Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fine Folk Artist Heading to Sage; ALAN NICHOL Brings Us His First Roots Column of 2012

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fine Folk Artist Heading to Sage; ALAN NICHOL Brings Us His First Roots Column of 2012

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN NICHOL

LAST week's look-ahead to the early part of the year included a spate of gigs this month.

As most are concentrated in the last week and a half, it is good to be able to offer a little more advance notice of what's coming our way.

One such show is the arrival of the incomparable Scottish folk-singer/guitarist Dick Gaughan on Thursday, January 19, at the Sage's Hall 2. Gaughan is from Leith, Edinburgh, where his father, also called Dick, was born.

The younger Dick was, however, actually born in a maternity hospital in Glasgow while his father was working there briefly.

His mother was a Highlander before relocating to Leith. There was music in his blood, though, through his mother, a singer in both English and Gaelic, and his paternal grandfather, who played fiddle in his native Ireland.

So the powerful Celtic music gene was passed on to the young Scot who took to the guitar as a seven-year-old. He became a professional musician at 21 and was a key component of the highly respected Boys of the Lough (he appears on the debut album) and later had some success with an electrified outfit, Five Hand Reel, and later Clan Alba before going solo.

Dick has been the subject of at least three TV documentaries and several radio programmes, too. He has been active as a record producer, composer, orchestrator and has had his songs covered by the likes of Billy Bragg, Capercaillie, Mary Black and Martin Simpson.

Gaughan's singing and guitar-playing have made him instantly recognisable because no one else has a sound quite like him.

His definitive 1981 album Handful Of Earth won both the public and critics' poll as album of the decade in what was then Folk Roots magazine (now fRoots).

The album contains Ed Pickford's politically uncompromising Workers' Song (from whence he takes the album title) and the similarly themed Leon Rosselson song, World Turned Upside Down. …

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