AS the streets of our capital prepare for their annual summer invasion, The National looks at the top 10 traditional acts to catch at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Fans of folk and traditional music are well catered for this year so be sure to check out the Fringe programme for a full list of acts.

Blazin’ Fiddles,
August 14 and 21, Queen’s Hall

TRUE heavyweights of the Scottish folk scene, the fiddling supergroup has seen many line-up changes over the years, but has always retained a relevance and an exuberance that belies the band’s status as veterans. The current crop – Bruce MacGregor, Kristan Harvey, Rua Macmillan, Jenna Reid, Anna Massie and Angus Lyon – will be joined on stage by multi-award-winning Scots singer Emily Smith in a rare departure from their normal tune-based performance.

Hannah Rarity,
August 17, Acoustic Music Centre

The National:

RARITY, the Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year for 2018, returns to the Fringe after a year in which her star continued to rise. Her debut album, Neath The Gloaming Star, showcases her velvet vocals to stunning effect and her live shows are a spine-tingling delight.

Kinnaris Quintet,
August 19, Soundhouse presents at the Pianodrome

ANNOUNCING their arrival with a bang through debut album Free One last year, Kinnaris have rocketed into the top tier of Scottish folk acts with a live show that bedazzles, and not just with sequins. Combining the talents

of Aileen Reid Gobbi on five-string fiddle, Fiona MacAskill and Laura Wilkie on fiddle, Jenn Butterworth on guitar and Laura-Beth Salter on mandolin, they create a sound that is at once polished and powerful while remaining raw and vital. Their ability to move the music forward while always remaining true to its traditions is but one of their unique selling points and they are fast becoming trad music festival must-haves.

Iona Fyfe,
August 16, Acoustic Music Centre

THE winner of the 2018 Scots Singer of the Year award at the MG Alba Trad Awards in December, Fyfe will perform a selection of songs from her native North East. She has been described as “one of the best Scotland has to offer” and it’s hard to argue with that assessment. Always true to the Aberdeenshire tradition of ballad singing, her style is a new and exciting addition to Scotland’s up-and-coming firmament of singing stars.

Ryan Young,
August 10, The A Club at the Merchants’ Hall

CARDROSS-RAISED Young is one of Scotland’s most interesting and intriguing fiddle players. Inspired at a young age by

the fiddlers of County Clare, Young has set himself the task of re-energising Scotland’s traditional fiddle tunes with an unmistakable lyricism and energy that is all of his own.

Claire Hastings with Jenn Butterworth,
August 25, Acoustic Music Centre

The National: Claire HastingsClaire Hastings

HASTINGS is a singer/songwriter with an ability to seamlessly cross genres. Her work with the Top Floor Taivers, The Claire Hastings Band and as a solo artist has brought her widespread recognition and renown and she is at the forefront of the new wave of Scots singing. For this performance she will be joined by the sublimely talented Jenn Butterworth on guitar.

Dougie MacLean,
August 16, The Brunton

The National: Dougie MacLean (left)Dougie MacLean (left)

THERE’S a whole lot more to Dougie MacLean than simply penning our alternative national anthem, Caledonia, although that would be enough in itself. MacLean is a songwriter of rare sensitivity and his back catalogue is brimming with songs to make your heart soar, your eyes water and your soul rise. He is a genuine living legend.

Calum Macleod,
August 20, St Andrew’s and St George’s West

CALUM Macleod is a multi-instrumentalist and Gaelic singer who is one of the country’s finest young exponents of the clarsach, or Gaelic harp. This short concert will showcase traditional tunes and new compositions, demonstrating the rare beauty of this often overlooked instrument.

Festival folk at the Oak,
July 29 to August 25, The Royal Oak

A FULL 29 nights showcasing the best in traditional music from across the globe kicks off on July 29. There will be different artists each night, with unexpected collaborations and comings together in what promises to be an eclectic celebration of folk. Seats are extremely limited so early booking is advised.

Scotland’s National Bard, Hamish Henderson,
August 9-10, Valvona and Crolla

ON the centenary of Hamish Henderson’s birth, Morran, Freeman and Duff will embark upon a musical journey celebrating the life of the poet, songwriter and archivist who was largely responsible for discovering so many of the voices – including stars such as Jeannie Robertson and Annie and Calum Johnston – that would come to define the post-war Scottish folk revival. Henderson’s Freedom Come All Ye remains a touchstone of the independence movement and beyond as a description of the type of Scotland so many dream of.

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