What is a Hootenanny?

‘Hootenanny’ is an old American word for a thing whose name you don’t know or can’t bring to mind.  It was used in the same way as words like ‘thingamabob’, ‘oojamaflip’, and ‘whatsit’.  Over time, it also came to be used to describe musical gatherings where musicians play and sing together, sometimes taking turns and sometimes performing together.  These are usually informal events, with the emphasis on collaboration and having fun.

A Fast Rattler Hootenanny follows this tradition, with the band leading a group of musicians of different ability levels as they play and sing along with songs from the ‘Hootenanny Songbook’.  The songs have been chosen and transcribed for guitar and ukulele by Fast Rattler Jez Quayle, with a mixed ability group in mind.  The songbook contains a selection of folk, skiffle, country and traditional songs that work well with a large group of musicians.  There are copies available to borrow or buy (just £5 for 50 songs) at each event.

The Hootenannies are open events (usually free of charge), so bring along your guitar, ukulele, fiddle, or other acoustic instrument (nothing too loud), and join in with us.  If you don’t sing or play an instrument, you are still very welcome to come along and enjoy the music.

There is often an ‘open mic’ section (approx. 20 mins), so if you fancy performing a song or two, either solo or in a small group, then please let us know in advance using the info on the Contact page or in person at the event.  Performance slots are assigned on a first come first served basis.

We hope to see you at a Hootenanny some time soon!

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