Robyn Stapleton ◦ Fred Morrison & Ali Hutton ◦ Paul McKenna Band ◦ Jo Miller ◦ Neil Sutcliffe ◦ Alistair McCulloch & Marc Duff ◦ Harta ◦ Muldoon’s Picnic ◦ Davie Anderson ◦ Binky Blue ◦ Thomas MacDonald & friends ◦ Beatrice Clark ◦ Kin ◦ Strandline Singers ◦ The Barrstools
…plus lots more!
Since winning the title of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2014, Robyn’s singing in Scots, English and Gaelic has seen her recognised as one of the finest traditional singers of her generation.
Brought up in the South West of Scotland, Robyn was first introduced to singing through the poetry of Robert Burns. In 2017 she returned to the Burns repertoire with her second album, Songs of Robert Burns and since then has continued to specialise in the traditional song of South West Scotland collaborating with Jo Miller on a forthcoming record of traditional songs from Galloway.
We’re delighted to welcome Robyn back to Girvan for her second visit to the Festival.
Fred Morrison & Ali Hutton
Fred Morrison was born and raised near Glasgow, but it’s the celebrated Gaelic piping tradition of his father’s native South Uist, in the outer Hebrides, that forms the bedrock of his intensely expressive, uniquely adventurous style. Although his first-love instrument remains the great Highland bagpipes, over the years his mastery has expanded to encompass whistles, Scottish small pipes, or reel pipes – Morrison being a pivotal populariser of this once-rare variety – and Irish uilleann pipes. We’re delighted to welcome Fred back to Girvan to perform in a breathtaking duo with guitar supremo Ali Hutton.
Paul McKenna Band
Paul McKenna has long been ranked among Scotland finest younger singers and songwriters. His powerful voice and passionate social conscience have brought comparisons to the great Dick Gaughan. Paul and his band draw on Scottish and Irish roots, contemporary and traditional material and are not to be missed.
This will be a welcome return for Paul and the band to Girvan Festival.
Jo is a traditional singer, fiddler and researcher. Her long involvement in traditional music has included the founding of the traditional music degree at the RCS, and the setting up of the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop and the Riverside Music Project in Stirling. In 2017 Jo received the Hamish Henderson award for services to traditional music at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.
Jo is an acknowledged expert in the traditional music and song of South West Scotland and we are delighted to welcome her to Girvan.
Neil Sutcliffe is an accordionist and singer originally from Stirling but now living in Glasgow. Neil is sought-after soloist and also plays in a variety of groups. Alongside a repertoire of tunes, he has inherited a love of folksong from his mother, Jo Miller, and sings in a variety of languages including Scots and Scottish Gaelic.
Alistair McCulloch & Marc Duff
Alistair is Ayrshire’s premier exponent of traditional fiddle playing, equally highly regarded as a performer, teacher and composer. For many years now Alistair has played and toured with whistle wizard & founder member of Capercaillie Marc Duff.
We’re delighted to have Alistair & Marc to Girvan to give us an afternoon performance and lead some workshops.
Hailing the Isle of Skye, Harta are Jack Evans on bouzouki, guitar and whistle, Ross Calderwood on small pipes and Swedish pipes and Christine Martin on nyckelharpa and fiddle. Named after a high corrie on Skye where the Black and Red Cuillins meet the band draws inspiration from the Skye landscape and specialises in traditional music from Scotland and Scandinavian.
Festival audiences will know Jack as a mainstay of 2 legendary folk outfits, Jock Tamson’s Bairns and The Easy Club. Ross is also an expert pipemaker who will be exhibiting at our Instrument Makers Fair and Christine is the brains behind one of Scotland’s most successful music publishing house Taigh na Teud. Together they craft music that is inventive and exploratory. Their recent record was made album of the week on Celtic Music Radio.
Muldoon’s Picnic are a five-part vocal harmony group based in Glasgow. They sing unaccompanied songs from the sublime to the ridiculous, taking in folk-songs, world music, shanties and spirituals, and more besides. Their speciality is original arrangements of traditional song from around the world, from authentic to experimental, presented with a sense of fun that has won hearts throughout the UK. “Interesting harmonies sung with honest skill” … “compelling listening” … “if you haven’t come across this wonderful group before, prepare to be amazed!”
Binky Blue are brother and sister duo Jared and Rianna. Jared and Rianna will be familiar faces to Festival regulars as they have been playing in the Festival sessions for many years. The last year has seen them win a coveted Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections and play support to a string of high-profile bands including Manran and Skerryvore.
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Davie Anderson is a singer, songwriter and guitarist with many local connections in Kirkmichael, Crosshill and Maybole. His repertoire includes traditional and modern material much of it self-penned and he is a sensitive interpreter of the songs of Burns. We are delighted to welcome him to as a guest and to host our Festival Folk Club and contribute to our Ballads and Songs of Carrick Project.
Kin are a four-piece band from Glasgow. All members have a long association with the St James the Great branch of Comhaltas and have also been spotted in the past playing at the Girvan sessions.
We’re very happy that Eilidh & Matt from the band will be playing our School’s concert and Friday evening concert and also kick off a session in town on Friday night.
Thomas MacDonald & friends
Thomas MacDonald is a weel kent Girvan Festival regular. Originally from Dailly, Thomas went south to Yorkshire aged 19 for work where he has been based ever since. He never misses Girvan Festival and can be seen with his pal Billy Martin and brother, Davy, singing song after song in the Westcliffe over the weekend. He is also a frequent winner of the traditional singing competition (except for the year he was made the judge to stop him winning again!). Thomas has run the folk club in Ossett near Wakefield for many years while Billy Martin hosts another long running club in Wrenthorpe.
It’s about time Thomas and pals gave us a concert set at Girvan and we’re delighted to welcome them as booked guests this year.