Folk - Sara Grey and Kieron Means

Sara Grey is a traditional ballad singer. She is American, but has lived in the British Isles for 35 years: she visited Scotland in 1970 to collect a few folk songs, and ended up staying. She has become one of the regulars on the folk scene circuit, playing in over 150 venues, and most of the top festivals. Her voice has the reputation of being powerful and sweet, with a distinctive tremolo, which is perfect for Celtic and Americana ballad singing. Her speciality is singing songs that have migrated across the Atlantic; she enjoys studying their evolution. She accompanies her singing by frailing a five-string banjo; tonight she is accompanied by her guitar-playing son Kieron Means, who has a fine voice himself. Expect some songs from Sara’s latest album, A Long Way from Home, including Barbara Allen, Five Nights Drunk and Old Smokey.

Regulars to the Royal Oak Folk Club will know what to expect from a ballad concert. The audience is reverent and rapt: they may well join in the chorus if they recognise the song. The main act is accompanied by several floor shows: this can be anything but usually includes some harmony singing and squeezebox playing. The whole affair is hosted with some gusto by Vic and Tina Smith. If you’re curious about folk music, it’s worth going along, because the Smiths have turned their weekly session at the Oak into one of the most highly rated folk clubs in the country. Just don’t expect any dancing on the tables. AL

Ballad days: Sarah Grey and Kieron Means
The Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50
Folk at the Oak
(t) (01273) 478124
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