A cracking weekend of music is guaranteed as Girvan hosts its 41st traditional folk festival.
Running from Friday, May 1 to Sunday May 3 the weekend is not just for folkies - there’s events for all the family including guitar and fiddle workshops, children’s singing and storytelling.
Artists appearing this year include Fred Morrison, Talisk, Martin McDonald and Emma Lusby, Brendan Begley and Cathal McConnel, Heather Heywood and Maggie Miller.
There are concerts and sessions in venues throughout the town across the weekend with a fun and friendly atmosphere the order of the day.
Bagpipes and bluegrass might seem unlikely musical bedfellows, but for Scottish piper Fred Morrison they form a wholly natural alliance. His latest album project, Outlands, featuring such top Americana luminaries as producer Gary Paczosa (Dolly Parton, Dixie Chicks, Nickel Creek), banjo/guitar ace Ron Block (Alison Krauss & Union Station) and Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien, sets out to explore the inherent connections Morrison perceives between their traditions and his.
“I’ve always heard a really strong affinity between my own South Uist background and the Irish travelling pipers’ style played by people like Paddy Keenan,” he says, “and when I started playing the Irish pipes myself, I also found this deep-down rhythmic connection with bluegrass music – to me it’s as if they’re all one and the same.”
Although Morrison was born and raised near Glasgow, it’s the celebrated Gaelic piping tradition of his father’s native South Uist, in the outer Hebrides, that forms the bedrock of his intensely expressive, uniquely adventurous style. His outstanding technical prowess saw him winning many top competition prizes while still at school, meanwhile being inspired by pioneering acts like the Bothy Band and the Tannahill Weavers.
Current BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Nominees and Celtic Connections 2015 Danny Kyle Award Winners, Talisk consist of Mohsen Amini on concertina, Hayley Keenan on fiddle and Craig Irving on guitar. All living in Scotland and drawing influences from their various backgrounds, Talisk come together to bring their own interpretation of traditional music.
Individually the members of the band have extensively toured Europe and played at prestigious venues and high profile festivals all over the country including the likes of the Royal Albert Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Celtic Connections.