The Concert hall was quieter this year with no Open Mic or Late Sessions, due to renovations at the hall.
The Roaming Roots Revue of new indie artists. It would have been nice to have made more events, if that was only possible. I also missed the Big Burns Night. I never made the Old Fruitmarket venue which I love at Celtic – for some reason I was more excited by those performing at the ABC venue.
A highlight this year was the concert for Dundee singer songwriter Dundee Michael Marra.
I have seen Marra live several times and he was such an engrossing and interesting artist. We were very saddened by his passing last November. Michael's two children Alice and Mathew Marra were perfoming with their band The Hazey Janes and I got a nice photo with three Scottish legends on stage together at this concert - Dougie MacLean, Eddi Reader and Rab Noakes.
This year I saw English folk band Bellowhead and American singer songwriter Aimee Mann at the ABC O2; Cara Dillon and The BBC Scottish Symphony orchestra at the City Halls; and The Transatlantic Sessions at the Concert Hall; and also the Celtic Connections 20th Celebration concert with some of the cream from the Scottish folk scene - Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Phil Cunningham and Rod Paterson.
In the past few years I have seen several exciting new artists at Celtic – Manran, Rura, Rachel Sermanni, and this year I caught memorable singer Genesee at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. She was one of the winners in 2013.
There are several well known musical partnerhips/couples in the folk world – Donald Shaw and Karen Mathieson, Karine Polwart and Mattie Foulds, John McCusker and Heidi Talbot, Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman, Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal.,,, and more I am sure!
The festival Celtic Connections 2013 ran from Thursday 17th January – Sunday 3rd February and comprised concerts, ceilidhs, talks, workshops, free events and late night sessions taking place over 18 days in various venues across Glasgow - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, O2 ABC, The Tron, Òran Mór, The Arches, The Mitchell Theatre, City Halls, Kelvingrove, The Barrowland Ballroom, St Andrews in the Square and festival fans’ favourite the Old Fruitmarket all played host to Celtic Connections events.
This is my sixth year covering Celtic Connections festival and now I am showing others where things are! I enjoy the buzz. It is also wonderful to have such excellent concerts at this cold time of year. It’s the ideal setting for musicians to get together to collaborate and I look forward to next years festival!