Presenters' Top Tips for Celtic Connections 2010
As this year's Celtic Connections is just around the corner, we asked some of BBC Radio Scotland's presenters if they'd pick something out of the extensive schedule that they'd like to recommend. From folk to indie rock and country there's something for most tastes at this year's festival.
Vic Galloway, BBC Radio 1 & Radio Scotland
As Celtic Connections continues to grow and diversify with consistently good line-ups every year, I'm delighted to see that they've coincided this year with Chemikal Underground's 15th Anniversary. The now legendary Scottish independent record label, set up by The Delgados, has given us artists such as Mogwai, Arab Strap, Aereogramme, De Rosa and Bis over the years, and never falters in providing exciting new Scottish talent a break-through platform through which to release their music. Sunday January 31st sees the label take control of Glasgow's ABC with a stunning bill of current stars on the roster. Headlined by The Phantom Band, who provided me with my favourite LP of 2009, and able supported by Emma Pollock, Lord Cut Glass, The Unwinding Hours and Zoey Van Goey, it looks like a real treat for music fans. Celtic Connections have struck gold with a night that will mix Indie, Folk, Krautrock and quality song-writing. Happy Birthday Chemikal Undergorund - here's to another 15 years!
Ricky Ross, Another Country on BBC Radio Scotland
The evening I highly recommend is on Monday 25th January at The Concert Hall with Beth Nielsen Chapman and Charlie Dore & The Hula Valley Orchestra. The first tentative series of Another Country featured a live 'round' with these two artistes and they've become firm friends since. Both women are top-drawer song writers and I would imagine the evening will be a delight.
Archie Fisher, Travelling Folk on BBC Radio Scotland
Regretfully, I will miss half of this year's CC Festival as I head out for the US on January 22nd and the concert I'll miss most is the Tim and Molly O'Brien date in St. Andrews in the Square on Wednesday 27th January. A rare chance to hear these talented siblings, sadly I'll be on a Celtic Cruise ship in the Caribbean ... it's a hard life!
Mary Ann Kennedy, Global Gathering on BBC Radio Scotland
If I don't manage to see Bobby McFerrin in concert, I shall go and hide in a small, dark corner and sulk until CC 2011. He is quite simply one of the greatest musicians on the planet, whether he's playing with a symphony orchestra or symphonising with no more than his own voice and imagination. No-one sings Blackbird like he does. Bring it on Bobby!
Bryan Burnett, Get It On on BBC Radio Scotland
I've already got my tickets for Raul Malo at the Classic Grand on Sunday 24th. He's the former front man of The Mavericks and is a class act. His powerful Orbison-esque voice lends itself as easily to tender country ballads as it does to the Latin influenced stompers he has tackled in the past. One of the great voices in this year's programme.