London Folk Magazine and News
Gig Review: Square Roots´ Public Debut with Dan Evans & Virginia Thorn.
Square Roots Productions made their public debut last night (22/02/16) at the award winning Green Note Camden, beginning their efforts to recognise, promote, and celebrate folk music heritage. Square Roots is a charity set up in 2015 to preserve the relationship between Britain and America through folk, a tradition that has had great influence on the artists of both countries. For more information on Square Roots take a look at our article on the subject here.
In the first of their 3 gigs at the Green Note, Square Roots presented 2 brilliant artists, collaborating together in a tribute to the famous Appalachian song collector Jean Ritchie and her influence on the Greenwich Village folk revival of the 1960’s. Dan Evans, Britain’s leading dulcimer player, along with singer-songwriter Virginia Thorn, played an array of songs, including both covers and originals. Dan in particular delved into the more traditional roots of the Greenwich village revival, drawing on English folk songs preserved in the Appalachian Mountains, where Jean Ritchie grew up.
The combination of Dan’s dulcimer, a beautifully sounding instrument played with deft fingers and an inspiring respect for minimalism, with Virginia’s hauntingly sweet voice made for a capturing performance. With solo pieces from each, in particular Virginia’s cover of Tom Waits’ ‘Day After Tomorrow’ which was just outstanding, the performance was a great mix of styles and a fitting tribute to Jean Ritchie and the revival she inspired.
The Green Note presented an exceptionally fitting venue for this gig. Small and intimate, the delicate nature of many of the songs thrived in this setting, allowing the musicians to gain the attention they deserved. Also, as a tribute to the coffee houses of the Greenwich Village, the size of the venue was also fitting as it created an atmosphere much like what you would expect from the tiny venues of NYC.
This gig at the Green Note is the first run on the ladder for Square Roots, and what a beginning it was. The performances were fantastic, the venue excellent, and overall the event was a sold out success. As we thought, Square Roots look set to make a real impact in preserving and promoting the people, the places, and the history of the British/American folk relationship.
The next event takes place on 23rd March, featuring Simeon Jones and Dariush Kanani celebrating the life and work of guitarist Wizz Jones.