Jerry Scheff is surely not an unfamiliar name to readers of Uncut. I’d wager a horse most of you have more than one album in your collection that feature him on bass. Among the highlights of a lengthy and illustrious CV, he can count gigs with Elvis Presley, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Todd Rundgren, Richard Thompson, Bette Midler, Crowded House, Johnny Cash, T-Bone Burnett, Roy Orbison, Suzanne Vegas and Jimmie Dale Gilmour.


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Like many music fans of a certain age, John Peel turned me on to a lot of music I may otherwise only have stumbled upon much later, if at all. I remember, for instance, in July 1969, listening to his Top Gear show one weekend and hearing something that lit me up like a burning house. It didn’t sound like much else he played that afternoon and as I recall he was afterwards not altogether enthusiastic about it, as if he as wondering why, beyond the fact that it was new and wouldn’t have yet been widely heard, he’d even bothered playing it.


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Simi Stone was a member of the now apparently retired The Duke & The King, alongside Simone Felice. Tonight she’s opening for Simone at the Bush Hall, a solo turn that starts with Simi on fiddle, playing a lament that sounds like it may have been first heard a century ago, a keening in the Appalachians or somewhere similarly remote and steeped in mystery and drizzle.


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The new Uncut is on sale from Thursday, and we’re blushingly pleased with it. Dexys are on the cover, and we have an exclusive interview with Kevin Rowland in advance of their keenly-awaited comeback album, the astonishing One Day I’m Going To Soar.


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When he first toured the UK with The Blasters, in 1981 or thereabouts, Dave Alvin was a swaggering young yahoo in rockabilly duds with a 50s quiff, attitude to spare and the unblemished good looks of someone still fairly new to what the rest of his life would become, the bulk of it since spent mostly on the road, playing whatever bar, club, juke joint, tavern, theatre, festival, hootenanny or hoe-down that would have him.


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A couple of years ago when I was in Woodstock to interview Simone Felice and his band, The Duke & The King, Simone drove me around the mountains where he’d grown up, pointing out places of local and historical interest. These included Big Pink, the house on Parnassus Lane in West Saugerties, where Dylan and The Band recorded The Basement Tapes.


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If you can't quite make it out, that’s Chuck Berry’s signature, top left in the picture above of a couple of pages from the April issue of Uncut. It was sent to me by Uncut reader Scott Ford, who lives in St Louis, Missouri, home of course to the immortal Chuck, and was accompanied by a great email that I’ve copied below.


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Dylan at the Hop Farm Festival, Springsteen and Paul Simon in Hyde Park, the Great Escape Festival in Brighton, as mentioned last week, a ton of great bands at the No Direction Home and End Of The Road festivals, which have line-ups straight out of the pages of Uncut. There’s certainly no shortage of great gigs on the horizon, looming and inviting. There’s one among them, though, that I may actually be looking forward to more than anything else coming up: Dave Alvin at the London Jazz Café on April 20.


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This year’s Great Escape Festival in Brighton is almost upon us, running from May 10-12 at a 30 venues across the town and featuring somewhere in the region of 300 new artists.


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The new Uncut isn't on sale until Thursday, which is March 29. But here’s a quick run-down on what’s in it, which is a lot, so you may want to pull up a chair.


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Editor's Letter

Some more thoughts on Kate Bush and Alice Gerrard


On Sunday, Kate Bush inadvertently staged a one-woman assault on the British charts. This week, 11 records in the Official UK Albums Chart are by Bush – not bad, really, for a woman who has only really released nine new studio albums in the past 36 years.

Apart...