Released today...

​For those who’ve not yet heard the good news, we’re more than chuffed to spread the word that from today, the entire catalogue of recordings made by the late great Dundee bard Michael Marra – much of whose music until now has been frustratingly hard to acquire – is available in digital form from Amazon, iTunes and other outlets. In addition to all his albums and EPs, the new offering include two previously unreleased sets: High Sobriety captures a hometown gig at the Bonar Hall in 2000, while Dubiety comprises studio recordings from the 1980s, originally intended for Marra’s second album but apparently deemed “too confusing” to release – a view that the man himself would likely have taken as a compliment.
Also released today – and receiving its full live launch tomorrow night, at St Andrews in the Square – is Marra’s daughter Alice’s debut solo album, Chain Up the Swings, a personal selection of his songs that also includes previously unheard material, gleaned from his archive of home demos on C90 cassettes. Alice performs tomorrow with a new 10-piece line-up of The Gaels Blue Orchestra, uniting some of her dad’s staunches musical cohorts with her own generation of talent.
Tomorrow, too, there’s a chance to learn more about the recently discovered treasure-trove of poems and song lyrics by the likewise late’n’great Johnny Cash, a selection of which were published by Canongate in November, under the title Forever Words, edited and introduced by leading Irish poet and scholar Paul Muldoon. Together with lifelong Cash fans Tam Dean Burn and James Grant, Muldoon will discuss the book, including how he made his selection from a copious stash of raw material – a process of which he recently wrote, “It was with an initial sense of relief, then an increasingly rapturous glee, that I realized there is so much here that will indeed broaden and deepen our perception of Johnny Cash and his legacy.” If you can’t make the talk – 4.30 tomorrow, in the Concert Hall’s City of Music Studio – then the rest of Muldoon’s article is well worth checking out:
Not to blow our own trumpet, but we wanted to share the following Facebook tribute from a Welsh visitor to the festival, as it primarily it pays tribute to all of you out there, without whom Celtic Connections could not be the merrily monstrous, magical phenomenon that it is: “Just returned from Glasgow and once again I'm buzzing from the experience. This is not only one of the most inovative, vibrant and exciting festivals in the world but Glasgow and Scotland shine like a beacon of positivity in troubled times. They embrace you in a welcome that whirls in music, song, dance, stories and non stop craic. The festival is huge but it felt like we were all in the back room of a pub together. From bar tender to music legend, everyone seemed to be one in a celebration of what is best about people.” People make Glasgow – it’s more than just a strapline.