Well, two weeks after my first gig, and I was back to where I started – another sell out concert at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, with even more famous names on the stage! There was a total of 17 musicians and singers who make up the Transatlantic Sessions – a musical phenomenon which is now an integral part of Celtic Connections.
It is a fusion concert of Scottish folk and Americana led on stage by Jerry Douglas who along with Phil Cunningham and the dry wit of Aly Bain, are the jokers of the session, in between some great music.
First up were singers Kris Drever, followed by Sarah Jarosz from Texas and then it was onto some tunes by Phil, which included ‘The Hut On Staffen Island’, ‘Shake A Leg’ and ‘Wing Commander Donald MacKenzie’, with the inevitable anecdotal tales to accompany them!
Julie Fowlis then took front of stage with an exquisite rendition of the Beatles classic song ‘Blackbird‘ sung in Gaelic, ollowed by a duet with the legendary Bruce Molsky. Then it was the turn of John McCusker with the same trio of tunes from the evening before (and the same joke!) before back across the Atlantic to Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien and a tune specially written for the double bassist Danny Thompson – ‘Come Into This Room’
First half almost over, we finished with the U.S. singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin with a lovely song – ‘Calling All Angels’.
After the interval, it was straight back to some great music. The second half opening with Jerry, his guitar and some phenomenal finger picking bluegrass tunes. Staying with the Americana side, next on were Tim and Darrell again with a couple of songs viz ‘Time To Talk To Joseph‘ and ‘It All Comes Down To Love’ , followed by Aly with a new tune not yet named!
Throughout all of the concert the musicians were accompanied also by Donald Shaw, Michael McGoldrick, James Mackintosh and John Doyle who also did vocals. Tim then joined Russ Barenberg to do ‘Our Time‘. Back to the Scots, and we heard Julie with a tune written by Sorren MacLean…. and her Hebridean mouth-music was superb. Kris Drever continued with ‘Shining Star’ and then back on stage came Sarah and Shawn.
All musicians needless to say took part in the finale and encore and what an end to a rousing concert and another fantastic Celtic Connections!
Next year can’t come soon enough. And many thanks again to Celtic Music Radio for giving me the opportunity to get to see and listen to some brilliant shows and music.