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Llanerch Green Field Camapign

September 20th, 2017


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.


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.)


Rock Around The Clock

September 5th, 2017

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


Swansea String Band

September 5th, 2017

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


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. 


The Singing Waitress

August 17th, 2017

Listen to the singing waitress at Boleyn's Bistro in Llanelli. 


Owain Glennister Welsh Language

August 11th, 2017

A row has broken out over the broadcast of a Newsnight episode where the host Evan Davis discussed the Welsh language with two people, Julian Ruck and Ruth Dawson, neither of whom spoke the language. The episode aired on Wednesday (Aug 9) has come in for heavy criticism from Welsh language campaigners.

Julian Ruck describes himself as and author, columnist and political commentator. On his blog Mr. Ruck is outspoken on the Welsh language and his blog contains a number of articles discussing the issue. Today's Wales Online article by Martin Shipton describes Mr Ruck as an 'Anti Welsh Novelist' who has ranted against the language on his website and in newspaper columns for years.

Ruth Dawson is a journalist and digital content specialist currently based in South Wales. At present, she is Wales editor for The Conversation. Dawson admitted to being a non fluent Welsh speaker and said that she could say the basics like 'bore da' and name the colours and numbers in Welsh.

She was asked by the host Evans Davis what the benefit was of speaking Welsh?
Dawson replied that it was a huge part of 'our culture' and lamented that she wished she could speak more Welsh.

Mr Ruck said that he had nothing against a Welsh speaker but that the stats used clouded over whether someone could read or write the language and that the expense to tax payer far outranged by number who can speak it.

Mr Ruck appeared to suggest that the money being spent on the Welsh language should be diverted to the health service and suggested that there was a conflict of interest when it came to the Welsh Language Commissioner Mary Hughes who was an ex chairwoman of the Welsh Lang Society
Ruth Dawson insisted that in an ideal world everyone would be left to their own devices to learn Welsh and that it was not the easiest thing to learn. She said: "People need help. Welsh Gov encouraged to learn Welsh. My education wasn't good enough.

Julian Ruck went on to say that children who went to Welsh medium schools came out unable to speak Welsh. He asked "Whats the point in all the money. It's nonsense because S4C is down, Radio Cymru is down, the census of 2011 is down. All this money they are pumping into the language is not making more people speak welsh I mean that's a fact."

Ruth Dawson suggested that there may be an audience for learning Welsh online.

Evan Davis asked if Welsh language was a detriment to investment in Wales to which, Ruth Dawson replied, "I dont see it as a barrier."

Julian Ruck insisted that it was a nationalist argument, which turned companies away from Wales. He said that companies were being asked to come and work in Wales and then given a bill to convert everything into Welsh. He said: "They are going to take a hike."

Speaking about the incident Welsh Language Minister Alun Davies said: "I thought it was lazy journalism it was shoddy journalism. I thought it displayed a little bit of chauvinism even. You couldn't imagine any report on public service television about any other language and any other country being described in the way they described the Welsh language and the Welsh people last night. I believe the BBC needs to apologise but I think the BBC has to consider as well the judgement, the culture that allowed that item to be broadcast."

Llanelli Online spoke to Owain Glennister who runs 'Y Lle' in Llanelli and is working at community level to promote the Welsh language.


Britain In Bloom Burry Port

August 6th, 2017

Burry Port is one of  8 locations selected for judging in the Britain In Bloom Awards. The interview is with County Councillor Amanda Fox and Deputy Mayor Bob John.


Town needs attention for tourism

August 1st, 2017

We interviewed John Lewis from Dafen who says that the Llanelli Town Centre is in dire need of attention. Do you agree with John or not? Email editor@llanelli.online


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