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

Dougie MacLean’s intimate concert Celtic Connections 2024

An intimate evening of songs, chat, drums and pipes, through his tunes and songs with Dougie’s relaxed charm and banter - as he explored his Songbook of his 50 years in the music business. Maclean began the evening solo with some of his insightful songs  - All Who Wander, and with guitarist Tim Edey, on his songs Broken Wings and Wild and Windy Night. He always enjoys on many songs to encourage the audience to sing his sing-able choruses.

He was then joined on stage by a wealth of musical talent, that he has worked with over the years - with 
Hannah Fisher (fiddle) Gordon MacLean (double bass) and Sorren MacLean (guitar), Jamie MacLean (percussion) for several songs – Shadow of the MountainPabay More, Rocket to the Moon, Stolen and The Gael. Accordionist Pete Garnett performed on Talking With My Father, Charlotte and Hide in the Wind. He performed a poignant Not Lie Down with accomplished violinist Greg Lawson.

There were several moving moments over those fellow musicians he’s lost along the way, with songs such as They Hide in the Wind – when he was joined by the considerable talent of Ross Ainslie on whistle and bagpipes. He was also backed by Alan Sutherland on piano for Mists of Time and Hide in the Wind.

Dougie spoke of his grandfather, who spoke Gaelic, but he was told his native language was embarrassing, and a dead language. He remembered his grandfather in the evenings occasionally singing the beautiful Gaelic songs, when tears would run down his face. He said it is sad to loose a language and all the poetry and songs of that language. Dougie then sang a moving 
Its been Stolen From Me – also backed by Ross Ainslie, as well as the impact of pipers and drummers from the Glasgow Piping centre.

For the concert climax the Dougie played violin on his dramatic tune The Gael from the film The Last of the Mohicans, backed by the Pipes and Drums.

After Dougie solo sang his positive song This Love Will Carry Me. Of course no Dougie MacLean concert is complete without his iconic song Caledonia – which has become one of our unofficial Scots anthems and is often played at weddings and other significant occasions. The concert was a celebration of one of Scotland’s songwriting legends. Many of his songs are highly emotional, connecting and uplifting. Songs of nostalgia, resilience and hope.


Dougie was also joined by musicians Chris Agnew on acoustic bass, and Ali Fergusson on electric guitar on Turning Away, Hide in the Wind, The Gael and Caledonia. And by Chris Smith on percussion, and David Duncan on harmonica, on Turning Away, Thundering In and Caledonia.

**SONGS   All Who Wander, Broken Wings, Shadow of the Mountain, Talking with My Father, Rocket to the Moon, Mists of Time, Thundering In, Turning Away, Till Tomorrow, Pabay More, Charlotte, Not Lie Down, Wild and Windy Night, Hide in the Wind, Stolen From Me, The Gael, This Love will Carry Me, Caledonia, 

He has received three prestigious Tartan Clef Awards, a place in the Scottish Music Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement Award from BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, an Honorary Doctorate and an OBE! “ 


Review & Photos Pauline Keightley -

Dick Gaughan’s appearance at Red Clydesides John Maclean concert


Billy Bragg & Dick Gaughan at concert Celtic Connections 2024

One aspect of folk music is its inclusive, open culture – its for everyone. Its not about a few musicians on stage. All can sing the choruses, dance or clap along. 


This year traditional Scots musician Dick Gaughan made a surprise appearance at the concert for Red Clydesider John MacLean to a standing ovation. Gaughan had a stroke a few years back and has been unable to perform or play his guitar. Gaughan has become something of a legend on the Scottish and world folk circuits for more than 40 years. He is an interpreter of Scotland’s traditional folk ballads with his distinctive style of guitar playing, with open chords and timing that he learnt from guitarist Davey Graham. 

John Maclean socialist reformer 1879 - 1923


I remember Dick Gaughan standing near the Celtic Connections press office. He was happy to chat, maybe he remembered me from the intimate Milngavie folk club concerts, where some musicians there said he was a living Scots legend. My younger son came to hear him and was impressed with his dramatic guitar playing, and the strength of his guttural voice on his highly memorable and meaningful folk songs. 


Dick Gaughan is a song collector, songwriter and traditional ballad singer and musician. I remember Gaughan singing telling his stories and songs -  The Yew Tree, What you do with what you’ve got, The Flowers of the Forrest, Westlin Winds,


In 2018, Celtic Connections held a tribute concert for Dick Gaughan at the Old Fruitmarket. With the Wilson Family, guitarists Tony McManus and Martin Simpson, Karine Polwart ,The Bevvy Sisters, Mary Macmaster, Patsy Seddon and Dougie MacLean, They performed songs with a social conscience – of Grenfell tower monument to greed and selfishness, Aberfan disaster, miners strikes, Jute mill songs, Neil Gow’s fiddle. Where are the young voices of protest today to stand up for people’s rights?  DickGaughan Tribute concert 2018


The first time I heard Robert Burns Parcel of Rogues was Gaughan’s interpretation at the festivals Auld Lang Syne concert in 2009. I had no idea before this that Burns was such a radical reformer and like many, I had thought he mostly wrote his love songs and poems. 

Certainly an Outlaw and Dreamer like no other! An inspiration.

I have taken photos at Dick Gaughan’s concerts over the past years since 2006 and here are some of them. 

Many of this generation of folk singers are now getting older and I wonder who among the younger musicians can replace them? In 20 we lost Dundonian character songwriter Michael Marra (more later), in 2012 the iconic Scots songwriter Gerry Rafferty (I took photos at a concert to his memory at Celtic Connections) and just last year the wonderful Rab Noakes, who I knew well from his concerts and taking his photos there. What an interesting gentleman and creative songwriter he was. I remember in my twenties in my folk days, we would often sing in harmonies his early songs – Branch, Clear Day, Eden’s Flow -  Happy Days indeed! Another massive Bob Dylan fan. Noakes started out playing with Gerry Rafferty in the Humblebums.


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 -