23 September 2017, CCA
Our fifth annual Oidhche Americana was a celebration of the deep-rooted connections linking Gaelic and Americana music.
Our first act of the evening was Canach. This up-and-coming duo consists of vocalist/guitarist Caitlin McNeill and multi-instrumentalist Alana MacInnes. Their set featured original material, inspired covers and a traditional classic in Caitlin’s rendition of the haunting ‘Cruel Mother’, a murder ballad common to both Celtic and old-time American folklore. The pair finished off with a frenetic set of jigs and reels highlighting Alana’s skill on the small pipes.
Dòl Eoin MacKinnon made a welcome return to Oidhche Americana, on this occasion accompanied by long-term musical collaborator Terry Balfour. The two prolific singer/songwriters treated the audience to a collection of their more recent compositions. Dòl Eoin’s ‘Seonaidh Macintyre’ and ‘My Favourite State of Mind’ and Terry’s ‘Fire’ and ‘Hit and Run’ blend the writers’ Celtic influences with the Country, Americana and Rock’n’Roll music they grew up with. Dòl Eoin payed a special homage to the late, great Tom Sloss with a cover of his classic ‘Gad Chuimhneachadh’.
The Eriskay Ponies are a musical collective featuring some of Glasgow’s finest session players. For this evening’s performance the band collaborated with a diverse group of singers to create a unique Gaelic-Americana crossover.
Lorraine Wilson, the Ponies’ regular vocalist, performed a trio of her own compositions culminating with the beautiful ‘Leaving Love Behind Me’ inspired by her Mingulay ancestry.
Mairi Morrison is a renowned actress, writer and director but is also an exceptional Gaelic singer. Mairi brought the house down with her take on the Dylan/Byrds classic ‘You Ain’t Going Nowhere’.
Gillebride MacMillan gave the audience a preview of highlights from his eagerly awaited second album scheduled for release next January. He brought his set to an end with his Gaelic translation of the Gospel standard ‘Leaning On The Everlasting Arms’.
Our very special guest Mary Jean Lewis brought a touch of genuine Americana magic to the event. This talented performer has the spirit of Country music in her blood; Mary Jean’s father was a gifted Nashville songwriter and her uncle is none other than the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis! She paid tribute to her father by ending the evening with his song ‘If You’ve Got Time To Listen Lord, I Think I Need To Pray’.
Our regular master of ceremonies John Carmichael thanked all the artists involved for providing yet another fantastic Oidhche Americana.