We’re starting off this programme with Breabach. I’ve loved this band ever since I heard their (very attractive) demo. In fact I think the tune we play on the podcast – Chloe’s passion was on it. Also each member of the band has entered the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award starting with Patsy Reid in the inaugural Award in 2000 up to Ewan Robertson winning in 2008. Band members Patsy and Calum MacCrimmon both came back this year to help judge the Finals. I enjoy the way they play as an ensemble all listening to each other while still leaving room to breathe for each of their solo talents. Look out for them in Scotland and England throughout March.
Another inaugural Young Trad Awardee (and winner) was Gillian Frame and she features with Findlay Napier (another finalist) in the Findlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers. Their CD Out All Night has just come out in the last months and has enjoyed critical success. I noticed the other day they are doing some touring around Scotland in April with the Peatbog Faeries. Definitely worth checking out.
Our next track is from guitar maestro Tony McManus. Tony is one of the hardest working musicians I know. He seems to go non stop! This new record of his is an unusual album because the recording of each track features a different guitar, from the collection of North Carolina’s Dream Guitars founder Paul Heumiller and each hand-picked by Tony and Paul. Amazingly on the last track he manages to play them all – I love to see that! I spent some time with Tony on the German Folk Festival tour a few years back and I invented the Wooden CD prize for the person who sold the least CDs on the tour. Unfortunately I went on to win it – typical…
I mentioned Ruairidh Macmillan in the last blog who won this years BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award. Well he is playing and touring with the Paul McKenna Band, a young singer who people are talking about favouritely. I don’t know much about this band but their record sounds great!
I’ve known about the Gaelic Psalm singing for a while but when I was thinking what track to play next I came apon the Salm and Soul CD. I listened to the first track and when I checked out the second I was surprised to hear a gospel number! The CD was recorded at Celtic Connections and the concert arose from the theory that the call-and-response structures of African-American gospel music derived in large part from traditional Gaelic psalm singing, brought over by Scottish immigrants to the American South. Whatever you think both tracks sound great.
We finish up with Box Club, a troup of 4 accordionists. Watch out for them on tour in Scotland this March.