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The closing few hours of September were spent in the company of North East singer/guitarist Johnny Dickinson, who had been coaxed out of enforced retirement (due to ill health) by Jonti Willis, the organiser of the Roots Music Club in Doncaster. Johnny has been pretty much out of action for the last five years after undergoing chemo treatment for a lymphoma, followed by a period of six months in hospital paralysed as a result of contracting Guillain Barre Syndrome, which took his illness to crisis point. In the October edition I have a brief chat and a catch up with Johnny, who brings us pretty much up to date with the illness and gives us a brief insight into his daily routines, such as leaving his guitar by the fridge so he remembers to play it when he goes there for milk for his tea. You can read a full report in the live review section and hear the interview in the media section.
Regular Northern Sky reporter Liam Wilkinson has been out and about in September, attending the Scarborough Jazz Festival, a full feature which can now also be found in the live reviews section. On the October edition of the Northern Sky Vaults podcast, also available to hear via our front page, we can hear a sample of what the festival had to offer, which includes Liane Carroll's song Seaside, which has been played a lot around here lately.
Throughout September I was delighted to bump into Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage who embarked on their first proper duo tour to promote their album BEFORE THE SUN. I also attended a one day festival at the Leopard in Doncaster, which featured performances by the Ric Sanders Trio, Polly and the Billet Doux, Gilmore and Roberts, Madison Violet, Said the Maiden, The Band From County Hell, Edwina Hayes, Chris Cleverley, Roger Davies, Strummin' Steve Jackson, Merlins Keep and Lucy Marshall. A review of that festival can also be found in the live reviews section.
The new September CD reviews include Kieran Towers and Charlotte Carrivick, Ben Bedford, Broom Bezzums, The Stray Birds, Joey Alexander, Federico Bonifazi, Cera Impala, The Bills, Noura Mint Seymali, Seth Lakeman, Madeleine Peyroux, Damien Dempsey, Ben Wendel, Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau and Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage. Reviews can be found in the CD Reviews section.
So, what will October bring apart from shorter days and darker nights? There's the Musicport Festival in Whitby to look forward to, which will be attended once again by both Liam and myself, thios year's line-up including The Blockheads, The Mahotella Queens from South Africa, Lynched, Martin Taylor MBE, Soupsongs Live (The Songs of Robert Wyatt), Kathryn Tickell and The Side, Martin Alvarado, Lemn Sissay and Don Letts to name but a few. Northern Sky will feature a full report in the November edition. Keep an eye out for regular updates throughout the month and thanks for popping by.