Showing posts with label folk music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label folk music. Show all posts

Monday, 30 October 2017

Dougie MacLean at Milngavie folk club

‘Dougie captured the mood with his embracing warm and spiritual voice’

He has become something of a legend for many in Scotland and his songs have deep connections to the land. Dougie grew up in Perthshire where he now runs the MacLean Perthshire Amber festival – his grandfather was a shepherd and his father a gardener. Both his parents taught him the love of music – his mother played melodeon and his father fiddle. His family came from Mull, where they were crofters. Dougie now runs the old school both he and is father attended, as his studio.

For his first set he sang songs from his new album, 'New Tomorrow’ along with older favourites -   
‘Shadow of the Mountain’, ‘Talking with my Father’ when he spoke of his father walking over the moors to school. He spoke of his travels to gig at many far flung places. He sang of the ‘Singing Land’ (Shine on Your Singing Tree), 'Holding On', 'Feel So Near', and 'Holding Back'.

And a moving song too to his grandson ‘New Tomorrow’ with the words – If time will be our friend / I’ll help you to defend/ Your new tomorrows. If fear should enter in /You’ll find me hiding in the wings / Ever near you.

He sang ‘Broken Wings’ at the start of his second set and ‘Child of this Place.'  We all sang along to - Will you Catch me if I’m Falling ‘On This Wild and Windy Night’, Dougie enthusiastically encourages his audience to sing his choruses.His songs are often poignant and tender. And we sang his well loved 'Caledonia’, and ‘She Loves me when I’m Gone’. 

His Encore song was ‘This Love will Carry me.' 

His ’Caledonia’ has become part of Scottish culture – and is sung at weddings, major events and played at the Edinburgh Tattoo. He wrote this song while on a French beach and thinking of his Scottish homeland. He is also a passionate supporter of freedom for Scotland. One fan spoke of the emotions at Stirling castle Hogmanay event a few years ago when Dougie played Caledonia at the new year and hoped that Westminster might hear the singing!

Dougie knows the beauty of keeping things simple – with catchy choruses and also hidden depths.

the Friel Sisters
 *He was ably supported by the award-winning and talented Friel Sisters – whose roots are in Ireland’s Donegal. They included a quality guitarist from Japan.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Celtic Late Sessions 2016

Celtic Connections also runs over its weekends The Festival Club and the Late Sessions at the Drygate. Here photos of the top Scottish band Braebach at the Late Sessions. 

ALSO the excellent Elephant Sessions who supported Blazin Fiddles

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Celtic 2016 Review

Blazin Fiddles

Now another #ccfest is over for another year. I've walked to the venues, tapped my foot many times, clapped with enthusiasm and been on warm tides of musical pleasures! 
I reflect and am sad too now it is over.  

While the core of the festival is around folk traditions it also welcomes and incorporates world music, indie, country, bluegrass, contemporary and is on an international scale..

New Scottish artists – Karine Polwart, Idlewild, Chvrches, C Duncan, Lau, Braebach, Rura, Rachel Sermanni, Kathryn Joseph.
Jerry Douglas at Transatlantic Sessions 2016
The festival reaches out to encourage both collaborations and new talent. 

The Danny Kyle Open Stage encourages new talent –  Rura, Rachel Sermanni, Gennessee, Karine Polwart and many others - have been discovered there; Also the Showcase Scotland which attracts industry people worldwide. And the Celtic education program brought in school to several concerts.

**The Danny Kyle Open Stage WINNERS 2016 - Bella and The Bear; Quick; Northern Company; Ross Miller & Charlie Stewart; Charly Houston; Bella Gaffney.

RURA and the Canadian East Pointers
I’ve enjoyed top class fiddle bands, beautiful singing, quality tunes, excellent musicians.

Joe Newberry
Cara Dillon

My concerts this year included –
Opening concert Celebrating 50 years TSMA, Traditional Scottish Music Assoc; Ireland 2016 with The Chieftains; Pilgrimer Re-imagining Joni MItchell's Hejira; Lucinda Williams; John Grant & Rachel Sermanni; RURA; Blazin Fiddle; Transatlantic Sessions.

Stand outs in 2016 were the singers Rhiannon Giddens and Cara Dillon, the young band Rura, the quality Transatlantic Sessions, the character of Lucinda Williams, the fun at the Irish concert.

I attend concerts for the music I hope I will enjoy and for new artists I've not heard before. 
A big thanks for all at the Press office for all their kind assistance!


18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late night sessions and a host of special one-off musical collaborations
“Celtic Connections brings together musicians from across the world for a celebration of musical traditions, the best of contemporary folk and world music, and the ways in which different musical cultures interweave and inspire and, always, entertain.

  “The expertise and skill that drives Celtic Connections also shines through in a education programme that benefits thousands of children across Glasgow and Scotland. Invaluable opportunities enrich lives and offer chances to learn, to enjoy, to be part of the always unique, always brilliant musical happening which is Celtic Connections.”

Blazin Fiddles

Monday, 15 February 2016

The Danny Kyle Open Stage at Celtic Connections 2016

Dosca who were highly commended
The Danny Kyle Open Stage encourages new talent –  Rura, Rachel Sermanni, Gennesse, Karine Polwart and many others - have been discovered there. Also the Showcase Scotland which attracts industry people worldwide. And the Celtic education program brought in schools to several concerts.

Some photos of this years Open Stage - which is great fun and often some outstanding musicians here. It runs from 5 to 7 every day and is FREE! 

The Danny Kyle Open Stage WINNERS 2016 - Bella and The Bear; Quick; Northern Company; Ross Miller & Charlie Stewart; Charly Houston; Bella Gaffney.

Celtic Connections also runs over its weekends The Festival Club and the Late Sessions at the Drygate. 

Braebach at the Late Sessions
ALSO the excellent Elephant Sessions who supported Blazin Fiddles

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Punch Brothers

From Thursday 14 to Sunday 31 January, 2,500 musicians from around the world will gather in Glasgow for 18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late night sessions and a host of special one-off musical collaborations. 

Stars of world, folk and roots music, who will perform on 26 stages at venues across the city, include Rickie Lee Jones, The Chieftains, Lau, The Unthanks, Béla Fleck, Robert Plant, Lucinda Williams, Admiral Fallow, Toumani Diabaté, Karine Polwart, Boys of the Lough, John Grant. 

Martyn Bennett concert

With artists from Inner Mongolia to Armagh, Senegal to Italy, and Brittany to the Outer Hebrides to Southern Manitoba performing at the festival in 2016 Celtic Connections remains a hotbed of musical talent from cultures and countries from across the globe. 
Eddi Reader
Nicola Benedetti
I have been taking photos at Celtic Connections since 2008. 
When I look at my Celtic Connections photos - one thing stands out – the fun and joy of those taking part have during the 18 day festival.  Also the very high quality of musicanship, beautiful voices and interesting collborations.

Aly Bain
Finlay MacDonald

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Celtic Connections 2015 Launched!

Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Artistic director, announced the 2015 program 14th October via a video link -

Celtic is the world biggest folk music festival - with over 300 shows, over 18days and 20 venues.
Celtic will celebrate both the composers and the skills of the makers of hand made instruments. What I love is the more subtle warm tones of quality wooden instruments.

This year the strands and themes of the festival are those amazing stories of handmade instruments. Donald was inspired this year by the book 'Fiddle Tree' by Otis Thomas - who made his first fiddle from a sugar maple tree beside his house.

Shaw quoted Thomas - "Maybe art is not a quest to conquer the secrets of perfection, but is rather a revelation of that which is personal and unique and defies the very concept of perfection. "
In other words the best music or art is not about aiming to achieve perfection, but rather what makes us individual, with our weaknesses, flaws and imperfections, but also our very strengths.   

Highlights will include, Fairport Convention, Eddi Reader, King Creosote, Craig Armstrong and American band Lambchop.
The Opening concert will feature the music of Scottish composer Martin Bennett's Grit album, with the full orchestra.
A Tribute concert to celebrated songwriter and folk legend Ewan MacColl (1915 - 1989) hosted by his sons Calum and Neill. 

A show of the award winning Hollywood composer Craig Armstrong  his new album it's Nearly Tomorrow (with singers Paul Buchanan, and Brett Anderson) and his cinema work including Moulin Rouge, Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet.
-The Fiddletree, based on the book by Otis Thomas, will included music played by fiddles, clarsach, mandolin and cello.
-Rory Gallagher – Band of Friends perform music of Irish blues rock multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. 

-        -King Creoste, award winning indie folk musician, with his award winning new album -  From Scotland With Love along with Scottish screen Archive material.   
Celtic will welcome many American cousins, such as Patti Griffin at Transatlantic Session and Jeff Tweedy, one of the US top songwriters. 
World Music with Angelique Kidjo and the RSNO.
Other concerts include - Skerryvore, Roaming Roots Revue, Manran, and more

Plus of course one of Celtic's ever popular showcase concerts - the Transatlantic Sessions - hosted by musical directors Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas, blending together both the Scottish and American traditional music. 
Celtic Connections 2015 is - 'music that is personal and unique'. Music that holds hundreds of stories like the big old tree.