Bartley curtain-raiser at St Boswells Live!

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A NEW season for St Boswells Live! kicks off with finger-picking guitar and banjo player Gren Bartley.

A songwriter who explores a wide range of styles from traditional English songs to the darkest American blues ballads, Gren’s songwriting has previously been described as possessing “a depth and insight of someone twice his age”.

His first demo CD released in 2005, entitled Detalina, gave him a solid foundation on the East Midlands music scene.

His second record, named Eg, was made with fiddler Tom Kitching and led to a record deal with folk stalwarts Fellside Records.

The duo began working nationally and released their first full album, Rushes, in 2007.

Bartley’s first full solo album, Carry Her Safe, was a collection of original songs, played on guitar and banjo, and a busy tour followed as he made appearances at folk clubs, acoustic venues and festivals across the UK.

In 2008 Bartley joined up again with Kitching for the 15-track album Boundary, and he has drawn favourable comparisons with the likes of Richard Thompson, Nic Jones and Kelly Joe Phelps.

Supporting Gren are two very different artists from the Borders who have both been talent-spotted over the summer as potential stars in their fields.

Sally-Anne Scott is a harp and clarsach player who has excelled under the tutelage of the legendary Elspeth Smellie and is now on her way to the Royal Conservatoire this year.

Fiona Laing, becoming a regular at venues around the Borders, plays guitar to accompany her soaring voice and self-penned songs.

At the Lauder Jubilee Celebrations this year, she wowed the audience and St Boswells Live! organiser Keith Farnish says the club is looking forward to seeing what she can do.

Open mic slots are available by calling Keith on 01835 822692 - leave an answerphone message if required.

Doors for this show on Friday, August 31, open at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £8 (adult), £4 (under-16) or £20 (two adults and up to three under-16s). Tickets are available from St Boswells Post Office and via www.stboswellslive.com