MENTAL HEALTH TALK – by Innes Watson

Hi everyone! First I’d like to say that I am so glad that the Traditional Music Forum exists, doing what it does. So, mental health is on the agenda of late. We’ve seen a vast increase in the number of people with issues that we can now highlight as “mental health problems” within and outwith … Continued

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SOME THOUGHTS ON MY APPROACH TO MUSIC MAKING – by Rachel Newton

(Above: album artwork for West by Somhairle MacDonald) I am just about to head out for the second half of my album launch tour for West, a solo album I released in September last year. I thought I’d write a bit about the thinking behind the album and how I approach my projects. I have … Continued

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HELP YOURSELF – by Laura Wilkie

(Photo by Louise Bichan) Last week I was visited by a lady called Sinead from a charity called Help Musicians. This is the second visit I’ve had in the last year. They do their best to visit everyone they’ve helped, as they can. The visits are free of judgement and are informal. They are organised simply, … Continued

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NO MORE – by Duncan Lyall

No. NO. I’m practicing here. NO! I find it difficult not to say yes. If feels good to say yes when someone asks me to do a gig, or play on a recording, or produce an album, or do just about anything that makes me feel valued. It’s a buzz knowing someone likes what you … Continued

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A NEW PLACE – by Ainsley Hamill

It’s a really scary thing moving to a new place, especially when you didn’t study there and don’t have many connections. You get the feeling you’re starting from scratch and it can be overwhelming and potentially a bit lonely being ‘the new one’. This is basically what I felt when I moved to London. I … Continued

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BE INSPIRED – by Ali Hutton

In all honesty this blog has taken me weeks to get round to. I’ve changed my mind so often about what to write. Fortunately, the other night I watched a TV programme about Billy Connolly called ‘Made In Scotland’. This gave me the idea that I should write about ‘Inspiration’……’Being inspired’……….. Now, I’ve never been … Continued

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Playing Gigs to Make Money to Buy Strings to Do More Gigs to Break More Strings – by Luc McNally

12/02/2019 My name is Luc, I play the guitar and bouzouki, and the guitar-bouzouki, as well as singing. I grew up in Dipton, an ex-industrial village in County Durham, and lived in Newcastle for a year but I’ve been in Glasgow for 6 years now. I really, really love music. I’m writing this from the … Continued

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Bogha-frois: Traditional Music Is For All Of Us – By Pedro Cameron

As I write this, I am still reeling from one of the best nights of music I have ever been involved in. The past Sunday (February 3rd), the last night of Celtic Connections, the fruits of 9 months of labour came into being. I am a fiddle player, a singer-songwriter (under the moniker Man of … Continued

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TOURING, FITNESS & DIET – by Maeve Mackinnon

My name is Maeve Mackinnon and I’m a contemporary Gaelic singer from Glasgow. I’ve always had a love of fitness, and over the last 12 years of gigging I’ve made fitness a part of my daily routine, regardless of where I am in the world. As well as teaching, I’ve been lucky to tour nationally and internationally with my … Continued

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The Last Ship: from slip jigs to the slipway, a folky’s voyage into commercial touring theatre – by Sally Simpson

This time last year I was asked if I’d be interested in being the fiddle player in the on-stage band for The Last Ship, a touring musical with songs written by Sting. The Last Ship tells the story of a shipbuilding community in Wallsend, Newcastle, and the impact of the impending closure of the shipyards. … Continued

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