Travelling Folk blog, from Bruce MacGregor
"To the blogging I will go, I will go. To the blogging I will go".
I know, I know ! What a terrible pun to get us started on this new venture for Travelling Folk and myself. I suppose my main aim in these blogs is to discuss the music we all love along with some of the issues that surround the music making world. I'll also get a chance to share with you how the programme comes together and some further insights into the superb guests we get on the show.
I was absolutely delighted to be asked to take on the presenters mic for Travelling Folk in late 2010. I'd been a keen listener, a sometime guest and performer on the programme so admirably steered by Archie Fisher for over fifteen years.
I was like a kid in a sweetie shop to begin with. A chance to play the music I love and an opportunity to speak to some of the finest musicians and singers on the planet. But then, as is my nature, I started to panic. This was quite an undertaking and indeed, a responsibility. It wasn't the fact that I might ask a stupid question or mispronounce somebody's name...my skin is thick enough to deal with that. No, it was the enormity and significance of the job that suddenly started to dawn on me.
Travelling Folk is the shop window for Scottish folk music throughout the world. The level of worldwide listenership became apparent through the first few weeks. It is our job to make sure we portray the folk music scene in a true and correct manner. That means we've got to share our passion, our knowledge and also our sense of enjoyment. However it also means that every track played has to be carefully selected. Is it good enough? How does it fit into the category of "folk"? How do we pay tribute and homage to the past masters whist embracing the cutting edge performers? These are questions that we continually ask ourselves.
What has really amazed me is the range and diversity in this world of "folk music". Despite having been a professional and touring musician for the last ten years, the number of albums and EP's and performers out on tour really took me by surprise. As a touring musician you can sit in your own wee bubble. It certainly felt like a dam had burst when the CD's started flooding in the doors for consideration for Travelling Folk.
So what artists do you think wear the folk mantle easily? Which ones stretch the boundaries to the limits? Where are those limits? Let me know, and we'll continue this musical journey together, getting to know one another and hopefully making a programme that celebrates the music we care about.
Travelling Folk with Bruce MacGregor is broadcast every Thursday at 20:05 and repeated on Sunday at 22:05