City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Tannahill Talent showcased at TradFest

By Lindsay Corr - Posted on 30 April 2013

Wendy Weatherby in Performance

A weaver by trade and songwriter/poet by calling, Robert Tannahill (1774-1810) of Paisley was an avid self-educator and recognised man of letters, founding the Paisley Burns Club in 1805 and developing one of the early Trades Libraries in Renfrewshire, despite his modest means. Over 100 songs constitute his great legacy, of a quality akin to Robert Burns.

With this legacy in mind, and in a similar vein to his definitive 12-volume series of Burns recordings, Dr Fred Freeman presents Songs of Irish Immigration: Robert Tannahill at TradFest to showcase Tannahill’s work firmly in the context of Scotland's folk scene today, highlighting the enduring qualities via fresh arrangements and a top-quality musical cast (Freeman also created definitive Tannahill volumes for prosperity which was instigated in 2010 as the bicentenary year of Tannahill’s death.)

Tannahill was fanatical about rhythm and the structure of Scottish national musical forms, which will be presented in a fine selection of upbeat songs set to traditional strathspeys, jigs, and reels, – while the slower, pastoral tunes are persuasive essays tinged with a dark romanticism.

Come along and experience an evening of fantastic music as new arrangements create an intriguing dialogue between singer and player, with The Five Freens: Sandy Brechin, Wendy Weatherby, Fred Freeman, John Morran and Marc Duff. This concert focuses on Tannahill’s great collection in defence of the early 19th-century Irish emigrants to Scotland, as Freeman explains:
"Tannahill, the Paisley weaver, penned a unique collection of songs in defence of the sorely dispossessed Irish immigrants settling in the west of Scotland. Moreover, as a Lowland Presbyterian defending mainly Irish Catholics, he was, in so doing, sticking his neck out in a way that nobody before or after has done in the whole of the Scottish tradition in literature and song."

Come on a journey with a variety of folk sounds including cello, accordion, guitar, whistles and bodran, and enjoy a feast of Culture.

Songs of Irish Immigration: Robert Tannahill
Friday 3 May
7.30pm, Pleasance Cabaret Bar, £8 (£6)
Book here: or call 0131 556 9579

"An accordionist with attitude as well as loads of talent....frequently wild and hairy"
Folk Roots Magazine on Sandy Brechin

“The distance between John Morran and many performers of traditional songs is immediately apparent… The heartfelt performance of the Deaf Shepherd singer always excels"
Keith Bruce, The Herald on John Morran

“Wendy Weatherby is a talented singer, a brilliant cellist and an experienced stage performer”
Folkworld on Wendy Weatherby

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