p> Sometimes a venue needs live music that’s different from the normal send-them-home-with-their-ears-bleeding full-on power band presentation. Sometimes a mellower approach is required – music to sing along to, or to just chill to: music driven by high quality musicianship and tight harmony – not the volume switch.
MASTERS OF MELLOW fill this bill, with a wide range of material, from the sometimes haunting tunes of Simon and Garfunkel and the finger-picking punch of country music, to the classics of Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, James Taylor, Ricky Nelson and Don McLean to name but a few. Add to these a bunch of home-grown numbers, and the audience can expect to enjoy a mix of songs which trigger fond memories, or create them.
The band has three permanent members : Bob Bettsworth , Don Sanders and Ady Howard.
Bob is the band’s organiser, acoustic guitarist, and vocalist. He started his performing career in the early 60’s as a member of a folk group and stayed with folk music, with a little acoustic blues, until the mid 80’s at which point he decided that it was time he got to play a lot of the music that had been going on around him for so long. He also penned the ‘home-grown’ items in the song-list.
Don is the band’s prime vocalist, taking the lead wherever his smooth Castleford/Glasgow tinted voice hit’s the spot. He’s been singing in public for over ten years, but has much more public performance experience, having for many years been a professional bingo-caller. His favourite music is country and western, and his influence on the song-list is considerable.
Ady – the baby of the band – is the band’s keyboard (and stompbox) specialist. He is classically trained, and a qualified teacher, and has a vast range of musical styles under his belt. He spent quite a few years as backing keyboards player in pubs and clubs, which brought him into contact with all kinds of music. He is also , as a complete contrast, a church organist, so he’s always got at least one gig per week !
The band has a frequent fourth member – Chris Warriner – who was part of an earlier band of Bob’s – and who provides extra vocals and guitar, especially when more upbeat material is planned for special events.
The band’s gigs are more often than not private parties, be it Birthdays, Retirements, Wedding Anniversaries, or very often Garden Parties or Barbecues, but they are also regular performers at local pubs, which gives the general public access to their music.
For some years the band has had the honour to provide the music for Pontefract’s Prince of Wales Hospice summer garden party – held in the hospice grounds, and their annual Volunteer Awards Night held at the Kings Croft Hotel in Pontefract. Support for this hospice has been part of the band’s endeavours right from the moment Don joined forces with Bob, and it is hoped this will continue for years to come.