Lincs: Blues legend Wilko Johnson to headline Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival at The Engine Shed this month

Wilko Johnson will headline the Lincoln Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival at The Engine Shed this month
Wilko Johnson will headline the Lincoln Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival at The Engine Shed this month

Blues legend Wilko Johnson has been confirmed as the headline act for the Lincoln Blues Rhythm & Rock Festival at The Engine Shed this month.

Wilko Johnson is best known for his work in the 1970s with rhythm and blues band Dr Feelgood.

He’s a poet, a painter, an astronomer and an actor, but Wilko also happens to be one of the great British rock guitarists, acknowledged by his peers as among the most influential.

Back in November 2012, Wilko was forced to cancel a show when he was rushed to hospital with an undisclosed ailment.

Two months later he was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer, and elected not to receive any chemotherapy.

In January 2013, during an interview on the BBC Radio 4 arts programme Front Row., he discussed his terminal cancer, and said that doctors had told him he had ‘nine or 10 months to live.’

He talked about his ‘farewell tour’ of the UK set for March, and how his diagnosis had made him feel ‘vividly alive.’

After the tour was over, he announced he would spend his final days recording a farewell album with The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey. 

In November 2013, Johnson was hailed as a musical innovator by an audience of his rock peers. 

Jimmy Page, the Led Zeppelin guitarist, presented Johnson with the Innovator award at the Classic Rock magazine Roll of Honour held at the London Roundhouse, in front of an audience including Black Sabbath, Ray Davies and Manic Street Preachers.

Johnson said at the time: “It’s very gratifying to be given an award by Jimmy Page because I’ve always admired him as one of Britain’s great guitarists.”

“I’ve received one or two marks of recognition recently. I suppose people want to get them in while I can.”

The album with Roger Daltrey, Going Back Home, was released in March 2014 and scooped numerous awards.

“I thought that was going to be the last thing I ever did,” he said when reflecting on the event a while later.

In April 2014, it was announced that Johnson had undergone radical surgery to treat his illness, and the doctors were hopeful that his prognosis would be good.

At the Q Awards in October last year, Johnson accepted the Icon Award and announced that he was cancer-free.

He said: “It was an 11-hour operation.”

“This tumour weighed 3kg - that’s the size of a baby.”

“Anyway, they got it all and they cured me. “

“It’s so weird and so strange that it’s kind of hard to come to terms with it in my mind.”

“Now, I’m spending my time gradually coming to terms with the idea that my death is not imminent, that I am going to live on.”

Joining Wilko Johnson on the bill at the Engine Shed will be Dana Fuchs and Danny Bryant.

When the Florida native Dana sings, clocks stop, crowds snap to attention, hearts beat like bass drums and neck-hairs tingle, while Danny Bryant was recently described as a ‘national blues treasure’.

Also performing will be Matt Woosey, a singer-songwriter who has drawn support from Paul Jones on BBC Radio 2 and Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music, The Mark Pontin Group, who have become an established name on the UK blues scene, and Big Joe Bone, who combines his own songs with those of the likes of Son House, Dock Boggs, Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James, Robert Johnson and more.

The festival takes place on 17th May, starting at 2pm.

For tickets, call 01472 349222 or visit www.lincolnbluesfestival.co.uk/index.html or call