Finger-pickin’ good music at the String Jam Club

MARCH often heralds the return of spring, but this month also welcomes some world-class finger-picking as Martin Stephenson and Jim Horsby head for Galashiels.

Stephenson – a totally unique and talented musician whose live performances are something else – plays for String Jam Club members at the Salmon Inn on Saturday, March 16.

He’s a superb guitarist and a great songwriter so this is a real treat for fans of blues-influenced music and top-notch original songwriting.

Stephenson is joined by Hornsby, well-known and hugely respected guitarist from Newcastle who will be bringing a variety of stringed instruments with him including a resonator guitar, lap steel and a banjo.

Martin’s early love of literature and music led to the formation of the renowned band, the Daintees, first started in his early teens. After becoming something of a busking sensation, Newcastle record label Kitchenware signed Martin and The Daintees and sent them into the studio.

After two singles, notable among which was 1982’s intoxicating Roll On Summertime, a debut album was embarked upon. The Daintees line-up at this time comprised Stephenson (guitar, vocals), Anthony Dunn (bass, acoustic guitar, vocals), John Steel (keyboards, harmonica, bass, vocals) and Paul Smith (drums, percussion).

Boat To Bolivia was released in 1986, praised by the New Musical Express because it “builds bridges between love and hate, between cradle and grave, between folk and pop, between the past and present”.

After composing a song about Carolina-born Charlie Poole’s fiddle player Posey Rorrer, Stephenson wrote a play about Charlie’s life and brought together the cream of the North East of England’s acoustic musicians for the project. His journey took him all over North Carolina, rediscovering many great forgotten musicians and recording them for a CD titled The Haint of the Budded Rose.

Now performing mainly solo and acoustically, his performances are imbued with his deep love of the folk/blues rag guitar style.

Tickets, £9, are available from the Salmon, or buy on the door.