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Folk trio Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle are bound for the North East

Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle are joining forces for a rare tour coming to County Durham

DECARLO John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick and John Doyle
John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick and John Doyle

An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman – all top notch musicians and part of the acclaimed BBC Transatlantic Sessions – will be heading for County Durham in February.

Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle are embarking on a tour taking in Barnard Castle ... and also Kendal a few days later.

To fans of folk they will need no introduction but their appeal extends beyond the bounds of that particular genre.

Manchester-born McGoldrick, who plays flutes, whistles and Uilleann pipes, helped to form a Celtic rock band, Toss the Feathers, while still at school.

He went on to become a founder member of the band Flook and has also been associated with Lunasa and Capercaillie.

Winner of the instrumentalist of the year title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2001, he has taken part in a Folkworks tour, Flutopia, and has recently been touring with Mark Knopfler.

Acknowledged for his playing around the world, he has also toured with Bob Dylan and collaborated with Kate Rusby, Youssou N’Dour, John Cale and others.

Edinburgh-based (and Glasgow-born) McCusker is a fiddler with an equally distinguished pedigree.

He joined the Battlefield Band at 17 and spent 11 years with the celebrated folk outfit.

He, too, has worked with Dylan and been touring with Knopfler and has also worked with Paulo Nutini, Jools Holland, Paul Weller, Eddi Reader, Eliza Carthy and others.

John Doyle, born in Dublin but now based in America, is known as a (left handed) guitarist, songwriter and vocalist.

He has recently toured with Joan Baez as her musical director and is a founder member of the Irish-American band, Solas.

Among his producing credits is Distant Future, the debut solo release of Irish folk singer Heidi Talbot who is married to... John McCusker.

They know each other very well, these three, and a previous tour, in 2009, produced a live album on the Vertigo Records label.

This is a glittering line-up and a proven one and it is being billed as a rare chance to catch all three of these musicians on stage together.

The three kick off their tour in Canterbury on February 8.

They will be at The Witham Hall, Barnard Castle, on February 24 at 7.30pm (01833 631107 or www.thewitham.org.uk) and then at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, on February 28, also at 7.30pm (01539 725133 or www.breweryarts.co.uk) .

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