hank Williams
    Joan Baez : Diamonds and Rust
    Neil Young : The Needle and the Damage Done
    Vince Gill : Ain’t Nothing Like a Guy Clark Song
    Memphis Minnie : Ma Rainey
    Ry Cooder : John Lee Hooker For President
    Joni Mitchell : Furry Sings The Blues
    Sonic Youth : Tunic (Tribute To Karen)
    Jonathan Richman : Velvet Underground
    Rod Stewart : Sam, Muddy & Otis
    Paul Simon : The Late Great Johnny Ace
    Don McLean : American Pie
    Rodney Crowell : I Walk The Line (Revisited)
    January 2022

    The theme : Gambling
    Bob Dylan : Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
    Gabriels : Blame
    Bruce Springsteen : Atlantic City
    Dr John : Quitters never win
    Jerry Garcia : Loser
    Townes van Zandt : Mr Mudd and Mr Gold
    Blind Willie McTell : The Dyin’ crapshooter’s blues
    Clint Black : A good run of bad luck
    Jerry Garcia : Deal
    Bonnie Raitt : Gamblin’ man
    Lucinda Williams : King of hearts
    Lady Gaga : Poker face
    Mary Chapin Carpenter : I feel lucky
    Joni Mitchell : Me and my uncle
    November 2021

    The theme : Cheating
    Bobby Charles : See You Later Alligator
    Marvin Gaye : I Heard it Through the Grapevine
    Velvet Underground : Pale Blue Eyes
    Joni Mitchell : Me And My Uncle
    Lonnie Johnson : Too Late to Cry
    Paul Simon : 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
    Percy Sledge : Dark End of the Street
    Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde : I Never Wanted to be That Girl
    Etta James : I’d Rather Go Blind
    Eagles : Lyin’ Eyes
    Carrie Underwood : Before He Cheats
    Creedence Clearwater Revival : I Heard it Through the Grapevine
    The Doors : Back Door Man
    Johnny Cash : Long Black Veil
    Michaela Ann : Somebody New
    October 2021

    The theme : States of America, Canada and Mexico
    Willie Nelson : Georgia On My Mind
    Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits : Jersey Girl
    Doug Sahm : Is anyone going to San Antone
    Nanci Griffith : Lone Star State of Mind
    Neil Young : Ohio
    Chris Rea : Texas
    Frank Zappa : Montana
    Rhiannon Giddens : Waterbound
    Gordon Lightfoot : Alberta
    Del McCoury & Doug Grisman :East Virginia Blues
    Bill Neely : Texas Law and Justice
    Neil Young : Alabama
    Nina Simone : Mississippi Goddam
    Neil Young : Helpless
    Emmylou Harris : Leavin’ Louisiana
    B52s – Private Idaho
    Chastity Brown : Colorado

    September 2021

    The theme : Working Life
    Grateful Dead (Dead & Company) : Easy Wind
    Bruce Springsteen : Factory
    Gillian Welch : Miner’s Refrain
    Peggy Seeger : Gonna Be An Engineer
    Candace Corrigan : Hard Times Cotton Mills Girls
    The Animals : We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
    Bruce Springsteen : Highway Patrolman
    Lee Clayton : Old Number Nine
    Little Seven & the Disciples Of Soul : Bitter Fruit
    Billy Joel : The Downeaster (Alexa)
    Bob Dylan : Working Man’s Blues #2
    Bruce Springsteen : John Henry
    Paul Robeson : Joe Hill
    Glen Campbell : Wichita Lineman
    Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks : Payday
    Alabama : 40 Hour Week
    Patty Griffin : Making Pies

    July 2021

    The theme : California
    Ry Cooder & Flaco Jimenez : Do-re-mi
    Joni Mitchell : California
    Los Lobos (with La Marisoul) : Dreamland
    Randy Newman (with Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, & John Fogerty) : I Love L.A.
    Wayne the Train & The Honky Tonk Brakemen : California Blues
    Ry Cooder : Poor man’s Shangri-la
    Eric Burdon (Animals) : San Franciscan Nights
    Led Zeppelin : Going to California
    The Doors : L.A. Woman
    Kate and Anna McGarrigle (with Linda Ronstadt) : Talk to me of Mendicino
    Ry Cooder : Down in Hollywood
    Beach Boys : California Saga (California)
    Gatlin Brothers : All the Gold in California
    Mamas & Papas : California Dreamin’
    Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express : Nixonland

    June 2021
    The theme : Dancing
    Jimmy McCracklin : The walk
    Brian Fallon : We came To dance
    Jimmy C Newman : Jolie Blon
    Bonnie Raitt & Norah Jones :
    Tennessee Waltz
    Dance Me To The End of Time
    Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars : Uptown Funk
    Emmylou Harris : Tennessee WaltzFor A Dancer
    Martha Reeves & The Vandellas : Dancing In the Street
    Ray Bryant : Madison Time
    Bruce Springsteen : Dancing In The Dark
    The Honeycutters : Jukebox

    May 2021
    Theme : The American landscape
    Blind Willie McTell : Searching the desert for the blues
    Leon Bridges : River
    Otis Redding : (Sittin’ on) the dock of the bay
    Brad Mehldau Trio : River man
    Joni Mitchell : Ladies of the canyon
    Eilen Jewell : Green river
    Bela Fleck / Abigail Washburn : Take me to Harlan
    Marvin Gaye / Tammi Terrell : Ain’t no mountain high enough
    Doobie Brothers : Black water
    Pokey Lafarge : Shenandoah River
    Eagles : The last resort
    Blue Rodeo : Finger Lakes

    March 2021
    Theme : New Orleans
    The playlist:
    Fats Domino : Walkin’ to New Orleans
    Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday : Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
    Martin Simpson : An Englishman Abroad
    Professor Longhair : Mardi Gras in New Orleans
    Trombone Shorty : St James Infirmary
    Bruce Springsteen : When the Saints Go Marching In
    The Roches : Hammond Song
    The Neville Brothers : Yellow Moon
    Wynton Marsalis : Bourbon Street Parade
    Steve Earle : This City
    Emmylou Harris : Crescent City

    February 2021
    Theme : New York
    The playlist:
    Dion : King of the New York streets (live)
    Alicia Keys : Streets of New York
    Tedeschi Trucks Band : Midnight in Harlem
    Nilsson : I guess the Lord must live in New York City
    Willie Nile : New York is rockin’
    Richard Shindell : The last fare of the day
    The Lovin’ Spoonful : Summer in the city
    Eagles : Hole in the world
    Bob Dylan : New York Town
    Caleb Caudle : N.Y.C. In The Rain

    January 2021
    Theme : Americana from European performers
    The playlist:
    Brinsley Schwartz : Country Girl
    Sandy Denny : Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
    Bill Le Sage’s New Directions in Jazz : Night Talk
    Arnaud Fradin : Walk with Your Maker
    John Lennon : Stand By Me
    Hank Wangford : You Only Herd The One You Love
    Elvis Costello : What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding
    First Aid Kit : America
    The Vagaband : An Eye for an Eye
    Lonnie Donegan : Rock Island Line
    First Aid Kit : My Silver Lining
    Dean Owens : Elvis Was My Brother

    December 2020
    Theme : Songs heard for the first time in 2020
    The playlist:
    Bruce Springsteen : Ghosts
    Warren Zevon : Splendid Isolation
    Joachim Cooder : Over The Road
    Bob Dylan : Goodbye Jimmy Reed
    Jean Jacques Milteau : Long Time Gone
    Jake Blount : The Whole Night Through
    Billie Eilish : Bad Guy
    Taylor Swift : The Lakes
    Barbara Dane : Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues
    Mary Chapin Carpenter : Between The Dirt And The Stars

    November 2020
    Theme : Weather
    The playlist :
    Maxine Sullivan : Stormy weather
    Irma Thomas : Backwater blues
    Neil Young : Like a hurricane
    Bruce Hornsby : Mandolin rain
    Howard Tate : Louisiana (1927}
    Woody Guthrie : Dust bowl blues
    Adelaide Hall : Stormy weather
    Allman Brothers : Stormy Monday
    Jim Reeves : Just walking in the rain
    Sister Rosetta Tharpe : Didn’t it rain
    Tony Joe White : Rainy night in Georgia
    Ry Cooder : Footprints in the snow
    Jackson Browne : Before the deluge
    James McMurtry : Hurricane party

    October 2020
    The month’s theme was travelling songs, preferably by automobile.
    The playlist:
    Richard Shindell : Transit
    Hurray For the Riff Raff : Crash On The Highway
    Joni Mitchell : Amelia
    Van Morrison & Lonnie Donegan : Midnight Special
    Prince : Little Red Corvette
    K.C. Douglas : Mercury Blues
    Ry Cooder : Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile
    Randy Newman : Dixie Flyer
    Kris Kristofferson : Me and Bobby McGee
    Janis Joplin : Mercedes Benz
    Bruce Springsteen : Racing In The Streets
    Holly Williams : The Highway

    September 2020
    The month’s theme was songs about cowboys
    The playlist:
    Sandy Denny : To Yuma
    Grateful Dead : Me and My Uncle
    Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood : Summer Wine
    Ennio Morricone : The Good The Bad And The Ugly
    Ramblin’ Jack Elliott : Buffalo Skinners
    Paula Cole : Where Have The Cowboys Gone
    Joni Mitchell : Me And My Uncle
    Willie Nelson : The Red-Headed Stranger
    Lyle Lovett : Cowboy Man
    Marty Robbins : El Paso
    Willie Nelson : Ride ’em Jewboy
    Ian Tyson : Navajo Rug
    Matraca Berg : Back In The Saddle
    Blues Brothers : Theme from Rawhide

    August 2020
    The month’s theme was songs about addictive substances
    The playlist:
    Thelonius Monk : Straight, No Chaser
    Ry Cooder : Fool for a Cigarette
    Julia Lee : Marijuana
    Muddy Waters : Champagne and Reefers
    Peggy Lee : Is That All There Is?
    J.J. Cale : Cocaine
    Bob Dylan : Rainy Day Woman ♯12 & 35
    The Commander Cody Band : Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)
    Little Feat : Willin’
    Dale Watson : I Lie When I Drink
    Fraternity of Man : Don’t Bogart That Joint
    Emmylou Harris and Margo Price : Two More Bottles of Wine

    July 2020
    This month’s theme was songs inspired by trains.
    The playlist:
    Blind Boys of Alabama : People Get Ready
    Johnny Cash : City of New Orleans
    Lucille Bogan : I Hate That Train Called The M & O
    Guy Clark : Texas 1947
    Louis Jordan : Choo Choo Ch’boogie
    Ry Cooder : Boomer’s Story
    The Impressions : People Get Ready
    Steve Goodman : City of New Orleans
    Bob Dylan : Duquesne Whistle
    Nancy Whiskey : Freight Train
    Ella Fitzgerald : Take the ‘A’ Train
    Willie Nelson and The Highwaymen: City of New Orleans
    Grateful Dead: Big Railroad Blues
    Bob Dylan : Slow Train Coming
    Johnny Cash :Folsom Prison Blues
    Dillard & Clark : Train Leaves Here This Mornin’

    June 2020
    The month’s theme was covers of Bob Dylan songs.
    The playlist:
    The Byrds : You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
    Norah Jones : Forever Young
    Fairport Convention : Si Tu Dois Partir
    Tedeschi Trucks Band : Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)
    Jimi Hendrix Experience : All Along The Watchtower
    T-Bone Burnett & Friends : Kansas City
    The Byrds : Mr Tambourine Man
    Ben Sidran : Everything Is Broken
    Eliza Gilkyson : Love Minus Zero/No Limit
    Taj Mahal :All Along The Watchtower
    Joan Baez : Love Is just A Four Letter Word
    K.T. Tunstall : Tangled Up In Blue
    Spirit : Like A Rolling Stone
    Roy Harper : North Country

    May 2020 
    The month’s theme was underrated artists
    The playlist:
    Russell Smith : The End Is Not In Sight
    Hayden Triplets with Ry Cooder : Single Girl, Married Girl
    Chuck Brodsky : Bill and Annie
    Robert Hunter : Tales Of The Great Rum Runners
    Hurray For The Riff Raff : Living In The City
    Adam Eckersley : Tomorrow Night, Same Again
    Jerry Garcia and David Grisman : Shady Grove
    Iris DeMent – Our Town
    Hannah Aldridge – Parchman

    April 2020
    This month’s theme was a favourite song by a male singer. The playlist:
    Roger Miller : King of the Road
    Neil Young : Unknown Legend
    Bob Weir : Looks Like Rain
    Jack White : Wayfaring Stranger
    Prince : Raspberry Beret
    Ry Cooder : The Prodigal Son
    John Prine : Hello In There
    Guy Clark : L.A. Freeway
    Neil Young : Heart of Gold
    Talking Heads : Burning Down The House
    The Band : The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
    Jason Ibell : Elephant

    January 2020
    Group members had been asked to select a favourite song by a female singer. These were all collected into a presentation format and each member spoke a few words about their choice. Here is the playlist:
    Dolly Parton : Little Sparrow 
    Mavis Staples : No Time For Cryin’ 
    Gretchen Wilson : Redneck Woman 
    Dolly Parton : Halos and Horns 
    The Stone Poneys : Different Drum 
    Mazzy Star : Fade Into You 
    Maria Muldaur : Long As I Can See You Smile
    Kate & Anna McGarrigle : Walking Song 
    Frazey Ford : Done 

    November 2019
    The main topic was a audio/visually illustrated talk given by Carl on the musical career of Bruce Cockburn, which spans close to 50 years.
    After a short career in unremarkable psychedelic bands, in 1969 Cockburn set out on a solo career, releasing his first album in 1970. He was recognised in the Juno Awards (Canadian equivalents of the Brits and Grammys) winning folk singer of the year for three years running in the 70s. It wasn’t until the late 70s that he had material released outside Canada. He also experienced a slow conversion to Christianity, elements of which began appearing in his music. He first appeared in Britain in the early 80s and began building a small and loyal following. The big change in his music came following a trip on behalf of Oxfam Canada to Central America, where he witnessed the horrific, bloody impact of US Foreign Policy on the inhabitants of the area, most notably Guatemalan refugees. This led to much controversy being engendered by his song If I Had A Rocket Launcher. Condemned in some quarters as a call to violence, Cockburn denied this, saying it was an expression of rage on behalf of the beleaguered refugees. His music also came to embrace environmental concerns and the wider political world with songs such his anti International Monetary Fund tirade Call It Democracy. He also came to question his Christian faith, especially as his marriage collapsed and he sought to identify its commonalities with other religions and faiths while questioning aspects of the doctrine. In parallel with his changing worldview Cockburn was developing as a musician and became in time to be recognised as an extremely skilful guitarist. In 2001 Cockburn received a Juno Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has released 26 studio albums along with four live collections and had numerous compilations culled from his oeuvre.