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William’s Story

October 19th, 2017

William has been homeless and having found God he now volunteers to help the homeless. William's outlook is quite simple."He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none." 

 

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David Elliot- The Volunteer’s Story

October 16th, 2017

David Elliot is a volunteer at the soup kitchen in Llanelli. David has been homeless himself and has become an advocate for the homeless. His concerns are that the problem of homelssness in Llanelli is growing and that the town is seeing the creation of an 'underclass' who remain invisible to the local authority and service providers. David is calling for a greater emphasis on advocacy for the homeless and those who are sofa surfing. David says he would like this service to be provided by an independent source. 

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Richard

October 16th, 2017

Richard struggles with mental health issues and says that trying to navigate the system to try and find accommodation is frustrating. He champions the establishment of an advocacy service for vulnerable people. We spoke to Richard at Y Lle when he was attending the soup kitchen. This is Richard's story.

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Open Your Eyes

October 15th, 2017

We spoke to 18-year-old Ayden who is homeless. He says he has been told he is not a priority for accommodation.  His message to the council and service providers is 'open your eyes and provide suport to these people'.

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Llanerch Green Field Camapign

September 20th, 2017

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Sam Williams

September 13th, 2017

Sam Williams is a young man from Llanelli who has been through a lot in his short lifetime. He has had numerous medical conditions and faced many obstacles on a daily basis, which he has had to overcome.

Sam has a genetic disorder, which has resulted in him having epilepsy since he was 8-weeks-old. He also had to have glasses from that age to try and save his sight.

Sam’s mother Shell Williams is immensely proud of her son and she told us a little about his life to date. She said: “Sam never fitted into school. He struggled with sight issues, dyslexia, medicine fog and lack of social skills due to his autism.”

At eleven an unrelated condition caused Sam to loose his sight overnight.

Listen to Sam's story here.

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Willy Brown

September 5th, 2017

The Swansea String Band play a blues classic, Willy Brown. Some of the history is here courtesy of one of radio's legends Charlie Gillett.

If you’re a casual blues fan, chances are the name “Willie Brown” may not mean a lot to you. Perhaps you’ve heard the name in the lyrics to Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues” (famously covered by Cream, tho the Cream version is essentially a different song). In Johnson’s first recorded take of “Cross Road Blues,” he sang, “You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown.”

Although Willie Brown is a common name (& there was another Willie Brown from Mississippi who recorded blues), the odds are high that the “Willie Brown” in Johnson’s song is also the Willie Brown of “Future Blues.” The odds are in favor of this because this Willie Brown traveled in the same circles as Robert Johnson—he was a duet partner with both Charlie Patton & Son House. In fact, Brown accompanied Patton on what are arguably some of his best sides.

When Stefan Grossman asked Son House in a 1960s interview who was the better guitar player, Patton or Brown, House was unequivocal, describing Brown as “twice better than Charley,” & noting that while Patton was a better singer, even Patton recognized Brown as the more skilled guitarist, saying “on those beats & things, Willie could beat him & he knowed it.”

“Those beats & things.” Yes, those beats—that is what makes “Future Blues” such a spectacular piece of music. The syncopated bass line, complete with Brown “snapping” the strings with a force, volume & crispness that would do the funkiest electric bass player proud, make this a great guitar showpiece. For non-string players out there, “snapping” or “slapping” is done by plucking a string up with sufficient force that it will “slap” back down on the fretboard. It’s a staple technique amongst funk bassists, & was also a common technique amongst early acoustic blues players—but no one did it better than Brown.

But in addition to the great tone Brown got with the snaps, the bass line itself is played on “offbeats.” In other words, rather than being played on “1-2-3-4,” as a bass line commonly occurs,” the bass line is played on the “&s” between the notes! 

Stefan Grossman claimed (in his Oak Anthology of Blues Guitar: Delta Blues) that “Future Blues” is the Delta blues. Quite a claim, but there’s some justification for it. “Future Blues” was imitated in a number of songs, some of them also classics from the Delta region. Son House recorded “Jinx Blues,” which is very close to “Future Blues,” & Patton seemed to have been particularly fascinated with the song, as his songs “Moon Going Down,” “Bird’s Nest Bound,” “High Water Everywhere,” “Screamin’ & Hollerin’ the Blues” & others all rely on elements derived from “Future Blues” (of course, it’s also worth noting that Brown was accompanying Patton on the existing recordings of some of these songs.)

“Future Blues” is not an easy song to play; I’ve never been able to come up with a version of it I find satisfactory (but I’m still trying!) There’s a great tension, I think, between the underlying relaxed tempo & the “attack” on the bass line—as a result, even putting aside the complicated syncopation, there’s a tendency to try to play it too fast. For those who are interested, “Future Blues” is played in open G tuning (as are the related Patton & House songs)—this is important because of the fact that the notes on the 6th & 4th strings are both D, but an octave apart—& that facilitates the characteristic bass line. Otherwise, it’s more regular than some of Patton’s songs, which have an odd number of measures—it is easily recognized as a 12-bar blues (with a slight variation.)

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Rock Around The Clock

September 5th, 2017

The Swansea String Band play the Bill Haley and The Comets classic Rock Around the Clock. 

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Swansea String Band

September 5th, 2017

Recorded at Y Lle in Llanelli. The Swansea String Band will be appearing on Bay TV soon. 

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Feeding the children in Llwynhendy

August 30th, 2017

With the school holidays comes the closure of schools. Families are then tasked with finding the additional food for the children who would otherwise be receiving their meal during the school day. It has left a number of families struggling to cope. The issue does not only affect those in receipt of benefits. Working families are also struggling. It has led a group of councillors and volunteers on an estate in Llanelli to provide meals during the day with the help of some local businesses including one of Carmarthenshire's largest businesses Castell Howell and the supermarket Morrisons. Llanelli Online visited the centre in Trallwm to speak to some of the volunteers, the children and the parents. This is our podcast of that visit. 

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