Music, Folk

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Michael Marra 1952 - 2012 : A gentleman genius - Scotland's national bard

25 Oct 2012

A personal recollection of the Scottish songwriter by musician Eilidh Mackenzie

A few times in our lives we may be lucky enough for our path to cross with that of someone truly exceptional. The crossing can change your outlook, confidence, politics or career path. I feel totally blessed to have crossed paths with the great…

Exclusive free download: Rachel Sermanni – The Fog (Discopolis remix)

7 Nov 2012

Track from singer songwriter's debut album remixed by indie-electro synthsters Discopolis

Indie-electro synthsters Discopolis have given us an exclusive free download of their new Rachel Sermanni remix. 'The Fog' is a track taken from Sermanni’s latest album Under Mountains, which we called ‘full of life, and landscape, and promise’. Taking…

Exposure: Josephine Foster

10 Oct 2012

How to describe Miss Foster’s warbling psych-folk voice... Swooning. Vibrating? With rollercoaster peaks and dips? Or ‘Morriconean’ as one reviewer put it. Josephine chats to The List before her Glasgow date, touring with a live band including Trembling…

Martha Wainwright - Come Home To Mama

13 Sep 20124 stars

Moving, raw and heartfelt new album from the singer-songwriter

It would almost be easier not to know that ‘Proserpina’, the stand out track from Wainwright’s new album, was the last song composed by her mother Kate McGarrigle before she died from cancer in 2010. It’s such an exceptional piece of songwriting…

The Unthanks - Diversions Vol. 3: Songs from the Shipyards

23 Nov 20124 stars

The Unthanks have shrunk. Less than half the size of previous incarnations (since 2009 they’ve hovered at around ten members at any one time), the band behind Diversions Vol 3 is leaner, meaner. There are only five of them. The third release in what…

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Interview: Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Mangan

16 Nov 2012

The musician returns to Glasgow off the back of recent album Oh Fortune and new EP Radicals

It's quite rare for a band to release standalone single - how did 'Radicals' come about? It was a neat opportunity - we had a couple of extra songs left over from when we made Oh Fortune, particularly one with a very long title, ‘We Want to be…

Documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul discusses the remarkable story fo Sixto Rodriguez

15 Nov 2012

The musician, the subject of Malik's Searching for Sugar Man, plays the Usher Hall this month

Like Robinson Crusoe in reverse, Sixto Rodriguez spent many decades oblivious to the fact that the world wished urgently to get in touch. In the early 70s, the young Latino songwriter (above) released a brace of albums. They sounded a bit like Bob…

Eat, sleep and breathe: Phil Hague of Admiral Fallow

15 Nov 2012

The drummer with the passionate Glasgow folk-rockers shares his touring habits

What time is breakfast? I’m pretty good at getting up for breakfast; my appetite is fierce and I’d happily wolf down a full roast dinner at 7am. Tea or coffee? I love both tea and coffee very much. I think most people would agree that tea is a more…

Gav Prentice - The Invisible Hand

15 Nov 20124 stars

Familiar and well-observed folk-pop songs from the Over the Wall vocalist

This solo debut from Over The Wall vocalist Gav Prentice may be lacking in the fanfares that define his euphoric electro-brass duo, but this album’s small-town Scottish tales of getting old and family and work are characteristically familiar and…

New folk music: James Yorkston, Hanna Tuulikki and Alex Neilson on their musical influences

31 Oct 2012

Some recommendations from three strong voices in contemporary folk music

Scotland’s contemporary folk music is vital, dynamic and genre-defying. It re-animates mythic realms via acid-washed folk-rock (Trembling Bells); applies Gaelic customs to avant-garde art forms (Hanna Tuulikki, Muscles of Joy); celebrates punk and DIY…

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Celtic Connections 2013 programme launched

24 Oct 2012

The music fest launches anniversary programme featuring The Mavericks, Aimee Mann and more

The cultural behemoth that is Celtic Connections looks set to bring its A-game next year, as it celebrates 20 years on the music scene with a bumper programme from around the globe. Folk, roots, indie and jazz will all be represented as stalwarts of the…

First & Last: Scots trad music figurehead Simon Thoumire

22 Oct 2012

The concertina player and driving force behind Foot Stompin' Records answers or Q&A

First record you ever bought Home is Where the Van is – The Battlefield Band. Last extravagant purchase you made Sonos wireless speaker. First film you saw that really moved you Somewhere in Time (with Christopher Reeves). Last lie you…

Darren Hayman & The Long Parliament - The Violence

18 Oct 20122 stars

A handful of evocative instrumentals prove the only highlights in this 20-track monster

FOLK DARREN HAYMAN & THE LONG PARLIAMENT The Violence (Fortuna Pop) Darren Hayman would be the first to acknowledge that he hasn’t been blessed with a glorious voice. And surely even his most ardent admirers will concede that he’s not immune to…

Jo Mango - Murmuration

18 Oct 20125 stars

An intimately detailed, delicately sung little lyrical tableaux

Cautiously choosing her path in music these last several years, this Glasgow-based alt.folkie has followed the low-key self-releasing route, while completing a doctorate in musicology, when she could have gone major label. Wider exposure predictably…

Finn LeMarinel - Violence

9 Oct 20124 stars

LeMarinel's solo debut is a glorious calling card of acoustic folk musicianship

Within twenty seconds of listening to Violence, the following have crossed my mind: RM Hubbert, The Flaming Lips, Supertramp, Joanna Newsom, Yes and a sense of wonder. Can the rest of Glasgow singer-songwriter Finn LeMarinel’s debut album live up to…

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Wounded Knee - Secret Museum of Kind Man

8 Oct 20124 stars

A playful slice of 'spiritual folk-jazz' with a touch of disco

‘More lo-fi spiritual folk-jazz from Leith’s finest exponent of lo-fi spiritual folk-jazz,’ promises Krapp’s fourth tape, Secret Museum of Kind Man – a play on Pat Conte’s Secret Museum of Mankind Ethnic Classic anthologies (Wounded Knee, aka Drew…

Rozi Plain - Joined Sometimes Unjoined

8 Oct 20123 stars

Gentle folk-pop vocals against a backdrop of ambient lo-fi production

Like a number of her Fence Collective label mates, singer/ songwriter Rozi Plain has a penchant for subtle yet obscure arrangements, slightly left of centre of the ethereal melodies that populate her latest offering Joined Sometimes Unjoined. The…

Josephine Foster - Blood Rushing

20 Sep 20124 stars

The psych-folk singer's strongest and most convincing work to date

It feels remiss to call an LP a career-high when an artist such as as Josephine Foster’s genre-defying output spans 19th century German lieder (2006’s Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing), reworkings of Emily Dickinson’s poetry (2010’s Graphic As A Star) and…

Rachel Sermanni - Under Mountains

20 Sep 20124 stars

Formidably assured debut full of life, landscape and promise

Rachel Sermanni has become such a well-loved figure on the live map in recent years that this debut LP feels overdue, despite the fact that the Carrbridge singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is barely in her 20s. Possessed of a striking…

Efterklang - Piramida

7 Sep 20124 stars

Homespun yet grand release from the Danish alt.folk group

The latest offering from the Danish orchestra-botherers comes wrapped up in a rich mythology: Piramida (also known as Piramiden) is an abandoned Russian mining settlement half way between the northern tip of Norway and the North Pole. The ghost town so…

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Adrian Crowley - I See Three Birds Flying

7 Sep 20124 stars

War, gorgeous alt.folk from the Malta-born, Galway-raised troubadour

Autumn was made for Adrian Crowley. His sixth LP sees the Malta-born, Galway-raised troubadour further hone his gift for warm, rich, fertile psalms that hang heavy with melancholy, earthly wonder and mellow fruitfulness. From the russet…

Rodriguez to perform in Usher Hall in Edinburgh on November 25th

4 Sep 2012

The Sugarman receives recognition in the west four decades after his music was originally discovered

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez will perform at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Sunday 25 November following sell-out shows in London. The music of the 70-year-old Detroit singer has only recently come to light in the western world, despite achieving a cult status in…

Folk at the Pleasance

24 Aug 20123 stars

An enjoyable variety of folk music in a relaxed and intimate setting

This folk session is led by a tentative, yet somehow regal Sophie Ramsay, who in her flowing red dress and tumbling brown hair resembles a folky Kate Bush. After a soft introduction the Scottish songstress performs two songs, the first a melancholic…

Nuala Kennedy - Noble Stranger

17 Aug 20124 stars

Acclaimed flautist mixes traditional songs with Casio keyboard-inspired material

While imaginary old folksters in woolly jumpers wave disapproving fingers, the younger generation continues to update the genre. Here acclaimed flautist Nuala Kennedy mixes traditional songs and instrumentals such as ‘My Bonny Labouring Boy’ and ‘Matt…

Glasgow packs a punch with two piping hot cultural events

4 Aug 2012

Piping Live! and World Pipe Band Championships coming in August 2012

Live Piping! Glasgow once again welcomes new and established artists from over ten countries to perform at 150 events across the city, including the John McSherry Band, Breabach and Rura. Look forward to master classes, ceilidhs, concerts…