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Celtic Connections 2012



Celtic Connections 2012, sponsored by ScottishPower
19th January – 5th February
2100 artists, 300 events, 18 days, 20 venues

·         Artistic Director Donald Shaw today unveiled a stellar programme for Celtic Connections 2012, sponsored by ScottishPower, with some of the biggest names in folk, roots, world, traditional, indie, blues and jazz performing in Glasgow this January and February.

·         The 19th Celtic Connections festival will see around 2100 artists from around the world taking part in 300 events in 20 venues across Glasgow over 18 days.

·         Programme highlights include Béla Fleck and the original Flecktones, The Aaron Neville Band, Bruce Hornsby and guests, Jack Bruce (Cream) with Lau, a Woody Guthrie Centennial, Orchestra Baobab, The Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band, Song for Ireland, a one-off reunion gig with Glasgow’s The Big Dish, and Floating Palace featuring KT Tunstall.

·         An all-star line-up will assemble to celebrate the life and music of Gerry Rafferty, in a show curated by his daughter Martha Rafferty and long-time friend Rab Noakes, featuring The Proclaimers, Barbara Dickson, Maria Muldaur, Ron Sexsmith and more.

·         Spearheading the festival’s political strand is a celebration of the Woody Guthrie Centennial with his granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Coming together for the first ever live performance of the The Woody Guthrie Project are Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket), Anders Parker and Will Johnson (Monsters of Folk).

·         Also part of the political strand, the festival will host a UCS Work In 40th Anniversary Celebration, marking 40 years since the conclusion of the historic Upper Clyde Shipbuilder Work In.

·         The festival celebrates the vibrancy of the folk and trad scene with performances by Shooglenifty, Session A9, Blazin’ Fiddles, Treacherous Orchestra, Salsa Celtica, Dónal Lunny, Cherish the Ladies, Matt Molloy Trio and more.

·         Celtic Connections will launch in spectacular fashion with Béla Fleck and the reunited original Flecktones performing with an array of special guests for the opening concert.

·         Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Cedric Watson, Moussu T, Pura Fé and John Trudell will bring a touch of soul, gospel and blues to Glasgow.

·         Omar Sosa, Emir Kusturica & the No Smoking Orchestra, Vieux Farka Touré, Faiz Ali Faiz, Orchestra Baobab and Sol i Serena add a world music flavour to the festivities.

Artistic Director Donald Shaw today unveiled a stellar programme for Celtic Connections 2012, which will see some of the biggest names in folk, roots, world, traditional, indie, Americana, bluegrass and jazz descend on Glasgow next January. The festival, which enters its 19th year in 2012, will run from 19th January – 5th February and is sponsored by ScottishPower.

With an ambitious and adventurous programme which embraces Celtic music’s connections with musical genres and cultural traditions from across the globe, Celtic Connections 2012 will see 2100 artists perform in around 300 events over 18 days in 20 venues across Glasgow. Celtic Connections is programmed and promoted by Glasgow Life.

New venues for the 2012 festival include the Mitchell Theatre, Brel, St Mary’s Cathedral, Platform and Apollo 23 – the new home of the Celtic Connections Festival Club.


At the heart of the festival is the vibrant folk and traditional music scene, with some of the UK and Ireland’s finest musicians set to raise the roof this January. Artists include Blazin’ Fiddles, Shooglenifty, Salsa Celtica, Breabach, The Simon Bradley Trio, The Wrigley Sisters, Babelfish, Skipinnish, Paul McKenna, Ailie Robertson’s Traditional Spirits, Niteworks, Rua MacMillan and The Bevvy Sisters, whilst the 13-piece musical powerhouse Treacherous Orchestra celebrate the launch of their highly anticipated debut album.

The superb Scottish supergroup Session A9 will headline a fiddle triple-bill in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (also featuring Toronto’s Sultans of String and the Quebe Sisters from Texas). Lau join forces with the Northern Sinfonia for the first Scottish performance of their epic orchestral work, Strange Attractors, written by the trio and Northern Irish composer Brian Irvine.

Stalwarts of the Scottish folk scene, including Sheena Wellington, Elspeth Cowie, Aileen Carr, Gordeanna McCulloch and Barbara Dymnock, will take to the stage at the festival.

Specially curated for the festival, the Celtic Connections Box and Fiddle Night celebrates more than 60 years of the dance band with a cast of dance music luminaries recreating classic tracks.

Ian McCalman will create an evening of music built around the album Far Far From Ypres (songs, poems and music of World War I), whilst Corrina Hewat’s six-harp suite The Oak and the Ivy encapsulates the diverse energies of the contemporary Scottish harp revival.

Once again the festival spotlight shines on Gaelic talent. Julie Fowlis’ Heisgeir is a documentary film which splices footage exploring the history and heritage of the now-unpopulated Monach Isles with live Gaelic song and music from her band.

Inspired by the unique Gaelic song tradition of the Outer Hebrides, Cuairt nan Eilean will bring together Jenna Cumming (Harris), Linda MacLeod (North Uist) and Darren Maclean (Skye) for an exploration of the rich song traditions of their native islands.  

Other Gaelic artists appearing at the festival include Mànran, whose phenomenal energy and footstompin’ Gaelic tunes have taken the music scene by storm this past year, as well as Maggie MacInnes, Anne Martin, The Campbells, Alyth McCormack and Kathleen MacInnes. Ceolas – a celebration of the Uist festival of Gaelic arts – will feature Rona Lightfoot, Angus MacKenzie and a host of other renowned singers, pipers and dancers.

St Mary’s Cathedral will play host to a Gaelic Mass, composed by Blair Douglas featuring the Inverness Gaelic Choir with soloists Paul McCallum and Maggie MacDonald.

Ceol ‘s Craic, will once again host a series of films, lectures and workshop throughout the festival celebrating Gaelic arts, including a Gaelic hub encouraging people to drop in and experience film, workshops and get information on Gaelic culture in the city.

Celtic Connections will also pay tribute to the late and dearly lamented Ray Fisher (1940-1911) with a line-up including Archie Fisher, Cilla Fisher, Martin Carthy, Sheila Stewart, Emily Smith, Siobhan Miller and Fiona Hunter, performing an array of the key songs she shared with them.

Other high profile folk artists performing at the festival include Northumberland’s Kathryn Tickell, Steve Tilston, The Unthanks performing the Scottish premiere of their acclaimed show, The Music of Robert Wyatt and Anthony & the Johnsons, Mercury-nominated North East band Tarras, and KAN featuring Aidan O’Rourke, Brian Finnegan, Jim Goodwin and Ian Stephenson.

Ray Fisher


The festival’s famous spirit of camaraderie will once again bring together high profile artists from the worlds of folk, roots and rock for a string of one-off collaborative shows.

The legendary American singer-songwriter and pianist Bruce Hornsby, famous for The Way it Is and Mandolin Rain, will visit Glasgow for a special Celtic Connections show, where he’ll collaborate with guest artists on his classic hits.

One year on from Gerry Rafferty’s much-mourned passing, his daughter Martha and long-term friend (and Stealers Wheel co-founder) Rab Noakes curate Bring It All Home: Gerry Rafferty Remembered. A commemorative gathering of the Paisley-born singer-songwriter’s friends, family, bandmates, collaborators and admirers, it’ll feature their pick of songs from his 40-year career. Artists include The Proclaimers (Rafferty having co-produced their 1987 breakthrough hit Letter from America); Barbara Dickson (who sang backing vocals on City to City and Night Owl, later duetting with Rafferty on her Dylan album); fellow 70s hitmaker Maria Muldaur; ex-Cream singer and bassist - and fellow Scottish small-town-boy-made-big - Jack Bruce; Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, Burns Unit/ ex-Delgados songstress Emma Pollock and soulful Irish balladeer James Vincent McMorrow. Two of Rafferty’s regular sidemen, guitarist Hugh Burns and saxophonist Mel Collins, will feature with the evening’s house band, Glasgow’s own Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire.

As well as appearing in Bring it All Home, the Bishopbriggs-born singer-songwriter (and founding member of Cream) Jack Bruce will rearrange some of his own material especially for a unique collaboration with Lau. With Jim Sutherland (percussion) and Mr McFall’s String Quartet, this promises to be a special one-off show.

The hugely popular Transatlantic Sessions returns once again to bring the festival to a sensational finale with the ultimate back-porch session. The 2012 line-up features Darrell Scott, Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, Ruth Moody (of the Wailin’ Jennys), Declan O’Rourke, Danny Thompson, John Doyle, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas.

The Beat Bothy at The Arches brings big beats, blasting bass lines and boundary pushing music courtesy of Parisian violinist and sample pioneer Chapelier Fou, who concocts live arrangements using acoustic and electronic elements. Bringing west coast and Gaelic tinged electro are Skye’s very own Niteworks, and The Treacherous Orchestra’s Adam Sutherland, John Somerville and Barry Reid launch their new electro big beat project Halcyon. There will also be a full set from festival favourite and purveyor of aquatic funk, DJ Dolphin Boy.

The home of impromptu sessions and spontaneous collaborations, the Celtic Connections Festival Club will take up residency in Apollo 23 (formerly Jongleurs Comedy Club) on Renfrew Street, with the Late Night Sessions continuing in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Alongside the Late Night Sessions, the much-loved House of Song hosted by Doris Rougvie, will be held in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.


The festival makes the Louisiana Connection with a night celebrating the rich gospel, blues and roots traditions of the American south. Soul icon and founding member of the legendary New Orleans R&B outfit The Neville Brothers, Aaron Neville will perform with his band. Also on the bill is one of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music over the last decade, the four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist & songwriter Cedric Watson.  

The festival will welcome Motown divas Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, famous for anthems such as Dancing in the Street, Nowhere to Run and Jimmy Mack for a gig at The Arches. The group’s feel-good soul-infused pop has recently earned them a second consecutive nomination for Best Headliner at the UK Festival Awards. A sizzling double bill of US acts breathing dynamic new life into Depression-era sound brings New Orleans-based singer Meschiya Lake and The Little Big Horns and Brooklyn trio The Wiyos to Glasgow.

Celtic Connections will also bring together Marseillie’s Moussu T and two Native American singer-songwriters – Pura Fé (who celebrates her Scottish ancestry with this Celtic Connections appearance) and John Trudell for a night at the O2 ABC entitled Blues of the World. Fé and Trudell both bring their indigenous heritage to their blues sounds, and former political activist Trudell is renowned as the “voice of Alcatraz” for his role as the spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes' takeover of the Californian prison from 1969 – 1971.

Other artists performing in Glasgow this January include the acclaimed Australian blues and roots guitar and banjo player C.W. Stoneking, the vintage swing jazz group The Quebe Sisters, Brooklyn honky-tonky group the Sweetback Sisters and the Geordie funk and soul duo Smoove and Turrell. The acclaimed 24-year-old Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan will also perform at Celtic Connections.

West End bar Brel will host jazz nights throughout, including an appearance from Federation of the Disco Pimp – Scotland’s premier exponent of modern funk, who combine elements of old-school funk, disco, psychedelic and jazz.


With folk music having been long since used as a vehicle for political expression, Celtic Connections traces this evolution and looks at the presence of politics in the current music scene.

For the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birth, an all-star line-up of artists will assemble to demonstrate how his seminal impact is as relevant to the music scene today as it was when he was blazing a trail for the likes of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen and countless others in the 1940s. A new generation of folk-influenced artists will unite to pay tribute to the ultimate folk figurehead, who transformed the folk ballad into a powerful tool for social protest and observation. Sarah Lee Guthrie, Woody’s granddaughter, and her husband Johnny Irion will join Jay Farrar (Son Volt, formerly of Uncle Tupelo), Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket), Anders Parker (Gob Iron) and Will Johnson (also of American supergroup Monsters of Folk) for this special night. They’ll give the first live performance of songs from a forthcoming Rounder Records CD - The Woody Guthrie Project - which features Woody's unpublished lyrics with newly-composed music.

World Turned Upside Down brings together Justin Currie, the Karine Polwart Trio, Palestine’s Kamilya Jubran, Pura Fé & John Trudell and Chris Wood to highlight the influence and effect of songs of conscience, and their political relevance in the changing world.

A celebration of the 40th anniversary of the successful conclusion of the historic Upper Clyde Shipbuilder Work In and the retention of thousands of jobs in the Clyde shipyards, this concert brings together a number of great Glasgow performers including Arthur Johnston, David Hayman, Jimmie MacGregor and Tom Leonard for a special show. Flute player and composer Eddie McGuire has created a new piece for the concert, inspired by the workers’ spirit of resistance which led him to compose a piece which he gave to Jimmy Reid back in December 1971.  

The 2012 festival will stage a second musical gathering in memory of singer, songwriter, socialist and revolutionary Alistair Hulett (1951-2010), featuring Dave Swarbrick – with whom Alistair enjoyed a popular duo partnership – and singers/songwriters Roy Bailey, Karine Polwart, Alasdair Roberts and Ian Bruce. Also on the bill will be the winner of the Songs for Social Justice Award, a new songwriting competition aimed at continuing Alistair’s musical and political legacy.


This January, artists will premiere new pieces, and new musical ensembles will take to the stage for the first time as Celtic Connections presents a number of exclusives and premieres.

The 2012 festival will kick off in spectacular style with the first European outing of the world-renowned banjo player Béla Fleck and the recently reunited original Flecktones line-up. Fleck, Victor Wooten (bass), Roy Wooten aka Future Man (drums) and Howard Levy (harmonica and piano) released their first album together in 20 years in May, Rocket Science, which shot straight to the top of the Billboard and iTunes jazz charts upon its release. Also featuring Casey Driessen (fiddle), they’ll be joined by special guests including Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes and Manchester flute virtuoso Michael McGoldrick for the European debut of their reconvened line-up.

Celtic Connections and the Edinburgh International Harp Festival have commissioned one of Scotland’s finest contemporary composers, Sally Beamish, to create a brand new concerto for fiddle, Scottish harp and string orchestra. Seavaigers is a collaboration between its composer and two of the foremost soloists in the Celtic tradition: Chris Stout and Catriona McKay, who will perform its world premiere alongside the Scottish Ensemble.

Celtic Connections will also stage an exclusive reunion gig by local heroes The Big Dish, who reform for a special one-off gig at the O2 ABC.

The multi-award winning Québécois powerhouse Le Vent du Nord are joined by Dervish, Breabach and Väsen for the world premiere of their 10th anniversary show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

English singer-songwriter Thea Gilmore will perform her soon to be released collaborative album Don’t Stop Singing live for the first time at the festival. The record brings together Gilmore’s songwriting and arrangements with previously un-scored lyrics penned by folk legend Sandy Denny.

Dervish’s Cathy Jordan will also air material from her new solo project for the first time at the festival.

From Senegal to Donegal and Mali to Manchester will premiere a new collaboration between Manchester’s Michael McGoldrick and Mali’s Fatoumara Diawara. The show also brings together the talents of Irish group Fidil and Senegal’s Solo Cissokho.

Scottish traditional music’s answer to Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, The Boy and the Bunnet unites the talents of Booker-nominated author James Robertson, pianist/composer James Ross and Gaelic poet Aonghas MacNeacail. This contemporary fairy-tale was originally performed in Gaelic at Blas festival, and Celtic Connections will present its debut Scots performance.

In another family friendly event, children and young people from Broomhouse’s The BIG Project lead an interactive sing-along show, alongside classical, gospel, Gaelic and community choirs, with Kim Edgar’s brand new commission Breakthrough as the concert finale.


With the influence of folk on the indie scene the most prominent it has been for years, Celtic Connections once again features a top line-up of indie and rock artists in 2012.

Mercury-nominated duo King Creosote and Jon Hopkins kick-off their 2012 tour with a performance at the festival. Other artists on the bill include Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie, Laura Veirs, Admiral Fallow, Dry the River, Chasing Owls, Rachel Sermanni, Mull Historical Society aka Colin MacIntyre, Dublin’s James Vincent McMorrow, Findlay Napier & the Bar Room Mountaineers, François and The Atlas Mountains, English songstress Naomi Bedford, Spanish indie sensation Russian Red (who will be joined by Stevie Jackson and Bob Kildea of Belle and Sebastian for her Celtic Connections gig) and State of the Union (a brand new partnership between Boo Hewerdine and veteran US slide guitar ace Brooks Williams).

The festival will host a Communion Records Night at the Mitchell Theatre featuring a hand-picked selection of Communion artists – Marcus Foster, Daughter, Matthew and the Atlas and Bear's Den. Founded by Ben Lovett (Mumford and Sons), former Cherbourg bassist Kevin Jones, and acclaimed producer Ian Grimble, Communion began as a monthly Club Night in London and quickly grew into a flourishing community of musicians and fans alike, providing an independent platform for the freshest young artists on London’s circuit. Fellow Communion artists To Kill a King – currently being hailed as the next Mumford and Sons – will perform their own headline gig at Óran Mòr. Brel will also hold a Chemikal Underground night as part of the festival.


The festival once again celebrates the connections between Celtic traditions and cultures across the globe. First introduced to Glasgow by the city’s influential music promoter Billy Kelly, the legendary Afro-Cuban pianist and composer Omar Sosa will return to appear with regular touring outfit the Afreecanos Quintet.

Serbian film-maker, actor and musician Emir Kusturica will appear with the No Smoking Orchestra, who fuse Slavic, Balkan, gypsy, Greek, German, Middle Eastern and Mexican elements. Kusturica is a two-time winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes and clips from his films will accompany the show.

The festival will stage Jaadu, which translates from Hindi as “magic”, bringing together maverick French guitarist Thierry “Titi” Robin (also on Afghan rubab and Middle Eastern buzuq) and Pakistan’s Faiz Ali Faiz. A former protégé and designated understudy of the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Faiz Ali Faiz is widely regarded as today’s greatest living qawwali singer.

Also featuring at Celtic Connections 2012 is the “Hendrix of the Sahara” Vieux Farka Touré, the son of the legendary Ali Farke Toure, whose unique desert blues sound and trance-like guitar solos have been earning him major recognition, not least from recent album guests Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks and John Scofield.

Orchestra Baobab, who are one of the defining acts of African contemporary music, are also on the bill. The festival also features Swedish trio Väsen, N’Diale (which brings together Breton’s Jacky Molard Quartet with Mali’s Foune Diarra Trio), and Ana Moura, the next global star of Portuguese fado, who has guested live with Prince and the Rolling Stones, and Mali’s sensational Fatoumata Diawara, whose latest album features the likes of Toumani Diabaté and John Paul Jones.

As international partners of Showcase Scotland, the festival spotlight will fall on Catalonia with a special showcase of some of the region’s finest artists. Sol i Serena, Las Migas, Jordi Molina & Perepau Jiménez, Lídia Pujol, La Carrau and Domini Màgic will celebrate the strong connections between Catalan and Celtic musical traditions.  


The festival brings together the cream of Irish songwriting talent for A Song for Ireland at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Celebrating their musical heritage, Irish artists Cara Dillon, Seamus Begley, Julie Feeney, Solas, Finbar Furey, Luka Bloom, Eleanor McEvoy and Dick Gaughan will assemble for this special show.

The Godfather of Irish folk, Dónal Lunny returns to Celtic Connections to perform with a special group comprising fellow Planxty members Liam O’Flynn and Andy Irvine alongside legendary fiddler Paddy Glackin.

Perennial festival favourites Cherish the Ladies make a welcome return, bringing their Country Crossroads show to Glasgow. The Irish-American group will be joined by special guests including contemporary banjo pioneer Alison Brown, dobro demon and Blue Highway co-founder Rob Ickes and expat Irish singer Maura O’Connell.

Also returning to the festival is the traditional Irish group Four Men and a Dog, with their big band outfit.

Other Irish artists include Dublin-based ex-boxer and street-gang survivor turned singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey, flautist Nuala Kennedy, At First Light, Matt Molloy, Andy White, Cathy Jordan, Guidewires and a night featuring some of the finest acts from the 2011 Sligo Live festival. The Alan Kelly Gang will see Ireland’s leading accordion player perform alongside special guests including Scottish songbird Eddi Reader.


Veteran troubadours and legendary lyricists will take to the Celtic Connections stage this January. Artists include Will Oldham, aka Bonnie Prince Billy, Bridget St John (who was one of the first acts signed to John Peel’s Dandelion Records), legendary Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, California’s master storyteller Tom Russell, UK folk triumvirate Martin Simpson, Dick Gaughan and June Tabor and Glasgow’s own Rab Noakes.

The Cecil Sharp Project brought together a who’s who of the British folk scene to create new works based around the life and legacy of Cecil Sharp – the founding father of England’s first folk revival and the country’s most prolific collector of folk music and dance. The highly acclaimed collection will be performed live by Show of Hands’ Steve Knightley, English sibling singers Jim Moray and Jackie Oates, accordionist Andy Cutting, ex-Breabach fiddler/vocalist Patsy Reid, Southern US roots specialist Caroline Herring and Canadian clawhammer banjo ace Leonard Podolak, of The Duhks.

A brand new show called Floating Palace will premiere at Celtic Connections before touring the UK, featuring KT Tunstall, Abigail Washburn, Robin Hitchcock, Howe Gelb and Eliza Carthy.


Some of the world’s most exciting Americana, country and bluegrass talent will visit Glasgow this January. Acts on the bill include New Country Rehab, Madison Violet, US singer-songwriter Josh Rouse and the formidably virtuosic, genre-busting quintet Punch Brothers, formed by ex-Nickel Creek mandolinist and singer Chris Thile. Old time string band Carolina Chocolate Drops and The Turtle Dhuks also make an appearance at Celtic Connections this January.


One of the world’s leading pipers, Fred Morrison performs his unique bluegrass influenced album Outlands with a dream team line-up of his Trio, Ron Block (of Alison Krauss and Union Station fame) and Tim O’Brien.

The annual piping concert will welcome the phenomenal Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band to the Concert Hall stage. The Grade 1 band features world champion pipers from across the globe, with The Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band opening the show.

Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson are fast earning a reputation as two of the greatest pipers of their generation. They premiere their new trios at the Piping Centre, a venue which will also play host to a series of gigs entitled Deadly Duos, featuring the Fraser Fifield Duo, John McSherry and Dónal O’Connar, Wingin’ It and Angus Lyon and Ruaridh Campbell, Anna Massie and Mairearad Green (in a double-bill with Finlay Wells and Sorren MacLean), as well as a special Gordon Duncan Memorial Piping Recital.


The influence of Celtic culture and musical traditions runs across many art forms, and this is reflected in the 2012 festival programme with a new theatre strand.

Celtic Connections will stage two plays in 2012 – Captain’s Collection and Woody Sez. Originally the brainchild of Blazin’ Fiddles’ Bruce MacGregor, Dogstar Theatre Company’s award-winning music theatre production Captain’s Collection vibrantly dramatises the life and work of Captain Simon Fraser - fiddler, composer, publisher, dispossessed laird and Empire soldier - whose 1816 collection The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles preserved a wealth of ancient Gaelic songs and tunes for posterity.

Woody Sez – The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie is an award-winning heartfelt theatrical journey through the life of America’s greatest folk icon, Woody Guthrie. Weaving together Guthrie’s words and songs, Woody Sez paints an engaging portrait of this folk hero's fascinating life, featuring a talented cast of multi-instrumental musician/actors.


Fostering new talent and facilitating musical creativity is a core tenet of Celtic Connections. The Danny Kyle Open Stage, sponsored by the Evening Times, and BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final will continue to introduce and celebrate fresh talent in 2012.

This year’s New Voices commissioning strand, sponsored by the Sunday Herald, will see Duncan Lyall, Laura Beth Salter and Fiona Rutherford premiere new works.

Saturday afternoons in the Strathclyde Suite will showcase some of the finest young talent in the Scottish folk scene, with concerts including Fèis Rois and Comhaltas, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Folkestra and the TMSA Young Trad Tour 2011 and a special University of Highlands and Islands showcase.


Over the middle weekend of the festival, over 200 music industry delegates from around the world will descend upon Glasgow to experience some of Scotland’s finest musical talent. Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections – the largest gathering of the international music community in Scotland – provides Scottish acts with the valuable opportunity of performing in front of promoters, record labels and agents from around the world. The Showcase Scotland international partner in 2012 is Catalonia, with some of that nation’s finest artists performing at the festival.


Crowned Best Educational Event at the 2011 Scottish Event Awards, the Celtic Connections Education Programme enters into its 13th year in 2012. Over 10,000 children will enjoy 5 free schools concerts in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in January. For many of the children in attendance, this will be their first experience of live music. A further 2,000 children will benefit from free in-school workshops led by professional Celtic musicians.

In addition to this, Celtic Connections’ principal sponsor ScottishPower has created a unique competition to complement the festival’s Education Programme, which reflects the company’s belief in the importance of enabling culture to be accessible for all. Pupils across Scotland are being encouraged to celebrate their musical heritage by entering the ScottishPower Powerful Performance competition, which will see one lucky secondary school group perform at a Celtic Connections 2012 Education Concert, as well as on the prestigious Danny Kyle Open Stage.

Donald Shaw, Artistic Director of Celtic Connections, said: “For artists and audiences alike, Celtic Connections is a chance to be adventurous. Artists fully embrace the opportunity to collaborate with musicians from different countries and musical genres, and I think this brings something really special to the festival. With trad and folk at the heart of the festival, this year we’re also featuring everything from world, jazz, blues and soul to political ballads and family events in the programme.”

Ann Loughrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at ScottishPower, said: “ScottishPower is committed to supporting the arts in the UK and we are proud that this is our sixth year as principal sponsor of Celtic Connections. Celtic Connections is such an important part of Scotland’s cultural calendar and we are proud to support the festival as it celebrates the vibrancy of the Scottish music scene, its Celtic traditions and heritage.”

Councillor George Redmond, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Once again, Celtic Connections will attract an incredibly rich variety of artists to Glasgow in 2012, reinforcing the city’s reputation as a music capital of the world. The festival brightens up the typically quiet post-festive period with 300 events taking place across the city, and its international appeal means it is of significant economic value to Glasgow and to Scotland. With yet another great line-up, I’m sure we can look forward to seeing some world class performances in Glasgow this January.”
East Coaster

No mention of this fella

Jim King

I see my cousin Nosmo is appearing with his orchestra - well worth a ticket.

My uncle Beau was hoping to get a booking but he's been very sickly of late.
East Coaster

Something for everyone in this line up, I'd say, plus quite a lot for everyone to to avoid too......  depending onyour own taste, of course.


Aye mebbe.

East Coaster wrote:
No mention of this fella

I may have to set up a swerry bot for certain websites.
East Coaster

By all accounts, Woody Guthrie visited Scotland(True) in 1944 where he met Matt McGinn and Josh mcRae in the Scotia bar where they exchanged songs.

Some people will tell you anything!


T'internet suggests Josh was born in 1933, making him 11 in 1944 - a bit young even for a Scotia punter.
Creeping Jesus

Maybe they made him wait outside with a bag of crisps.

For what it's worth. I scripted Jim McKenna's Woody Guthrie and Matt McGinn shows 20 years ago and I don't recall reading that the two men ever met.

Pete Seeger on the other hand did meet McGinn and IIRC stayed at his house.

Perhaps the world of harmless teuchter pop groups isn't the best environment to learn about the history of political song.
renfrewshire radical

What a fucking load of shite.

In 1944 the Scotia was the pub next to the Metropole theatre and the patrons were from the market across the road during the day, and theatregoers at night.

The Folk Revival had not yet taken place even in USA. A few collectors were doing their best to create interest, but were few and far between.

In '44 there was a war on, that's why Woody was here, Hamish Henderson was still in the army and Matt and Josh were bairns.

If Matt had met Woody in Glesga dae ye no' thing it wid have got a mention in his autobiography?

The Scotia did not become a folkie pub 'till the 60's. It was a Bikers' pub till the folkies moved in, Danny, Billy, Josh et. al. At that time it had tartan wallpaper, and all the other tat that went with Billy Rusk and the Metropole. (My Granny used to take me now and again, in the 50's and early 60's to the variety show, she went every week).

But now all this shite is all over the internet, and it must be true 'cause Jackie Bird said so on Rep Scot.
East Coaster

I don't think any of us believes it to be true, RR. Not even those on Simone's site although we were trying to give the CC artistic director the benefit of doubt, i.e. that he may have made an "honest mistake"..... error ... and not deliberately trying to feed us a load of mince.

East Coaster wrote:
       ............... we were trying to give the CC artistic director the benefit of doubt, i.e. that he may have made an "honest mistake"..... error ... and not deliberately trying to feed us a load of mince.

Aye, there's a first time for everything.
Rid Sonja

..CC artistic director the benefit of doubt, i.e. that he may have made an "honest mistake"..... error ... and not deliberately trying to feed us a load of mince.

Ah think it's mair likely that the current CC artistic director hisny a clue aboot the finer points ae Guthrie's visit or, in particular, what hostelrys were in Glasgow at the time, or how they've changed throughout the decades since 1944.  In other words, he's spouting stuff aboot the 'tradition' while showing aff thit he knows fuck all at all.  EC, if you and others want tae take this character seriously that's entirely your choice, but ah'murny impressed by him, attawattaw, if this is the quality ae his knowledge and understanding.

Rid Sonja wrote:

Ah think it's mair likely that the current CC artistic director hisny a clue aboot the finer points ae Guthrie's visit or, in particular, what hostelrys were in Glasgow at the time, or how they've changed throughout the decades since 1944.  In other words, he's spouting stuff aboot the 'tradition' while showing aff thit he knows fuck all at all.  EC, if you and others want tae take this character seriously that's entirely your choice, but ah'murny impressed by him, attawattaw, if this is the quality ae his knowledge and understanding.

Ah think it's mair likely that the current CC artistic director hisny a clue aboot fuck aw.
renfrewshire radical

Oh aye and as for Josh "staunnin' ootside the Scotia wi' a bag o' crisps", bags o' crisps wernae on sale in 1944 either
Creeping Jesus


Crisps wur invented in the 19th century an Smiths started makin them jist efter the first world war in the UK

Ah take yer point but, cos they'd likely no be easy tae get wi the rationin an aw that, but for the puropses o this fantasy, bein a yank, it's no impossible that Woody might huv brought some tae Glesga stuffed up Cisco Houston's jersey instead o chowin gum an nylons.
East Coaster

It's now been suggested that he was, perhaps, "badly advised"!!!!!

renfrewshire radical wrote:
Oh aye and as for Josh "staunnin' ootside the Scotia wi' a bag o' crisps", bags o' crisps wernae on sale in 1944 either

It wis mebbe a bag o' chips.

Ah mind the time chips wur 4d a bag - no' the £1.80 it is noo. Back in the day ye couldnae carry £1.80 worth o' chips - nevvir mind eat the fuckin' things.

East Coaster wrote:
It's now been suggested that he was, perhaps, "badly advised"!!!!!

Stupid is as stupid does. You take the money, you take the flak.

There's too many slopey shouldered cunts around nowadays.

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