JOAN Armatrading will not only play the opening night of her first solo tour at Pocklington Arts Centre, she also will rehearse there for a week.
She already has announced that the Joan alone shows in the year ahead will be her last major travelling itinerary at the age of 63. She will not be retiring from making music or from performing, but will continue on a more selective scale.
Armatrading will open Pock Arts Centre's autumn and winter season on September 20 and return for a second night on September 29. Both shows, unsurprisingly, have sold out at the outset of a season with plenty of musical attractions.
Ex-Long Ryders leader Sid Griffin and his folk, Americana and bluegrass act The Coal Porters will promote their new album, Find The One, on September 25; Cockney Rebel Steve Harley will present two evenings with his acoustic trio, picking songs from each of his 13 albums, on October 8 and 9; and Case Hardin will return to Pock on October 18 with their British take on Americana, led by songwriter and newspaper war correspondent Pete Gow. Tom Hingley, the former Inspiral Carpets singer, will be on the 8pm bill that night too with his ramshackle blues, roving folk and brooding soul.
Mary Gauthier – a French name pronounced Go-shay — has a new album to showcase at Pock on November 1. For the title, the Louisiana native turned Nashville resident picked Trouble And Love – don't they somehow always go together? – and such song titles as When A Woman Goes Cold, False From True and How You Learn To Live Alone indicate Gauthier's prevailing thoughts right now.
Stornoway may be named after a town in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland but this folk/rock band hail from Oxford. On November 11, their destination is Pock, where the audience can expect new numbers from next year's upcoming album, alongside the best of 2010's Beachcomber's Windowsill and 2013's Tales From Terra Firma.
Slide guitarist Michael Messer will lead the Acoustic Blues Weekend from November 14 to 16, joined by rhythm guitarist Ed Genis for an Acoustic Blues House Party on the Saturday night.
Canadian singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and sister of Rufus, will be joined on her November 21 bill by Virginian singer-songwriter Erin McKeown, whose 2013 album, Manifestra, was a musical and political call to action and civic engagement.
Another double bill will head to Pocklington the next night in the form of British country duo The Shires and Ward Thomas, a country & Americana duo from the country hotbed of Hampshire comprising 20-year-old twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas. Both groups have become "buzz bands" on BBC Radio 2, so much so that it is now difficult to say who is the more rightful headliner. The Shires went down a storm at Pock in July, so that gives them the edge...for now.
Tribute act Keep It Cash will walk the line with Johnny Cash on December 5 as they celebrate the life and music of the late great Man In Black, before the spotlight turns to God's Own Country. An Emerge:Yorkshire showcase for Ellen & The Escapades, Beth McCarthy and guests on January 23 will be followed by Leeds band The Dunwells, with their blend of English rock and American roots music, on February 5.
Away from this music of note, the season's spoken-word highlights include performance poet, rapper and "voice of her generation" Kate Tempest and veteran broadcaster/inquisitor and political historian Jonathan Dimbleby. Tempest will perform her first full-length piece, Hold Your Own, on October 21 and Dimbleby will discuss his book about the Second World War and the battle of El Alamein in North Africa, Destiny In The Desert, on January 28.
Look out for details of Pock's programme of theatre, comedy and satellite broadcasts in next Thursday's What's On, as arts centre manager Janet Farmer looks forward to the autumn and winter ahead.
"We're delighted to announce the new season of live events, broadcasts and exhibitions. We really do feel it has something for everyone," she says.
"Running from September to February, it features more than 40 performances, ranging from household names used to performing in much larger theatres, to new and emerging performers and companies.
"Our 2014 spring and summer brochure proved very popular with 16 sold-out performances and more than 5,700 people in attendance. We hope our new season will emulate this success."
For tickets, phone 01759 301547 or book online at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk