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I predicted some time ago that the August edition of the Northern Sky Magazine would be slightly late due to the fact that so much was happening in July. The month began with the Moonbeams Festival up on the East Yorkshire Wolds, which saw appearances by Treacherous Orchestra, RURA and CoCo and the Butterfields. Moonbeams was followed shortly afterwards by the Underneath the Stars Festival over in Barnsley, a festival set up by the Rusby family in conjunction with the owners of Cannon Hall Farm, where the festival takes place. Although this was the festival's third year, it was my first visit and with such acts on the bill as Olivia Chaney, Vieux Farka Toure, Ron Block and Sierra Hull, Curtis Eller's American Circus and the Demon Barbers XL, it was a local festival I really couldn't afford to miss. Had I missed the festival, I wouldn't have been treated to Gary Stewart's Graceland concert, which was one of the best presentations of familiar music I've seen in a good long while. I had only barely recovered from Underneath the Stars, when I set off for the annual four-day pilgrimage to the Cambridge Folk Festival last weekend, which was also hugely enjoyable. My thanks to Leila Cooper, Joe Rusby and Eddie Barcan for inviting Northern Sky along and reviews for all three festivals can now be found on the website under the Live reviews section and interviews with Baaba Maal and the Mike + Ruthy Band will follow shortly.
The letterbox has been on fire this month with dozens of CDs dropping onto the doormat. The diary through the month of August has been left fairly blank in order to catch up on some outstanding reviews. The list is almost endless, but we should see reviews for releases by Hannah James, Jon Boden, Heidi Talbot, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, Noura Mint Seymali, Seth Lakeman, Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage, Martin Green and The Stray Birds before too long.
This month's Northern Sky radio show/podcast once again features an eclectic mixture of music, brought to you by myself, Phil Carter and Liam Wilkinson, with music by some of the artists that have recently been reviewed in these pages, including Nancy Kerr, The Danberrys, The Changing Room and Alexis Taylor, together with some vintage Mott the Hoople and The Move in this month's Vinyl Junkie and Singled Out features respectively.
Thanks for popping by.