The Islay Sessions 2012

The Islay Sessions – Back for 2012. Building on the success of last year’s fantastic inaugural event, the Islay Sessions return for what promises to be an even more successful second year. Once again, the festival features some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians playing in sessions across Islay and coming together for a grand concert ceilidh in Bruichladdich Hall. The 2012 Islay Sessions will take place from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th November – lighting up the darkest November nights.

2011 concert finale: Anarkali, Lori Watson, Eilidh Shaw and the Maverick Angels

We are delighted to welcome Rura, a band that manages to include no less than three Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalists as well as an All Ireland Bodhran Champion. Their collective talent was recognised in the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards where they won Best Up and Coming Artist in 2011. Since then, their debut album ‘Break it up’ has created a buzz throughout the traditional music scene with its tight instrumentals and stunning vocals. Continue reading.....

Following the success of her first album and award of Best Up and Coming Artist in 2007, Maeve MacKinnon has gone from strength to strength. Her repertoire spans Gaelic and English-language material; both traditional and contemporary. She’s won acclaim for the eloquent emotional connection she forges with every song and for her music’s dynamic interplay of boldness and sensitivity. Her eagerly-awaited follow-up, Once Upon an Olive Branch, marks her first public foray into songwriting.

Findlay Napier and Gillian Frame are a very exciting addition to the line-up. Findlay Napier is heavily influenced by the music of Elvis Costello and Loudon Wainwright III. He delivers upbeat musical vignettes on a host of subjects that range from love sick librarians and dumb struck magicians to peeping toms and guilty johns all dispatched in his native accent. Nominated as Songwriter of the year in the 2010 MG Alba Music Awards, he is a writer and performer of increasingly impressive stature.

Gillian Frame is a fiddle player and singer from the Isle of Arran with a passion for performing and teaching. She was the inaugural winner of the Young Scottish Traditional Musician Award and a founding member of the band Back of the Moon with whom she toured for seven years, seeing them win various accolades including Best Up and Coming Act followed by Best Folk Band at the Scots Trad Music Awards. As a performer Gillian has worked with acts such as The Unusual Suspects, Deaf Shepherd and Breabach.

As well known faces around Islay, the Maverick Angels are returning again this year having enjoyed last year’s Islay Sessions so much. This year the band will be performing at the ceilidh and promise to deliver a distinctive style of modern ceilidh music which is sure to get everyone up on the dance floor.

We are hoping to complete the line-up in the next couple of weeks and intend to run a workshop during the weekend to give opportunities to play with and learn from some of the talented musicians that will here for the event. For the latest details, please visit the website

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