Ceilidh Culture Comeback

Along with recent initiatives to redevelop the Gaelic language there have also been efforts made to revive Scotland’s ceilidh culture. As Gaelic-speaking began to diminish in certain areas so too did the music and traditions of the inhabitants. Today, more people seem to have a renewed interest in Scotland’s ceilidh culture and old forms of entertainment and social interaction seem to be making a comeback.

Ceilidh Dancing. Courtesy of gstatic.com

Ceilidh culture doesn’t just refer to traditional set dancing and bag-pipe playing but refers to the festival culture of the entire Gaelic community. Continue reading

The Scottish Jazz Scene

Jazz and Dixie music have long been associated with the United States, particularly in New Orleans. Montreal in Canada also offers an impressive array of toe-tapping rhythms with it’s annual Jazz festival. However, there are a few towns in Scotland which could give both cities a run for their money in the jazz stakes.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2011

One such town is Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway. It lies just north of Carlisle in the south west of Scotland. This year it hosted it’s 14th Annual Jazz Festival from June 16th -19th. The festival began as a small affair in 1997 with 6 bands playing in one venue over 2 days. The event was organised by local business man Ally Thomson who was a fan of jazz music himself. Continue reading

Meet Blueflint- Scotland’s foremost banjo group

Traditionally when you think of Scottish music, the sounds of bagpipes will probably start filling your brain. It certainly wouldn’t cross your mind that banjo-playing would be a feature of the country’s music scene. After all, the Scots are not exactly famous for their bluegrass tradition. However, this niche genre is growing in prominence in Scotland thanks to the music of the Edinburgh-based group, Blueflint.

The band is the brainchild of childhood friends Deborah Arnott and Clare Neilson. Having lost touch after hanging out as teenagers, the pair met again years later through mutual friends. They were both learning the banjo separately at the time and started playing together and Blueflint was born.  Continue reading