14 September 2013, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street
Oidhche Americana, the first night of Ceol’s Craic’s 2013/14 season was a celebration of Americana and the cultural links between Scotland and the USA. Americana, as was explained by Radio Nan Gaidheal presenter and MC for the evening, John Carmichael, is contemporary music which has its roots in older forms such as country and bluegrass. These forms have origins in the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland. In turn, Americana has travelled back across the Atlantic and is influencing young Celtic musicians today.
This influence could be seen in Macanta, the first act of the night. Singer, Dol Eoin MacKinnon talked of his love of Buddy Holly, whom he had first heard as a child on Scalpay. He went on to dazzle the audience, with a Gaelic version of the Holly classic Peggy Sue.
The second act of the night was the debut performance by the recently formed Veloninos, The Veloninos have their roots in the rockabilly revival of the early 1980s but produce a sound that is completely contemporary. In a set of all original songs, they performed a special Gaelic version of their number “These Quiet Lands“ featuring Ceitlin Smith on guest vocals.
Ceitlin was again on stage to duet with the final act of the night, Manran main man Norrie ‘Tago’ MacIver. Norrie performed a set of his own Gaelic songs and some covers of his favourite country songs, a highlight of which was a moving version of Darrell Scott’s “You’ll never leave Harlan Alive”. A song, though rooted in a particular place, has a theme that is universal.
Elegantly demonstrating how Celtic Music has travelled round the world and returned in new forms he fittingly brought the event to a rousing close by encoring with the well-known anthem, ‘Wagonwheel’ – a real treat for delighted guests in the packed out auditorium.