Get ready for the Ar­ran Folk Fes­ti­val

Acts are des­per­ate to play at is­land fes­ti­val

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It hardly seems pos­si­ble, but the Ar­ran Folk Fes­ti­val is less than a month away.

Once again or­gan­is­ers are de­lighted with the lineup for this, the 24th, event. And to show what a cel­e­brated fes­ti­val it has be­come, all the acts asked if they could come and play.

John Holling­worth of Ar­ranEvents said: ‘This re­ally is an af­fir­ma­tion that the Ar­ran Folk Fes­ti­val is a good thing, that it al­ways has a great at­mos­phere at the ses­sions, cou­pled with a very ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ence at the evening con­certs. Or maybe it’s the fact that, be­cause it’s great to have the op­por­tu­nity of bring­ing such es­teemed artists over, we do our best to look af­ter them re­ally well.’

The fes­ti­val attracts mu­si­cians and singers from all over the coun­try and beyond, many of whom re­turn year af­ter year, as well as a grow­ing num­ber of mu­sic lovers who com­bine the fes­ti­val with their visit to the is­land.

The open af­ter­noon ses­sions in the Dou­glas Ho­tel will, as al­ways, be hosted by Un­cle Keith, and are al­ways hugely pop­u­lar. They are free to at­tend and all are wel­come to take part or just lis­ten. There are also of­ten late night ses­sions at Fid­dlers.

The evening con­certs in Brod­ick Hall on Fri­day and Satur­day night will again be li­censed by the fes­ti­val’s good friends at the Ar­ran Dis­tillery. Tick­ets for these con­certs are avail­able to buy on­line from­ or in per­son from Brod­ick Post Of­fice.

‘On­line ticket sales to date have been fan­tas­tic, with the Satur­day night be­ing more than half full al­ready so don’t wait too long be­fore buy­ing tick­ets,’ John added.

Play­ing on Fri­day night are: The Poozies

The Poozies first burst onto the folk scene in 1991, when folk mu­sic wore elab­o­rately pat­terned woolly jumpers and was only seen in dingy back rooms and very late at night on BBC2 – yet from the word go they were break­ing out and hap­pily ex­plor­ing the mu­si­cal uni­verse.

As with all bands that have been on the road for so long there have been var­i­ous line-up changes, and through­out the years The Poozies have toured world­wide, and at­tracted recog­ni­tion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their eclec­tic choice of ma­te­rial, un­usual and ex­cit­ing ar­range­ments, and heart-tug­ging vo­cal har­monies. The cur­rent line-up in­cludes Mary Mac­mas­ter (elec­tro-harp, vo­cals), Eilidh Shaw (fid­dle, vo­cals), Sarah McFadyen (fid­dle, banjo, gui­tar, vo­cals) and Tia Files (gui­tar, per­cus­sion, fid­dle, vo­cals).

Ella Munro Trio

Ella Munro is a tra­di­tional singer hail­ing from the Isle of Skye with an im­pres­sive re­sume. De­spite her age, Ella has al­ready be­come a fi­nal­ist for the BBC Ra­dio Scot­land Young Tra­di­tional Mu­si­cian of the Year 2017 and toured ex­ten­sively through­out 2017 while study­ing at the Royal Con­ser­va­toire of Mu­sic.

Her unique voice has be­come well-known among the folk clubs of Scot­land with her pas­sion for singing loved and for­got­ten songs set­ting her apart from other singers. Dur­ing 2017, Ella toured Scot­land twice and has sup­ported artists such as Archie Fisher, Ewan McLen­nan and Blue Rose Code. Ella will be ac­com­pa­nied by the tal­ented Or­ca­dian gui­tarist and singer Ai­dan Moodie, who also ap­pears in Gnoss, and North­ern Com­pany’s ac­cor­dion­ist Sam Mab­bett.

Davy Lees

Davy has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in the mu­sic in­dus­try. He hails from Mother­well where, dur­ing the

late 1970s, he was a mem­ber of the well re­spected Auld Howff Band in which he pro­vided vo­cals, and played gui­tar and flute. He is in­deed a for­mer Scottish am­a­teur flute cham­pion and started his mu­si­cal ca­reer when he was 10 years old. He has toured Europe ex­ten­sively and has played at Orkney and Shet­land Fes­ti­val, Le Triskel Fes­ti­val in Breste, Roe Val­ley Fes­ti­val in Ire­land as well as at Ballerup Fes­ti­val in Den­mark.

Davy is the caller, singer and gui­tarist of the very tal­ented and busy ceilidh band Freereelin’. He is also a very ac­com­plished per­former and sto­ry­teller with a vast reper­toire of songs rang­ing from tra­di­tional Scottish, in­clud­ing many Robert Burns com­po­si­tions to pop­u­lar con­tem­po­rary folk stan­dards.

His tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances in­clude ITV’s Se­cret Scot­land, while his ra­dio broad­casts in­clude Mo­ray Firth Ra­dio All Scottish Show, and the hugely pop­u­lar Strings and Things, which he pre­sented on Ra­dio Avon FM. His lat­est ra­dio ap­pear­ance was on Celtic Mu­sic Ra­dio where he started the very suc­cess­ful pro­gramme Strings and Things with Davy Lees with lis­ten­ers from all over the world.

Play­ing on Satur­day night are: Old Blind Dogs

The leg­endary, multi-award-win­ning Old Blind Dogs bounded into their 25th an­niver­sary year with a brand new al­bum Room with a View and a hugely suc­cess­ful Scottish tour. With a line-up from the world of Scottish folk mu­sic that is ap­proach­ing su­per­star sta­tus, founder mem­ber Jonny Hardie (fid­dle/vo­cals) is joined by Aaron Jones (gui­tar/ bouzouki/vo­cals), Ali Hut­ton (pipes) and Don­ald Hay (per­cus­sion).

To­gether they cre­ate a sound that is uniquely Old Blind Dogs and which still stands at the fore­front of the Scottish roots mu­sic re­vival. It’s fair to say that their style, draw­ing as it does from the rhythms of Mid­dle East­ern, rock, reg­gae, jazz and blues mu­sic went on to in­flu­ence many bands but no­body does it like the Dogs! Twenty-five years on, they show no signs of slow­ing down – in­deed they are per­form­ing at their very peak.

Re­views of their new al­bum in­cluded: ‘There isn’t a dis­ap­point­ing mo­ment on Room with a View. In fact, it could well be a con­tender for Scottish al­bum of the year,’ said Folk­words. ‘They re­ally un­der­stand mu­si­cal sto­ry­telling, and know how to hold our at­ten­tion, riv­eted, to each twist of the story.’ said fROOTS.

Jenny Stur­geon Trio

Jenny Stur­geon has been win­ning fans wher­ever she goes. She plays in a trio with Jonny Hardie of Old Blind Dogs (gui­tar and vo­cals) and Char­lie McKer­ron of Caper­cail­lie (fid­dle).

Hail­ing from the north-east of Scot­land, Jenny is a hugely tal­ented singer song­writer whose pas­sion for mu­sic lies in her in­ter­est in tra­di­tional folk song, com­bined with the en­joy­ment of cre­at­ing fresh new com­po­si­tions.

The in­spi­ra­tion for her lyrics comes from folk­lore, his­tor­i­cal events and ob­ser­va­tions of mod­ern so­ci­ety, and as a bi­ol­o­gist her en­thu­si­asm for na­ture creeps into all her work.

Jenny was re­cently com­mis­sioned by the Na­tional Trust for Scot­land to com­pose new songs and tunes in­spired by St Kilda to mark the archipelago’s 30th an­niver­sary as a World Her­itage Site. The re­sult­ing work, The Wren and the Salt Air, was de­scribed as ‘a gen­uinely in­spir­ing work’ by RnR mag­a­zine.

Her al­bum, From the Skein was re­leased to some won­der­ful re­views. Mike Hard­ing said: ‘A su­perb al­bum – I love ev­ery track.’ While Boo Hew­er­dine said: ‘Jenny Stur­geon is won­der­ful singer who can change the at­mos­phere in the room with her af­fect­ing de­liv­ery. This is a very spe­cial record.’

The Poozies.

The Jenny Stur­geon Trio.

Davy Lees.

Old Blind Dogs.

The Ella Munro Trio.

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