A (very belated) Happy New Year to everyone and hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. I had a very busy January trying to fit in rehearsals, recording the new Mackinnon/MacColl/MacPherson EP, teaching for FÃ¨is Rois and a number of gigs at Celtic Connections. I also managed to see some fab acts at the festival this year- highlights include the astonishing improvisational blues singer Bobby McFerrin and sharing the stage with the Gospel Truth Choir at the Royal Concert Hall.
The Herald gave us a 5 star review for Scottish Songbook which we were obviously delighted with (this was largely down to Karine’s vision and Brian’s amazing skills as musical director).
Also rather bizarrely my picture appeared on the front cover of both The Herald and The Scotsman papers that day… Photographer Julie Broadfoot took some amazing pictures of the gig:Â www.bbc.co.uk/celticconnections
In between all this I drove through to teach in Edinburgh and West Lothian almost every morning and flew to Germany for 3 days of gigs for Glasgow City Council’s Robert Burns weekend.Â A bizarre turn of events from that weekend include witnessing a “Sean-NÃ²s” dancing sheep trying to dance a jig to reel rhythm and being asked if I could formally acknowledge the head of the Masonic Lodge onstage (who incidentally, wished to sing “Doon in the Wee Room”). Then, probably as a result of the sheer volume of work I was doing, I came down with the mother of all colds.
On 28th January we did our first ever Mackinnon/MacColl/MacPherson broadcast on Travelling Folk (with presenter Colum Sands) alongside some brilliant guest artists, including the lovely Michelle Burke (whose solo album is a triumph!) the Portuguese band Deolinda and the Alan Kelly band. Thanks to Sean Purser and everyone at BBC Scotland for having us.Â On 29th January I guested with Finlay MacDonald in the Strathclyde Suite, and had the pleasure of meeting Breton legends Jackie and Patrick Molard who did a couple of fantastic sets that night. It was a great night and Fin tells me he’s planning future tours with the same lineup very soon.
January 31st was the busiest day with a sold out Mackinnon/MacColl/MacPherson gig on 31st January, the BBC Radio Scotland Young Trad 10th Anniversary concert and a festival club slot at 4am!! Luckily we were all still awake!Â All 3 gigs went very well but personally myÂ highlight of the night was playing a kazoo duet with Anne Sofie Linge Valdal onstage at 5am. Absolutely no alcohol was consumed during this impromtu show whatsoever…
For the rest of February I’m teaching for Feis Rois in Edinburgh and West Lothian and generally welcoming a bit of quiet time! Then in March I’m on tour in Eastern Canada with Ewan MacPherson, which we’re really looking forward to (venues and dates listed on my gig page).Â Hope to see you at a gig!Â M x