We're proud to feature an artist who spent many of her formative years in Downend as our headline act for October.
JENNIFER CROOK, who has earned a reputation as an outstanding harp player as well as an acclaimed singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist, lived in Downend between the ages of nine and 17. She attended Downend School and still has family in the area.
“Carnforth Station’ is Jennifer’s third solo release and features her trio, who will join her on stage this month. The trio is made up of Jennifer, cellist BETH PORTER and multi-instrumentalist MIKE COSGRAVE.
Jennifer, whose career has taken her from the BBC Young Tradition Award to touring with Snow Patrol, wrote many of the songs for ‘Carnforth Station’ on the lever harp and much of her musical history (elements of traditional Irish, bluegrass and alternative country), finds its way into this collection of songs which explore life’s journeys and transitions... moving on, letting go, joy, loss and hope.
On returning to familiar surroundings of Downend, Jennifer said: “I’m really excited to be back in Downend, and it’s great news that there’s a folk club now. I lived in Downend when I was younger and went to Downend School. I didn’t play the harp back then, as I took that up later at university, but I played various instruments and made up songs.”
Jennifer continued: "I was always trying to drag my friends up on stage to join me in school assemblies and concerts, but I wasn’t considered very ‘cool’ at the time… life might have been very different id there had been a folk club in Downend back then!”
The Jennifer Crook Trio will feature at Downend Folk Club on Friday 17th October. You can buy tickets for the gig here.
Opening for The Jennifer Crook Trio will be MIKE WEAVER.
Mike is a highly-respected singer-songwriter, originally from Cheltenham but now living in Worcestershire. He is a writer and illustrator by day and an acoustic performer by night, and writes his own material drawing upon both contemporary and traditional influences.
After break of seventeen years, Mike returned to songwriting and performing in 2013 and released a CD of original songs spanning three decades in August this year.
Since his 'comeback' he has played at a variety of events across southern England, and was the closing act on the Tipi stage at Lechlade Music Festival in May.
Don't forget that it's not only Jennifer who is coming home this month... for the first time since our opening event, Downend Folk Club will be held in Downend!
Frenchay Village Hall remains our regular home, but we will be holding three or four events every year at Christ Church Downend, in the church building itself. This is brilliant news, because it's a great venue for folk music. And fear not... you'll still be able to get your GWB real ales, cider and wine, as the church have kindly given us permission to run a bar in the foyer.
We're very grateful to Jo Vickery and his team for allowing us to use their beautiful building. See you there!