Monday, 7 February 2011

'Dick Gaughan' Review

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I first heard Gaughan play in the 70s in Edinburgh when I was dating a folk guitarist who raved about how incredible and very distinctive his playing was. Many years later (after being in America for nearly ten years and having three children) I heard Dick again at Milngavie Folk club in 2007, and this was an intimate gig where his chat between songs was worth going for alone. 

In his own so distinctive style, Gaughan hammers and speaks with his acoustic guitar. He performs traditional folk tunes, songs by Robert Burns and Brian McNeill, favourite cover songs and his own songs. Some very few artists have the ability to transport and transcend the moment, and Dick does so with forceful guitar playing and classic traditional songs with a strong message and with a deep expressive, growling voice. 

He doesn't play the predictable smoothed-over sugar box 'tartan shortbread' songs - and he may not be to every ones taste. Gaughan is plain spoken and holds firmly held beliefs on the rights of everyman. At one time he took past folk stories and songs from the library archives and put new melodies to them. You come away from his gigs questioning but ultimately renewed in the faith of our shared humanity. Dick Gaughan is a Scottish living legend, and he usually performs every January at 'Celtic Connections' Glasgow.   

Recommended Songs -  Both Sides the Tweed. Handful of Earth, Parcel of Rogues.