Edinburgh Tradfest’s new Spotlight season kicks off next month with four new video concerts released online.
Kicking off the season will be the legendary, multi-award winning Old Blind Dogs (Mon 12 Oct), playing some of their old favourites, (including the much-loved Earl O March’s Daughter and the Twa Corbies), plus some yet to be recorded new tunes and songs.
The band’s unique sound draws on the rhythms of Middle Eastern, rock, reggae, jazz and blues, and the line-up includes founder member Jonny Hardie (fiddle, vocals), Aaron Jones (bouzouki, guitar, vocals), Ali Hutton (pipes, whistles) and Donald Hay (percussion, vocals).
Following on a week later is Shetland Springs (Mon 19 Oct) which was originally commissioned by Tradfest for five fiddlers and performed to a sell-out crowd in 2019.
This concert will feature both Catriona MacDonald (fiddle) and Margaret Robertson (fiddle, piano) from the original line-up whose friendship dates back almost 40 years. This online Shetland Springs concert presents a true celebration of Shetland’s rich fiddle tradition told through heartfelt airs and reels.
Next up is Siobhan Miller (Mon 26 Oct) one of the finest young voices on the Scottish folk scene, backed by some of Scotland’s leading musicians: Euan Burton on bass, Charlie Stewart on fiddle, and Innes White on guitar.
Siobhan is the only three-time winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Award, and her latest album All is Not Forgotten was released in April this year. This online concert will feature some of the tracks from her new album.
Finally, we are joined by acclaimed Skye piper Malin Lewis, Ali Hutton (guitar) and Shona Mooney (fiddle) for Malin Makes Music (Mon 2 Nov).
Malin is a piper, fiddler, instrument maker and highly talented composer, and this concert set list is drawn heavily from the band leader’s own music, with one tune from band mate Mooney thrown in for good measure.
All the ‘Spotlight’ concerts were video recorded live at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh at the end of August and include short interview clips, chat, and banter from the bands.
The concerts will be available to download or watch online from 8pm on the day of the concert and tickets go on sale on Monday 5 October. Details will be posted on www.edinburghtradfest.com and www.traverse.co.uk
All the concerts are 30 minutes long and can be viewed for seven days.
Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland said: “Since the world went into lockdown, musicians have found ever-more inventive ways to keep their creativity flowing and connect with their audiences. Creative Scotland is delighted to support Tradfest in this online celebration of the diversity of Scotland’s trad scene, keeping this vibrant music fresh in the public eye and ear until live events can return to the festival circuit.”
Jonny Hardie, Old Blind Dogs said:
“Old Blind Dogs are delighted to be involved with Trad Fest as always. We’ve taken the opportunity to revisit some older OBD songs and also introduce some tunes which will feature on our new cd. Please sing along loudly and have a wee jig around the kitchen!”
Douglas Robertson, Founder of The Soundhouse Organisation and Programmer of Edinburgh Tradfest said: “It feels great to finally be able to bring a taste of Tradfest’s 2020 programme to audiences, albeit online. We hope that these concerts will give at least a flavour of the energy and extraordinary talent of the musicians we bring to Tradfest each year and look forward to welcoming audiences back in 2021.”