Latest release

HBR0005 – Jim Kweskin


A Collection of American and English Folk Songs

Our album by Jim Kweskin (of Jug Band fame) is released on 27 October 2017 and is available in both CD and digital formats. Use the ordering page of the Hornbeam website for a CD or, if you prefer digital format, follow the link to our Bandcamp page,

To launch the album we’re greatly looking forward to welcoming Jim to London. Following the launch he’ll be playing some gigs around the country. See below for details.

HBR0005 packshot

Sleeve designed and hand-lettered by artist Ski Williams in collaboration with photographer Laurie Lewis.

Jim Kweskin and Sean Read

Mixing session with Sean Read at the
Famous Times Studio in London.

Jim is an interpreter of songs and Unjugged spotlights his ability to get to the centre of a lyric – even one written 80 years ago – and to extract its meaning and make it relevant to a new generation. While his influence on American music in the 60s is great (if little known) and his jug band continues to be an inspiration for modern folk musicians, it’s Jim’s way with a song that is his greatest legacy and the one that Hornbeam highlights here. So take it away Jim, unjugged……


Take a peek at Jim’s website

Roll On, Roll On……

With great sadness we report that our friend and recording artist Tom Paley is no longer truckin’. He died peacefully on 30 September 2017 after a few months of failing health. Tom was 89. Never one to sit around for long, he lived his social and musical life to the full. Aside from festivals and paying gigs, often performing with his son Ben or the New Deal String Band, every week he did the rounds of the folk clubs and sessions near to his home in London. His other love was photography. He was never to be seen without his bulky metal camera case which, apart from a camera, contained everything but the kitchen sink!

Much has been written about Tom’s musical history. As a young man in 1953 he made the first revival album of Old-Time Mountain Music for Elektra Records. In New York City he befriended and performed with Woody Guthrie, attended weekly sessions at Lead Belly‘s apartment and he was a founder member of the influential New Lost City Ramblers. Modestly, he played down the times he gave guitar and banjo lessons to budding young musicians such as Jerry Garcia, Ry Cooder and Happy Traum. In the mid-sixties he moved first to Stockholm (where he acquired a penchant for Swedish fiddle music) and then to London where he remained and became a fixture in the UK folk scene. Hornbeam were honoured when he agreed to launch our label with the “Roll On, Roll On” album in 2012. It revived interest in him and resulted in a number of TV and radio sessions. Subsequently he performed at Leadbelly Fest concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, and in April this year he was reunited with Ry Cooder after an interval of more than 55 years!

Tom inspired and influenced a great many musicians, always willing to give advice when asked. It was fun to see the twinkle in his eyes whenever he met a pretty girl. A very intelligent man, he had a wry sense of humour and an active mind. It  was constantly on the alert for idiosyncrasies and puns in the written and spoken language. To Tom “Kings Cross Station” became a royal crab – “Kings Crustacean”. He wasn’t interested in playing “real tennis”. It would have to be “pretend tennis”, and if you knew any limericks Tom would counter with one from his vast repertoire.

Tom, it was  an honour to have known you. You gave much pleasure to a lot of people. We’ll miss you greatly.


Tom & Cerys Matthews
Tom’s instruments
(and that camera case!)


Jim Kweskin mini-tour

Jim has some shows lined up while he’s in the UK in support of his new album. Follow the links for details.

  Sunday, 29 October 2017
CD launch
(plus Robin Gillan)
London, Clerkenwell
Come Down & Meet The Folks
  Tuesday, 31 October 2017  Liverpool
Everyman Folk Club  Everyman Folk Club (Liverpool) logo
  Thursday, 2 November 2017 Southport 
Grateful Fred House Concert Grateful Fred (Southport) logo
  Saturday, 4 November 2017 Stony Stratford
CANCELLED York House (Stony Stratford) logo
  Monday, 6 November 2017  Basingstoke Irish Centre  Basingstoke Irish Centre


BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017

Last night (5th April) was the occasion of the annual Radio 2 Folk Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Amongst the many highlights of this magnificent show were the induction of Woody Guthrie into the Hall of Fame by Billy Bragg, and a Lifetime Achievement Award given to the great Ry Cooder by Nick Lowe.

Now there’s a link between these two events…….a guest in the audience was 89 years old Tom Paley who not only played regularly in the late 40s and 50s with Woody in New York City but later, while a member of the New Lost City Ramblers, also gave guitar lessons to a keen adolescent  Ry Cooder, still at school in Santa Monica where the Ramblers were in residence.

Billy chose I Ain’t Got No Home to perform and Ry chose Jesus on the Mainline as his solo piece, both to rapturous applause.

After the awards, Tom who hadn’t seen Ry for 55 years or so joined up with him for a reunion backstage. Wonderful!

You can watch or listen to the whole show

Billy Bragg & Tom
Ry Cooder
Ry Cooder & Tom


Jim Kweskin

A Happy New Year to everybody. We’re delighted to announce that Jim Kweskin will be making a second visit to the UK later this month. He’ll be flying in to mix his Hornbeam album but there’s going to be time to play a couple of gigs. So here’s a rare opportunity to see one of the influential greats from the folk scene of the 1960s. Jim’s without his jug band these days but he’ll be bringing his unique blend of folk, pop, ragtime, swing and old-time country music to life on stage. We can’t wait!


Saturday, 21 January 2017
Brooks Blues Bar, London



Sunday, 29 January 2017
The Greys, Brighton




Bonnie At The Kalamazoo Klub

Kalamazoo Klub


(picture: Laurie Lewis)

Bonnie Dobson’s next gig is at Guy Simpson and Paul Alcantara’s brilliant Kalamazoo Klub – a great venue downstairs at the King’s Head in London’s Crouch End.


The King’s Head
Crouch End

10th June 2016

King's Head Crouch End


Bonnie Dobson & Naomi Randall

Come Down & Meet The Folks

Come join us Sunday 8th May for a fabulous afternoon/evening’s entertainment in Clerkenwell, London. The lovely Bonnie Dobson and her Boys will be playing and singing some of her great songs.

Copies of the deluxe vinyl LP version of Bonnie’s Hornbeam album will be available. This is a strictly limited edition of 500 copies produced for Record Store Day 2016.

(Picture: Laurie Lewis)



Joining Bonnie will be songwriter and Middleearth beatnik Naomi Randall from Cambridge.  Naomi, inspired by traditional folk and the 1960s psychedelia that grew from it, sings haunting melodies with a timeless quality. Naomi has a voice of “crystalline brightness and purity” (Shindig magazine) which she complements with fingerstyle guitar.

“A truly classic English voice, comparable with the very best” (fRoots magazine).

(Picture: Rick Etteridge)

 Plus guests Mandy Wood, Mandolin Jack and DJ Ski Williams.

Sunday 8th May 2016

The Apple Tree
45 Mount Pleasant


 Hosted by Alan Tyler & Big Steve


Songlines Music Awards 2016

Congratulations to Tom and Ben! Paley & Son has been nominated in the “Americas” section of the Songlines magazine music awards for 2016 (May issue). The winner will be announced in the June issue out on the 6th of May.

Three Men Went A-Hunting from the album is featured, along with tracks from the other 18 nominated albums, on a value-for-money Songlines Music Awards compilation CD which is available exclusively from Here’s an opportunity to listen to some of the great world music  that Songlines have featured in the last year.

Songlines 2016 awards 1


Songlines 2016 awards 2


Record Store Day 2016

Bonnie Dobson & Her Boys


Take Me For A Walk In The Morning Dew



Record Store Day for 2016 is nearly upon us. Across the UK there are hundreds of participating stores where on Saturday the 16th of April you’ll be able to obtain limited edition vinyl and CD releases. We’re delighted to announce that Hornbeam is joining in the fun.

We’ve produced a strictly limited edition vinyl LP of  Bonnie Dobson‘s acclaimed Hornbeam album which includes her famous song Morning Dew in a new arrangement. Production is restricted to 500 individually numbered copies.  The deluxe vinyl is housed in an ‘old style’ thick card paste-on sleeve and includes a 2-page colour insert with full notes and a download voucher.

So, vinyl fans, check out the Record Store Day website to find your nearest store.


Bringing it all back home

Square Roots BIABH Green Note

Allow us to introduce Square Roots Productions ( which is a new folk music charity promoting Anglo-American folk music heritage. Their project Bringing It All Back Home (, initiated by folk revival enthusiast Liz Thomson, is making its debut this spring with a series of concerts at the Green Note in Camden, London.  Confirmed dates are:-

 22 February 2016 A celebration of the music of Jean Ritchie
Dan Evans & Virginia Thorn
Details & tickets Green Note (png)
23 March 2016 Wizz Jones
(plus Simeon Jones & Dariush Kanani)
Details & tickets Green Note (png)
13 April 2016 Bonnie Dobson
(plus Harry Phillips)
Details & tickets Green Note (png)


Bonnie Dobson & Jim Kweskin 1966

Almost 50 years ago to the day, Bonnie and The Jim Kweskin Jug Band shared the same stage at the Ontario College of Art for one of Oscar Brand‘s “Let’s Sing Out” Canadian television broadcasts. Also on stage was Len Chandler.

Let's Sing Out 2



Bonnie and Len Chandler

A copy of the programme has survived. Check out this delightful video.

L to R: Fritz Richmond, Bill Keith, Jim Kweskin, Maria D’Amato (Muldaur), Geoff Muldaur