The Soundhouse Organisation’s Spotlight Series continues on Monday 12 April with its Spotlight Sessions: Folk, four incredible new acts from the world of Scottish folk.
Soundhouse present an exciting collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Newcastle Folk Degree, showcasing the talent of six early-career folk artists in this intimate session gig with four acts.
Dumfries born, Jenna MacRory is one of Scotland’s up and coming traditional guitarists. In her final year of studying Folk & Traditional music at Newcastle University, Jenna draws from a variety of styles. Jenna breathes new life into old tunes through her dynamic solo guitar arrangements. Her intimate style of guitar playing is best experienced through environments which reflect this intimacy, which has led her to perform in unique locations such as bookshops, abandoned theatres and house gigs.
As Jenna nears the end of her degree she continues to work on her debut album which combines traditional melodies with contemporary production. Coming from an area which lacks a strong folk tradition, she believes that this is integral to make traditional music more accessible to younger audiences.
Chloë Bryce & Luc McNally
Fiddler Chloë Bryce is an emerging talent in Scotland’s folk scene. An individual capable of captivating audiences through her soulful interpretations of traditional Scottish music, she has honed a musical voice of startling maturity despite her tender age. Brought up a Gaelic speaker in the Northern Highlands, her music is informed by a deep regard for the old tunes and songs embedded in her native culture. Whether playing old traditional material or her own compositions, she extends the same care and intimacy to every not she plays.
Chloë is accompanied by Luc McNally on guitar. Originally from Co. Durham he is now resident in Glasgow. His distinctive rhythmic accompaniment and flatpicking style have brought him some great plaudits, notably winning a trip to Birmingham Tradfest’s Molloy Award in 2017 with the Iona Fyfe Trio and twice reaching the final of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year (2018/2019).
Janice Burns & Jon Doran
Janice Burns & Jon Doran are an Anglo-Scottish duo who formed in 2017, after discovering a shared love of traditional music. They find their songs in archives that span the depths of our history; songs that, regardless of age, tell vivid stories about the nature of life, from the ethereal landscapes of ancient ballads to the urban rhythms of work songs. Their compelling storytelling comes alive through tight vocal harmonies and sensitive interplay between mandolin and bouzouki, with arrangements that balance intricacy with energy.
The duo met whilst studying folk and traditional music at Newcastle University, spending one year at the University of South-East Norway together. These experiences allowed them to hone their craft whilst expanding their audiences further beyond the UK. After three years of working together and performing in notable venues such as Sage Gateshead and Folklub Newcastle, they decided to record their debut EP, released in September 2020.
Evie Waddell (pictured) is a skilled Gaelic and Scots singer, clarsach player, and fiddler from Stirlingshire, currently in her last year of the BMus course in Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She learned her Gaelic through the Gaelic-medium school system. At a young age she was involved in the intergenerational community group Riverside Music Project. Her interest in Scottish Music stems from one individual: Jo Miller, but also takes inspiration from Ivor Cutler, and Martyn Bennett.
Currently Evie is performing in the play MAIM by Theatre Gu Leòr (resuming after lockdown) using her skills in British Sign Language (BSL), acting, music and dance. Evie’s particular focus is on weaving BSL in with Scots and Gaelic song. She is interested in projects that are visual, interactive and outdoors. Her repertoire has a clear focus on marginalised voices, lives and experiences.
Douglas Robertson and Jane-Ann Purdy, co-producers of the Spotlight Series said: “Collaborating with Jenn Butterworth at RCS and Catriona Macdonald who runs the folk degree at Newcastle University, we have selected four young acts from Scotland who signal that the future of folk music is very bright indeed.”
The Soundhouse Spotlight Series is ten intimate gigs, presented as-live, and featuring 16 of the best emerging and established acts from the world of traditional folk, jazz, and Americana music. The Soundhouse Spotlight Series runs at 20:00 on Mondays, from 22 Feb to 26 April.
The Spotlight Sessions: Folk will be available to watch from 8pm on Monday 12 April. The concert can be booked anytime up until 8pm on Monday 19 April, and you will have one week to view the concert from the date and time of booking.
Tickets from £5, available via www.soundhouse.org.uk.