Judy Dinning: biography
Judy Dinning is a singer/songwriter who performs her own compositions as well as those of contemporary writers from the USA and UK. Drawing also from the library of traditional songs of her native North East, she plays guitar, keyboards, dulcimer and percussion. Her own style is predominantly English, with her main influences being Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior and Jacqui McShee; but she acknowledges that the American singer/songwriters Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez have also been a great influence in her musical career. Judy is also a great admirer of the Irish tradition and the singing of Naimh Parsons and Mary Black in particular.
As well as performing solo, Judy is a member of the band Real Time (with Kenny Speirs (guitar), Iain Anderson (fiddle) and Tom Roseburgh (keyboards) and has toured Europe, Australia and North America in recent years. Solo she has played many folk clubs and festivals also supporting many major acts including Pentangle, Ralph McTell, Aly Bain, Fairport Convention and John Renbourn.
Judy began singing early; almost as soon as she could walk - and talk (Real Time would say the latter has never really stopped). Although Judy has a classical training and a London College of Music Diploma in Voice, her first love was always traditional music and her first forays onto the folk music scene were at the local folk club in Hexham, Northumberland, both solo and with local group Passport.
In 1983, with Dave Smith on guitar, Judy released an album "Waiting for the Change" on Rubber Records, Mawson and Wareham Music in Newcastle. Produced by Geoff Heslop, this achieved No. 3 in the Melody Maker Folk Chart that year and has recently been re-released on Jade Records. The success of the album and extensive touring brought radio, TV, and many festival and folk club performances. Collaborations with Tom McConville amd Stu Luckley followed.
Lucky Bags were formed in 1995 after a meeting of like-minded friends. They are, alongside Judy, Julie Ann Kay (celtic harp, vocals), Liz Law (Appalachian and hammer dulcimer), and Zena Tubmen (guitar, flute, percussion, vocals), with Emma Welton (violin, vocals) joining in 1999. Their material encompasses traditional music from the United Kingdom, with original compositions by the band, and work by contemporary writers from the UK and the USA. Their striking harmonies and arrangements have earned them great reviews and return tours in the UK and Europe. Judy has continued and increased her songwriting in the band, with two of her compositions on their latest album. They have released two albums "Food for Thought" and "Delight in Disorder" on the Fellside Recordings label. These have been well received, with excellent reviews. Since 1995 their striking harmonies and arrangements have earned them great reviews. Unfortunately Judy has now regretfully left the band to concentrate on her other projects.
In 1997 Jez Lowe recruited Judy into his Bad Pennies. With the Bad Pennies came busy tours and festivals in the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada and Holland, including some of the major festivals: Edmonton (Canada), Fairbridge (Australia) Cambridge, Brampton Live, Towersey, Warwick and Sidmouth. Judy appears on the album "The Parish Notices", released in 1998, which was voted Billboard Magazine's (USA) Pick of the Year, and was also No. 3 in the end of year choice in Penguin Eggs, the Internet Folk Magazine. Judy features on the album "Live at the Davy Lamp" and Jez Lowe's latest album "Honesty Box" on Tantobie Records.
In 2002 Judy left the Bad Pennies to concentrate on the new band Real Time. Since May 2002 they have had a very busy schedule, touring the UK, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and the USA - releasing two albums, "Real Time" and "Hell & High Water", both of which have received excellent reviews. "Hell & High Water" is a studio album for the new band line-up, including Iain Anderson and Tom Roseburgh, after the departure of Joe Wright, with contributions from Brian McNeil (Battlefield Band), Steve Lawrence (Iron Horse), Neil Harland (Hush, Kathryn Tickell Band). Recorded at Big Sky Studios in Galashiels, it has been an immediate hit with their growing fanbase.
During 2002 Judy worked with Mawson and Wareham Music in Newcastle as part of an extensive project of traditional song - "The Northumbrian Anthology" - a huge collection of songs, a celebration of the music and culture of the North East of England. Judy features on the compilation album "From Tyne to Tweed" (MWM CDSP52), which includes an extensive cast of Geordie luminaries such as Sting, Jimmy Nail, Kevin Whately, Tim Healey and Denise Welch. This has led to the solo album "Fine Times" released in January 2004, co-produced with Pete Scott and including John Dickinson (slide guitar), Neil Harland (bass) and Tony Davis (piano). This has been received with excellent reviews.