On such a moving and eventful day, particularly in my home town of Portsmouth, it was fitting to have songs from both sides of the Atlantic. Our MC for the evening was “Professor” Jonathan Klein. He started proceedings with two of his fine songs; “Running For Love” and “Young and Beautiful in Rome” and a stirring version of “Sultans of Swing” by Mark Knopfler.

Jonathan then introduced a Bob Long Trio as opposed to the Bob Long Trio (now to be known as BLT!) on this occasion consisting of the aforementioned ‘Mississippi’ Bob LongLorna Franklin and guesting on mandolin, Steve Manser. They performed; “You May Leave But This Will Bring You Back” recorded by the Memphis Jug Band, “Some Cold Rainy Day” by Bertha “Chippie” Hill, and the traditional “Knickerbocker Line”. 

Martin George was next up onto the stage. He sang Paul Simon’s “American Tune”, one of his own songs, “Mort’s Life”, and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by Robbie Robertson of The Band. Following Martin was Graham Wedge. Graham sang; “Little Sister”, written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and originally released as the B side of “His Latest Flame” in 1961, “You Better Move On” by Arthur Alexander and Carole King/Gerry Goffin’s “Going Back”, famously recorded by The Byrds.

To end the first half, Jonathan invited Steve Moorhouse & Ariane Emery to the stage. They performed a traditional Irish song “Spanish Lady”, “The Dutchman” by Steve Goodman and “It Never Rains in Southern California” written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood.

After the break and raffle, JK kicked the second half off with Paul Simon’s “Slip, Sliding Away” before inviting Rachel Keeler to the stage. Acapella she sang “Jenny’s Song” by Florence and the Machine and featured in the TV series ‘Game of Thrones”, and “Medhel An Gwyns” (Soft is the Wind) written in Cornish and English by Mike O’Connor and featured in ‘Poldark’.

BLT returned to perform “Don’t Leave Me Here” by Henry Thomas and “You’ve Got To Give Me Some” accredited to Spencer Williams and Bessie Smith. Martin sang his own “Going To Barcelona” and an abridged version of Don McLean’s “American Pie”.

Jon Ellis arrived just in time to sing two WW1 themed songs; “The Maginot Waltz” by Ralph McTell and “The Wrong Bus” by Jez Lowe.

And finally, Steve & Ariane completed the evening with “Three Wooden Crosses” written by Kim Williams and Doug Johnson and a big hit for Randy Travis, and Ian Tyson’s “Four Strong Winds”.

Another brilliant evening. Next time, 3rd July, we’ll be having a Blues Night Special hosted by Bob Long and featuring Glen Wright.

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