Archived news

January 2011: I’m in a band! The guys from Hull-based Beggars Bridge have invited me to do a bit of singing and whistling for an upcoming series of gigs, which I’m really looking forward to. Meanwhile, I’ve been continuing my singing at the folk club – recent support slots have included Steve Tilston, one of the best singer-guitariists out there. Coming soon: new CDs available to buy…

March 15, 2010: I’ve signed up to do the Race for Life again. This time, I’m determined to run most of it and really crack this running lark! Please sponsor me at

March 8, 2010: Managed to pluck up enough courage to play the piano and sing – at the same time! – at the folk club. I did my version of a song called The People of West Cork and Kerry, which I first heard performed by an Irish singer called Tommy O’Sullivan in Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland, during a holiday there in 2007. It was actually written by a well-known Irish singer, Jimmy McCarthy, and brings back a lot of memories for me for a number of reasons. Despite feeling so nervous my knees were trembling, I think I did it pretty well, so that’s boosted my confidence to try out more piano-accompanied songs.

February 23, 2010: I was honoured to be asked to sing one of the support slots when Martin Carthy visited the (Not) The White Horse Folk Club in Beverley last night. After having fought off an ‘orrible cold not long beforehand, I had been fretting rather a lot about the prospect, but in the end I felt it went really well. Couldn’t have done it any better, I don’t think. I did two toons: the first was Harry Eddom, a song by Bill Meek about one of the only survivors when the Hull trawler the Ross Cleveland went down 42 years ago this month (February 4, 1968). The second was one of my favourite traditional ballads, learned from June Tabor’s version: Clerk Sandy (or Clerk Saunders/Sanders). I’ll get round to recording Harry Eddom at some point. Afterwards I feared I’d gone on a little long, but maybe it just felt like years up there! Anyway, I had a quick chat with him at the end, and he was most complimentary (or just being nice, maybe!), and I shook his hand. So, all in all, a great night, and leaving me with more hope that one day I might get to do regular gigs with anyone who can play instruments…

December 1, 2009: Just got back from doing my first support slot at the (Not) The White Horse Folk Club in Beverley. The act was originally to have been legendary Scottish singer Ray Fisher, but sadly we were informed last week that she is very ill indeed, and still in hospital. Very ably filling her place, though, were singer John O’Hagan and guitarist Paul Tebbutt, a fine duo who provided excellent entertainment, and some lovely songs, especially at relatively short notice. I was left to sweat it out until before the second half of the show until I got to do my two songs – which were Reynardine, and Queen Among The Heather, the June Tabor versions (not only is she one of my singing heroines anyway, I was further inspired to do a couple of hers after I went to see her in Howden the other week; she does not diminish with age – quite the reverse). I’m really utterly thrilled and a bit baffled to say it went down really, really well. Christ, even John O’Hagan, the booked artist, came up to say how much he liked it! I managed to hold the nervousness in and just get on with it. The only volume I do is ‘loud’, but I guess that’s fair if you’re doing acappella in front of a fairly packed room. It’s all experience, anyway. So… another good step towards doing this more regularly, and, who knows, maybe being accompanied one day. A great psychological boost, and a great night overall. Right, must find some new material!

October 12, 2009: Just got back from another great guest night at the (Not) The White Horse Folk Club in Beverley. Taking the stage this time were Denny Bartley (guitar) and Chris Sherburn (concertina), of Last Night’s Fun – and they were, quite simply, fantastic. The band may be calling it a day, but this duo (the original duo from which the band evolved) are just brilliant, showing how two instruments and a voice that could break your heart are all you need to fill a room if you have the talent, and these guys have it in spades. A top, top, night was had by all (the room was packed), and it was made even better by the banter (joke of the night: What did the slug say to the snail? “Big issue!”). I’ve not had much better entertainment for seven quid in a long time.

Author: Sam

I'm Sam Martyn, a folk singer, musician and artist from Hull. I'm a member of Hull folk band Beggar's Bridge, and I'm also in the White Horse Ceilidh Band. I've been a regular at the The White Horse Folk Club in Beverley for a good few years now, too. I play piano, low and high whistle, and harmonium. Influences include June Tabor (quite simply a heroine of mine) and Eliza Carthy. In September 2012 I released my first album, Drifting on Out, while Land and Sea followed in February 2016 - both are available to buy on CD via PayPal in my website shop, or from iTunes.

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