l JAZZ guitarist Martin Taylor has teamed up with Australian finger-picker Tommy Emmanuel on album The Colonel and The Governor, released on March 4.

It is an acoustic duet album based around good tunes, including Lullaby of Birdland and The Nearness of You. The pair will be touring the UK in March, ending with dates at Aberdeen's Lemon Tree on the 26th and Edinburgh Queen's Hall on the 28th.


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l The current incarnation of The Animals, with original drummer John Steel and the Hammond organ of Mick Gallagher of Blockheads fame, was at Glasgow's O2 ABC last night for a Celtic Connections concert that teamed them with the legendary Steve Cropper. The band celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and this week original vocalist Eric Burdon is also on the road in the US, where he lives, promoting his latest album, Til Your River Runs Dry. Described as his most personal yet, the 12-track set of mostly self-composed songs is released in the UK on April 1. Burdon is also at work on his third volume of memoirs, following up I Used to Be An Animal, But I'm Alright Now and Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.


l Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith suffered a health scare in 2011, which informs many of the compositions on his new album, Forever Endeavour, out on February 4 on Cooking Vinyl. The disc reunites Sexsmith with producer Mitchell Froom and was recorded at his studio in Santa Monica with a band that includes drummer and Elvis Costello sideman Pete Thomas. Sexsmith has dates in Ireland next month before his biggest UK date ever at the Royal Albert Hall on March 7.