January '98 / 'Journey into the Morn' Top 50 'Q' Magazine vote 'Journey Into The Morn' as one of their top 50 albums for 1996 and one of their top 5 folk albums. 'Heaven's Bright Sun' album mixed at the singer Fish's Millennium Studio near Edinburgh. UK tour starts in London.
January '98 - January '99 / Iona Takes Sabbatical IONA take a one year sabbatical to concentrate on solo projects and re-assess things for the future. During this period Terl Bryant leaves the band to concentrate on Psalm Drummers and other touring and recording work, and Mike Haughton leaves to concentrate on other projects and work with Cliff Richard. Frank Van Essen rejoins the band.
February '98 / UK Tour Cut Short UK tour is cut short by the tragic and sudden death of Joanne's mum Anna. Troy breaks a finger on his left hand after trapping it in a door. The top of his finger is almost severed and a doctor says that the damage could have been permanent had the break been a couple of millimetres lower. (Fortunately the finger has now completely healed).
March '98 / UK Tour Rescheduled UK dates rearranged from February tour.
April '98 / 'Heaven's Bright Sun' Released Release of 'Heaven's Bright Sun' album in UK and Europe.
May '98 / TV Recordings TV recordings for 'First Light' (BBC1) and 'This Sunday' (ITV). Jo and Dave have writing sessions in Ireland.
June '98 / Joanne Rows to Iona UK dates, including a concert in the majestic surroundings of Ely Cathedral. Joanne rows from Ireland to the island of IONA in a currach with a crew of 14 in commemoration of the 1400th anniversary of the death of Columba. She is interviewed about the voyage on 'Songs of Praise' (BBC1).
July '98 / 3rd Trip to US The band's third trip to the USA coincides with the US release on July 1 of 'Heaven's Bright Sun' and includes a headline appearance at the Cornerstone Festival in front of 25,000 people and an appearance on cable TV programme 'The 700 Club'.
August '98 / 'Lindisfarne' makes BBC Headline at Greenbelt Festival in front of 12,000 people. Appear at the Bardentreffen Folk Festival in Nurnberg, Germany, which is held in the moat of the town's castle! The band's performance of the song 'Lindisfarne', recorded live on the island of Lindisfarne in July 1995, is shown on 'Summerscapes' (BBC1).
October '98 UK tour including last UK gig (Solihull) until 1999. A fault with the microphone on Troy's pipes prompts spur of the moment performance of the 'Free' song 'All Right Now'.