Showing posts with label musician. Show all posts
Showing posts with label musician. Show all posts

Thursday 10 February 2022

N’famady Kouyaté, Celtic Connections festival 2022

N’famady Kouyaté, performed at the Theatre Royal as part of Celtic Connections festival 2022, to support Rura. 

Kouyate from Guinea (Conakry) provided an energetic support for Rura. He played a traditional wooden xylophone from westAfrica called a balaton, stoking the keys with strong dynamism! He plays modern interpretations of traditional West African Mandingue songs and rhythms. Kouyate is a multi-instrumentalist and has toured as support to Gruff Rhys on the Pang! album tour. He now lives in Wales - and next year for the 2023 festival, cc will partner with our Celtic cousins in Wales.

Tuesday 31 July 2018

Paul Simon Hydro July 2018

Magical and spiritual music which lifts the heart and soul. 

As we dance, have our hearts broken, enjoy nostalgia and our dreams can fly too, Simon began contemplatively with America And Fifty Ways, before taking up the energy with his full band for his wonderful Boy in the Bubble.  

Simon later reclaimed his fond child Bridge Over Troubled Water. He said this song simply passed through him.  He talked about his musical journeys and songwriting. 

Simon writes some of the best and most poignant lyrics. 
He sang more Surrealist songs -
If you and I were an accident 
Then the road offers no resistance,
I’m beneath the stars,
Dazzling blue

His set was interspersed with his hit songs, while he left the best for last. So many highlights! – Mother and Child ReunionSlip Sliding Away, along with his fun dance tune such as Me and  Jolio Down by the Schoolyard. As well as his outstanding lyrics, Simon songs have those well known riffs 
What a joyful encore when Simon treated us to his best loved songs – Homeward Bound. Sounds of Silence….
There was lots of love in the room and all those spiritual voices.
Simon's Song Odysseys.  

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Shawn Colvin Celtic Connections 2018

 Shawn Colvin, is a Grammy award-winning American singer-songwriter, best known for her 1996 platinum album, A Few Small Repairs and her song ‘Sunny Came Home’.
The concert was opened by a welcoming and accomplished duo from Colvin’s band, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.
Colvin is celebrating 20 years since the success of her Few Small Repairs album with a full band concert at Celtic Connections festival and the re-release of a newly expanded album edition.

Tonight she performed the songs from the album along with other fan favourites such as ‘Diamond in the Rough’. There were several stand out songs, ‘You and Mona Lisa’, ‘Simple Truth’, ‘Wichita Skyline’, ‘Nothin On Me’, ‘Suicide Alley’ ‘New Thing Now’ and ‘I’ll Be Back.’
She also stripped it back to only her voice and piano on a couple of songs. At one point she spoke of her lyric book. She sang a four songs encore encouraged by fans applause.

An enjoyable, quality concert. She sang of heartbreak and enduring and her sound elegantly mixes country, pop and contemporary. Colvin is an engrossing, subtle songstress with immersive and sensitive songs and voice.
Shawn Colvin is the recipient of the Americana Music Association’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award,

A Few Small Repairs SONGS: Sunny Came Home, Get Out of This House, The Facts About Jimmy,  You and the Mona Lisa, I Want it Back, If I Were Brave, Wichita Skyline, 84,000 Different Delusions, Suicide Alley, What I Get Paid For, New Thing Now, Nothin On M.   -

Sunday 24 September 2017

'Framing the Arts' with Alan Riach Edinburgh book festival (EIBF 2017)

Sandy Moffat, Alan Riach, John Purser
'Framing The Arts' - Three elder statesmen of the Arts in Scotland – with Professor Alan Riach, Painter Sandy Moffat, Musician and composer John Purser, gave a talk at Edinburgh international Book festival 2017.
"Arts at the heart of life in Scotland and the cultural history of literature, painting, and music."

"ARTS and the NATION" - There were limited copies of their new book and I have just received my copy via Amazon. It is a great read so far and i highly recommend to anyone who sees the importance of the arts in shaping our society to a more caring and compassionate one. The arts are first about our humanity. 

They spoke of the reconstruction by the Arts for a new vision of Scotland that are totally different in nature than the national movement of fascists, and that the Scottish arts are not focused inwards at all. Also the opening up of the arts to the young in order to move ideas forwards. They discussed places like the Abbotsford bar, which were once physical meeting places and gave connections for artists and journalists back in the 50s.
Professor Raich spoke of his two page spread in the National newspaper, that day with no adds or interference, and he said that the writing was of a very high standard.

Scots always look outward with their Arts and festivals, but we need, as these respected artists state, to also understand and know our own heritage and stories - and to look inside our own house too. Scotland does not want to leave Europe (or England) – but also there are strong movements to reconnect to Scottish stories, cross borders, and to open windows on Scotland’s arts.

John Purser, composer an writer 
Until recently, Scots had no knowledge of Scottish classical music, composers or Scottish folk music. Scottish theatre, folk music, pipe music, and classical music were neglected – which has led to a cultural destruction. Purser spoke of the Scottish Music archive.
He said all students at Glasgow’s RCS (The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) had studied in Europe, and that music is of course  international. They were instructed never to look within the house and always asked to look outward! It is scandalous that those who graduate know nothing of their own country’s heritage. Purser told a story of a young girl studying for her music higher, she was part of the travelling peoples and felt she lacked musical knowledge, but said that she made reeds for her uncle’s pipes. He told her that she probably knew more of Scottish music than those studying at the colleges!
John Purser
Painter Moffat said they were starting to take the Scottish art out of the basement at the National galleries.
Scottish Artists - Raeburn, Ramsay, David Willkie, Glasgow Boys, JD Fergusso., He said that Scottish artists won’t leave Europe. The highly respected art critic John Bellamy was mentioned. Scots are very poorly educated in our Scots history and arts.

They all spoke of the aim to build a grassroots audience for arts and not only an elite audience. (1934 SNP established.) The modern Scot world of reconstruction; the Montrose Renaissance which was then the equivalent of Paris in the 30s and was led by the revolutionary poet Hugh MacDiarmid, a co-founder of the SNP.

I agree with all of this. I was educated in Edinburgh and learned nothing of Scottish history, heritage, arts or music! I mean nothing here!  Even though I studied Art, History and English Highers and went on to teaching!  (Now I am older I am teaching myself Scottish heritage!) I did learn English heritage though, of the Tudors and Shakespeare. 
BOOK – ‘ARTS AND THE NATION’ - To engage in the recovery of neglected Scottish composers, artists and writers, locating them in an international context.
As the poet Hugh MacDiarmid wrote, artists must be both national and international. Perhaps in our fast moving Digital age there is a strong desire to reconnect to permanence, to traditions and to those lasting stories...

MEDIA ?? (PS  There was no mention of Digital, Media, TV or film – and how Scots can access their own and international arts via the new platforms. For young people they want diverse ease of access via many mediums and that’s how they access their news also. They want control, which is a good thing.
The new film, tv studio at the Pentlands is welcome new and long overdue. Scotland first tv channel will air in autumn 2018! it’s a scandal. (both Wales and Northern Ireland have studios with the massive Game of Thrones film in Northern Ireland.) Good news is that both the recent success of Outlander and T2, have brought recognition to Scotland.Other regions such as Catalonia, has Five TV channels. 

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Dick Gaughan Milngavie folk club March 2014

The folk club was busy for Gaughan’s return gig here with both young and older fans. He prefers to stand tall with his guitar as he plays and sings.  

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. 

Robin Miller
Its' not just what you're born with, but what you do with what you've got.
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 -

Saturday 11 May 2013

Irvine Welsh and Nile Rodgers

Irvine Welsh, Scottish novelist and playwright, best known for his novel Trainspotting, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Copyrighted.

Irvine Welsh is a Scottish novelist, playwright and short story writer. He is recognised for his novel Trainspotting, which was later made into a critically acclaimed movie. His work is characterised by a raw Scots and brutal depiction of Edinburgh life. He has also written plays, screenplays, and directed several short films.

Irvine Welsh had a fun and very interesting chat with Nile Rodgers at Edinburgh Book Festival 2012.  They were such a contrast to watch and listen to! The very white, very Scottish Irvine and the so soulful and very black Rodgers! Amazing chat!  I also really enjoyed Nile's storied interjected with his guitar playing.
 Rodgers – sometime actor for Sesame Street, songwriter, musician, producer, arranger and guitarist. Le Freak, Everybody Dance, We are Family, Let’s Dance, Like a Virgin, The Reflex. Nile has written his autobiography “Le Freak – An Upside Down Story of Family”.  

Sunday 21 April 2013

Edwyn Collins and his band at the O2 ABC

Still rockin in his soul, even if his body has failed him at times.

Edwyn Collins, Scottish musician, best known for his song A Girl Like You and also for the song Rip It Up with his band Orange Juice, rocked a gig ABC Glasgow 18th April 2013. 

Understated, the title of his new album suits him well. Here's man who rocks deep inside with a generosity of spirit and soul. He's unassuming and sincere and there was a lot of love in the room for him at this gig and some nostalgia for a few no doubt. He performed songs from his 2013 album Understated as well as some of his back catalogue songs. Collins had a band of quality musicians who seemed to enjoy playing with him.

Songs: Ghost of a Chance; Understated; I Never Met a Girl Like you Before.  

For an encore he sang Home Again, searching for my soul again, and Simple Lifesimple choice makes the world a better place. Seven years after his two strokes the indie veteran has produced another excellent album. 

Tuesday 1 May 2012

*Dick Gaughan Interview with Phil Cunningham

This photo of Gaughan was taken at Milngavie Folk Club in 2011
Dick Gaughan Interview with Phil Cunningham Radio Scotland March 2012
Dick chose five songs that have influenced him –
(1) Big Bill Broonzy – Glory of Love
(2) The Shadows – Apache
(3) The Beatles – Love Me Do
(4)  Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues
(5)  Davy Graham – 67

Gaughan talked about his musical influences. His chat is often profound, sometimes humorous and always entertaining.
He said that The Shadows were the first eclectic guitar group and that back then we were discovering all these new sounds for the first time. Before that nearly every American singer  seemed to be called ‘Frankie’ and sang songs about what it was like ‘to be a young lad at summer camp!’   
Gaughan said that ‘Love Me Do’ from the Beatles was another defining song.

He became obsessed with songs - he was like a magpie and studied songs at the National Library. In 1979 the Thatcher government made him first think about ‘why’ he was singing the songs and he became a political artist then. He said that Traditional music is about fair play, the totality of life and about the community.
Nowadays the barrage of media attempts to put forwards ‘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.
Lastly he talked about Davy Graham’s guitar which was tuned differently. His musical ideas were unbelievably creative - he was predictably unpredictable!  Hearing Graham's guitar it becomes clear where Gaughan had learned his distinctive playing style from. His list of favourite song choices is interesting too and shows the breadth of his roots in both traditions and more contemporary musical styles. 

Gaughan is best known for singing the songs Both Sides the Tweed and Westlin’ Winds. 
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.  He draws from both Irish and Scottish folk traditions. 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, Robert Burns, favourite cover songs and his own songs.
He doesn't play the predictable smoothed-over sugar box 'tartan shortbread' songs - and he may not be to everyone's taste. Gaughan is plain spoken and holds firmly held beliefs on the rights of everyman and 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.   

Sunday 15 April 2012

Keyboard player Michael Abubakar

PHOTOS OF musician Michael Abubakar playing keys with Katie Sutherland’s band at the Oran Mor Glasgow.