Dick Gaughan is a Scottish traditional folk singer, songwriter and guitarist. He sings of Scottish heroes and of stories of our lost past and long forgotten voices. Gaughan has been playing the circuits both at home and abroad for many years now and he is a legend among folk circles. He is also one of the most down-to-earth and likeable artists without pretensions of any kind.
He sang songs by Brian McNeill, Robert Burns, Ewan McColl and Gaughan - What You Do With What you've Got, Yew Tree, Outlaws and Dreamers, No God and Few Heroes, Whatever Happened to We Shall Overcome, and the outstanding Burns song Westlin Winds.
He prefers to learn from the generations before that have all the knowledge. ‘If you're lucky you can add a wee bit' He said, 'I don't go for autobiographical songs, there's more interesting topics than me.’ He took traditional folk stories and songs from the library archives and put new melodies to them and he draws from both the Irish and Scottish folk traditions. He also spoke of legend songwriter Yip Harburg who wrote Over the Rainbow and Finnegan's Rainbow (who found a pot of gold and it destroyed him)
His songs can seem hard hitting but are also full of thoughtful optimistic themes. Like American folk singer Dylan his songs and voice don't come easily to the shore and they tell of straight talking stories. He is also a stand out guitarist and plays with a unique style with open chords and dramatic timing that he learnt from guitarist Davy Graham.
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 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.
One of the great troubadours of life's journeys. You come away from his gigs questioning but ultimately renewed in the faith of our shared humanity. He sang, 'Keep your eyes on the road ahead, Keep looking at the light.... 'At this gig I thought - music is not about how good an artist might feel about their music but rather how much joy they can give their audience.
Gaughan was well supported by guitarists Robin Miller, and Mike Simons.
What's the use of two strong legs, if you only run away.
And what use is the finest voice if you've nothing good to say?
What's the use of two good ears, if you don't hear those you love.
Words & Music by Si Kahn
He sang not of resolutions but of holding on to your vision. Gaughan was warmly received and seemed to enjoy the gig. I felt that his substance, refreshing honesty and questioning words must have impacted on the younger members of the audience and on the older ones too! Dick Gaughan Photo gallery - http://pkimage.co.uk/dickgaughan