Five picks from Celtic Connections 2012
Featuring Zoe Muth, Jack Bruce, King Creosote and Jon Hopkins, World Turned Upside Down and Vieux Farka Touré
Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers
The year in Americana 2011 belongs to Gillian Welch and the release of her album The Harrow & the Harvest, but amongst a promising field of young female country singers, Zoe Muth stands out. With her ear for an instant melody and fondness for a bleak lyric, the Seattle native – aided by her trusty quartet The Lost High Rollers – is a natural successor to the likes of Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn and Welch.
The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 21 Jan.
Jack Bruce with Lau and Special Guests
The Cream legend teams up with arguably Britain’s most innovative contemporary folk band Lau, percussionist Jim Sutherland, keyboardist Andy May, guitarist Taj Wyzgowski, drummer Chris Peacock, bassist Nico Bruce and Mr McFall’s Chamber, for a mouthwatering evening of music unlikely to be heard again. Alas.
Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Wed 25 Jan.
King Creosote and Jon Hopkins
One of the albums of the year, the duo’s Mercury-nominated Diamond Mine already stands out as one of the most important collaborative albums of recent years. The pairing of Fence Records boss Kenny Anderson and electronica artist Hopkins has left fans desperately wanting more, which makes this one of the hottest tickets of the festival.
O2 ABC, Glasgow, Thu 26 Jan.
World Turned Upside Down
Taking its name from an English Civil War ballad, World Turned Upside Down is an exploration of the relationship between folk music and protest song, from its beginnings to the role of folk musicians in more recent events such as the Arab Spring. Justin Currie and Karine Polwart are joined by Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran, Native American songwriters and activists Pura Fé and John Trudell and English folk singer Chris Wood.
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Wed 1 Feb.
Vieux Farka Touré
One of Africa’s biggest music stars and son of the late Malian guitar legend Ali Farka Touré, Vieux Farka Touré continues to break new ground in African guitar music with his third album ‘The Secret’. Recorded in Bamako and New York, and deeply rooted in the traditions of his homeland, it’s an intense and innovative blend of blues, rock and jazz.
The Arches, Glasgow, Sun 5 Feb.