Showing posts with label songs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label songs. Show all posts

Thursday 29 February 2024

Lindsay Lou


American singer songwriter Lindsay Lou performed at the Transatlantic Sessions as part of Celtic Connections 2024

Lindsay's silky smooth and rhythmic voice mixes bluegrass with modern Americana. Her performance was magnetic as she danced along to her emotive songs, Nothings Working and Love CallsNew album Queen of Time released 2023.   #ccfest2024








Friday 23 February 2024

Transatlantic Sessions 2024 Review II





This was a concert of memories, escapism and also expectations – as well as the fun banter, expert musicianship, quality vocals and top songs. Session bands don’t come any better than this TS band.


Young Irish folk singer-songwriter Joshua Burnside gave a strong performance with his thoughtful songs Louis Mercer and 26th Street. He is influenced from contemporary electronica and traditional Irish songs, evoking lush landscapes, bad dreams and wistful vistas. His debut album Ephrata was awarded the Northern Ireland Music Prize for Best Album.


Joshua Burnside


We were then treated to Scots singer songwriter, Kim Carnie engrossing and pure Gaelic voice. She is also lead singer of Mànran and Staran and winner of the Scots Trad Music Awards Gaelic singer of the year.  While American singer songwriter Lindsay Lou’s silky smooth and rhythmic voice mixes bluegrass with modern Americana. Her performance was magnetic as she danced along to her emotive songs, Nothings Working and Love CallsNew album Queen of Time released 2023.




Kim Carnie

Lindsay Lou


Canadian duo 
Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves returned on banjo and fiddle with their jaunty tunes!. They are winners Instrumental Group of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year at the 2023 Canadian Folk Music Awards. And we enjoyed hearing the talents on double bass of Daniel Kimbro, on the humorous song Michael Collins.



A highlight was Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Carlene Carter­ - daughter of music legends June Carter and Carl Smith, and Johnny Cash’s stepdaughter – who performed her songs, Every Little Thing, Wildwood Flower - as well as June Carter’s Ring of Fire, for a rousing sing along finale.


Lindsay Lou


The two music directors with their fun chat kept the show and the band grounded – Jerry Douglas with his expressive dubro and Aly Bain with his moving Shetland fiddle. Alongside the other excellent players. The packed audience appreciated Phil Cunningham’s tune Melody for Eve and Aly Bain’s Smuggler’s Set



This concert stirs so many emotions, with both the thoughtful songs and joyful playing. This kind of vibrant playing take us out of those everyday struggles for a while. Its all about how good the collaborative vibe is between all the artists, from youthful exuberance to the experienced traditional players. I’ve attended the Transatlantic Sessions since 2008 and while they are always an excellent standard, tonight’s was one of the best! Tremendous fun!

The house band, is led by Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas, features renowned Celtic roots musicians Phil Cunningham, John Doyle, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, James Mackintosh and Daniel Kimbro. 

 

Photos & Review Pauline Keightley -  https://pkimage.co.uk

 






Saturday 30 September 2023

SONGS make a Nation



The Proclaimers

And the poetry and art. Since the 60s Scots have been singing in their own Scots and Gaelic voices – first with Flower of Scotland on the football terraces, the resurgence of Scots folk protest songs such as Hamish Henderson’s Freedom Come All Ye and then with the Proclaimers songs. 


We might ask who is writing new songs for the union?

 

“Now everyone sings Scottish songs and if I were a unionist politician of whatever party, but especially the Labour party, I would be counting the songs, have a habit of making the laws also.” Ian Hamilton wrote. 

 

Since the 60s and 70s, the resurgence of Scots voices, culture and arts have had more impact on our hearts and minds - than the often hollow and ignorant political chat. Early in 1970s Edinburgh, traditional folk songs were flourishing around the folk clubs, bars and folk festivals – Girvan, Ayr, Arran, Sandy Bells and many more. 

Before this I had mainly listened to music on recorded albums, so the live local music scene was a revelation for me, with its foot-stomping fiddles, the strumming banjos, guitar and bohran, the perfect unaccompanied singers, and the traditional Scots ballads. 

 

The impact of the Proclaimers first tv appearance on channel Four’s music program the Tube – when they performed Letter to American in strong Scottish accent was immediate. They combined folk and punk music. Then we also have dougie macLleans powerful Caledonia and David Steele's Scotland Yet.

 

As attitudes towards the British empire changed after the war, in the mid 1960s at the men’s football game they started to boo and agitate and to sing their own songs as the band played the national anthem, God Save the Queen. In 1966-67 fans started to sing Flower of Scotland – and eventually authorities recognised this and dropped the UK National Anthem for Scotland.

 

The Corries


Ian Hamilton, who along with other student stole the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey, wrote -

“Nobody sang in Scotland in the ­middle part of the century. To be more correct, those who sang did not derive their songs from Scotland. Their sources were ­foreign and what they sang was only an alien copy of other people’s ways of life.”    He saw a very different Scotland in the early 1990s compared to the past: “Now everyone sings Scottish songs, and if I were a Unionist politician of whatever party, but especially of the Labour ­Party, I would be counting the songs, rather than the votes. The people who make the songs of a country have a habit of making the laws also.”

Perhaps that is a little too romantic for some but it contains a kernel of truth. What we sing and who sings says something about who we see ourselves as ­being and how we stake our claim in the world. Maybe in his heart, Ally McCoist knows this too.

Extracted The Songs We Sing, Gerry Hassan, The Sunday National 17th September 202 - 

https://www.thenational.scot/news/23794397.gerry-hassan-god-save-king-flower-scotland-unites-us/

 

 

Sunday 15 January 2023

Celtic Connections 30th 2023!


Transatlantic Sessions
19th January – 5th February 2023.   @ccfest

Celtic Connections music festival returns this January with one of its most diverse and exciting programs.


The festival is one of the world’s largest winter festival celebrates roots, folk and world music returns this January for its uplifting warm music nights! With outstanding musicianship, challenging collaborations, innovative composers, alongside musical traditions and heritage, Gaelic song and famous orchestras.


1200 musicians will take to the stage for 300 events at more than 25 venues across the city, with shows spanning traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul and world music. 

Its good to see the new generations coming up and given a bigger platform at Celtic Connections. There is a growing confidence in Scotland’s arts and media, and its traditional music scene – which is world class. Celtic Connections plays an integral role as our major folk and roots festival the past 30 years. 

Violinist Duncan Chisholm - “We’re at a point now that is the most exciting, for traditional music here, that there has ever been. Our music is spinning off in all sorts of directions. It is definitely in a much better place than it was when cc started 30 years ago, and I think that is to do with the festival itself.”

The Opening Concert celebrates both past and new artists, international and local, collaborative and cross-genre spirit - with Karine PolwartSierra HullBascoPeat & DieselTRIPMaeve GilchristRachel Sermanni and Michael McGoldrickHannah FisherRoss AinslieAnna Massie, Alyn CoskerJames MackintoshDuncan Lyall and Sorren Maclean.


Duncan Chisholm
Aly Bain
Martha Wainwright


Transatlantic Sessions celebrate 20th Anniversary with all-star line-up - Martha Wainwright, Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam Ó Maonlai, Capercaillie’s Karen Matheson and Amethyst Kiah. Plus house band of Celtic & Americana talent – Phil Cunningham, John Dole, Michael McGodlrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, James Mackintosh and Daniel Kimbro and masters of ceremonies Sherland fiddler Aly Bain and dubro master Jerry Douglas.


PLUS favourites - Irish-American Cherish the Ladies, Scots strings Blazin’ Fiddles, trad fusion powerhouse Treacherous OrchestraColin Hay, Australia’s Grammy-winning Men at Work, Quebec’s Vent du Nord. Piper Ross Ainslie & American roots musician Dirk PowellThe Song Circle show with Mary Chapin CarpenterKarine Polwart, Julie Fowlis & Robert Vincent at Theatre Royal. Duncan Chisholm and Kim Carnie at the concert hall.


And the live mic at the Danny Kyle stage the Late Sessions and Folk club and much more. Showcase Scotland will see Brittany showcased, to advance opportunities, along with Wales, celebrates the folk traditions of two of Scotland’s closest Celtic cousins. 

The festival encourages both innovation and traditions, quality musicianship and authenticity. To follow a natural artistic path, to be genuine. Along with welcoming our important connections from elsewhere. Scots have been one of the most travelled nations and they took their music across the world – particularly to America. 


**Tickets for Celtic Connections 2023 at www.celticconnections.com.


Blazin Fiddles
Audience Old Fruitmarket



Braebach

 Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “It feels remarkable that in just a matter of days the 30th edition of Celtic Connections will kick off in Glasgow, celebrating all genres of music, a variety of world cultures, and bringing communities together from across the globe. A huge amount of work and preparation has gone into this year’s festival; it is testament to the strength and tenacity of the Scottish music industry, which has successfully overcome an incredibly tough period."

“We are so appreciative of the musicians and artists who have contributed in all manner of ways to Celtic Connections over the past three decades, and we will pay homage to them throughout the 2023 festival, as well as looking forward towards a bright and hopeful future. We look forward to seeing venues full, artists doing what they do best and the musical community thriving right across the city in a week’s time.”

Wednesday 30 November 2022

My Chats and Tributes to Scots Legend Rab Noakes

Rab Noakes Oran Mor

A Present with no Past has No Idea, Quote Rab Noakes Branch song. Good Roots

So sad to hear the news of our loss of singer songwriter Rab Noakes - what a true gent and legend of Scottish music. Rest in peace. I've had the privilege of taking Rab's photos at several concerts over many years since 2010. 

I’ve had several chats with him over the past decade, both in person and online. I have such fond memories in my twenties we used to sing his early songs. More recently my son played an excellent version of his classic Gently Does It and Moonlight and Gold.

Rab was always a smartly dressed folk singer songwriter, and one of the top guitarist. He drew influences from the 60s radio growing up in Fife, much as his musical hero Bob Dylan did too. While he drew on many influences. The story of the song mattered to Rab, so his chat between songs laid the musical scene and atmosphere.

In the 60s and 70s, Rab played with greats such as Gerry Rafferty and Lindisfarne. When I hung out in the folk scene then, i remember well the harmony singing of Noakes songs, such as Branch, Clear Day, Together Forever. Back in 2007 I saw Noakes still going strong at an Oran Mor gig. He often includes a fifties classic, this time a song my husband remembered his mother singing. He is also a dedicated Dylan follower – check out his excellent version of Dylan’s Mississippi. 


Martha Rafferty & Rab Noakes

Noakes says music is all about the dialogue and more about performing than simply the song. Those residency night gigs were artists can learn their craft in front of the live audience and the live performance when 'flying' in the heart of the music toughens you up and you have to learn loads of songs. He played in Denmark six nights a week.
 Noakes ran his own production company Neon. 

Rab led several tribute concerts at Glasgow’s major music festival. Celtic Connections, for Gerry Rafferty and Michael Marra. I expect we will have a concert for Rab – it’s the passing of a whole generation of the folk scene – and we look forward to the passing of the baton to the younger generations. 

He will be sadly missed, his music lives on and in my memories of my son playing his classic "Gently Does it" and Rafferty's "Moonlight and Gold".


Rab at Milngavie folk club

He has been at the forefront of Scottish folk music for over 50 years, and has recorded over 19 studio albums. He often performed at the Glasgow music festival Celtic Connections. In 1970 Noakes released his first solo recording Do You See The Lights, a blend of easy going country rock, with a line-up that included Robin McKidd, electric guitar and jazz bassist Ronnie Rae, and included songs Too Old To Die, Together Forever and Somebody Counts On Me. In 1971 Noakes was a founding member of the folk rock band Stealers Wheel, along with Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, He played on the first album by Gerry Rafferty’s Can I Have My Money Back, notably Mary SkeffingtonHe also played with the band Stealers Wheel. 

Noakes songs have been covered by Lindisfarne (Together Forever) and Barbara Dickson.

I will post some extracts on his songwriting from my nine RAB NOAKES reviews. 

Rab at a house party

**RAB gig reviews on my blog

2010 -  Oran Mor

2012 -  Concert for Gerry Rafferty

2012 – Milngavie folk club

2013 -  Concert for Michael Marra

2014 -  tour Barbara Dickson

2016 - MFC

2017 – Celtic, Old Fruitmarket

2022 - MFC

Rab with Alice Marra Celtic Connections

Eddi Reader, Rab Noakes, Dougie MacLean

Rab & Kathleen McInnes

Rab & Barbara Dickson
Rab & Jill Jackson

CHATS with RAB 

A gentle, questioning soul – with a generosity of spirit. 

I sat beside him at a couple of times at Celtic press release mornings. I told him of my sons guitar playing but that he lacked confidence, Rab said in his young days, performers laid the ground work playing the folk clubs for years – but today people seem to often expect quick, instant results. I told him my son enjoyed playing some of the folk tunes, particularly Gently Does It – I had taken my son to our local folk club to see Gaughan, Noakes, Dylan at Braehead Arena. My son also enjoyed rock and pop and learned electric guitar and bass from the rock band the Red Hot Chillis!

 CHATS with Rab at Celtic

I sat beside Rab at the Celtic Press launch on Tuesday. He seemed to know me - maybe from his Oran Mor gig, my review and photos for him and his chatting to me on facebook. Cool and what an interesting guy. 

He’s a massive Dylan fan too!  I asked him if he mentored younger artists – he said no he wasn’t going to simply give his secrets away! He said that too many young people expected things on a plate, and that they were spoon-fed everything. He had to put in years of graft to learn his craft and he thought that was the way things should be done.  He mentioned all these music schools now where they are simply ‘given’ everything rather than finding out for themselves. 

 

I agree. I worry so many young artists in the folk scene for instance have less depth of character in their voice. He said he enjoyed the thread on FB chat with me - interesting thread he said! I told him how interesting the book festival is, and that many authors are also painters and musicians too. I spoke of the Dylan ‘Forever Young’ photos, probably my favourite of an artist.  He remarked that Dylan had so much character he must be good for photos. And I told him of the Chinese writer who when he paints only listens to music for weeks and tries not to think in words at all.   

 

*On Facebook I posted – “The best music is timeless’

Rab replied, ‘No, the best music is very much of its time, and that a present with no past has no future.’ 





Noakes was born in St Andrews Fife in 1947 and grew up in CuparHe drew influences from the 60s Radio growing up in Fife, much as his musical hero Bob Dylan did too. While he drew on many musical influences. In 1963 Noakes moved to London and worked for the Civil Service, and he played folk clubs at night. He returned to Scotland in 1967 and began a duo with Robin McKidd and they played their first gig at the Glasgow Folk centre. In 1769 he played a months residency in Denmark. Noakes was a founding member of the folk rock band Stealers Wheel, along with Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan. 

In 1970 Noakes released his first solo recording Do You See The Lights, a blend of easy going country rock, with a line-up that included Robin McKidd, electric guitar and jazz bassist Ronnie Rae, and included songs Too Old To Die, Together Forever and Somebody Counts On Me.

He played on the first album by Gerry Rafferty’s Can I Have My Money Back in 1971, notably Mary SkeffingtonHe also played with the band Stealers Wheel. He performed with Lindisfarne in 1972, on songs Turn a Deaf Ear, Nicely out of Tune, Together Forever, and Fog on the Tyne. He recorded with Lindisfarne for a John Peel concert and in 1995 produced a Radio 2 programme The Story of Lindisfarne. 

One of Noakes's best-known recordings, "Branch", from the Red Pump Special album, was released as a single in 1974 (recorded in Nashville Tennessee and produced by Elliot Mazer) and received Radio One airplay.  He played on a Woody Guthrie tribute album 1987, and toured with the Veraflames – along with Pick Withers, Rod Clements and Fraser Speirs.


Rab & Gerry Rafferty

Rab & Stealers Wheel