Salut! Commentary

Reporting the Troubles and sneakily catching some wonderful Irish music

As we recoil in horror from the evil of Moscow’s war on Ukraine, and feel disgust at the hard-of-thinking whataboutery of Putin apologists in the UK, let us not forget conflict at home. Even what Mo Mowlam called, when Secretary... Read more →

When the call of the black crow - and the clanging of Sunderland's shipyards - go still

As 'Jake', John Clark was an inspired member of the little team that made Salut! Sunderland a half-decent site for fans of Sunderland AFC, also respected by many supporters of other football clubs. At the end of 2019, repeated technical... Read more →

Remembering John Prine: London assembles family and star friends

John Prine was a compelling, combative, heart-in-the-right-place American singer-songwriter who died two years ago next Thursday at the age of 73. He had successfully fought two cancers but succumbed to the wretched Covid. This is how I recorded his passing... Read more →

I Dreamed a Stream/I Streamed a Dream. Kate Rusby's new lockdown antidote

Christmas 2021: out of the blue, a lot of visitors started to appear here from the Kate Rusby fans’ group at Facebook. It turned out that my mention of this piece had finally been published many months after being submitted.... Read more →

Folk: a dirty four-letter word?

What is it about folk music that makes some folk or folksy artists want to disown it and smug rockers want to sneer? Think how many acoustic musicians and people associated historically with folk have sought to create distance. Briefly... Read more →