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About the Corn Stores music night

I ran the live music night, at the Corn Stores, from early autumn 2005...

It is an evening of intimate, acoustic music. It is always very friendly and relaxed and, thanks to some great friends that I have from the music scene in Reading, the quality of music is brilliant.

Picture of Gavin, Carlos and meThe night happens on a monthly basis, usually on the first Wednesday of the month (but it is worth checking the dates...there are sometimes extra gigs in the middle of a month). I start things off at about 8 o'clock with a half hour of acoustic rocky/bluesy tunes from somewhere in my collection. Almost always, I am lucky enough to have Gavin (on saxophone) and/or Carlos (on guitar), or one of a number of other, great friends to play guitar, bass, or percussion with me.

The Guest Slots

The guest slots are what makes the night really special. Here is an opportunity for the audience to be wowed by some excellently talented musicians. We have had solo guitarist/singers, duets and acoustic bands; playing a variety of styles from the electronic wizardry of Dexter's Friend's bass guitar & mandolin, to the outstanding classical/world music of the clarkhammondDuo.

There are usually two guest slots. With each artist(s) playing for about 30 to 45 minutes. Sometimes longer, and sometimes there is more than one group. Whichever happens, we meander to a close sometime between eleven and midnight. Usually, I will take to the stage again and sing you a couple of final songs to wrap things up. And then off to bed...

The Corn Stores/Il Gusto

The Corn Stores is a bar/restaurant in Reading. Il Gusto is the restaurant upstairs, when you can get some rather lovely Italian/Mediterranean food. Check out the Corn Stores on the web for more info, including location maps and menus.

Picture of Mark Gavin and me playing at the Corn Stores Picture of Jason Manners and his band (Rikk and Les) Picture of me and Stu at the Corn Stores, getting ready to play

Artists who have played

The following musicians have played the guest slot since January 2006. I have written a few lines about each of them, which I'll update from time-to-time, but cannot capture the real magic of their music in words...you will have to come down and find out for yourself...

Sonia and Thomas playing at the Corn StoresSonia Wilson and Thomas are a beautiful close-harmony duet. There is something about the sixties in their music, which is reminiscent of more innocent times. You can find Sonia at http://www.myspace.com/soniawilsonmusic

Matt Tanner playing at the Corn StoresMatt Tanner is a lively, pop-rock singer and guitarist: very hip and with a magnificent voice. Matt was the front man for the (very unfortunately) disbanded "Bonfire Episode", who were contemporaries of my band and great fun to share the stage with. Go to http://www.myspace.com/matthewtanner for more about Matt.

Sophie Henderson playing at the Corn StoresThe lovely Sophie Henderson lit up the room when he play at one of our little Reading Fringe Festival nights. She's a great singer, find her at: http://www.myspace.com/sophiehenderson

Jewels playing at the Corn StoresJewels is the princess of acoustic reggae: brilliant, powerful and lovely. Find her at: http://www.myspace.com/sugarjewels

Mark Mathews playing at the Corn StoresMark Mathews joined us from Camden, for the Reading Fringe. He is a great player, very cool, with top, acoustic pop songs. Check him out at: http://www.myspace.com/markmathews

Greg Mayston playing at the Corn StoresGreg Mayston is a marvellous blues singer and guitarist. He finger-picks some great old blues songs on a beautiful National guitar.

Lindsey Dolbear playing at the Corn StoresLindsey Dolbear has an excellent band - and we did manage to squeeze all four of them on to the "stage" - really bright, snappy, pop-rock. Very cool. Check out Lindsey's myspace http://www.myspace.com/lindseydolbear

Ceara Fox playing at the Corn StoresCeara Fox is stunning on stage. Her voice is beautiful and her songs are captivating. Follow this link http://www.myspace.com/cearafox for Ceara's myspace site.

Ian Mitchell playing at the Corn StoresIan Mitchell is a deep and passionate performer; a great songwriter, with more than a hint of melancholy in some of his music. :o)

Mark Alder playing at the Corn StoresMark Alder is magic on the stage: his voice is angelic; his songs are engaging (...you will join in with that sea shanty! ;o) ...) and you can't help but love him. Check out Mark at http://www.markalder.com

Steve Morano playing at the Corn StoresSteve Morano is a great song writer and passionate performer. His love for the music is infective. Go to http://www.stevemoranoband.com to find out more about Steve and his great band.

BlankAmanda Loh is beautiful and she sings with that slightly husky voice that makes me go all wobbly. A few country influences in there and, amongst others, she covers some great Ammie Mann tracks. Mmmmm... :o)

Andy Raven at the Corn Stores, with percussion from Rikk SmithAndy Raven is light-hearted and great fun to listen to. He is a singer-guitarist/violinist, with an English-folk feel, playing a combination of original songs and occasional obscure covers. Find Andy at www.andyraven.co.uk

Dan Zaire playing at the Corn StoresDan Zaire plays great, catchy, and original, rock tunes. Easy going and very cool - which is what we like!

Dexter's Friends playing at the Corn StoresDexter's Friends consist of Phil, Phil's mandolin and Dexter (Phil's bass guitar)...as well as some cunning wizardry from a medley of footswitches. The result, as Phil overlays bass riffs and melodic lines of mandolin, is funky, groovy sound of "Sunshine Dub". You can find Dexter's Friends at: http://www.myspace.com/dextersfriends

Lionel and Katie Took playing at the Corn StoresLionel Took plays excellent blues and folk songs, with some sweet finger-picking guitar and a great voice. He has also worked out the most cool version of Jumping Jack Flash I have ever heard!

Stu and Thom - the clarkHammondDuo - at the Corn StoresThe clarkhammondDuo are: Stu Clark on guitar and Thom Hammond on cello. They play beautiful, intricate and engauging original songs, which are inspired from world music, classical and rock roots. Find out more at www.stuart-clark.co.uk

Jason Manners at the Corn Stores, with percussion from Rikk SmithJason Manners is, quite simply, the man when it comes to the blues. His guitar playing is mind-buggeringly-good. He makes people, who hate blues guitar: love blues guitar. And he makes most guitarists just want to cry. Oh, and he can sing really well too... :o)

We have had a few support performances as well to add to the mix. They include: Pete Butterworth; Pippa Hockey & Emily Johnson.

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