Siobhan Miller, Jim & Susie Malcolm, Johnny Izatt
One of the foremost traditional singers in Scotland, Siobhan Miller is an exceptional talent. Her soulful and stirring renewal of traditional song has won her the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Traditional Track, and Scots Singer of the Year an unprecedented three times at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards (2011, 2013, 2017), whilst her two albums have also received widespread critical acclaim.
Both Flight of Time (2015) and her most recent release, Strata (2017), were nominated for Album of the Year at the Trads, highlighting her extensive range through traditional, contemporary and self-penned material, as well as her ‘delicate, nourishing vocals and lyrically rich compositions’ (The List).
Her unique vocal style has been honed through collaborations and studies with many of Scotland’s top musicians and traditional bearers, leading to extensive tours fronting her own band, as well as guest appearances with the National Theatre of Scotland, a season on Broadway in New York, and on US/UK TV drama Outlander. Nationwide television appearances, performances for royalty and heads of state, and outings at many of the UK’s major folk festivals – including Cambridge, Cropredy, Towersey, Underneath the Stars, Orkney, Shetland, and The Great British Folk Festival – illustrate just why she has been lauded as “the finest young interpreter of Scots traditional song” (Scotland on Sunday).
‘One of the best Scottish traditional singers on the planet’ fRoots
‘assured and precise… Siobhan Miller’s vocals are bright and unforced.’ The Guardian
‘One of the finest young voices on the Scottish folk scene’ The Scotsman
‘a writing talent that’s as impressive as her velvet voice’ The Herald
‘one of the most exciting new traditional singers in Scotland.’ Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Artistic Director
Jim Malcolm is the ultimate Scots troubadour. Travelling the world with his guitar, harmonicas, and engaging wit, he sings the traditional songs of Scotland and his own masterfully crafted songs in a style which is modern and accessible, yet utterly authentic. He is highly regarded as an interpreter of the songs of Robert Burns, and has been described as “one of the finest singers in Scotland in any style”.
Though he now works solo, Jim was lead singer with the worldrenowned
and multi‐award‐winning Old Blind Dogs for eight years, a fantastic experience with some of Scotland’s finest musicians, taking him to the most prestigious festivals in North America and all over Europe.
With family roots in Perthshire and Strathclyde, Jim has been a professional musician since graduating from Edinburgh University. His first arena was the folk music scene in Scotland, where he gigged in almost every town
and isle from Berwick to Benbecula and from Stranraer to Lerwick. Working solo or in various bands and combos in far flung pubs, hotels and clubs toughened him up for a future life on the road.
Solo tours in England, Ireland, Denmark and Germany followed, including musical adventures in some off‐thecharts places like Uganda.
The opportunity to join the already established Celtic folk/rock band Old Blind Dogs saw Jim further explore countries on the European continent and North America, travelling as far as Alaska and Hawaii. Over his eight
years with the band, Jim recorded three studio albums and a live cd. Jim’s 2011 release Sparkling Flash sees a band reunion 'across the ether', as several Dogs members make a guest appearance on the CD.
As a solo performer with ten solo CDs to his credit, Jim can mix it with anyone out there. As well as a renowned singer, he is in the top handful of simultaneous guitar and harmonica players in the world. He plays guitar mostly in the folk guitar tuning dadgad in both fingerpicking and plectrum styles.
His concerts are always highly entertaining, peppered with funny stories and observations, in the great tradition of Scottish artists through the ages, Jim has featured many times on radio and television on both sides of the Atlantic, unfazed by cameras and completely at home behind a microphone.
The release of 2011’s CD ‘Sparkling Flash’ marks a milestone for Jim. He has now recorded fifty songs which are either entirely original or were built by him around some ancient fragment of text, a poem or melody.
His career highlight of 2011 was to perform his own songs Lochanside and Battle of Waterloo with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at a sold‐out concert in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, a great honour and pleasure.
The list of artists who have performed and recorded his work is steadily growing, but includes Kate Rusby with The Poozies, Beppe Gambetta from Italy, Uiscedwr, The McCalmans, Alyth McCormack, North Sea Gas and Tich
Frier. In 2004 he was voted songwriter of the year at the annual Scots Trad Music Awards and to date he is the most nominated Scots singer for the Scots Singer of the Year Award, having been nominated three times.
Alongside his original work, Jim has recorded a great many Scottish songs, from early ballads through Burns and Tannahill to William Soutar and his great hero Jim Reid. He enjoys reworking old songs that form the kernel of
Scotland’s great folk tradition. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns Jim released his highly entertaining DVD Bard Hair Day, in front of fans, family and friends in Perth. It’s really funny.
At home Jim spends a lot of time with his kids and fly fishing on the wonderful rivers and lochs of Perthshire. He enjoys hunter‐gathering for the likes of geans (wild cherries), hazelnuts, wild garlic, blaeberries and wild
gooseberries. In the winters, which have become very snowy, he has been lately heading for Glenshee Ski Resort with a snowboard and a great deal of padding. Ice is quite a hard landing.
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Johnny Izatt from Upper Largo in Fife, has been involved in music for many years.
Brass lessons after hours at primary school in Kennoway led to playing in brass bands, performing and competing for over 20 years as far afield as Aberdeen and London.
Then a chance meeting with a childhood friend in the early 70’s discovered a shared interest in traditional songs. So they formed a folk group and performed at many local venues and events.
Johnny started to attend Crail Folk Club soon after it was formed, and has appeared as the support act to many singers well known in the folk scene, including Eric Bogle, Sheena Wellington, Emily Smith and the late Michael Marra. He also had a spell singing with local band East Coast Haar, in their many appearances in Fife and Central Scotland, including Crail Folk Club.
Work in Shetland for many years, let Johnny be involved in many music sessions which are common there, and for 5 years appeared in two local bands at the Shetland Folk Festival.
With wife Janette being an experienced choral singer, and sister Margaret an opera singer and teacher, Johnny has also sung in local choirs over the years.
Since retiring in 2016 Johnny continues to sing at various events, including charity concerts and Burns Supper’s, and of course, Crail Folk Club.