Celtic Connections favourites Saltfishforty are back with guests, presenting their exhilarating blend of traditional Orkney music and … well, you name it. For while their native islands’ rolling landscape is reflected in their lilting rhythms, current album, Bere, is shot through with hints of jazz, swing and blues. After 20 years of friendship and musical alchemy, this dynamic duo – Douglas Montgomery on fiddle/viola and Brian Cromarty on vocals/guitar/mandola – have thrilled audiences worldwide, collecting influences including Americana, Scandinavia, East European folk and even heavy metal. In celebration of their Big 2-0, Douglas and Brian are joined by long-time collaborators Erik Laughton (percussion), Andrew Gifford (double bass, fiddle) and Jenny Keldie (piano, fiddle, vocals), as well as guests Siobhan Miller (vocals) and Laura-Beth Salter (mandolin, vocals).
Multi-award-winning Scandinavian folk roots band Basco deliver an intoxicating mix of strings, trombone, accordion and vocals. Aberdeen-born Hal Parfitt-Murray picked up his fiddle repertoire from “an old bearded gentlemen at folk concerts”. Villads Hoffmann, Andreas Tophoj and Anders Ringgaard Anderson complete this Danish-Swedish quartet. Their music is complex and varied, from hard hitting, high-speed reels full of rosin dust and sweat, through sweet and melancholy tunes that tell of loves won and lost, through fitful fever-dreams of fractal complexity and fascinating texture.