Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Get Set for a Whole Week of Musical Fireworks. ALAN NICHOL Rounds Up the Happenings on the Roots Music Scene

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Get Set for a Whole Week of Musical Fireworks. ALAN NICHOL Rounds Up the Happenings on the Roots Music Scene

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN NICHOL

THIS week starts with a cast of British songwriters of fearless disposition, yet more visitors from across the Atlantic, but balance is maintained when the Union Jack is again hoisted high before the week is out.

A couple of "army brats" and a New Yorker with a connection to Tyneside give heart and soul to the cause. Topical song in the UK is almost exclusively the domain of folk artists, or artists who cannot escape that descriptor. Whatever the collective noun for such a group is, there is a one at the Sage tonight. Leon Rosselson, Roy Bailey and Martin Carthy are joined by some equally forthright women in the shape of Frankie Armstrong, Sandra Kerr and Janet Russell to present a programme called Turning Silence Into Song.

Satirical, topical, political and traditional, and a dollop of humour, can be expected from this essential cast of unique practitioners. The musical equivalent of investigative journalism meets Private Eye.

New Jersey native, John Lyon aka Southside Johnny, brings his hardhitting band the Asbury Dukes to the O2 Academy in Westgate Road tonight for some direct, no holds barred R'n'B in the Bruce Springsteen style.

The band's 1978 album, Hearts of Stone, has been reprised and a live version of the record has just been released. They have a strong connection to the region as their 2002 DVD, Live At The Opera House, refers to another establishment in Westgate Road - now renamed the Journal Tyne Theatre!

However, that is not the only namecheck that the area gets. Their 2008 album is entitled From Southside To Tyneside. Johnny did take a break from touring for a while but, happily, that has now been rectified and the Dukes are back in the saddle and riding with Mr Southside again.

KAREN Michelle Johnston - Michelle Shocked to all but her family - heads for Gateshead Old Town Hall tomorrow night.

The former US "army brat" saw much travelling as a child.

Stints in Germany, Massachusetts and Maryland (and a spell living in Amsterdam) ensued but she did return to the Lone Star state to graduate from university in Austin. Texas was also the scene of her breakthrough release, The Texas Campfire Tapes. …

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