Review: Jim Crawford – Worthenbury Village Hall – 23 Apr 2010
Posted on: Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010
‘Goin’ Up The Country’ at Worthenbury Village Hall: 23.04.10
The latest gig organised by the ‘Goin’ Up The Country’ guys, saw a welcome return to the intimate surroundings of Worthenbury Village Hall for the amiable, all-round nice guy, Jim Crawford – originally from Lancashire, but now residing in Appledore, in North Devon, who as well as keeping busy gigging does many guitar workshops.
A rival gig in nearby Wrexham kept a few regulars away, but those present were richly entertained by two marvellous sets featuring Jim Crawford’s exquisite fingerpicked acoustic guitar, electric slide and a touch of banjo and ukulele, not to mention his fine voice – as he delivered a mix of superior Delta and country blues covers, with a few of his own more Americana-flavoured songs.
Crawford has a nice line of inbetween song patter that often had the audience in stitches, adding to the enjoyment of the show – starting proceedings with a gentle take on Bukka White’s “Jitterbug Swing” – featured in many current acoustic bluesmen’s sets – followed by the lovely “Make Me A Pallet On The Ground”. He then switched direction to deliver the standard “It’s All Over Now”, leading to a quite stunning “Trouble In Mind” – just such a fabulous song.
Another first set highlight was his own more rootsy “Sugar Cane”, a song he modestly said was written in his kitchen while making a cup of tea! Another staple of acoustic roots performers, “The Cuckoo” saw more lovely guitar work, greatly appreciated by all those present. His acoustic fingerpicking is up there with the best in this country, and his tasteful slide work on his Gibson Archtop was equally appealing, and superb all night.
A longer second set saw a nod to the legendary Robert Johnson, on the opening “Stones In My Passway”, and later an excellent “Come On In My Kitchen”. We were also treated to a Lightning Hopkins boogie in the shape of “Mojo Hand”, and an all-time classic in “People Get Ready”, from the late, great Curtis Mayfield.
Locally based guitarist Tommy Allen, of Trafficker and The Tommy Allen Band fame, joined Jim Crawford for a two-song spot that saw the rolling “Walk On” and also Howlin’ Wolf’s “Little Red Rooster. A much-demanded encore saw him return to perform the hilarious “Bungee Girl”, before ending the evening with the title cut of his album, “When The Rains Came” . . . a song that had garnered play on Radio 2 when recorded by British chanteuse, Beth Rowley.
Another gem of a gig from the Worthenbury guys . . . a trip to their cracking little venue is highly recommended . . . nice people, great atmosphere and always top entertainment!