THERE'S a mixed bag of styles for local folk fans to pick from in the week ahead, but all of them come with a high standard of entertainment value. Tonight at The Beamish Mary at No Place near Stanley, there's an event called an Oxjam Night, with some top local names featured, including Pipedream and Jack Burness.

On Saturday at Gateshead's Sage, the talented ladies of Daphne's Flight will be centre-stage, featuring the combined talents of Julie Matthews, Helen Watson, Melanie Harrold, Chris While and Christine Collister. It's a rare outing for this supergroup, and they have a brand new album out too.

The Sage's other offerings this week are a special concert with The Nordic Fiddlers Blok and Folkestra on Sunday, and top Canadian trio The East Pointers on Monday. Another Canadian visitor, my old partner in crime James Keelaghan begins a UK tour at Cramlington's Clef and Cask on Tuesday, and he continues to be on top form, so miss him if you dare.

Meanwhile, this weekend sees the first Ushaw Folk Weekend, held at the old college on the outskirts of Durham. Headliner is The Kathryn Tickell Band and it promises to be a joyful celebration of Northumbrian music and song.

I'm at for all your news and views, and happy to tell the world about any upcoming folk event you care to mention.