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Friday, March 23rd, 2018
7:30 PM
MUSIC OF A WELL-LIVED LIFETIME

The rich life and amazing times of Mike Silver: singer, songwriter and superb musician

Witness Mike Silver singing live or on record, and you can immediately tell that here is an artist whose voice, musicianship and song-writing talents have been honed over a rich and well-lived lifetime. His easy rapport with his audiences, his endless fund of stories, plus his finely wrought songs of experience, observation and wisdom all bespeak a life-story worth many more songs and stories to come.

Born in 1945, Mike's early interest in music was awakened by one of his elder brothers, who introduced him to the music of Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Lonnie Donegan, the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, Slim Whitman, Phil Harris, Connie Francis and many more.

At the age of nine Mike discovered a guitar at home, left overnight by a friend of one of his brothers no more than five minutes later this tantalising discovery had awakened in him, a passion for the instrument which endures to the present day. Right there and then, he made a deal with himself that he was going to play this instrument; that he was going to be an outstanding singer as well was not in the original plan!

Drawn to acoustic music, Mike was soon developing his skills as a floor-singer in folk clubs, forever learning from established visiting performers until he too had the experience and expertise to take to the stage area himself, as the guest artiste. Singing his own songs, telling his own stories, following his own road, Mike toured Britain and the continent extensively during the '60s, '70s and '80s, forever gaining in confidence, strength and ability - to the extent that he was signed to Elton John's Rocket Records in 1973, touring the USA with the likes of Dory Previn, and Ashford and Simpson.

Since those early days Mike has worked as a studio musician and backing vocalist for Charles Aznavour, Chris de Burgh, Ralph McTell and Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues amongst other recordings appeared as a guest on Show of Hands Live 1992 produced albums for Martyn Wyndham-Read (Jackaroo), Anna Shannon (Overland) and his ability to write and perform songs which transcend so many guitar and musical styles is recognised by many, not the least, Moody Blues' Justin Hayward, who recorded Mike's song, 'Maybe It's Just Love' on his solo album 'Night Flight'.

Over the years Mike has accumulated an impressive portfolio of albums featuring a multitude of his own superb compositions. Accompanied by his own multi faceted guitar playing, as well as the contributing musicianship of many other fine players, including Gloucester's Johnny Coppin, with whom Mike has been touring and recording since 2005, the outstanding guitar work of Jo Partridge, his friend since the late 60s and more recently the wonderfully talented multi-instrumentalist Nils Tuxen (Denmark); each of Mike's songs takes the listener on its own special journey

Now in his 70th year, Mike has just released SILVER COLLECTION, an album made up entirely of covers, sung and performed in his own style, each of these tracks becomes his own. Mike continues to play both at home and abroad so you can be sure that he'll be appearing at a venue near you before very long. Don't miss the chance to see him; you'll be amazed at the breadth of his singing, the height of his musicianship, and the stature of his performance adding up to a unique musical experience honed by a life in music and a love of all that that music bestows on the singers, players and most important of all, their audiences.

Bella Gaffney

New album 'Heaven Knows' available on bandcamp with Folkstock Records

'Great singer, great guitarist, really interesting songwriter'
Mike Harding, podcast #69

Bella Gaffney came to us highly recommended by others now she comes highly recommended by us as well.
SaltaireLive

"Stunning performances...steeped in tradition and oozing talent her folk songwriting and performances will take her far."
NottsAboutMusic

"Her treatment of the more well-known songs in her extensive repertoire is refreshingly different, and some of her own songs have a direct relevance to places and events of contemporary interest."
‚ÄčTopic Folk Club

Bella isn't just an excellent folk singer or musician but, coupled with her ability to engage thoroughly with an audience, she has blossomed into a fine folk entertainer.
Morley Folk Club

Nick Hall

Just another bloke with a guitar? Not on your life. Nick Hall has finally arrived on the scene as a fully-formed solo artist after a fascinating apprenticeship.
As one of The Hall Brothers, Nick played the folk clubs and festivals gathering experience as a performer, learning how to harmonise and gaining a knack for writing a roof-raising chorus and an extensive knowledge of the tradition. As session lead-guitarist for 70's prog-folk band Magna Carta, Nick played all over the world expanding the scope of his writing (of songs and stories) and securing his reputation as a charismatic performer and communicator. As an actor (on stage and screen) he has developed his undeniable stage presence and powerful voice. Finally, as a member of Plumhall, Nick has continued to develop his skills as a highly-rated guitarist and singer-songwriter with his song 'Never Forget My Name' being covered by the Folk-Award nominee, Dan Walsh and a Yorkshire Gig Guide Outstanding Song-Writing Award. Along the way, Nick has also performed onstage with many superb musicians and songwriters including Peter Tork of The Monkees, Larry Campbell (Grammy-Award winning producer and member of both Bob Dylan's and Paul Simon's bands), Ian McNabb (Mercury Prize nominated songwriter and Liverpudlian legend from The Icicle Works), Jon Sevink (Levellers), Phil Beer (legendary folk musician of Show Of Hands fame), Dan Donnelly (The Wonder Stuff), Ian Prowse (Pele, Amsterdam) and many more.
With his incredibly-talented partner Michelle Plum being so much in-demand as a performer all over the world, Nick has recently found the time to indulge in more collaborations and also to properly cement his reputation as a solo performer. His first, 'come-back' solo show was a last-minute support for Dervish where he raised the roof and sold out of CDs, and his most recent big solo show (opening for Lindisfarne) was rapturously-received by both the audience and the band themselves. His much-lauded solo appearances last year at the Cornwall Folk Festival, Purbeck Valley Folk Festival and Otley Folk Festival were proof that Nick has the song-power, voice, presence and technical ability to attract and then hold a large audience on a big stage. A recent review of the 2017 Beverley Folk Festival in R2 magazine remarked on how Nick had single-handedly 'refilled an almost empty marquee' with his personality, stage presence and 'great songs'.
Most recently, Nick and Michelle were asked to perform onstage at the London Palladium with Al Stewart and Nick was also recently approached by a film company to write original music (and supervise all other music) for forthcoming film, The Runaways. Michelle and Nick will also appear in the film briefly, performing an original song with one of the stars.
Just another bloke with a guitar? Not on your life!
(Nick Hall is a Tokai Guitars endorsee)