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February has been a relatively slow month on the live side, possibly the slowest month since Northern Sky began way back in 2005. Liam Wilkinson saved the day with his excellent piece on the Southport Jazz Festival at the beginning of the month, with some very positive feedback from the organisers of the popular Lancashire festival. Liam also popped along to catch Mandolin Orange in York at the end of their UK tour and was delighted with the results. Tony Wilding attended another Fleetwood Cave show in Kenilworth, whilst Keith Belcher virtually joined the James McMurtry touring party, reporting on the band's performances at The Greystones in Sheffield, Oran Mor in Glasgow, The Cluny in Newcastle, The Maze in Nottingham and The Brudenell Club in Leeds.
Our growing team of reviewers have been busy throughout February, listening to lots of new releases and have submitted some splendid reviews. At the beginning of the month we decided to do away with the pressure of including star ratings on CD reviews, which is something we've been thinking about doing for some time. The reviews can now be found in the reviews section, which this month features (in no particular order) Dietrich Strause, La Mambanegra, Dipper Malkin, Steve Pledger, Mike Grogan, Top Floor Taivers, The Backyard Devils, Sean Taylor, Esteban Alvarez, Siobhan Miller, Winter Mountain, Coven, Jim Lauderdale, Chris Wood, Carol Fieldhouse, Bargou 08, Fairport Convention, Thom Hell, Cupola:Ward and Daria Kulesh. My thanks, as always, to everyone concerned. If you would like to join our team, then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
March certainly gets off to a good start this week with the Moonbeams March Weekend up there in Driffield, which will see performances by Kris Drever, Kaia Kater, Richard Digance, Chris Helme, Sam Kelly Trio, Snake Davis and Helen Watson, the Jon Palmer Band, Edwina Hayes, Andy Stones, David Swann, The Nick Rooke Band, Stillhouse and Pete and Polly Bolton. It would be nice to see some of you there.
Don't forget to listen in to the fortnightly podcast, which features some of the music reviewed over the last month. The current show can be found in its usual place on the homepage