Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Concert to Support Dick Gaughan

His informed, entertaining stories are worth hearing!
It is sad to hear that Scottish traditional singer and guitarist Dick Gaughan is ill. There is a concert in Edinburgh to help support him – 27th November, festival theatre Edinburgh.  

Billy Bragg, Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, Karine Polwart! In honour and support of Leith's finest: Dick Gaughan. Fundraising show - at a time of illness - Festival Theatre Edinburgh. http://www.edtheatres.com/dickgaughan#


I first heard Dick Gaughan in my twenties at an Edinburgh gig. I heard he was one of the best and most unique guitar players.  
I’ve heard him at Celtic Connections on the concert hall stage, when he stunned the audience with his profound version of Burn’s ‘Parcel of Rogues’. I’ve heard his full set at my local folk club, Milngavie folk club (MFC). He is a top guitarist and plays guitar with an open tuning in the style of Davy Graham

When he comes to play there he always takes time to chat. There is no pretensions about him. I remember he spoke of playing with Emmy Lou Harris.


I’ve heard many folk singers live and Gaughan is by miles the most moving and powerful.  Like Dylan, he doesn’t smooth over the Big Issues of our time, like Dylan. I was also moved by his interpretation of Burn’s ‘Westlin Winds’, which he said is one of the best songs ever written – with its simple beauty and expression of nature and love.

My favourite Gaughan songs include – ‘Both Sides the Tweed’, ‘What You Do With What You’ve Got’, ‘Outlaws and Dreamers’ – which he certainly is!

He hails from Leith Edinburgh. His mother was Scottish, a MacDonald from Lochaber and a Gaelic speaker and an Irish father.

 Best wishes and get well soon Dick!


My favourite image of Dick at my local folk club

I have several Dick Gaughan blogs on here  -

Nowadays the barrage of media attempts to put forward ‘one’ message he claimed and he likes to be part of what he calls the ‘awkward squad’ who are the grain of sand in the ointment and have other ways of looking at reality - and try to at least think about it!

He spoke about Dylan’s beautifully crafted songs that punched out images such as ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’. Gaughan played with Aly Bain’s Boys of the Lough and a punk band called Five Hand Reel. Like many others on the folkscene back then he developed a drink problem and then he had a breakdown. He had to clean up and dry up.

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 a deep expressive, growling voice. 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. “