Donald Shaw, the musician and creative producer of CelticConnections, the roots, folk and traditional music festival which opens in venues across Glasgow today, said he fears that Scottish musicians will find it much harder to play in Europe after the UK severs the cord with the EU. Continue reading
Scotsman folk critic Jim Gilchrist picks his highlights of this year’s festival
1. Syne of the Times, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 17 January:
The festival’s opening concert sees creative producer Donald Shaw revisit his Harvest project, with established names joining emerging young talent from Scotland and Galicia.
2. Kathleen MacInnes & amiina, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 19 January:
Smoky-voiced Gaelic singer MacInnes is accompanied by Iceland’s amiina, formerly associated with Nordic rockers Sigur Rós.
3. Jenna Reid & Harris Playfair with Mr McFall’s Chamber, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 20 January:
Highly engaging duo of Shetland fiddler Reid and pianist Playfair joined by the left-field McFall’s Chamber.
4. Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Mackintosh Church, 24 January: Inspired duo of Welsh harpist and Malian kora player, performing in Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s beautiful Queen’s Cross Church.
5. Julie Fowlis & Duncan Chisholm: An Treas Suaile, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 24 January:
Fowlis and Chisholm’s multi-media commemoration of the Iolaire tragedy, when 201 servicemen drowned yards away from their native Lewis on New Year’s Day 1919.
6. Shooglenifty/Kinnaris Quintet, Barrowland, 25 January:
Glorious mayhem as “acid croft” pioneers Shooglenifty share the bill with the powerful new string quintet.
7. Grace & Danger: A Celebration of John Martyn, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 27 January:
Intriguingly assorted cast including Paul Weller, Eddie Reader and Eric Bibb combine to celebrate the unique talent of the late John Martyn.
8. Karine Polwart & Kris Drever with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, King’s Theatre, 27 January:
Two premier singer-songwriters join the SCO in this historic theatre to perform songs old and new, arranged by Pippa Murphy and Kate St John.
Jamie McDougall presents Burns Night with the Rachel Newton Trio and Talisk Trio.
Spend Burn’s Night with Jamie MacDougall in the company of two award-winning groups, live from the CCA Glasgow. BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year singer and harpist Rachel Newton performs with her trio that includes Lauren MacColl on fiddle and Mattie Foulds on percussion. The night culminates in a dynamic set of tunes from Talisk Trio with concertina player Mohsen Amini – Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2016, fiddle player Hayley Keenan and guitarist Graeme Armstrong. A Burn’s Night without poetry from the Bard himself would be a sair fecht, so readings and musings on the night come from BBC Scotland’s poet in residence Stuart Paterson.
A stirring celebration of Mike and Lal Waterson’s great lost folk album gathered daughters, sons, cousins and uncles – plus an Arcade Fire star
evamping a cult masterpiece is a dangerous business, and Bright Phoebus – the 1972 album by siblings Mike and Lal Waterson – really is a masterpiece. Imagine the most severe voices in folk music pitched against lush, boozy, crushingly tender instrumentals. The songs have a gnarled lyricism, a concise and dreamy poetry. If you’ve never heard them, that’s probably because half of the original vinyl copies were pressed with the hole in the wrong place and it took until last summer for Bright Phoebus to be remastered and rereleased – largely thanks to the efforts of Lal’s daughter [ . . . ] More at: Bright Phoebus Revisited review – Watersons bring a cult classic back to life