Archive for the Music Category

The vanished Scotland of Matt McGinn

The vanished Scotland of Matt McGinn

Last week I attended a tribute concert to Matt McGinn. It was the 13th year that Linlithgow Folk Festival has started its year with a fundraiser based on McGinn’s music. Several of the Scottish folk scene’s well-established singers and groups joined local talent to entertain a packed […]

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Jonathan Prag – classical guitar

Jonathan Prag – classical guitar

Jonathan Prag has been a regular at the Festival Fringe since 1992.  After twenty years, the quality of his performances mark him out as one the Fringe’s finest musicians. Classical Guitar – Jonathan Prag (1.30 pm, until 27 August, at C too, St Columba’s by the Castle, […]

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In My Own Time

Alex Wood, former head, now working at the Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration Books My recent reading has been a familiarisation with the work of James Robertson. I started with the ambitious And the Land Lay Still (which effectively spanned my lifetime), before reading The […]

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The Chieftains: Voice of Ages

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s great folk music band, The Chieftains. Today only Paddy Moloney remains of the original Chieftains but the tradition marches on, changes but remains true to itself. The new album, Voice of Ages, fulfils that wonderful promise of merging tradition and modernity and […]

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Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen: Review

Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen: Review

Losing your pension pot is hardly justification for a 77 year old entertainer’s completing a strenuous series of world tours, from 2008 to 2010, with a new album.  But if that’s why Leonard Cohen did it perhaps we should briefly give thanks to those who cheated him […]

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Scotland’s folk hero: Hamish Henderson

Scotland’s folk hero: Hamish Henderson

‘Poetry Becomes People’, the second volume of Timothy Neat’s biography of Hamish Henderson (Polygon Books, £25), completes the life of one of modern Scotland’s architects. The first volume, ‘The Making of the Poet’, (reviewed in Scottish Review, 6 January 2009) ends with Henderson starting his career as […]

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Rebel Hamish: Alex Wood on a Scottish folk singer who was a natural anarchist

Rebel Hamish: Alex Wood on a Scottish folk singer who was a natural anarchist

I should have watched Scotland play Holland. Normally that’s what I’d do. Instead I spent the evening in the local Masonic hall at a tribute to Hamish Imlach, the Scottish folk singer.      Imlach came to prominence, along with Matt McGinn, the Fishers and Alex Campbell, in […]

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Ridiculed no more

Ridiculed no more

Last week in Madrid, in the Prado, I discovered Dürer’s self-portrait. It shows a young man of 26, face ringed in curling locks, flamboyant, elegant, aristocratic and boldly asserting his artistic status. For all that such a work might be arrogant, this is not. Its inscription, ‘I […]

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The machine that killed fascists

The machine that killed fascists

BBC 4 has recently screened a magnificent series under the generic title, Folk America.  Archive BBC footage of Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary and the Byrds have jostled with a contemporary concert hosted by Billy Bragg, and documentary material from the United States including Mississipi John […]

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Review: Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra at Linlithgow Arts Guild

Review: Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra at Linlithgow Arts Guild

The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra hit Linlithgow on Saturday with verve and a tight panorama of jazz from the last 90 years. Directed and led by Tommy Smith, the boy from Wester Hailes who now graces the international jazz world, they covered work by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dexter […]

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