The cover feature in the Spring 2015 issue of English Dance & Song magazine is Northumbrian musician on English concertina and Northumbrian pipes, Alistair Anderson.
Alistair started playing the concertina when he was still at school, and soon became a member of the Newcastle-based folk and ceilidh band, The High Level Ranters. Continuing as a solo musician, Alistair toured British folk clubs and was a regular visitor to the States. His album Steel Skies, released in 1982, was a suite of tunes written by Alistair but closely inspired by the traditional music of Northumberland.
Alongside his performing career, Alistair was also co-founder of the folk development agency, Folkworks, which is now an integral part of Sage Gateshead, and he also instigated the Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle University. Alistair has important and interesting things to say about the role and importance of traditional music in this article, which is written by English Dance & Song editor, Derek Schofield.