Flautist and vocalist Nuala Kennedy on UK tour
Collaboration with Virginia singer AJ Roach
She’s worked with Will Oldham and Norman Blake: now ace flautist and vocalist Nuala Kennedy is collaborating with a bard from the Appalachian Mountains …
‘I’ll be playing with my usual musical cohorts plus AJ Roach – a great singer from Virginia who makes Willie Nelson sound like he hasn’t hit puberty. Our music ranges from plaintive, sparse ancient Gaelic songs, experimental compositions and progressive trad-dance music. In places it’s kind of quirky, traditional music with a retro-pop sound.’
What’s all this about Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy?
‘I met Will [Oldham] through touring as part of the Scottish Arts Council’s Tune-Up scheme in 2006. We became friends, sharing a predilection for Scrabble and Islay malts. He sang on ‘Astar’, my 2007 commission for Celtic Connections, and when I was recording [excellent current album] Tune In, I thought the part of the evil sea captain on the traditional ballad, ‘The Waves of the Silvery Tide’ would be perfect for him!’
And Norman Blake, you say?
‘Norman and Ziggy Campbell (from Found) plus me and a bunch of other writers were guests at the fantastic Burnsong song-writing residency in 2008. I was blown away by them, how passionate they were about music. Norman and I sing a duet on Tune In: ‘The Books in My Library’.
Any chance we’ll hear the magic rock duet you played with Found at the Fence Homegame?
‘Absolutely: we’ll be doing versions of all sorts of songs, maybe with some unexpected appearances. Jedward, anybody?’
Stereo, Glasgow, Fri, 26 Nov; Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sat 27 Nov.