Johnny Dickinson

Johnny Dickinson

 Newcastle, N Ireland, GBR
BandFolkAcoustic

The UK's most potent slide player! A truly talented songwriter and singer too! Johnny Dickinson is a fast rising talent bound for international recognition

Biography

“The Most Potent Slide Player in the UK”
"I'd go a long way to listen to Johnny Dickinson. You hear a lot of good influences in his music but the result is something special. For me his playing really hits the spot." John Renbourn
"Johnny is a soulful player, singer, and a damn good writer! Don´t miss him!" Tommy Emmanuel

Johnny Dickinson's music career got off to a dream start with his Northumbrian band Splitcrow when Kerrang magazine said that their first album Rockstorm, which reached no. 19 in the Gallup Rock Charts, was "the best album from a Brit band in 10 years" with critic Xavier Russell stating that Johnny Dickinson was "the most potent slide player in the UK". Unfortunately, like so many other bands, they split up prematurely in 1986.

After a spell playing pedal-steel with London's Western Swing outfit, The Moonshine Boys, in 1988 Johnny became a founder member of Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes, playing and singing alongside Jim McCarty, Top Topham, Rod Demmick and Johnny Whitehill, who remains a member of the band. During Johnny's two years with the band they were winners of many British and International Blues awards. After giving his all to the Kingsnakes, John treaded the boards as a solo artist for a while. He was offered a recording contract with Demon Records but as he thought they were looking for a 'blues' album he declined, having decided to move in a different direction - back north to his native Northumberland.

In 1993, in Alnwick, Northumberland the Hillbillies From Outer Space were born. The band gained near legendary status with their wild interpretations of material ranging from heavy metal to folk. It was a sad day indeed when they wrapped things up in 2001 without ever having recorded an album. From New York rap versions of 'Voodoo Chile’ to punk versions of 'Werewolves of London', the band always guaranteed a full house and 'big fun' wherever they were booked.

2001 was also the year when Johnny's long awaited solo album would be recorded and released. He had developed a unique individual style of playing which crossed Celtic flavours with American Blues. Reminiscent, sometimes of Kelly Joe Phelps, and sometimes of Martin Simpson, he recorded demos at home for the project, but an illness kept him sidelined for the next 12 months. It was August 2002 before he was well enough to start recording sessions, with 'Castles & Old Kings' being the result of the time spent at Newcastle's re-furbished Cluny Studios. The 'year out' had given Johnny time to reflect on life, love and everything resulting in an album of subtle songs, deft slide playing and minimal arrangements that mirrored the time. Since releasing this first album, Johnny has spent his time concentrating on furthering his rapidly expanding solo career. Highlights of 2003 included appearances at both The Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and a live Radio 2 Broadcast along with Loudon Wainwright III. In December 2003, it was announced that Johnny had been nominated for a prestigious Radio Two Horizon Award, and as a result was featured as a main guest on The Mike Harding Show in January 2004. His name also featured on the list of Most Promising Artists for 2004 on Channel 4’s Teletext service. He is currently busy promoting second CD release, English Summer, and has recently been an integral part of the much talked about ‘Northumbrian Anthology’ project, releasing an acclaimed album “Border Ballads” as a commission for the project. 2004 also saw him working and touring alongside other great Artists: Tommy Emmanuel, Jan Akkerman, John Martyn, Jerry Donahue and Kelly Joe Phelps. His touring plans now, are to work predominantly as a solo artist, but will, on occasion, be joined by Fin McArdle on percussion and Neil Harland on Double Bass. The two main session players from his debut recording. During November 2005, it was announced that Johnny has been nominated as ‘Best Musician’ in the 2006 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards!

Discography

Castles & Old Kings (CD)
Border Ballads (CD)
Live in Concert (DVD)
English Summer (CD)