Out of Hibernation…

I hope you had a pleasant Christmas and New Year!

Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it? 2015 I decided to put everything music related on the backburner, as it was a very important year for me…I finally got married! However, I’m now re-booting the musical brain cells.

I have started writing again. It kinda feels like opening a new musical chapter in my life as the music I’m writing is quite different from “Travels”. I blame a shift in musical tastes for this as I have been reacquainting myself with the music of Mike Oldfield, one of my first true musical inspirations.

Although I have written six new songs since “Travels” was released, which I will probably make an EP out of eventually, I am currently writing a mostly instrumental piece. I’ve always loved music that starts with something simple and gradually builds up to a full, beautiful, dramatic climax. Mike Oldfield is of course the master of this type of music, however it’s probably the Treacherous Orchestra’s latest album “Grind” which has planted the seed in my mind.

Although it will never be to the same scale as Treacherous Orchestra or Mike Oldfield, the piece I am writing is inspired by them in that I aim to have a theme running through the music, starting with little instrumentation and building up to something a lot bigger. It is, of course, still in the very early stages. I do have a very rough draft of an opening track, which will be the basis for the rest of the music, but it’s way too rough to even let you hear a sample. I will, of course, be trying to keep it folky and with my own style. I suppose in a way I’ve already dabbled with this type of idea with my recording of “Johnny O’ Braidislee”. There will be songs in it too, but the primary focus will be instrumental.

In saying all of this, I have no idea how this will turn out. These things often grow arms and legs, and in a way, that’s what I want to happen and is how I am writing this new music.

I hope this is enough mystery to keep you interested for now, and I apologise for my lack of communication over past year or so.

My first musical adventure this year will be on Friday, where I will be performing a short set on Celtic Music Radio during their Celtic Connections broadcasts. Be sure to tune in on Friday 15th January from 3pm at www.celticmusicradio.net and across Glasgow on 95FM. I will be performing one of my new songs “Please Don’t Take My Smile” on the show, as well as a few other songs, so I hope you can tune in.

I suppose I can’t finish this email without posting a picture from my wedding! We had an absolutely perfect day, 4 years in the making, followed by an equally fantastic honeymoon travelling around Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal and then New York City!

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BBC Radio Scotland’s “Travelling Folk”

I am delighted to have been ask to appear on BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship folk music show “Travelling Folk” this Thursday!  I’ll be nipping along to the studio on Thursday night and having a chat with Bruce MacGregor and Vic Galloway about music…they’re even gonna play a track or two from “Travels”!

Listen in on Thursday night on BBC Radio Scotland from 8-10pm on 92-95FM and online at bbc.co.uk/radioscotland.  I believe the show will be available on BBC iPlayer for 7 days after the show too.

Happy chappy!

Travels To Berwick

Well, I’m back from a great wee trip down to the lovely Berwick Upon Tweed where I was playing at the Barrels Ale House for St Patrick’s Night.  What a great trip!

I got into Berwick at around 12:30 and after getting myself checked into the hostel where I was staying, I decided to take the time to have a walk around town walls.  It didn’t take too long to walk around the walls, but it was interesting seeing all the old battlements and defences of the town (even if they were made to keep Scots like myself out!).  I love being by the sea and so I took a walk out along the pier to lighthouse.  The tide was starting to come in and it was very windy and freezing cold, but it was still worth it.

As I walked back from the lighthouse I noticed something in the water.  At first I thought that it was bunch of seaweed or something, but as it drifted closer…it was a seal!  Despite the wind and the cold, I had to hand around and watch it for a while.  It really is true what I say in The Selkies’ Song “everywhere I go I hear the selkies singing”.  As I walked back towards the town, it followed me for a while before getting bored with me and getting back to its fishing.

Selkie Berwick

I got back to the hostel and decided to have a wee cup of tea to heat me up.  I then went out to a local pub to have dinner before the night began.  After my meal I walked back to the hostel via the river.  It was raining a bit, but off to the south-west the sun was starting to go down so I took the opportunity to take a few photos.  While I was doing so, I heard a snorting noise out in the water…it was a selkie again!  So that was me transfixed for another wee while, watching it go about its business.2013-03-17 17.51.32

It was time to head to The Barrels Ale House so I went back to my room to get ready.  When I got to the pub they had kept a section clear for me.  The pub was small, busy and full of life and character…my kind of place!  I got myself set up and had a chat with a couple of the locals that were sitting nearby.  Armed with Guinness hats, they were well up for a great night of music, fun and laughter.  I started my set with Great Big Sea’s “Goin’ Up” which I always think is the perfect song to start a party.  People were enjoying it and clapping and even singing along once they caught on to the chorus.  I continued to play through the first hour of my set playing a mixture of traditional songs, folk covers and my own songs and everyone appeared to be having a great time.

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After the first half, I had a drink with friends Fiona, John and Janet who had been enjoying my music.  It was great to catch up and have a blether about music and stuff.  A few of the locals approached me and told me they were really enjoying my music, which is always nice to hear.  As soon as I know people are enjoying themselves, I tend to relax a lot more and get more into it.

I began the second half with The Galway Shawl, which appears on my album Travels. People were singing along and the St Patrick’s party was getting into full swing.  I saved the lively more well-known songs til last and had everyone singing along to The Wild Rover.  I ended with The Rattlin Bog, which seemed a big hit with everyone in the pub.  They asked me for more, so I sang In The Reek Of The Smouldering Peat to end my set.  They asked or yet more but I had to end as my voice was starting to go a bit (and I was running out of songs!)

When I finished I enjoyed a few well-earned drinks while chatting with the locals and my friends.  Fiona Elcoat presents a show “Big Boots And Celtic Roots” on Lionheart Radio and happened to have her portable recorder with her so she interviewed me for her show.  You will be able to hear the interview on this weeks show on Saturday 23rd March from 7-10pm.

All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable night in a wonderful little pub full of friendly people.  Can’t really ask for much more than that can you?  Here’s hoping they enjoyed having me as much as I enjoyed being there!

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August Newsletter

Hiya folks!  Can’t believe it’s been a month since my last newsletter.  This year is going in far too quick for my liking!

What’s Been Happening?

A lot of my time has been spent working on my album “Travels” which is due out later this year.  Apart from that, I’ve been getting some practise in for Folk On The Boat 2 this Friday, oh and moving house!

For various reasons, I did not perform at Katie’s Bar in Stirling last month.  I was scheduled to, but for reasons I will not go into here I decided not to perform.

The News

As if recording my debut album wasn’t taking up enough time, I am delighted to announce that I am now presenting my own weekly radio show “Folk With Drew” on Heartland FM.  I have performed on Heartland FM before and Andrew Gordon has featured tracks from my EP “Taste of Freedom” on his show.  Andrew Gordon left Heartland FM, so I have taken his place with my very own folk show every Friday from 6pm.  The station broadcasts on 97.5 & 106.6FM across Perthshire, but also streams online at www.heartlandfm.co.uk.

What’s Coming Up?

Folk On The Boat 2 takes place on the Maid of the Loch, Balloch this Friday from 7PM.  This fantastic event is almost sold out, with only a handful of tickets left.  If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket, see you there!  The gig will also be streamed live on Celtic Music Radio as part of their “Radiothon” fundraiser.  I will be performing from 10:30pm, so if you can’t be at the gig, you can still listen in!

That’s all for now folks!

Andrew Huggan

“In the Glen” Demo

Hiya!

After a brilliant day at Celtic Music Radio yesterday, and the very first performance of my new song, I have made a demo of “In the Glen” which is now available to listen to on the player below.  The song tells the story of how Kirsten and I got engaged.  Not usually one to write love songs, but I’m pretty chuffed with it!  Hope you enjoy it.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/42566384″ iframe=”true” /]

For those of you that missed it, my appearance on Sandy’s Sunday Roast is available to listen again, the 1st hour of the show here and the 2nd hour here.

My website is still available in it’s old format, however the new site should be up and running this weekend.  It’s looking a lot tidier and user friendly, so I’m eager for it to all be done, but out of my control now.

Take care folks!

Live on Celtic Music Radio and at the Roxy 171

Hello folks,

It’s been a funny couple of weeks since starting the Wee County Sessions!  I’ve decided to branch the Wee County Sessions off as a seperate project from my own music and focus on showcasing local musicians from Clackmannanshire.  The Wee County Sessions now has it’s own Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts as well as it’s home on WordPress, the main hub for the sessions.  From now on, I will no longer be emailing you specifically regarding the Wee County Sessions from this account, but I will provide a link to any videos I feature in.

The first of this years gigs have started to come in and I am delighted to be returning to Sandy’s Sunday Roast on Celtic Music Radio.  I will be on the show with stand-in host Alan Grant for a few songs and a bit of a blether on Easter Sunday, 8th April from 3pm – 5pm.  It’s always been great fun going to the station and I’m looking forward to it.  Alan, get the chocolate eggs ready!

I will be making my debut appearance at the Roxy 171 (formerly the Liquid Ship) in Glasgow on Monday in association with Clyde Folk and Celt for Life Promotions.  Entry is £7 payable at the door and the show will start at approximately 8pm, followed by an open session after my set. Ah, it’s gonna be good to be gigging again!

Take care folks, I will leave you with this last video of the Wee County Sessions featuring Andrew Wyper.

Enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTHvh8PWOqk]