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Eight days of honky-tonk - on Catharine Street

Caledonia pub stages Americana festival of bands, food and booze

Published on July 18th 2014.

Eight days of honky-tonk - on Catharine Street

EIGHT days of "fine American music from all over the world" gets under way this Sunday, when Catharine Street boozer The Caledonia kicks off its Americana Festival.

Gigs and workshops, bluegrass, blues, cajun, country, folk, R’n'B, rock n Roll and all that, washed down, they say, "with a fine selection of American inspired drinks, burgers, art, literature and dance. All coated with the beautiful spirit of decades of Liverpool’s social and musical history."

Laura King - All Gigs Are FreeLaura King - All Gigs Are FreeJust over a year ago, landlady Laura King thought it was all over for the community pub which was threatened with closure, but then it all came right and now things are looking up, Uncle Sam stylee.

She says: "I've managed to get some fab acts from Liverpool, around the UK and internationally to be part of the festival while also sticking to The Caledonia's all-gigs-are-free policy.

"We're excited to bring together all these people to celebrate Liverpool's affinity with these genres." 

Here's the listing of what y'all can expect.  There's also a handy playlist, for your dancing pleasure, here, of many of the acts taking part. 


*Americana Festival, Caledonia Pub, Catharine Street, L8. July 20-27, Free. 

The listing

Sunday 20th July

Loose Moose String Band – Festival Opening Party 8.30pm
Our resident local Bluegrass heroes LMSB play a well lubricated mix of Bluegrass, Old Time & Western Swing. Add a sprinkle of 80s & 90s classic pop covers, a little Scouse charm and the party will well and truly get started.

Monday 21st July

Caledonia Ukulele Klub 6.30pm (Upstairs)
House club of all things Ukulele meet every Monday. Conceived by Brian Farrell, who runs the club along with John Gunning & Izzy Ryder, players of all standards are welcome to join them in rehearsing a wide range of music for fun and performance.

Rob Heron & TheTea Pad Orchestra 
with Ukulele Uff , Lonesome Dave & Brother Bill + Cast Iron Crew 8pm

Hard touring Rob & TPO join us (via everywhere) from Newcastle Upon Tyne and are firm Cali favourites playing a tounge in cheek collection of colloquial Blue, Gypsy & ‘North Eastern’ Swing Originals. Joined tonight by Liverpool’s KING of Ukulele Chris Hough and his band of old old jazz playing brothers plus Cast Iron Crew featuring the founders of our ukulele club.

Tuesday 22nd July
Irish/Folk Session 1.30pm
Covering all the music that inspired the music our weekly Folk session founded by Liverpool band The Bog Standards is open to all players of all standards who wish to share their love of the mixed and varied genre.
Irish Fiddle Workshop £5 6.30pm Upstairs
Join Mikey Kenney (Bog Standards/Ottersgear) for a one hour workshop on Irish Fiddle style & Technique.

The Rip Roaring Success with Three Decker String Band 8.30pm
Wirral/Liverpool/Everywhere-formed. playing Western String stripped down to its basics, Violin, Bass & Guitar, giving this band room to highlight their individual virtuosic talents and personalities. Support comes from Liverpool’s TDSB who do the same but with their focus being more on Bluegrass & Folk Tradition.

Wednesday 23rd July

Cajun Dancing Workshop £2 7pm (Upstairs)
Join Caledonia regulars and Mersey Swing members Carlee Graham & John Daglish for a fun and social dance session focused on the basics of Cajun Two Step. Just in time for tonight’s session!

Cajun Session 9pm
Fortnightly Cajun Session hosted by Liverpool's Bayou Noir is well attended by players from over Merseyside. Bring your instrument of choice or simply relax and enjoy the informal Louisiana vibes. 

Thursday 24th July
Bourbon & Rye Tasting Session £10 (Main Bar) 7pm
Hosted by Rob from Hope Street's The 23 Club you will have chance to sample and discuss the ins and outs of five selected spirits.

Kayleigh Leith with The Jesse Janes 8.30pm
Singer Songwritter, pint sized power mouth, from Pittsburgh now Netherlands based Kayleigh performs classic Americana/New Country originals penned via Vegas, Nashville & NYC. Tonight she is backed by Dutch based band The Wreckless. Support comes from Omagh born Liverpool based The Jesse Janes. An all-female Country/Folk trio, whose performance is, hinged on heavy three part vocal harmony and delicate string picks.

Friday 25th July
The Downtown Dixieland Band 9pm
Liverpool legends late of a weekly residency in The Marlbro now perform at The Caleodnia once a month. The classic, timeless Trad Jazz 6 piece have been performing together for decades are joined by regular guests Dave Searson (The Nudie Suits/SBNGPC) and Amanda Brown (Waysiders/Flamin’ Mamies) as well as other friends gathered along the way. This is one of those special nights that fills your belly with happiness, moves your feet to a dance and leaves you beaming for the rest of the week.

Saturday 26th July

Liverpool Craft Brewer Discussion 4pm
Terry from Liverpool Craft Brewery will be joing us to talk about our special festival brew Centennial American IPA and all things American beer.

Western Swing/Country Lead Guitar Workshop £5 4.30pm Upstairs
Lead by ‘Lonesome’ Dave Searson, a one hour workshop, for existing guitarists looking to develop in the Swing direction. 

Advanced Ukulele Workshop £10 6pm Upstairs
Beginners/Taster Ukulele Workshop £5 7.15pm Upstairs
Chris ‘Ukulele’ Uff has been running the advanced class fortnightly for some time. An extra class has been added here for the festival to allow beginner/intermediate players to come and experience his workshops and perhaps pick up a new technique. Advanced players looking to expand their skill set please join the 6pm class. Private Classes also available via ukuleleuff@yahoo.com

Hannah Rickard & the Relatives 
with The Yellow Belly Stragglers 9pm
London based Hannah Rickard & the Relatives touring on the imminent release of their first single play classic Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blues tinged originals with a healthy dose of rare R’n’B covers. Fab vocals roll straight out of the 50s over a classic tight but not rigid backup. Support comes tonight from Liverpool’s Yellow Belly Stragglers. Stripped back 40’s and 50’s Jazz Rock’n’Roll Originals, with washboard and guitar solos, that’ll melt your bones. A night not to be missed.
Sunday 27th July
The Martin Smith Quartet does Duke Ellington 4-7pm
Join Caledonia house band and local trumpeting legend/musical hero Martin Smith. He and his band will lead you on a sweet Sunday journey through American Jazz via the music of Duke Ellington.

The Rainbow Girls and Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra 8.30pm

The festival closes with a double header of bands from Northern California. 

Marty O’Riley is classic blues song writing and guitar influenced by generations of great American artist’s and recordings filled with ancient hiss. Travelling as a simple trio of Guitar, Bass and Violin it’ll be that perfect intimate hit of Old American Blues. Rainbow Girls close our festival with their well-travelled, multi instrument raw bluesy folk which’ll keep you dancing well past bed time. Their advance requests a microphone for Tap Dancing… it’s going to be a great night! 

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Bedford ClinicJuly 18th 2014.

'Honky tonk' is Liverpool rhyming slang. I hope they clean it up afterwards.

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