Doddie Weir tribute, Celtic Connections, Iona Fyfe and Kim Carnie honoured at Scots Trad Music Awards
A single and video inspired by Scottish rugby hero Doddie Weir and his fundraising efforts since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease have been honoured at a major Scottish music industry event.
Nicola Benedetti joined forces with a host of leading figures from Scotland’s traditional music scene to record the “Doddie’s Dream” tribute to the former internationalist’s campaigning efforts.
Now the project, which was instigated by Highland fiddler and broadcaster Bruce MacGregor and recorded remotely around Scotland, has claimed one of the top prizes at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.
Doddie’s Dream, which featured MacGregor’s band Blazin’ Fiddles and members Capercaillie, Mànran, Breabach, Skerryvore, The Chair, Talis, Treacherous Orchestra and Session A9, won the video of the year prize after a second year when the industry was badly affected by festivals and tours badly affected by Covid restrictions.
A powerful BBC Alba documentary – Ceol is Cradh – fronted by Hebridean singer Mischa MacPherson which explored the mental health struggles suffered by some of the leading trad musicians in Scotland was honoured in the media category.
The Celtic Connections music festival in Glasgow, which was named the event of the year, was honoured for an online-only edition that brought bands and musicians back into venues across the city to create more than 30 different concerts.
Hebridean singer Norrie ‘Tago’ MacIver was honoured for best online performance for his regular gigs streamed from his home.
The awards, which are also known as “Na Trads”, were staged before a live audience for the first two in two years at The Engine Works in Glasgow and broadcast live on BBC Alba.
Singer Iona Fyfe, one of the country’s leading Scots language campaigners, who persuaded Spotify to give it official recognition, was named musician of the year.
Oban-born Kim Carnie, who recently joined festival favourites Mànran, was named best Gaelic singer, while Ellie Beaton was named Scots singer of the year.
Orcadian singer Kris Drever won the best album award for ‘Where The World Is Thin’, The Canny Band was named best up-and-coming artist, and Craig Muirhead was crowned best tutor.
Allan MacDonald, one of Scotland’s leading pipers and Gaelic music figures, has honoured with the Hamish Henderson Serices to Traditional Music Award.
Derrick McClure was awarded for services to the Gaelic language, while Derrick McClure was honoured for services to the Scots language.
The awards ceremony featured performances from Dàimh, Imar, The Strathspey Band, Kim Carnie and Ellen Macdonald, The Canny Band, Hannah Rarity, the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, and the Gary Sutherland Scottish Dance Band.
Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland, one of the main backers of the awards, said: “This year’s awards have provided a welcome opportunity to celebrate the individuals and organisations who, online and in person, have kept the flames of our traditional music burning in the darkest of times.
"The range of work done across so many award categories is extraordinary and inspiring. It’s this bigger picture – the momentum that has taken us through lockdown and out the other side – that makes the trads of 2021 so special and so very important.”
Denise Hill, head of engagement at national tourism agency at VisitScotland, said: “This has been another challenging year, during which time we have been able to celebrate exceptional music events – and the skill and ingenuity that has brought them to us – both live and online.
"For visitors to Scotland, our vibrant and exceptional trad music scene has long opened the door to experiencing Scotland’s culture. It’s alive, exhilarating and embraced by Scots of all ages.
“Virtual music events have taken that feeling into living rooms around the globe. We look forward to welcoming them back again to Scotland’s events and festivals before too long”.