Arts and Entertainment

You have to applaud the restlessness and drive of a talent such as JTE's. At its best (see Harlem River Blues), the results are a beguiling blend of demon-driven countryfied rock-gospel and Earle could easily have stuck in that groove/rut.

Listening to Van Morrison, By Greil Marcus

Has he told us lately that he loves him?

The view from the stage

Nick Moore, drummer with rising stars Howl Griff, lifts the lid on the festival scene

Phil Solomon: Pop impresario who handled Them and the Bachelors and rescued Radio Caroline

Whenever British pop managers are discussed by ordinary mortals, Phil Solomon's name is less likely to trip off the tongue than those of, say, Brian Epstein or Andrew Loog Oldham. Yet he was among the more powerful and far-sighted wheeler-dealers in the 1960s, guiding the fortunes not only of contenders like the Bachelors, Them, the Dubliners and Twinkle, but those of backroom talents such as Phil Coulter, writer of Eurovision Song Contest entries for Sandie Shaw and Cliff Richard. On his books, too, were the comedian Freddy "Parrot Face" Davies and the poet Pam Ayres. Solomon was also involved directly in Radio Caroline, the offshore pirate station – and in 1966 he established the Major Minor independent record company. Among other lucrative pursuits were horse racing and breeding, and galleries in Dublin and London.

Album: Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues (Bella Union)

Robin Pecknold became so difficult to be around during the making of Helplessness Blues, he now admits, that his girlfriend Olivia left him. Then, when she heard how beautiful the end results were, she came back.

Jay Merrick: Serpentine commission is a real coup for gallery

A handful of living architects – notably Frank Gehry, Oscar Niemeyer and Alvaro Siza – can be described as unique. The word seems crude when applied to Peter Zumthor. With him we are, to borrow a Van Morrison album title, into the mystic.

My Fantasy Band: Jools Holland

Lead vocals - Bessie Smith & Solomon Burke

I could listen to Bessie Smith all day. Solomon Burke sadly died last month but I toured with him; he was amazing. His vocals inspired people like Van Morrison and Otis Redding.

Album: Solomon Burke, Nothing's Impossible (Ear Music)

What's really scary about this collaboration with Al Green's producer, Willie Mitchell (who died in January), is how much it sounds like Van Morrison: Burke's voice, the arrangements, lyrics, everything, as in the transcendent opener of "Oh What a Feeling", one of three or four total standing ovations here.

Album: Eli 'Paperboy' Reed, Come and Get It (Parlophone)

On 2008's Roll with You, Eli "Paperboy" Reed came across like the male equivalent of Joss Stone, a young white soul singer with the requisite blend of fire and ice.

Album: The Hold Steady, Heaven Is Whenever (Rough Trade)

The sum of their parts: a rock band so in love with rock form that they're prepared to wear their loot on their sleeves.

Album: Various Artists, The Bert Berns Story Volume 2: Mr Success 1964-1967 (Ace)

Songwriter/producer/label boss Bert Berns was one of the great architects of the 1960s pop sound, though rarely accorded his rightful status due to his tragic death in 1967 at the age of 38 from heart failure – by which time, The Beatles' cover of his "Twist And Shout" had earned him a house with a guitar-shaped swimming pool.

Album: Paul Brady, Hooba Dooba (Proper)

Paul Brady is the singer-songwriter's singer-songwriter, arguably held in higher esteem by peers such as Dylan, Carole King and Van Morrison than by the general public. Hooba Dooba is a typically assured set, opening in surprisingly funky manner with the gurgling clavinet and soulful organ of "Cry It Out", Brady advising blasphemy when dealing with the pain of failed love.

Mick Green: Guitarist with Johnny Kidd & the Pirates who also played alongside Paul McCartney and Van Morrison

The guitarist Mick Green didn't like to boast about his prowess as an instrumentalist, yet he was one of the most influential musicians to come out of the British Isles in the early 1960s.

Terence Blacker: We men are in touch with our feelings

A few days into the new decade, it already feels as if an age of surprise and paradox is dawning. In a warming world, we are experiencing the coldest winter for years. The Conservatives have promised to control the might of supermarkets. And – the biggest shock of all – it has been discovered that the human gender which is the more in touch with its innermost feelings, most emotionally honest and consistent, is... male.

Van Morrison, the website hoax and a mystery Texan

Gigi Lee was co-director with singer of at least eight companies
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee