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.
Ruth and Tony have been together since 2008 and got married in May 2015 and live in Wakefield
Ruth and Tony Dargan are an accomplished and justly well-respected duo (prev. Blackwater), based in the Wakefield area of West Yorkshire; their trademark sound is a gentle, enchanting and highly polished blend of two acoustic guitars and two voices, their partnership demonstrating an almost uncanny togetherness of musical spirit. The tasteful, intricately woven, impeccably managed guitar work is at once almost spontaneously conceived and yet carefully rehearsed, delicately dovetailed, ringing and mellifluous; accomplished yet unassuming; never obtrusive and – importantly, wholly supportive of the songs, while the vocal work is light-textured, attractive, easy on the ear and similarly even-toned, the part sharing both well-thought-out and convincing (both Ruth and Tony equally capable of taking the lead)
Ruth started learning to play classical guitar when she was 9 years old. From aged 9 - 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. She was the guitarist and vocalist half of Ruth and Gary Wells and member of other irish influenced bands including Danza, Frigga, 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.
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.