Bruce MacGregor presents BBC Radio Scotland's Thursday night Folk and Trad Show
Taught the fiddle by the wonderful Highlander, Donald Riddell CBE, Bruce never anticipated playing music for a living. As a graduate in Byzantine and Medieval Italian History at Edinburgh University, he discovered that conversations in bars never moved towards this topic and so decided to chance his hand on a Business post grad. at Napier University. It was here that he discovered he hated accounts and computers, and so that was two career paths crossed off the possible list. A return to his hometown of Inverness led to him to try and sell cars at his father's garage. He quickly discovered he was pretty hopeless at this and he didn't really like cars – he either drives a red one or a blue. So, he took his fiddle and went busking on the High Street with a pal instead.
A freak accident whilst being an extra in "Chasing the Deer", one of the worst films ever made, resulted in him becoming a Researcher at the BBC in Inverness (it's a long story...) A few years working there and moving on to being a Producer led to him making documentaries on famous Scottish fiddlers, which some folk obviously liked as they won two awards at the Celtic Media Festival. He made many feature programmes for BBC Scotland, including programmes on historical figures and landmark events.
However, the seven year itch had set in and he decided to set up Blazin' Fiddles as a showcase band for a one-off tour. Fourteen years on and the band is still touring to packed houses throughout the country, having played at the Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and hundreds of village halls in between.
Bruce is no stranger to the recording studio. As well as five Blazin' Fiddles albums, as a member of Gaelic group, Cliar, he recorded 3 critically acclaimed albums; two of his own solo albums; an album celebrating the music of his teacher, Donald Riddell and the debut album from the mighty Unusual Suspects. His compositions have been used in TV, theatre, radio and film.
He set up the award winning fiddle school, Blazin' in Beauly, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2010, and started Northern Roots, a roots music festival held at the adventure farm that he now runs in Inverness. The farm (Bogbain), a family run venture which hosts team building events, stag and hen parties, ceilidhs, concerts and music sessions has resulted in him turning very grey over the last few years!
Previously a captain of Edinburgh University Rugby Club and Highland RFC, Bruce has retired from playing his beloved rugby on 52 separate occasions and refuses to throw his boots out, despite the creaking bones and failing eyesight.
In 2007 he was a guest presenter on the Highland Café on BBC Radio Scotland and developed this role until he eventually took the hot seat on The Music Café and now presents Travelling Folk.