John McCusker

Date:Tue 18 Oct 2022
Venue:J2 (seated show)

The pandemic may have delayed the celebrations for John McCusker’s 30th Anniversary as a professional musician, but John is excited to, at last, get to play live music from across those years, as well as some new compositions. The John McCusker Band will feature Ian Carr, Sam Kelly, Helen McCabe & Toby Shaer. John is also marking the occasion with the release of a ‘Best Of' album, including three new tracks, and a book –'John McCusker: The Collection’ - gathering 100 of John’s compositions.

As someone who has won awards, praise from reviewers and earned plaudits from fellow musicians – “a musician’s musician” in Phil Cunningham’s words - John McCusker has a lot to celebrate. Born in Bellshill, near Glasgow, John began playing fiddle and whistle at a young age under the influence of his Irish mother and her record collection. He spent 11 years with Scottish folk institution the Battlefield Band from aged 17.

A self-titled debut album was released in 1995, followed by Yella Hoose (2000), Goodnight Ginger (2003), and most recently Hello Goodbye (2016). Collaborations have included, Before the Ruin, with Roddy Woomble and Kris Drever (2008), Under One Sky with a large of cast of Scottish and English musicians (2009), and the enduring trio with John Doyle and Mike McGoldrick, producing two studio albums The Wishing Tree (2018) and The Reed That Bends in the Storm (2020), and three live albums. John is also a longstanding member of the annual Transatlantic Sessions house band.

John is renowned for his skill at transcending musical boundaries. Since 2008 John has been a member of Mark Knopfler's studio and touring band, in John’s words: “turning my world upside down in the best possible way. I have learned so much from Mark and the rest of his band, not least how to perform on big stages in arenas around the world including Madison Square Garden and the Royal Albert Hall.” As a live and studio guest he has also performed with David Gilmour, Paul Weller, Paolo Nutini, Teenage Fanclub, Idlewild, The Proclaimers, Graham Coxon, Ocean Colour Scene, Julie Fowlis and Eddi Reader.

Talking about his work as a producer, John says: “I’m particularly proud of having produced several artists who have become especially influential”. His production portfolio includes debut albums by Kris Drever and Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble and work with Eddi Reader Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy, Helen McCabe, Heidi Talbot and Linda Thompson. Film and TV soundtracks include Heartlands (2002) and 16 Years of Alcohol (2003), Billy Connolly’s World Tour of New Zealand (2004), Jennifer Saunders BBC sitcom Jam and Jerusalem (2008) & Starlings sitcom for Sky TV (2012).

John was awarded the coveted BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year in 2003, and The Spirit of Scotland Award for music in 1999 and again in 2009. 2016 saw John receive the Good Tradition Award and perform with his band at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at The Royal Albert Hall. John won the Music Category at the Scottish Culture Awards in 2019.

John is very much looking forward to the next stage of his musical career which will include recording a duo record with Helen McCabe and more live dates with John Doyle and Mike McGoldrick. Reflecting on his achievements over 30 years John says: “I’ve never had a plan. Good things have just happened and, so far, it’s worked out as well as I could possibly have dreamed of.”

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All under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.

Bar and box office open 1 hour before event start time.

All prices shown include booking fees.


Cambridge Junction works closely with groups and organisations to provide a safe, welcoming space for everyone. We are a venue that strives to be inclusive and promote equality for all. If you have any access requirements or questions please contact Cambridge Junction prior to your visit so we can make your experience as convenient as possible. For more information about accessibility please click HERE.

J2 has flat floor access.

If you have any concerns or need assistance whilst visiting us please speak to any member of staff and they will help you or contact a Duty Manager.




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