Bill Phelan’s Muskrat Ramblers, 2nd October 2015

BILL PHELAN’S MUSKRAT RAMBLERS’ made a return journey to our FARNBOROUGH JAZZ CLUB on Friday, 2nd October 2015. It was exactly a year ago they were exciting us (see back to that newsletter).   You were all having such fun and screaming for more at the end of that evening, likewise the same this time.  Band leader, BILL PHELAN (trumpet & flugelhorn) had joining him ALAN CRESSWELL (clarinet), along with JOHN FINCH (trombone/vocals),  ANDY LAWRENCE (double bass), JIM HEATH (banjo/vocals) and PAUL NORMAN (drums).  I said last week, all the more reason for joining us – being you called out for more last time!  Well, our audience was a little thin on the ground, but that didn’t deter this lovely band from playing their hearts out.

Bill Phelan's Muscrat Ramblers played at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. (LtoR) Andy Lawrence (double bass), John Finch (trombone&vocals), Paul Norman (drums), Bill Phelan (trumpet&flugalhorn), Alan Cresswell (clarinet) and Jim Heath (banjo&vocals). Photo by Mike Witt.

Bill Phelan’s Muscrat Ramblers played at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. (LtoR) Andy Lawrence (double bass), John Finch (trombone&vocals), Paul Norman (drums), Bill Phelan (trumpet&flugalhorn), Alan Cresswell (clarinet) and Jim Heath (banjo&vocals). Photo by Mike Witt

Those who came, enjoyed every minute, because the band played many favourite tunes.   Bix Beiderbecke’s ‘Royal Garden Blues’ for one, with some great trumpet and clarinet playing from Bill and Alan.  We performed our line-dance to Alan’s fabulous clarinet notes and ‘Hiawatha Rag’ – we were exhausted afterwards, ha!  Then we continued dancing with the band’s rendition of ‘Magnolia’s Wedding Day’ – as we were still on the dance floor.

Bill Phelan on trumpet, John Finch on trombone, Alan Cresswell on clarinet, Andy Laurence on double bass and Paul Newman on drums playing as Bill Phenan's Muscrat Ramblers at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friady, 2nd October 2015. Photo by  Mike Witt.

Bill Phelan on trumpet, John Finch on trombone, Alan Cresswell on clarinet, Andy Laurence on double bass and Paul Newman on drums playing as Bill Phenan’s Muscrat Ramblers at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friady, 2nd October 2015. Photo by Mike Witt.

Bill Phelan's 'engine' to his band 'Bill Phelan's Muscrat Ramblers' seen here at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. (LtoR) Andy Lawrence (double bass), Paul Norman (drums) and Jim Heath (banjo&vocals).  Photo by Mike Witt.

Bill Phelan’s ‘engine’ to his band ‘Bill Phelan’s Muscrat Ramblers’ seen here at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. (LtoR) Andy Lawrence (double bass), Paul Norman (drums) and Jim Heath (banjo&vocals). Photo by Mike Witt.

Here's Andy Lawrence playing double bass for Bill Phelan's Muscrat Ramblers at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015.  Photo by Mike Witt.

Here’s Andy Lawrence playing double bass for Bill Phelan’s Muscrat Ramblers at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. Photo by Mike Witt.

Alan Cresswell is  featured on clarinet, backed by Andy Lawrence on double bass, Paul Norman on drums and Jim Heath on banjo with Bill Phelan's Muscrat Ramblers at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. Photo by Mike Witt.

Alan Cresswell is featured on clarinet, backed by Andy Lawrence on double bass, Paul Norman on drums and Jim Heath on banjo with Bill Phelan’s Muscrat Ramblers at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. Photo by Mike Wit

Then Alan was featured next to George Lewis’ composition of ‘St Phillips Street Breakdown’ (George renamed it ‘Burgundy Street Blues’).  Lovely job Alan.  Their next tune chosen was ‘Ciribiribin’, to which I have a special warm feeling about, having written to one of the composers, Jack Lawrence.  Bill played it beautifully.

Here is Jim Heath, playing for Bill Phelan's Muscrat Ramblers at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. Photo by Mike Witt.

Here is Jim Heath, playing for Bill Phelan’s Muscrat Ramblers at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. Photo by Mike Witt.

Their next tune they dedicated to me, hmmm, the number was ‘Dinah’, sung by Jim – thanks Jim.  My next choice to mention is Louis’ ‘That’s My Home’, such a lovely tune and I had put three ticks against it, which meant everyone excelled playing it.

John Finch on trombone, Paul Norman on drums and Jim Heath on banjo play with Bill Phelan's Muscrat Ramblers here at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. Photo By Mike Witt.

John Finch on trombone, Paul Norman on drums and Jim Heath on banjo play with Bill Phelan’s Muscrat Ramblers here at Farnborough Jazz Club (Kent) on Friday, 2nd October 2015. Photo By Mike Witt.

We were up with a line-dance again to the next tune, ‘Move The Body Over’, sung by John (another great singer of the band), such a ton of fun again.  Their last number of the evening was ‘Buena Sera’, yes a lovely up-tempo number to ‘go out’ on.  Thanks for entertaining us so wonderfully boys – lovely jubbly

P.S.  I wrote the following, when I advertise this week’s gig, so still wish to include it:  “You probably will have read it was the first time last year for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.  Yes and here I am moaning.  I watched once more to my horror, either the Band, or the Producers have chosen the wrong music again.  The very first number of the competition, was for a Tango – what did they use for the music? Namely THE KINKS “You Really Got Me Now” – not even a real tango beat AND IT’s NOT EVEN A POP NUMBER NOW!  I so want to watch the programme, but I fear I shall have to give it up!  (Oh, I know… I won’t though, but see you this Friday, for some real music.

Your hosts, Diane and Keith

‘Buena Sera’ – Peter DeRose & Carl Sigman (1950)
‘Ciribiribin’ – (m&l) Harry James &Jack Lawrence (1939) (based on melody by Alberto Pestalozza -1889)
‘Dinah’ – (m) Harry Akst, (l) Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young (1923)
‘Hiawatha Rag’ – (m) Chas N Daniels aka Neil Moret (1901), (l) James O’Deo (added 1903)
‘Magnolia’s Wedding Day’ – (m) Jimmy McHugh, (l) Dorothy Fields (1928) (Chris Barber)
‘Move The Body Over’ – traditional (composer unknown, possible ‘Fats’ Waller or George Lewis?)
‘Royal Garden Blues’ – Clarence Williams & Spencer Williams (1919) (not related)
‘St Phillips Street Breakdown’ – George Lewis (circa 1944) (re-named Burgundy Street Blues)
‘That’s My Home’ – Otis René, Leon René & Ben Ellison (1932)