Oidhche Americana

22 September 2018, Webster's Theatre.

 

Oidhche Americana is Ceòl ’s Craic’s annual celebration of the historic links between traditional Gaelic song and Americana music. This year, we decamped ‘Way Out West’ to Webster’s Theatre on Great Western Road, where the evening was hosted by broadcaster John Carmichael.

Our opening act Bensider was originally intended to be a solo project by singer-songwriter Graham MacIver but over time developed into a collective of talented musicians who provided an exhilarating sonic backdrop to Graham’s songs. Starting off with ‘Sail Away’ which, like many of Graham’s compositions, takes inspiration from his upbringing on the Isle of Lewis, the band proved equally at home performing boisterous singalongs like ‘Boys of Dell’ or more introspective numbers like ‘Time’ and ‘City of Tears’.

Willie Campbell is regarded as one of Scotland’s finest singer-songwriters. He opened his set by debuting two brand new songs; the heartbreaking ballad ‘Some Men Can’t Be Saved’ and the wistful ‘Every Kind of Blue’. Ceòl ‘s Craic has gained a reputation for instigating new musical partnerships and this event saw Willie perform for the first time with Ainsley Hamill (best known as singer with folk band Barluath). The duo’s voices blended beautifully on Willie’s own ‘The Pain Has Lost Its Power’ and on the country classic ‘Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain’. Willie and Ainsley plan to reconvene in the near future to record new material together.

Iain MacKay has long been celebrated as one of the finest singers in the world of Gaelic music. This year’s Oidhche Americana saw him make a long-awaited return to the Glasgow stage accompanied by old friends and long-time musical collaborators Alex Murdo MacLeod on accordion and Charlie MacLeod on guitar and piano. A firm favourite on the traditional Gaelic music scene since the early 70s when he was awarded the Mod Gold medal for traditional singing, Iain charmed the Ceòl ’s Craic audience with his easy-going good humour and delighted them with a selection of favourite songs from his extensive back-catalogue.

 

 

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