Sunjay at the Ryburn Folk Club 30th May 2018

Blues and beyond, and nimble fingers on guitar.

We are delighted to welcome Sunjay to the Ryburn Folk Club on Wednesday 30 May. Sunjay’s music drifts between folk and blues with huge flair and he is recognised for his talent in both: he made the final selection for the BBC Young Folk Award in 2012, had three nominations at the Exposure Music Awards 2014 and was also recognised by the 2014 British Blues Awards.


Sunjay started playing the guitar when he was 4 years old. His style is relaxed and he plays with a confident vocal style and mastery of his instrument.  His performances have been described as “mature and confident”, while his guitar playing has been hailed as “superb, brilliant, experienced, intricate and faultless”.  Sunjay has four albums  to his name: ‘Seems So Real’ 2011, ‘One Night Only’ 2013, ‘Sunjay’ 2014), and “Black & Blues” 2015.

More info on Sunjay:

The R3S Folk Club meets every last Wednesday of the month in the upstairs room of the Malthouse in Rishworth – 270 Oldham Rd HX6 4QB. We start at 7.45pm with tunes from the Pit Band of local musicians, and then songs from the Residents and floor singers from 8pm before introducing the main guest artists presenting an informal, purely acoustic concert of folk music. We finish by 11pm.
Admission is £9 (£8 concessions).

Click HERE for full information.

OTHER NEWS from Ryburn 3 Step:

Ryburn Longsword danced at Southport Sword’s 50th anniversary gathering on Sunday 20 May. Read about it HERE.


Our 2017 – 18 Barn Dance and Village Dance programme has now ended, and we’ll start the 2018 – 19 season in September. We’ll publish the programme towards the end of the summer when we’ve booked all the bands and callers.

Before then, our friend, parkin-chef, and dance junkie Dave Webster has organised another charity fundraising dance on June 2nd at the Slaithwaite Civic Hall starting at 8 p.m. and featuring the Black Box Band with caller Sue Coe.

REVIEW – Maggie Holland @ Ryburn Folk Club

Sometimes you don’t get the night you expected and this was one such occasion. Having booked one of our old musical colleagues, Maggie Holland, we were confident of a good night, but when the audience gathered we realised that there were a number of extra singers signing up to sing. In the area for a rehearsal were Geoff Lakeman, Mick Ryan and the group Granny’s Attic – all former guests at the club. Added to our own resident singers, the line-up could have graced a festival stage with ease!

The first half featured our regular locals; Pete Coe started off with ‘Catch Me If You Can‘ collected by him from the Renals sisters, a traveller family from Bodmin, Chris Manners sang his song ‘England’s Last Apprentice‘ and Chris Coe kicked off the chorus singing with the 18thC Tyneside song ‘Dol-li-a’. Tim Edwards rendered a medley of songs covering home, travel and appropriately Easter, followed by Alice Jones‘ rendition of the American Sacred Harp song ‘Long Time Travelling‘, generally attributed fully or in part to Isaac Watts. The guitar and foot stomp accompaniment certainly entertained the pub diners below!

The guest floor singers appeared in the second half of the night. A song written by recent guest Reg Meuross – ‘England Green and England Grey‘ – was delivered by his friend and musical collaborator Geoff Lakeman with excellent duet concertina accompaniment. Geoff has been a guest at the club in the past. The extra singers were in the area due to rehearsing the latest folk opera written by Mick Ryan who gave us his wonderful song about continuity of the tradition, ‘The Song Goes On‘. Regular Phil Cerny delivered a blast from the past with the whaling song ‘Blow Boys Blow‘ and reminded us that his home club, The Black Swan in York, was just about to celebrate it’s fortieth year in the same venue. Although we had all three of Granny’s Attic in the room, circumstances led to a solo song from George Sansome who gave us a version of ‘The Isle of St Helena‘ collected in Yorkshire by Frank Kidson.  One can wonder why there are songs in the English tradition that are complimentary to Napoleon Bonaparte but he was something of a hero to the working class – not so much the upper echelons.

Our guest for the night is an old friend who worked with Chris Coe as a duo and they also worked together in The English Country Blues Band and the up tempo dance band Tiger Moth.  Maggie Holland plays guitar and banjo (bass guitar in Tiger Moth and ECBB), and sings a mixture of songs from impeccable sources plus her own material. Her songs have been covered by many other singers including June Tabor and more recently The Young ‘Uns.
She started well for me – one of my favourite songs from the pen of Tucker Zimmerman – ‘The Taoist Tale‘. Then followed Robb Johnson‘s ‘Overnight (nothing happens)‘, her own song about the Morecombe Bay cocklers tragedy, Billy Bragg‘s ‘Levi Stubbs Tears‘ and into her song, ‘Black Crow‘, a dark song which I have accompanied many times when Chris Coe sang it on our gigs. Dylan‘s ‘Mississippi‘ and Bruce Cockburn‘s ‘Pacing the Cage‘ preceded the set finisher of Woody Guthrie‘s poem ‘Deportees‘ about immigrants lost in the 1948 plane crash in Los Gatos Canyon, set to music by Martin Hoffman.

We were already familiar with Tucker Zimmerman‘s gentle song ‘Oregon‘ as it’s in Pete Coe’s repertoire but Maggie’s second half starter segued into Portland Town. ‘Blood Like Wine‘ and ‘Peppers and Tomatoes‘ (a song about fitting in) were followed by ‘Goin’ ‘Cross the Mountain‘ collected by Frank Warner off Appalachian banjo player Frank Proffitt. I was particularly moved by Robb Johnson‘s song ‘Texas Prison Songs‘ as I didn’t know the story that lay behind it. Years ago we lost our good friend, journalist Eric Winter. When he died in hospital he had headphones on, listening to his Walkman and the tape that was playing was ‘Texas Prison Songs‘.

We all joined in various bits of Leon Rossellson‘s anthem – The Digger’s Song and were happy that Pete Coe’s demand for ‘A Place Called England‘ was acceded to – a song covered by June Tabor and also by the Young ‘Uns.
Chris Miller‘s ‘Leave The Lights On‘ led to the inevitable encore – an anniversary song specially written for Maggie by Robb Johnson called ‘Circle of Friends‘.

We have some very good nights thanks to good residents and a creative booking policy on the part of Pete Coe. Some nights have just that little extra sparkle.

Johnny Adams

Johnny Adams – EFDSS Gold Badge 2017 Award

Congratulations to Johnny Adams on his award of the EFDSS Gold Badge 2017 for his services to Folk Music.

All us folk at Ryburn 3 Step are delighted that Johnny Adams has been awarded the EFDSS Gold Badge 2017 for his services to Folk Music.

Johnny Adams – EFDSS Gold Badge Award 2017

Johnny was one of the founder members of Ryburn 3 Step and has worked tirelessly to support and develop the music, dance and song associated with all our activities: the Long Company Mummers, the sessions, the dances, the workshops, the folk club, and as the ever-reliable Musician when the going gets tough. He set up and looks after the R3S website and social media output, has been the voice of R3S on local radio, and has recorded much R3S activity, ensuring a rich archive for future enthusiasts.

Read Johnny’s EFDSS Gold Badge citation HERE….

Alistair Anderson, Chair of the EFDSS Board, said “All of this year’s recipients have played important roles in their individual fields. They have helped to inspire, to support and to inform generations of folk artists and fans, making significant contributions to the continuing strength and vitality of traditional English folk arts. We are delighted to recognize them with these prestigious awards.” (EFDSS website)

Johnny Adams – EFDSS Gold Badge Award 2017

As a highly regarded musician, performer, recording artist, and producer of some fifty years standing, and with many successful collaborations to his name, not the least of which are with his good lady Chris Coe, Johnny has represented Ryburn 3 Step in the national and international arena. He co-founded (with Chris Partington) the Village Music Project, which researches 18th and 19th century dance music, he coordinates the support group for the archive of the folklorist and collector Doc Rowe, and was director of the Paul Graney Archive of recordings made in the North-West of England between the 1950s and the 1980s which is now housed at Manchester Central Library.

From 1998 to 2008 he was on the National Council of EFDSS, during which time he worked to formalise the Society’s web presence, including instituting the first online shop.


An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley