Ruth and Tony at the York Day of Folk


PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS Blackwater (Ruth and Tony Dargan) formed in July 2008 and are a close vocal harmony/ acoustic guitar duo. Their repertoire consists of an eclectic mix of well known, little known, unusual and self-penned material, specialising in harmonies. Since forming, Blackwater has appeared at venues home and abroad and with such notables as Vin Garbutt, Dick Gaughan, Faustus, Boo Hewerdine, Bill Caddick, Swarbrick and Carthy, Kris Drever and CHUMBAWAMBA. Their style makes compelling listening. Both Tony and Ruth are accomplished guitarists and singers in their own right now making their mark on the acoustic music scene with guest bookings at Morley, The Croppers, Crookes, Booit Straps, Burnley, White Hart, Wath, Wortley and Otley Folk Clubs, the English Folk Club in Costa Blanca, Spain and Otley, Brighouse, Wakefield and Cleckheaton Folk Festivals and many other venues. Ruth started playing classical guitar when she was 9 years old. From then until aged 16 she was taught by Polish classical guitarist and composer Brunon Baron and performed at events all over Yorkshire. The guitar was put away for many years and it wasn't until she was 35 that she got an acoustic guitar and joined GAELFORCE [ as guitarist and backing vocalist] who gigged all over the UK and Europe in the 90s. Later Ruth was a member of THE PUREDROP and STAFFORD WELLS Tony picked up a guitar when he was 13 and started playing around the local folk clubs from the age of 18. He was a solo artiste for many years, watching and learning from more experienced performers along the way. He later performed in duos with TANYA KNIGHTS, KEVIN COY [as HARBINGER] and latterly with ALAN GILL playing at venues all over Yorkshire and abroad. Their past combined wealth of experience includes appearances at many festivals in the UK and Europe - including Fylde, Fishquay, Bromyard, Whitby, Moor and Coast, Isle of Bute, Ashford, Chester, Wakefield, Leeds, Wath, Cleckheaton, Stainsby, St Quentin (France), Zwolle (Holland), Newcastle, Bradford, Leeds and Sheffield Irish Festivals, Dolgellau, Small Nations, Otley, Holmfirth, Redcar and Lincoln to name just a few. Also in their past guises they have supported amongst others FAIRPORT CONVENTION, WOLFSTONE, MARTYN JOSEPH, IVAN DREVER & DUNCAN CHISHOLM, JACKIE LEVEN, SHOW OF HANDS, DOUGIE MACLEAN, DAVE SWARBRICK, CHUMBAWAMBA, THE ALBION BAND, DANU, GORDON GILTRAP, THE AMAZING BLONDEL, NICK JONES, ELEANOR MCEVOY, MARTIN CARTHY and LINDISFARNE.   Tony founded and for three years ran The Rock Folk Club in Castleford, was part of the team who founded and ran the Acoustic Cabaret at the Red Shed in Wakefield and both Ruth and Tony served serious time on the committee of Wath Festival. Blackwater have released 3 albums: 1 Live and 2 Studio Albums – BLACKWATER LIVE in 2010, VANDERPOOL in 2013 and SHADOWSTONE in 2015. Ruth and Tony have been together since 2008, got married in May 2015 and live in Wakefield.  It was after that we dropped the Blackwater tag and became known as Ruth and Tony Dargan.