DUMFRIES and Galloway’s Emily Smith, one of the leading singers of the contemporary Scottish folk scene, is set to perform at the Lochside Theatre in Castle Douglas on January 29th.
Emily’s powerful, clear vocals have gained her award winning, worldwide recognition. As a songwriter Emily has been likened to ‘a Scottish Joni Mitchell’, but as a passionate collector she is equally adept at presenting fresh and evocative interpretations of traditional songs.
Emily’s childhood was spent dancing to music, rather than performing it, in her mother’s dance school. She grew up assuming everyone knew how to do a highland fling and weekends were spent dancing at ceilidhs rather than nightclubs. Aged seven she started out on piano; moved onto snare drum in the local pipe band and subsequently found a passion for piano accordion, where at the age of eighteen she was National Mod champion. But it wasn’t until a solo with the school choir in her late teens that Emily discovered her singing voice. She moved to Glasgow in 1999 where she gained an Honours degree in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. With principal study of Scots Song, she also studied accordion and piano.
Winning BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Music of the Year Award in 2002 gave Emily the confidence and impetus she needed to pursue a career in music. In the same year she met New Zealand born multi-instrumentalist Jamie McClennan who had travelled to Scotland to pursue his own music career. Jamie joined Emily’s band initially on fiddle and has been an integral part of her sound ever since, helping to arrange and produce Emily’s albums and has now settled into the role of lead guitarist in her band.
Emily soon found her interpretation of traditional Scots songs coupled with her own compositions were gathering appeal both in the UK and further afield and the last eight years have seen her regularly perform to audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, USA and Canada.
Emily has released three solo albums with her fourth; ‘Traiveller’s Joy’ to be launched at Celtic Connections in January 2011.
Frequently performing in the same line up as her musical heroes, and earning increasing respect and praise from audiences worldwide, Emily Smith’s star is most definitely in the ascendant.
The show will begin at 7.30pm, tickets will cost £12. See www.lochsidetheatre.com for details or call 01556 504506.