Popular banjo player is back at Woodend

Mean Mary is popular among the Scarborough area’s banjo players.

Famed for her lightning-fast banjo playing, she has played at Woodend several times and is back on 6 October.

“People often bring their banjos to be signed by her and you often get a sort of banjo-appreciation society meet up at her gigs”, says promoter Chris Lee, who finds it “bizarre but oddly touching”.

The Americana, bluegrass, blues and folk artist, from Nashville, also plays fiddle and guitar.

Straddling the folk and country spectrums, she will be playing songs from her new album, Blazing Mary.

Chris says she has a large following on social media and some of her Facebook videos have had millions of hits.

She will be accompanied by her brother, Frank James.

Dan Webster, from York, will play the support slot.

Next at Woodend is singer songwriter Nathan Bell (9 Oct).

Expect “sharp-edged songs with a gravelly but poetic voice comparable to the likes of Townes, Guy Clark and John Prine”, says Chris.

“He’s an accomplished guitar player with a deft bluesy style”.

Filling the support slot will be talented local artist Lottie Holmes.

Colorado bluegrass band Ragged Union make their Woodend debut on 18 October.

Chris says the band features “a national mandolin champion, a cult hero songwriter, an award-winning banjo player, a highly respected fiddle player and a creative and driven songwriter and flatpicker.

“Although ostensibly a bluegrass band, they are versatile enough to co-exist in the trad, progressive and jam band worlds”.

Gigs start at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10; to book, ring 384500.