Reviews/Quotes

Blown away last evening at the Beamish Mary Inn Folk and Acoustic night by Steve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn. It was a privilege to be at their show in such convivial surroundings. Cracking repertoire from the two of them, some top-drawer original songs and Steve Hicks is easily the outstanding acoustic guitarist regularly working the folk club circuit at the moment. Total musical entertainment not to be missed!
Eddie Walker     October 2014

I just thought you guys were right special because you were very different and in places right out of left field. I was moved first and then highly impressed. I’m looking forward to hearing you again anyway!      Mike Silver   June 2014

“Astonishing quality”.  Exile Music Festival June 2014


Last night at the club we had the long awaited visit of Steve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn and they were well worth the the wait !!…. what a great night was had by a very appreciative audience who were treated to a virtuoso performance by two of the best artists on the circuit today, Lynn’s soulful vocals and her spot on rhythm guitar playing were complimented by some truly dazzling guitar playing by Steve who is a great singer himself and with an eclectic set covering everything from original folk inspired songs to ragtime / blues to Led Zeppelin-esque classical instrumentals the evening was waaaaaay too short !!
Carlisle Folk and Blues Club     12th April 2014

Comments from John Weatherby’s Sound Sense House Concert 10th April 2014
Such a brilliant House concert last night – Hick and Goulbourn, played and sang beautifully, to a full house, stalwarts, old friends from other bands, local musicians and local/away punters. Inspiring and collaborative in equal measure. Must be as close as you can get to fine music.
Thankyou Sound Sense.  (Peter Dreghorn)

A packed house and a great concert. (Linda Wright)

We had a fine time in the Star on Tuesday . They’re just superb!  (Ian Cleland)

Brilliant night and great to have such a good crowd too!!   (Donald Davidson)

And from a session we dropped into in Peebles:
Hi Lynn a huge thanks to you guys for last night, you caused a wee storm here. It was who were those guys??!! You raised the bar at our session that’s for sure. So nice to have met you both. All the best to you both. Ken & Kathy xx

Chesterfield Folk Club 14th Feb 2014  (Steve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn doing support for Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman).  Review in Derbyshire Times.

 

Once in a while a night comes along that oozes so much quality that you wish all nights were like this. Fortunately, a large crowd chose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a feast of acoustic music.

The support act was so good that Chesterfield Folk Club immediately began thinking when to bring them back as a headline act. Steve Hicks’ fabulous and varied guitar-playing and Lynn Goulbourn’s accompanying guitar and superb vocals got the evening off to a fine start.

We were treated to virtuoso instrumentals and driving traditional English and American tunes. A nod to the date saw My Funny Valentine and Dinner For Two on the list before Steve concluded the night with Stairway To Mozart where we had both modern and classical music injected with rag. Vastly proficient, unassuming and engaging, theirs was a performance to treasure.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman lived up to their billing as winners of the best duo in the national folk awards in 2012. They gave two varied sets with Kathryn’s remarkable voice backed by guitar, piano, clarinet and flute.

The song selection was at once traditional with those driving rhythms that fans of Sean’s brother Seth Lakeman will know and contemporary with Kathryn’s piano-based ballads.

It would be hard to choose a favourite from the evening depending on your preferences. The bluesy and rock-influenced approach to Childe Owlet or Whitby Maid contrasted well with the gentle Soft The Morning Sun and the charming 52hz about the lonely whale.

A Valentine’s night to remember and Pete Abbott and Gregor Borland to look forward to at Club Chesterfield on March 14.

DAVE BATESON


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Plug & Play review.
The main act of the night provided incredible entertainment for everyone. Steve Goulbourn and Lynn Hicks are extremely talented in their own right but as a duo they complement each other awesomely. They are comfortable on stage, easy to watch – and the scale of Steve’s guitar playing, both in terms of skill and versatility totally enthralled the audience. Both are good vocalists, although particularly Lynn’s vocals adapted to the genre of song they were singing, sounding smooth and jazzy on ‘Here comes the rain again’ and more jokey and talky on the ‘Peril of Midges’.  Steve covers all kinds of music –  the predominant feel of the way he plays is ragtime but there is also blues, country, swing and classical in there. They started off with a version of Frankie and Johnny and went into ‘East Tennessee Blues’ a catchy Appalachian fiddle instrumental. Steve and Lynn performed a Ewan McColl lullaby that was exquisite in terms of  voice and guitars, followed by a more upbeat swing tempo, one of which was ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’.  There was even a ska rhythm to accompany Lynn’s song that she wrote on a workshop – created consciously to be cheerful, it was entitled ‘I’m going to take this rainbow’ and her voice was softer and perfectly expressed the sentiment of the song. Steve performed on his own for a while – his song  ‘Would you like to play your guitar’ had a funky picking and slapping intro, then went into the tune of ‘Would you like to wish on a star’ with witty lyrics about the perils of being a musician on the road – and a ‘Smoke on the Water’ riff to finish! He went into a more reflective mood with his arrangement of Dave Ellis’ ‘Jingle’, intricately re-tuning, picking and strumming in such a relaxed manner that you could be forgiven for thinking that playing guitar like that is easy! Lynn and Steve finished with a jazzy swing medley of ‘Hit the road Jack’ ‘Wade in the Water, ‘Sunny Afternoon’ and ‘Summertime’. I could hear people singing along, and even if not every song was to your taste, Hicks and Goulbourn’s set is good value for money and so varied that there is something for everyone. Steve finished off with more superb guitar in a clever arrangement of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and then a classical piece – greatly appreciated by the audience!   Penrith Plug and Play November 2013

Hicks & Goulbourn review Cramlington Folk Club
Steve Hicks and Lynn GoulbournSteve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn came to Cramlington Folk Club this week (30th April 2013), and I’m sure they’ll be invited back again. This modest duo doesn’t need any big promotion – they first came to us as a visiting floor spot, and they absolutely blew us away (apparently they do this quite a bit – their own performance is what gets them bookings).Steve, literally one of the best and versatile guitarists in the world, had us spellbound; his Arrival of the Queen of Sheba was stunning – it sounded like a spinet and a harpsichord combined. His country songs included numbers made famous by Mississippi John Hurt and Reverend Gary Davis.Lynn’s strong, resonant and sweet voice really moved the audience – she ranged from her own compositions (such as Gone are the Cobles), through Northumbrian specials like Bonnie at Morn, to old classics – her final encore was Moon River.As well as their performance being brilliant, they are also very likeable people; they are exceptional performers in their own right, as well as working well with each other, and with the audience, never boastful, though they’ve every right to be proud of what they do.They made an evening pass in an instant, and we all look forward to their next visit.
Cramlington Folk Club April 30th  2013

 The Rag Trade    Steve Hicks

“This is a great CD. If you are at all interested in fingerstyle guitar (Bert Jansch, Davey Graham, Duck Baker) then this is right up there with the best. Flawlessly executed, beautifully played and with a real joie de vivre it really ranks with the best. Most pieces are adaptations of rag time pieces (The arrangements are excellent) with a couple of more modern pieces e.g. a Sonny Rollins tune. Standouts for me are the Temptation Rag, That’s a Plenty and the 40 ton parachute (better than Graham’s version). In any case Hicks plays assuredly at all tempos and the result it pure listening pleasure. If you don’t normally listen to solo guitar, try this anyway. It’s technically brilliant but you won’t notice as it’s also wonderfully musical and bounces along infectiously. Highly recommended.”

Review on Amazon by Lobster Pot (UK)   Feb 2013 of

Steve Hicks CD ‘The Rag Trade’

Label: Acoustic Music

Release date: 4th Nov 2009


“Best concert I’ve been to for years, Hicks & Goulbourn at Tyninghame last night. Lovely singing from Lynn and astounding guitar from Steve Hicks, with a totally unique tune on harmonics and using the tuning pegs. So much laughter in the playing and singing from them both. Just brilliant!”“Fantastic music, great banter, amazing guitar playing and fabulous singing from Hicks & Goulbourn, a log fire and a terrific venue all made last night a night to be remembered. I will remember last night for as long as I can….. remember things.””Great evening last night.Fabulous music, superb singing ,great company ..perfect…””Fabulous night in Tyninghame Village Hall – great concert from Hicks & Goulbourn. Great evening’s entertainment all round!!”
Tyninghame Village Hall  27/04/13

“We had an absolute treat at the Sail Loft Folk Club last night from Steve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn.  There’s not much you can really say other than that they are some of the most supremely talented musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, very warm people too.  Check their website, they’ve got dates up and down the country so go and see them play.  You won’t be disappointed.”
James Christopher Phillips 17/02/13

The most appropriate word for these two is this: bewildering. How can they cover so many genres so effortlessly and with such mastery? Whether it’s the fluidity of Steve’s ragtime or the beauty of Lynn’s vocal it’s all done with poise and precision. And fun. Lots of fun. But Gospel, country blues or trad folk, they are right at home with seemingly any style they choose. Too many highlights to list, but the Chet Atkins influenced version of Stairway to Heaven was jaw-droppingly brilliant – and funny.
But let’s not forget that Steve’s an accomplished singer and Lynn’s a handy guitarist too. Their strength is probably in the way that they complement each other so well, each supporting the other to produce a sum that is even greater than the prodigious parts.
Hamish Currie 19/02/13

FATEA review of ‘Owl Cafe’ (Dec 2012)

I was favourably taken with this duo’s eponymous (well, nearly) CD which I initially came across around 18 months ago, and the chance to hear its followup was eagerly grasped. I’m not being in the least uncharitable in saying this, but it would seem that things haven’t changed much – musically at any rate – for Steve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn since that debut disc, for, as I observed at that time, they exhibit a fantastic degree of expertise across a wide field.

One important difference between their first record and Owl Café is that for this new offering they are entirely alone in the studio, with only one track (a robustly imagined take on Wayfaring Stranger) employing any overdubbing at all (Steve’s mandolin); for the rest, it’s just one voice, almost always Lynn’s (with a vocal harmony part on two tracks) and one guitar (or two guitars on a couple of tracks) – honing in with complete accuracy and honesty on the pure acoustic sound that is the trademark of their always-impressive live performances. The spread of material on the new disc is also still pretty much representative of the duo’s live repertoire, which may at first glance seem mildly capricious but where an audience can reasonably expect the unexpected – and be highly satisfied with the result in virtually every case, or at very least not be disappointed. The principal difference between the couple’s debut disc and Owl Café in terms of repertoire is that the latter delivers no fewer than seven of Lynn’s self-penned songs, of which more detail below.

 

Refreshingly too, there’s never a feeling that Steve and Lynn are trying too hard to make an impression, for theirs is an easy rolling virtuosity, with individual strong points well catered for in their capable arrangements. Steve’s fingerstyle guitar work is brilliant, immensely assured and versatile yet driven by a sensitivity that’s matched by fun in execution rather than a desire to show off at all costs; and he made all his own guitars too! Lynn’s equally assured and ever-stylish vocal technique can handle almost any kind of song, from blues and spirituals to traditional numbers and her own compositions. The finest of the examples of the latter on this disc is undoubtedly Gone Are The Cobles, which deals poignantly with the demise of the fishing industry off the Northumberland coast; aside from Harry Ridley (paying homage to Lynn’s former art teacher) and Stranger On A Bus, the remainder of Lynn’s songs have an altogether lighter feel, upbeat or positive in tone with settings ranging from soft jazz to genial ragtime.

This time round, and perhaps surprisingly so in view of Steve’s accomplished playing, the menu only serves up two brief instrumental items. But the total effect of Owl Café is that of a warmly welcoming, pleasing disc of adept and truthful music-making.

David Kidman


One of the best acts that have appeared at the Star. Don’t miss them
Tom Holmes  The Star Club, Glasgow  26th August 2012

Steve is one of the best three or four British fingerpickers that I’ve heard. And I’ve heard an awful lot of them! 🙂
Duck Baker          August 15th 2012

Last Monday we were treated to the wonderful Hicks and Goulbourn!  They delivered two wonderful sets of songs and the encore was sublime! Quite a few people said that the guitar work was they best of any they’d ever heard at the club.  If you run a club and get the chance – book them!!

Skipton Folk Club 02/07/12

 


 

Had a great duo at the club on Tuesday 15th May – Steve Hicks & Lynn Goulbourn.  Many said it was the best night ever at Cramlington (and there have been quite a number of good ones).  Steve is probably the best guiatarist we have had and he’s no mean singer either.  Lynn has a fantastic voice and some great songs.  Their material is varied and they leave you with a great good feeling.                                  Cramlington Folk Club 15/05/12

 


 

  • hi lynn just to say thanks for the show at plug n play i just happend to go and was absolutley blown away by you and steve hicks performance i was in tears on the the eurythmics song you covered (in a good way i loved it!) it is quite refreshing to hear a virtuoso player put his ego on the back burner for the good of the song you have a beautiful voice that complements the guitars wonderfully ; please come back in the near future cheers bonny lass paul                      Plug and Play 060512

  • Cool, Exciting and Fun!

Cambridge Folk Club

 


 

We look forward to you coming again, I did have to leave early, but just caught your performance, it was brilliant.

Cambridge Folk Club

 


Hicks & Goulbourn were brilliant at Cambridge Folk Club last Friday, and what a pleasure it was to meet them. Hope they come back soon!

Cambridge Folk Club

 


An incredibly versatile and talented duo!

Tump Folk Club

 


Fantastic finale to the end of the season. Excellent open mic with lots of new talent topped by the superb Lynn Goulbourn and Steve Hicks.
Plug and Play , Penrith

 


I’ve found a new vocal idol after last night!  Thank you, you amazing woman!

Plug and Play , Penrith

 


Great evenings entertainment, listening to music I wouldn’t normally go and see. Steve ‘liquid fingers’ Hicks guitar playing was astounding!

Plug and Play , Penrith

 


Your performance was superb, you ‘smashed it’! Such fluidity of singing teamed with Steve’s awesome guitar… Excellent.

Maddy Prior, Stepping Stones Festival


I have to say Lynn, you and Steve blew me away with your performance, you sound amazing.

Sue Devine, Red Ruff

 


It was my great privilege to be at Belper to hear Steve and Lynn.  I have been listening to Steve for nearly 30 years and never tire of his playing.  If I was on a desert island I would have to take all my Steve Hicks and Steve/Lynn recordings.  If you haven’t heard them together do listen to some of the You Tube recordings but more importantly do go and see them live and be blown away by the beauty of Lynn’s voice and Steve’s awesome talent on guitar.     Review from Belper Folk Club

 


What a brilliant evening last night! We had an absolutely packed Pavilion room for the first Guest Night of 2011, with 60+ people keen to see Steve Hicks & Lynn Goulbourn. Steve is an amazing guitarist and Lynn is a very accomplished performer too, with a voice that compliments Steve’s brilliant playing. I cannot recall having members of the audience dancing in the isles at the club, but that certainly happened last night! It was as if everyone wanted the evening to never end . . . if you weren’t there, make the effort to see this duo if you get the chance in the future. You won’t regret it!

Dave Downs  Bingham Folk Club

 


“Lynn’s range seems to go from down and bluesy to soaring like an angel, I’ve seen her sing on many occasions and every time there is something new to find in her voice. Steve is a guy that guitarists sit up, shut up and listen to, his finger style is nothing short of incredible.”

Bob Spencer  Great Knights Acoustic


 

”It seems there is nothing Steve Hicks cannot do with a guitar. He can play everything from Medieval music or traditional Irish dance tunes to classic ragtime and blues tunes. He can arrange, accompany and make even the most challenging transcriptions sound like they were made to be played on the guitar. He can even build the dammed things! But what I like best is the personality that always comes through in his playing. It’s a pleasure to present the music of Steve Hicks, the best kept guitar secret in Britain”.

Duck Baker


 

‘Steve Hicks is the secret jewel of British guitar playing’.

Clive Carroll


 

”Steve Hicks is a leading exponent of fingerstyle guitar. Drawing on an astonishing repertoire that encompasses Classical, Celtic, Ragtime, Blues and Folk styles. He delivers material with technical skill, astute artistic integrity and a natural sense of what it means to entertain”.
West Sussex County Times

 

Recent Posts

On the road again Autumn / Winter 2017

Steve and I will soon be galavanting around the UK and venturing into France and Germany, (Steve solo), too.

Help spreading the word much appreciated – if you know somebody who might enjoy Hicks and Goulbourn, please give them the heads up … preferably before the event …. 🙂

Further details on our website or by going direct to the venues’ own sites.

A special message to organisers – we are now booking for 2018/9 so if you’d like us to come to a venue near you, UK or beyond, please get in touch. Contact details on our website.

Many thanks,

Lynn and Steve
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