WHERE are Shed Seven launching their first album in 16 years tonight with a gig and a meet and greet for their Pledge crowd-funding supporters? Pocklington Arts Centre.

Where did the voice of renascent SoCal country, Sam Outlaw, play one of only four British dates in his autumn tour? Pocklington, of course. And where did Jon Boden open his solo tour to promote his first album since leaving folk's biggest act, Bellowhead. Pocklington, naturally. Pock packs a punch, it really does!

Southern Californian country has long played second fiddle to Nashville, but Outlaw, a rebellious name for a straightforward kinda San Diego-moved-to-Los-Angeles guy, is reviving the spirit of Sixties' Bakersfield honky-tonk and the Seventies' Laurel Canyon set. He wears the Stetson, the jeans, the red kerchief around the neck, with a swagger; he loves both pedal steel (Jeremy Long) and a Telecaster (Steve Musselman); and he knows the value of a Dolly and Porter, Tammy and George, Johnny and June partner in harmony. Step forward Molly Jenson, although she raised her voice above sotto voce only when she sang her one lead vocal.

Outlaw is smooth on the patter and song delivery, if a little too off-pat with his smart introductions that were more worn from previous use than warm, and not coming out afterwards to sign CDs – a Pocklington tradition – rather summed up a night where he never fully connected with his audience and fell a tad short of high expectations. "I just hope I write songs that don't suck," he told The Press. His best, Say It To Me, She's Playing Hard To Get (Rid Of), Tenderheart and the climactic Trouble, certainly don't, but others leave him short of Gram and Townes.

York Press:

Jon Boden

Jon Boden, by contrast, is a natural, engaging Pied Piper, who, rather than basking in the afterglow of folk big-band Bellowhead's glorious valedictory shows, has cracked on with his solo endeavours, supporting this month's Afterglow album with a series of intimate gigs on guitar, fiddle, concertina and stomp box.

Bookended with Boden and Bellowhead favourites, the focus either side of an interval was on giving a guided tour to his new songs, built around a one-night love story in a post-apocalyptic society. The clothes are still black and dark, but the songs' sentiments seek out the light, and the musicianship on Monday was thrilling throughout, the singing lusty too.

He performed in front of a silhouette of Boden in Angel of the North pose, a row of fiddles on each arm, as if welcoming one and all to folk's charms. He even signed Afterglow tea towels afterwards.