Recorded at Glasgow’s iconic Arches arts venue, the latest series of Taghadh Bho Na Trads features some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians. New presenter Linda MacLeod hosts eight episodes that showcase the musical talents of the winners of the MG ALBA Trad Awards 2012.
Now in its tenth year, The Trads have become an established part of the musical calendar, the awards having grown immeasurably from low-key beginnings at a show in Edinburgh back in 2003. In addition to the musical performances and conversations with winning musicians, each episode sees Linda looking back over a successful decade with Trads creative director, Simon Thoumire and broadcaster and Trads host, Mary Ann Kennedy.
This latest series boasts a rolling cast of award-winning singers and musicians, all of whom provide ample evidence of the musical heft and diversity of the contemporary scene. The line up for the series includes: Tutor of the Year Gillian Frame; Folk Band of the Year, Breabach and Composer of the Year, Mike Vass, feted for his critically acclaimed winter soundtrack Decemberwell.
Gillian Frame brings not one, but two, bands along to the Taghadh Bho Na Trads stage. Her latest project – along with fellow musicians, Bella Hardy and Siobhan Miller – is Hunter’s Law, a band who are confident enough to move between 19th century ballads and James Taylor songs. Hunter’s Law’s sound is vastly different to that of Gillian’s other band – Findlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers. Fronted by Gillian’s husband, Findlay Napier, Gillian is a cornerstone of the group who practically re-cast contemporary folk music as nu-folk.
Instrumentalist of the Year Duncan Chisholm and a ridiculously talented band gets the series off to a rousing start with two of his own compositions, The Erchless Scout and Isaac’s Welcome to the World. In the same episode, Gaelic Singer of the Year, Riona Whyte discusses how her Argyll roots influenced her singing and repertoire. The first episode provides a singing double header, as serial Trads winner, Paul McKenna, joins Linda to discuss his musical background. The Barrhead-based singer delves into his back catalogue and demonstrates why he was voted Scots Singer of the Year with Again for Greenland, a staple of his live set.
Taghadh bho Na Trads was produced by Bees Nees Media for BBC ALBA and will be broadcast on Monday 27 May at 8.30pm and each consecutive Monday throughout the eight part series.