The First Ladies of Folk

Sally Barker finalist of TV's The Voice and Vicki Genfan bring their Small Mountain Tour to Thimblemill Library in Bearwood

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by Hamilton High, for outsideleft.com
originally published: November, 2017
There's plenty of footage available of Sally tearing up soul standards and easily holding her own while singing with Tom, the man, the myth, the legend.
by Hamilton High, for outsideleft.com
originally published: November, 2017
There's plenty of footage available of Sally tearing up soul standards and easily holding her own while singing with Tom, the man, the myth, the legend.

Sally Barker & Vicki Genfan
Small Mountain Tour
Thimblemill Library
Bearwood
Thursday November 9th, 7.30pm

I don’t know whether anyone with a voice as dynamic, as emotionally charged or as exquisite as Sally Barker and  has ever walked into the Thimblemill Library in Bearwood, let alone sang in there, so Thursday's show where Sally shares the stage with her partner the virtuoso guitarist Vicki Genfan is an incredible coup for the ambitious and eclectic booking team at the Thimblemill library.

In some respects Sally Barker’s story is of course the more familiar one. A long term stalwart of the UK folk circuit, touring with the likes of Fairport Convention, Steelye Span, Roy Harper and Gordon Giltrap. She’s also opened shows for Bob Dylan and Robert Plant - both of whom I’d hope to see in the library on Thursday supporting her.

Sally’s best known foray into the public consciousness is her amazing journey on the television show The Voice and it’s 7 million strong prime time audience. Participating in the shows’ heyday in 2014, Sally was picked to join Voice coach Tom Jones and made it all the way to the final. There’s plenty of footage available of her tearing up soul standards and easily holding her own while singing with Tom, the man, the myth, the legend.

After soundly rejecting the Voice cash-in opportunities, Sally turned to recording her recent exceedingly cool Ghost Girl LP. It sounds in parts like a caustic confessional from the road. It’s beautifully written and performed with spare, slight instrumentation and at moments maybe Natalie Merchant-esque cadences in Sally’s voice. I like that. Damn I love it all, It’s a delight.

Most recently working with incredible guitarist Vicki Genfan, the duo have recorded one of folk music’s more significant recent releases of late, ‘In the Shadow of a Small Mountain’ Vicki is irrepressible as Sally iridescent and when they take the stage together the combined strengths of these incredible women shake me down to the timbers of my frame.


In the Shadow of a Small Mountain

It can be tough to get people to leave their log burners in Bearwood in the winter, but it’s going to be one incredible night in the library on Thursday and let’s hope these First Ladies of Folk get the audience they deserve.


Essential Links
Sally Barker & Vicki Genfan
Small Mountain Tour
Thimblemill Library
Bearwood
Thursday November 9th, 7.30pm
Tickets £5 advance £8 at the door

Ghost Girl LP on Spotify
Sally Barker Website
Vicki Genfan Website

Hamilton High

Hamilton High was born on Doheny Ave in the gutter, is a poet, writer and observer of popular culture. Likes fashion and cares less for style. He's on the move, he's an alter ego and we hardly ever hear from him.

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