Joe tops the bill

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Selkirk’s String Jam Club welcomes Joe Topping to the stage on Saturday August 22 at the County Hotel.

The club’s Allie Fox writes: “Described as a cross between Ry Cooder, Woody Guthrie and Paul Brady, Joe is a songwriter, singer and guitarist, whose music defies categorisation or pigeon-holing.

“He has his own signature sound, incorporating a unique bottleneck guitar style, strikingly original songs and memorable melodies and hooks.

“It simply doesn’t matter whether you categorise his music as folk, blues, Americana – all of these or none of these – it’s just simply very, very good. His performances are packed with great songs, inspired vocals and phenomenal playing.”

Joe’s adventurous streak took him travelling throughout the world, including a trek across the Namid Desert for a landmine charity. In 2006 and with an old Gibson guitar strapped to his back, Joe undertook a 1400 mile solo walk across America, from Chicago to New Orleans, sleeping in motels, cornfields, cotton fields, graveyards, backyards and sugar plantations, meeting musicians and characters along the way, inspiring his album ‘Ghosts in the Shadows’ in 2010.

Since Joe first performed at the String Jam in 2012, 
his latest album ‘The Vagrant Kings’ has been named ‘one of the best folk music albums of 2015’ by a Telegraph critic.

Doors open at 7.30pm, and tickets cost £12 from the venue, or via credit-card bookings on 01750 721233. You can also take advantage of a special summer offer: buy two tickets and get one free, and get 15 per cent off restaurant meals between 6 and 7pm.

Described by The List as “The Borders haven of accoustic mucic”, String Jam Club is rapidly becoming the place to be.

On September 12, the club will welcome Karine Polwart, one of Scotland’s best-loved singer-songwriters.

Karine released her fifth studio album, the beautiful and evocative ‘Traces’, in 2012. It follows a hugely impressive catalogue of remarkable and award-winning recordings. Her debut album ‘Faultlines’ won three awards at the 2005 BBC Folk Awards, including Best Album. Its follow-up, ‘Scribbled in Chalk’ (2006) included the memorable song ‘Daisy’ which won her another BBC Folk Award for Best Original Song in 2007.

Her most recent album, ‘Traces’, was shortlisted across all genres in the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Awards, acclaimed as “.... a quiet masterpiece, an exquisite, poetic album of love and loss and lyrical protest” by The Herald. It was chosen as the No 1 Folk Album of the Year by the Guardian in 2012, and Scottish Album of the Year in 2012 by the Sunday Herald.

Tickets for this gig are already starting to go, so call the number above to reserve yours.