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'The Shack' re-opens!
7.30pm, Sat 4th March 2006

By Kathleen Swadling
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Shack is making a resurgence into the twenty first century as a folk club on a monthly basis. The Shack thrived in Narrabeen during the sixties and early seventies.

After its initial residence in an old ambulance shed in the Narrabeen Camping area it eventually moved to a permanent residence in a shop in Narrabeen where it presented folk music three nights a week and saw many a well-known performer, some of whom have made their careers in music. Some of its well-known acts were the likes of Jeanie Lewis, Margaret Roadknight, Greg Quill and Country Radio, radio legend Bog Hudson, The Stovepipe Spasm Band, Al Head and New York Public Library.

The spirit and aims of The Shack continued into the 1980s with the Twentieth Century Folk Club. This, another folk music association dedicated to presenting live music and local artists, began in 1982 as a co-production with Majick Theatre at its venue in The Old Gym in Nararabeen. The club, having moved to The Stroll Inn Coffee Lounge in Dee Why, continued in the tradition of presenting legendary musicians until 1988. Now it's the twenty first century and The Shack lives on!

Sarah Fogarty and Margie Salem

In 2003 the first of the annual Shack reunions was conceived by an original Shaky, Rhonda Mawer and together with a few friends presented music at Ken and Alison Horrell's home in Newport. Many of the original Shackys as well as many new faces have been coming to the reunions and great nights of performance and jamming have been had by all. Photos of these events taken by Wayne Richmond can be viewed at

Based on the success of these concerts, The Shack has been reborn and reconstituted, with regular monthly folk music nights beginning on

Saturday 4 March at 7:30pm
The Tramshed Arts and Community Centre
1395a Pittwater Road
and thereafter on the first Friday of every month.

The Shack is functioning as a non-profit making organisation and is inviting membership for those who want to support it and have a say in the running of the club as well as receiving regular newsletters.

The first evening is kicking off with the well-known and popular New York Public Library, stalwarts of the original Shack and still going strong after forty years; The Spasm Band, featuring some members of the original Stovepipe Spasm Band and East Neasdon Spasm Band; local singer/songwriters Trevor and Kathleen Swadling; and the ever popular Sarah Fogarty and Margaret Salem. Each evening will begin with floor spots in a blackboard segment to give singers and songwriters an opportunity to perform.

For information on The Shack call Rhonda Mawer: (0413) 635 856 email Kathleen Swadling or visit The Shack's web site.

Related info:
The Shack
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