Josie Duncan

"With perfect diction and vocal control, Josie Duncan is a real story-teller as well as a fantastic folk singer." - The Herald.

April & May

Lalala - Welcome to my blog!
This is a monthly blog on which you will find a wee update on:

1. Performances

2. Releases

3. Things I'm particularly excited for

4. One song recommendation by an artist or band I've been listening to

5. One Glasgow gig recommendation (One I am going to or wish I was)

I have had a lovely busy time over the past couple of months, so much so that I forgot to post my April blog post! So I will do some catch up work in this post. 

April - 

I had a very fun Birthday which seemed to last for days, visiting family and friends around Scotland and feeling very fulfilled. The sun has been a most welcome visitor in Glasgow! I had a few trips to the Gleneagles hotel to sing with Gnoss, Pablo & even a wee song with the mighty Rura. I gave my first ever public talk through in Edinburgh and was part of a panel event. We discussed gigs and performance opportunities in the folk/traditional music circuit. The conversation was mostly centred around Folk Clubs and there were some interesting and also some unexpected viewpoints raised. I believe that sharing and talking is good and that it is important to be able to disagree in a friendly way. I really enjoyed the day. In the evening LB, Mike Vass, David Foley, Tina Rees and myself did a small performance followed by Mr Pete Coe, who was also the key speaker at the event. After this, Pablo & myself performed at the Catstrand, New Galloway with two incredibly lovely and talented pals, Signy Jacobsdottir and Innes White. This was to promote the upcoming 'Knockengorrach' festival, at which I will be performing with Inyal. I also taught at Feis Fhòirt at the end of April which is always great fun.

On to March

Gigs

I have just returned from tour with Mr Pablo Lafuente. I am very tired but also very grateful. The tour ended on a high note at Wadsworth community centre, with a hall absolutely full of kind people and a real sense of community and togetherness. It was so sweet to see and to be a part of for one night. We couldn't believe the turnout! The tour only lasted a week but we certainly covered a lot of miles in Pablo's Charcoal Ford, which I have come to know very well now. We performed in London, North Wales, Glasgow and Yorkshire and crowned Tebay our favourite service station. Each night was completely different to the last but each night was great. No disasters, a very calm and lovely time. 

INYAL will be performing at knockengorrach this Friday the 25th of May! We are so excited and for me this is the start of festival season. 2019 has shaped up to be a really exciting one! 

I'm excited for...

In June, I am delighted to be visiting Jersey in the Channel Islands for another concert with my duo buddy, Pablo. I visited one of the smaller Isles called Alderney as a child and I remember being in shock that the sea could actually feel warm! It looks like a truly beautiful place and I am so looking forward to seeing and singing on the Island. Jersey Arts Centre, 29th of June. 

Song Recommendation

My song recommendation this month is 'Run Run Run' by fellow Leodhsach (someone from the Isle of Lewis) Colin Macleod. His new album 'Bloodlines' was just released this month and it's brilliant, loads of variation across 12 self-penned tracks. He has such a wonderful voice and the production on the album is also stunning. 

The song is very reflective and dreamy with subtle electronic percussion paired with beautiful acoustic guitar and swooping keys/pads giving that give a bit of a country vibe. A culmination of different influences. The lyrics are simple and poignant like so many of the best songs are. Gentle songs such as this aren't often 'catchy', but this one was going round my wee head after I listened to the album. Definitely check him oot. He is doing some really exciting gigs this year, including supporting Cheryl Crow & Van Morrison! 

Check Colin out here! - You can buy or listen to the new album 'Bloodlines'! 

Earlier in the year, we were lucky enough to have Colin sing on The Morning Tempest.  It was also so great (and cold) to have a video made at home on Lewis by one of my favourite humans, Mr Hamish Macleod. Check out the video we made!

Gig Reccomendation

It's now a year since I performed my final recital at the CCA as part of my degree at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I think the way they do it is so great. They call it the 'Recital Festival' - and it's basically a week of free and excellent music. So I'm going to recommend the recital festival now. As well as getting to attend lots of free gigs, it is important for these guys to have support in their recital to make it feel more like a gig and less like an exam. The festival is run by the mighty Jenn Butterworth who is a superwoman. 

 The festival runs from the 27th of May - the 1st of June. 

Go along and support my insanely talented pals! I'm excited for them. 

 Lots of love,

lalala

Josie x

March

Lalala - Welcome to my blog!
This is a monthly blog on which you will find:

1. Performances

2. Releases

3. Things I'm particularly excited for

4. One song recommendation by an artist or band I've been listening to

5. One Glasgow gig recommendation (One I am going to or wish I was)

 

Gigs

My highlight of the month was Gaelictronica at the CCA. Signy Jakobsdottir, Hamish Macleod and myself put together a brand new set for the night. We used vocal loops, percussive loops and 5 synthesisers to make a full sound. Signy is a really unique musician so it was a real treat to work with her again after Pablo and I had her at our album launch in February. Releases Pablo and myself made a brand new video with the wonderful Bees Nees Media for our song 'Thug Mi'n Oidhche', which will be released soon. The track features Robbie Greig on fiddle, Conal McDonagh on whistle and Charlie Stewart on double bass. Robbie and Conal were away on tour at the time of filming, so we had two wonderful musicians/models step in for them. This was Ali Levack and Graham Rorie (Graham is also on the album). Really looking forward to showing everybody this video, it was fun to film.

I'm excited for...

In April, I'm excited to be returning to Feis Fhoirt and teaching lots of lovely kiddos again. Pablo and myself will also be preparing for our May tour! I can't wait to perform in Wales for the first time. The Song Session will be on the 10th of April at Dukes Bar (Old Dumbarton Rd). Last months was gorgeous with songs flowing all night long. I remain a humbled, happy host. 

Here's a wee video about the Song Session: Song Session Video  

Song Recommendation

My song recommendation this month is by 'My Ship' by Gnoss. I first heard this song on the album 'Choice Language' by Capercaillie, so it brings back memories of walking to school with my giant "portable" CD player from Woolworths. There are a lot of beautiful versions of this song out there, Ossian being a prime example. 

Gnoss totally made it their own. The band is Aidan Moodie on Vocals & Guitar, Graham Rorie on Fiddle & Mandolin, Connor Sinclair on Whistles and BVs and Craig Baxter on Bodhran. This song is from their new EP 'Brother Wind' and is made up of top class vocals and a really cool story-telling arrangement. Unlike other versions, the accompaniment doesn't remain as soft and sparse throughout, they manage to build the tension of the story really effectively. I'm a huge fan of these guys - I studied alongside them at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, so I've heard them a lot over the years. Their approach to traditional/folk material is really thoughtful but accessible at the same time. Plus, sometimes I get to sing with them which is always very fun. 

Listen to the song here!

Earlier in the year, we were lucky enough to have the bands own very talented Graham Rorie join us on fiddle and Mandolin on The Morning Tempest. 

 Gig Reccomendation

There's always so much going on in Glasgow music wise, that it's difficult to chose just one. What a lovely problem to have! But I did chose:

 Eric Chenaux + Signy Jakobsdottir - Glad Cafe, 14th April

 After working with Signy Jacobsdottir again in March, I really want to hear more of her. She's performing a solo set at the Glad Cafe on the 14th of April, which is also my Birthday! It will be an incredible gig and it's a wonderful venue with delicious food. Signy's dynamic percussion is something special to behold.
She's opening up for composer and songwriter Eric Chenaux who pairs his flawlessly smooth and haunting jazzy voice with synthesisers and effects on his guitar. He's a wonderful lyricist, too. I'm excited to hear him live and not just on spotify!

 Lots of love,

lalala

Josie x

Feb

Lalala - Welcome to my blog! This is a monthly blog on which you will find:

  1. Upcoming performances
  2. Upcoming releases
  3. Things I'm particularly excited for
  4. One song recommendation by an artist or band I've been listening to
  5. One Glasgow gig recommendation (One I am going to or wish I was) 

Gigs

February has been an adventure. The month started off with Pablo & I launching our album at Celtic Connections followed by two more Celtic Connections shows with Blasta and Pablo, a couple of folk clubs and a tour.

It wasn't a 'normal' tour for me, though. I was touring with a play called 'Deeds Not Words' in which I was playing music by Mary Ann Kennedy. The play explored what happened when Hebridean women got the right to vote a hundred years ago, and how they were marginalised by gender as well as geographically. It was a really cool thing to be involved in. We toured the Hebrides and were, unsurprisingly, surrounded by breathtaking beauty the entire time. It was a new experience with a cast of only 3 actors, myself and a crew of just 2. I have learned so much about the incredible stories of these women and about how theatre is staged. That being said, the theatre can be a scary place for a wee folky, so I did spend some time zipped up inside my clarsach case taking a norrag and listening to the new I'm With Her album. However I really did enjoy it. It is good to step out of your comfort zone from time to time after all. 

This was straight after Celtic Connections with no break between the two, so I'm planning on living like a house cat for the rest of this weekend, prioritising naps and food. 

I'm taking a wee bit of time next month to write some songs, to do some recording and to rehearse with a couple of brand new projects. One of which will be showcased at the end of the month. Here's where you'll find me in March: 

  • 4th March - Mad Hatters, Inverness - INYAL HIGHLAND LAUNCH
  • 5th March - Broadcast, Glasgow - INYAL ALBUM LAUNCH
  • 13th March - Song Session - Dukes Bar, Old Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
  • 24th March - Gaelictronica - CCA, Glasgow

Releases

INYAL

This month INYAL released our self titled album. 

We had a lot of fun recording this album in Pathead at Mattie Foulds' Caribou Recording. It's available to listen now on Spotify, itunes etc. You can buy a physical copy on our website. 

I have been with Inyal since January 2017. We have a lot of laughs and silliness together, so I'm not quite sure how we managed to end up with a full length album. But somehow we did, and I hope you like it. 

The Morning Tempest

The Morning Tempest by Pablo & myself has had a lot of lovely reviews and been played on many radio stations, including Radio 2. 

Northern Sky Mag by Alan Wilkinson 

Folkwords by Tim Carroll

Liverpool Sound & Vision by Ian D Hall

Folking by Su O'Brien

Folk All by Danny Farragher

lalala thanks to all! It's so lovely that people take the time to listen, let alone to think about it and even to write about it. I feel very grateful. 

Highlight

The Highlight of February for me was touring the Hebrides. It's so lovely to be taken there for work. I flew from the soft sands of Barra to the concrete landscape of Glasgow with some sea shells in my pocket, a bottle of Harris gin in my bag and lovely memories. 

Song Recommendation

This month, I'm going to recommend 'Lark in the Clear Air' by Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy. I urge you to listen to the whole album, though. It's stunning, thought provoking and comforting all the same time. I saw the show 'Wind Resistance' at Celtic Connections in 2017 and it felt like the audience floated out of the show on a cloud. The album warrants setting time aside for listening to in one sitting. 

Gig Recommendation

This month I am going to mention a gig that I think is very special for a number of reasons: 

HEISK, Leyla Josephine and Jenn & Laura-Beth - 8th March - Old Hairdressers, 8PM

This gig is special because it is celebrating International Womens Day. 
This gig is special because it is the first ever gig by HEISK. 
This gig is special because it is by my wonderful friends. 
This gig is special because it will sound tremendous. 
This gig is special because it will feature spine tingling spoken word. 
This gig is special because it has two of my favourite things: Songs and harp. 

So go!

Also - If you fancy having a wee sing or hearing lots of songs, please come and join me at my Song Session on the 13th of March. You are more than welcome along. Even dogs are welcome, whether or not they can sing.  

Lots of love,

lalala 

Josie 

x

My new years resolution was to start this blog, and here we are! Below is a list of what you will find in my monthly blog posts: 

  1. Upcoming performances
  2. Upcoming releases
  3. Things I'm particularly excited for
  4. One song recommendation by an artist or band I've been listening to
  5. One Glasgow gig recommendation (One I am going to or wish I was) 

Gigs

So I'll start at the very beginning: Upcoming Performances! Celtic Connections is here and Burns night is around the corner. It's all go for me right now! It's funny how January is the quietest time of year in most professions, as it's certainly not for Scottish Folk musicians. 

Here's a list of what I'll be up to over next wee whiley! 

Phew! 

Releases

Now onto upcoming releases. I'm so delighted to have Pablo & I's debut album coming out on the first of Feb. 

The Morning Tempest
On the very first day of February, 'The Morning Tempest' is released. (Available for pre order now on Bandcamp) - you can order the album on physical or digital copy. I've included all of the song lyrics in the physical booklet, so if you do order a physical copy, you will also have a little songbook. I'd be delighted if you learned a song or two from the album!

The album is a mix of Gaelic, Scots, self-penned and songs from the world over. We were joined by an incredible band who helped bring the stories of the songs to life. It's been an incredible experience recording with Scott Wood. I'm so excited to finally have physical copies that I can hold! Pablo and I sent off all 250 albums that were ordered by extremely kind humans via our crowdfunding campaign and it made it all feel very real! We're both tremendously looking forward to performing the album with our band at the launch on the first of February. Wee! 

Highlight

Following this, it may be no surprise at all that the gig I'm currently looking forward to performing the most is our album launch. I feel incredibly lucky to be playing with such stunning musicians. If you've seen me performing before, you will know that I like to get the audience singing. This will be no exception! 

Song Recommendation

This month, my song recommendation is 'See You Around' by I'm With Her.  They are a band of three of the most wonderful instrumentalists, singers, (angels) that will ever grace your wee ears. I'm so excited to see them at their sold out show at Celtic Connections! Their harmonies are delicious and their song choice and writing is clever, varied and always perfectly fitting. Then again, I would probably listen to the three of them singing the writing on the back of a cereal box. 

Gig Recommendation

Many of the gigs I am most excited about this month are sold out. However, that would be a bit of a tease. Instead, here's a few Celtic Connections concerts that still have tickets. Although many have sold out, you're still spoiled for choice! 

Òrain nan Gàidheal - 26th Jan 

Elephant Sessions - 2nd Feb

Lau Land - 3rd Feb

Duncan Chisholm - 4th Feb

If you fancy having a wee sing, I'd also recommend going along to the house of song which runs throughout the festival. 

Thank you very much for reading my first blog post! It's all a bit of fun. 

Lots of love,

lalala 

Josie 

x

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