SELBY Town Hall’s spring season opens on February 1 with an 8pm performance by folk-rock supergroup The Sandy Denny Project, paying homage to the late Fairport Convention folk-rock singer.
“Featuring, among others, Sally Barker, a former finalist on BBC One’s The Voice, they don’t play a great many gigs together,” says Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones. “This is one of only a couple of shows announced for 2020 – a rare treat.”
In a tragically short career – she died at the age of 31 – Sandy Denny sealed her place among the most influential and best-loved singer-songwriters of the past 50 years.
Britain’s pre-eminent folk-rock singer, she began her performing career with The Strawbs, then joined Fairport Convention, formed Fotheringay and released four solo albums.
Her song Who Knows Where The Time Goes? has been recorded by Judy Collins, Eva Cassidy, Nina Simone and Cat Power, while her wider work has been the subject of numerous reissues, documentaries and high-profile tribute concerts.
Sally Barker, from The Poozies, and fellow former Fotheringay MkII member PJ Wright, from The Dylan Project, are joined in The Sandy Denny Project by frequent Fairport Convention guest Anna Ryder, fast-rising singer, fiddler and guitarist Marion Fleetwood and a rhythm section of bassist Mat Davies and drummer Mark Stevens, from the now-defunct folk-rock group Little Johnny England.
Sandy Denny’s writing is approached not in the manner of a tribute band slavishly copying the records, but as an interpretation of her work by six musicians who share a folk-rock pedigree.
“Although Sandy died in 1978, her songs remain as fresh, poignant and as beautiful today as the time that they were penned, and with every year her reputation as a songwriter and interpreter of traditional material continues to grow,” says Chris.
“The repertoire of The Sandy Denny Project reflects the amazing legacy left behind by Sandy, through her work with the early incarnations of Fairport Convention, the sublime Fotheringay and her incredible solo songs.
“February 1 is a rare chance to see these six fantastic musicians perform their pitch-perfect tribute. The band really are of the highest folk-rock calibre and this is an opportunity no folk fan will want to miss.”
Tickets cost £19 on 01757 708449 or at selbytownhall.co.uk or £21 on the door from 7.30pm.