I was looking forward to seeing Jack Rutter perform at the Ryburn Folk Club on 29 January, I haven’t seen him play before but I’ve heard a lot about him. He gave an accomplished performance: lovely voice, well-chosen songs, superb accompaniment on the bouzouki and guitar, and a confident professional delivery. This was one of those nights at the Club when the time flew and all too soon it was time to go home.
Jack hails from West Yorkshire and many of the songs we heard were local. Jack opened with “Down by the Derwent Side”, a song collected by Frank Kidson and set to his own melody. “The Bilberry Moor” (John Swaine), and “The Hills of Longdendale” (Ammon Wrigley the Moorland Poet – the title of Jack’s latest CD “Gold of Scar and Shale” comes from this poem) were two moor songs penned by local writers. We heard “The Lancashire Liar”, “I was Once a Young Ploughboy”, and “The Dalesman’s Litany” and then a couple of fine ballads, “Fair Janet and Young James”, and “The Banks of Sweet Dundee”. And thrown in for good measure was a song from Nashville – George Jones’ “If Drinkin’ don’t kill me her Memory will”!
There were plenty of choruses and the audience joined in with gusto. Jack finished off with a rousing rendition of “John Barleycorn” and then gave us an encore of “I will sing of Swaledale” to leave us in no doubt of where Jack gets his inspiration from.
The Club Residents and Floor Singers were on form: Tim Edwards, Sue Burgess, Chris Coe, Pete Coe, Phil Cerny, Terry Evans, Dave Hardy, and Mal Jardine all delighted us with their songs. Altogether it was a most enjoyable evening with a wonderful performance from a talented young singer.