THIS WEEKEND: Sasha McVeigh is our Spotlight UK Artist
LET US KNOW: Your favourite 3 male country music artists
Sometimes a venue needs live music that's different from the normal send-them-home-with-their-ears-bleeding full-on power band presentation. Sometimes a mellower approach is required - music to sing along to, or to just chill to: music driven by high quality musicianship and tight harmony - not the volume switch.
MASTERS OF MELLOW fill this bill, with a wide range of material, from the sometimes haunting tunes of Simon and Garfunkel and the finger-picking punch of country music, to the classics of Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, James Taylor, Ricky Nelson and Don McLean to name but a few. Add to these a bunch of home-grown numbers, and the audience can expect to enjoy a mix of songs which trigger fond memories, or create them.
The band has four members, two of whom - Bob Bettsworth and Mal Fairclough - have each been performing regularly for over 50 years. The others - Don Sanders and Ady Howard - haven't got quite that much experience, but they have talent enough to make up for the shortfall.
Bob is the band's organiser, acoustic guitarist and vocalist. He started his performing career in the early 60's as a member of a folk group and stayed with folk music, with a little acoustic blues, until the mid 80's at which point he decided that it was time he got to play a lot of the music that had been going on around him for so long. He's also penned the "home-grown" items in the set-list.
Mal is the band's bass guitarist and also provides backing vocals. If you hear a note that sounds seriously high, it's almost certain to be Mal. His history starts in the early 60's in the pop music arena - playing in a variety of line-ups. He later ventured into the folk music world and is bass guitarist for the Ramshackle Band, a well-respected Yorkshire-based ceilidh band.
Don is the band's prime vocalist, taking the lead wherever his smooth Castleford/Glasgow tinted voice hits the spot. He's only been singing in public for a few years, but has plenty of public performance experience, having for many years been a professional bingo caller. His favourite music is country and his influence on the set-list is considerable.
Ady - the baby of the band - is the band's pianist. He is classically trained, and a qualified teacher, but has a vast range of musical styles under his belt. He spent quite a few years as backing keyboards player in pubs and clubs, which brought him into contact with all kinds of music. He is also, as a complete contrast, a church organist, so he's always got at least one gig per week!
Masters of Mellow's gigs are more often than not private parties such as birthdays, retirements, weddings anniversaries or very often garden parties or barbecues. They are also regular performers at Harry's Bar in Wakefield which gives their followers a public venue to enjoy.
For some years the band has had the honour to provide the music for Pontefract's Prince of Wales Hospice summer garden party - held in the hospice grounds, and their annual Volunteer Awards Night held at the Kings Croft Hotel in Pontefract. Support for this hospice has been part of the band's endeavours right from the moment Don joined the band, and it is hoped this will continue for years to come."
Links to the country music world
Visit The Wall
NIGHT TRAIN - Jericho Summer NEW
The debut album from husband and wife duo Jay Zeffin and Vanessa Jay features Grammy-winner Albert Lee, Richard Fortus of Guns N Roses, Marco Mendoza from Whitesnke and Thin Lizzy and Grammy-winning fiddle player Stuart Duncan. A high octane, high tempo, 11-track album of southern rock with some slower ballads to bring down the pace. Includes "Bitchin' With A Woman".
Buy it now for £7.95
BUCK DANCER'S CHOICE - Richard Plank & Alan Ward NEW
A 14-track collection of Richard and Alan's favourite and most requested songs and instrumentals. Offering their take on numbers by Charlie Poole, Norman Blake and their friend, the ever-popular Debby McClatchy, amongst others. Includes "Goodbye Sweet Liza Jane".
Buy it now for £12.00
SMALL TOWN RUMOURS - Blue Genes NEW
The debut EP from North Wales family trio Blue Genes, produced by Justin Johnson and recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. Six self-penned tracks including "Second Trailer From The Right.
Buy it now for £5.99
STRANGER IN THIS TOWN - Gary Perkins NEW
The 2015 release from one of the UK's best known and best loved country music entertainer features 10 self-penned tracks. The album was produced by John Taylor. Includes "Love Me Like I Love You".
Buy it now for £10.00
SHINE - Jacqui Sharkey
Jacqui's third album has been heralded as her best work to date with 13 tracks including her well-received singles "Take Me To Paris" and "You're The Reason" and many more great new original songs writtan by Jacqui and other Irish and American songwriters. It also features a fresh take on some well known cover songs, including "Love Will Keep Us Alive" by The Eagles.
Buy it now for £12.95
FLY DRIVE DREAMS - Danny Lee
Danny's sensational second album. Drift away to the soothing melodies, focus your mind on the thought-provoking lyrics or get blown sky high by the inspirational musicianship. Includes "Trials and Tribulations", "Fly Drive Dreams", "Who Knows", "Girlfriend" and "I'll Never Let You Down"
Buy it now for £7.00
SINCE 1959 - Sandy Peter NEW
Sandy's second album of original songs contains ten tracks. The songs were born mostly out of experiences and events that have coloured his life since the year of his birth, 1959. Includes "Taking It Easy"
Buy it now for £8.99