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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The groaning noise behind me is coming from shelves that have recently started to buckle from the almost daily addition to them of new music books, the majority of them typified by their common bulk, a shared enormity of pages, as if no band’s career can be documented in less pages than might otherwise be devoted to the history of mankind itself, from the beginning, with footnotes, anecdotal asides and a brief biography of everyone who’s ever lived.


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I can’t believe it, either, but we seem to be already at that point in the month when I start by telling you that we’re hard at work finishing off the next issue of Uncut, buffeted by deadlines, flinching at the hungry caw of our steely-eyed taskmasters on the production desk, greedy for final copy as the last pages are put together to be sent to the printers.


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A few weeks shy of a year ago, I was at the 12 Bar Club in London’s Denmark Street, the Tin Pan Alley of pop legend, to see a young Los Angeles-based band called Dawes. They’d been brought to my attention by an Uncut reader, who couldn’t recommend them highly enough. As an example of what they did in his opinion better than anyone he’d recently heard, he sent me a track called “When My Time Comes”, a rousing country rock thing that I hadn’t been able to stop playing.


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They start with the tropical strum of “Buenos Aires Beach”, from their debut album Wagonwheel Blues, whose balmy unfolding might strike you as an inappropriate opener for a chilly night in Camden, far from the sun-kissed climes the song so breezily evokes.


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Readers with a regular subscription received their copies of the new-look Uncut over the weekend, ahead of it going on sale generally. Thanks to those among them who have responded so promptly to our invitation to comment on the redesign and new content. Your views as ever are much appreciated and useful to us in shaping the kind of magazine you want.


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We've just finished work on the first issue of the new-look Uncut, which among other things new to the magazine features a widely re-worked reviews section, which without wanting to sound too smug, we're rather pleased with.


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Newsletter


Editor's Letter

Reviewed: Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon


As Robert Gordon reminds us in Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion, his terrific account of the rise and fall of the great Memphis soul imprint, the Stax story is more than a record-label history. “It is an American story,” Gordon writes,”...