Top Names in Folk Music to Delight Caithness Crowds

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Tuesday August 28 2018

Next month two of the most sought-after duos in folk music will be entertaining an audience in Caithness as part of Blas Festival, a nine-day showcase of Highland culture at venues throughout the Highlands and Islands.

Adam Sutherland (pictured) and Marc Clement will be joined by Josie Duncan and Pablo LaFuente at Lyth Arts Centre on Friday 14th September and if you haven’t got your tickets yet, be quick as its sure to be a sell out!

Adam Sutherland is a renowned fiddler and composer who has toured the world with bands such as Peatbog Faeries, Session A9 and Treacherous Orchestra.

As well as winning ‘Composer of the Year’ at the most recent Scots Trad Music Awards, many of his tunes can be heard in sessions worldwide, particularly ‘The Road to Errogie’, his hometown, on the south side of Loch Ness. 

This ludicrously infectious reel has so far been recorded on forty different albums, by artists hailing from Spain to the USA to South Korea! 

Adam’s second solo album ‘Some Other Land’, produced by duo partner Marc Clement, was released to critical acclaim earlier this year.

Accompanying Adam on the night will be one of Scotland’s top traditional performers and producers, Marc Clement.

Marc, who is known for his classy guitar stylings and passionate singing, was a founding member of Blazin Fiddles.

Sharing the stage with Adam and Marc at Blas Festival will be 2017 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winners Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente.

A vocal and guitar duo like no other, hailing from Lewis and Spain, it’s no wonder their music doesn’t focus on one place or one tradition.

Josie and Pablo, who joined forces in 2016, are well travelled and well-versed in music from across the land.

On guitar, and vocals in Gaelic, Scots and English, their music is a round the world tour, where centuries old ballads meet Gaelic puirt a beul, songs from the mines and cotton mills, as well as some original writing.

It is no wonder they have taken the folk world by storm and are in demand at festivals across the country.

After hearing Adam and Marc and Josie and Pablo, if you want more and fancy enjoying some of the exceptional young musical talent in the Highlands, Blas Festival will culminate in two exciting events showcasing just that.

This year, to coincide with the Year of Young People, Blas has introduced some exciting opportunities for young people to perform, design and deliver some of the main festival events, which is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Following a Ceòl nam Fèis showcase concert featuring 100 young musicians under the musical direction of Capercaillie’s Donald Shaw at the Spa Pavilion in Strathpeffer on Friday 14 September, Blas will culminate in an enormous concert at the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness on Saturday 15th.

Òran Mòr meaning Great (or Big) Song, will feature over 1,000 young musicians from Fèisean across Scotland as well as various youth music groups and initiatives including the Highland Council Youth Music Groups and the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.

The talented youngsters will take to the stage with the bands they have chosen including traditional music supergroups Skipinnish, Trail West and Breabach along with Brìghde Chaimbeul.

A new Gaelic song written by Glasgow-based Gaelic student, Robbie MacLeòid, will be performed by every single musician taking part in the concert, the largest event Fèisean nan Gàidheal will have organised in its 30-year history.

One of the Blas Festival’s youth ambassadors, Lachie Robinson, said:

“It is great to be involved in putting together this year’s Blas Festival and to have such an exciting programme to look forward to with some of the acts most admired by young people involved in playing traditional music. 

“Òran Mòr is going to be awesome and myself and my young colleagues, are so looking forward to being part of that and other events during the Blas Festival.”

Blas, which means ‘taste’ or ‘sample’, is organised by Fèisean nan Gàidheal in partnership with The Highland Council and will take place from 7-15th September. 

It aims to celebrate Gaelic culture and the thriving Scottish traditional music scene over nine days of concerts, cèilidhs and larger events in venues across the Highlands and Islands.

With 35 events and well over 1000 musicians performing, this year’s Blas Festival promises to deliver yet another music filled nine days.

For the full programme and details of how to purchase tickets, please visit




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