Sometimes gigs are like buses, you wait ages for one & then two turn up at once. This weekend found me on an all too rare chance to see live music on successive days. Two husband and wife duos, two very different sets but both perfectly suited to their individual audiences.
First up, Friday 18th September saw me making the trip along the M4 for my first visit to the Valley Folk Club at Pontardawe. The club has been going for approximately 45 years, 30 of which have been at it's current Ivy Bush Hotel home.
In that time, many illustrious guests have performed at the club, the latest of which were American Folk duo Hungrytown.
If you're not familiar with them, Hungrytown are Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, Rebecca comes from a Jazz background, whilst Ken was a part of the New York garage band scene. The loss of a friend to cancer brought them into the world of folk and they haven't looked back since.
The duo's Valley Folk Club gig was an entirely acoustic affair, with no amplification of any kind. Any doubts about this were soon dispelled as Rebecca's clear voice soon had a packed room enthralled.
Unsurprisingly, songs from Hungrytown's latest album, Further West, featured strongly and it was a pleasure to hear the Valley Folk Club members harmonising so well on songs like Don't You Let Me Down. In between the songs we heard stories about Rebecca and Ken's nomadic life and their time living in New York City, including the time their van caught fire whilst touring in the Pacific North West and how they came up with the band name. For me one of life's great pleasures is to find an interesting looking road and following it just to see where it goes, Rebecca and Ken found one such called Hungrytown Road whilst recording in the Bluegrass Country and decided to adopt the name. They never did find out whether a settlement called Hungrytown ever existed.
Live, Hungrytown are every bit as good as they are on album, Rebecca's voice and Ken's playing are a pleasure to listen to and it was great to witness them feeding off the energy of an appreciative audience as they did at the Valley Folk Club. Hungrytown are touring the UK until the middle of October, if you can, go and see them. Personally I look forward to catching up with them when they return to the UK in September 2016.