Jim performs English traditional folk songs and fiddle tunes. Many of Jim’s songs and tunes are local to Hull and East Yorkshire – songs and tunes he learnt from family, from neighbours and from people he has met through actively going out and seeking old songs and tunes that have been passed on by word of mouth.
For thirty years or more, Jim played for a living on board the Bridlington pleasure boats Yorkshire Belle and Flamborian. That was a seven days a week commitment from April to October, playing without amplification out on deck up to seven trips a day. It was fun and it was tiring. It was a hand to mouth existence. The welcome arrival of an old age pension ended that job at the end of the 2012 season. The music continues.
The most recent album, Songs and Fiddle Tunes, came out in 2016 and led to a busy 2017 with both the week-long festivals, Sidmouth and Whitby, and several weekend and one-day festivals. Those were bookings with Lynette. There has been a big chunk of work with Corona Smith at Beamish Museum in the weeks leading up to Christmas each year – Jim and Corona duet as Two Straylarkers. In 2016, Lynette launched into a big clog teaching project at Scunthorpe along with Wendy Bolton and that continued through 2017 and is ongoing this year.
Fresh at both Sidmouth and Whitby festivals was Jim’s presentation, The Fiddle Tunes of the Pennock Family of Goathland. Fiddlers Moss Christian and Corona Smith and dancer Lynette all played strong supporting roles. The show makes an outing to Goathland itself this year on September 23rd.
There are articulated wooden toys in the mix too. Jim’s fiddle puppet Gerald and his jig doll Donald and Corona Smith’s peg dolls were all a hit at Hooton Pagnell village fete and at Retford Family Folk Day back in 2016 and at Beamish each Christmas. This year Gerald and Donald join the fun at Morpeth Gathering and at Ackworth Steam Rally in July.
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