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From Nashville to Norfolk Park
Allan Watkiss in conversation with The Bunch
Allan Watkiss in conversation with The Bunch

The sounds of Nashville are alive and well in South Yorkshire.

To prove it, we invited some of our region's top country musicians to play live in our Open Centre...

From Punjab to pit top
Nashville meets Norfolk Park
Spotlight: The JuJu Club
From Iran... with rhythm
Lindsay Aitkenhead - folk violist
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BBC Radio Sheffield's Allan Watkiss compered the afternoon's events, which featured live sets from The Bunch, John Aston, Denis Collier and the Dixie Diamonds.

Denis Collier
The Dixie Diamonds: Guitar-totin' and ready to go

And although the talent on display was strictly local, it was clear why these musicians' appeal stretches nationwide.

"We've had a fantastic response to our debut album," The Bunch's Lenny explained.

"We really didn't think we'd get any airplay, but Radio 2's New Country presenter Nick Barraclough picked up on it and really championed our cause.

"I think we were the only unsigned British artists he'd ever played on his show in 10 years," Lenny said.

Listen online:
audio The Bunch play live
audio The Bunch in conversation
RealPlayer required to listen to audio clips

Denis Collier
Denis Collier: A storyteller at heart

Denis Collier's music, by contrast, has a much more traditional, rootsy, story-led character.

And he's not averse to tackling issues of common interest to industrial America and his home county.

"It's probably the highlight of my career that my album is on sale in the Mining Museum - which is probably where I'll finish up!" Collier laughed.

"When they decided last July that they were going to close the Selby coalfield, it put an end to that district.

"The coal-mining industry has been very good to the area. It's turned a small market-town into a thriving community," Collier said.

"People have invested lots of money which they now probably aren't going to get back."

Listen online:
audio Denis Collier plays live
audio Denis Collier in conversation
audio John Aston plays live
audio John Aston in conversation
RealPlayer required to listen to audio clips

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