THERE is a bunch of good folk bands in the area this coming week, some of whom I’ve not yet actually heard myself, but come highly recommended regardless. Tonight at The Duke of Wellington in Wolviston, Granny’s Attic join the resident Wilson clan for their first visit to the club. They’re a young band, with a wide range of instruments and strong vocals, and were indeed nominated for a Young Folk award not so long back. Also tonight, at The Bluebell in Sunderland, popular local favourites The John Wrightson Band are the main attraction, and then on Saturday at Washington Arts Centre, The Davy Lamp has its monthly concert with high energy folk and bluegrass outfit The Jaywalkers.

Traditional singer and instrumentalist Steve Turner is at The Customs House in South Shields on Sunday, and on Tuesday at Cramlington’s Clef and Cask, there’s a chance to hear some jazz from Keith Stephens and his Hot Club Trio. This is a schedule change for Cramlington, as Vin Garbutt, who was originally booked, has had to take some time off for a 100,000-mile service and oil change! He’s postponed all his upcoming gigs for the time being, but of course he’ll be back later in the year at all the venues that he’s having to miss, and of course we all wish him a speedy return.

Don’t forget to keep an ear and an eye out for the BBC Folk awards next Wednesday evening, on Radio 2 and on the BBC Red Button channel. The special guest whose name I was told to keep secret, has now been announced as influential American guitarist Ry Cooder, and he’ll be there alongside Shirley Collins, Billy Bragg and many more. You can actually be there yourself too, with ticket details for the event at the BBC website.