SHETLAND’S music scene will be very well represented at this year’s MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, with the Peter Wood Dance Band and top isles fiddler Jenna Reid among those nominated for an award.
Peter’s band, who picked up a gong for best album at the National Association of Accordion & Fiddle Clubs awards this summer, are nominated in the dance band of the year category.
Jenna’s band Blazing Fiddles are nominated in the live act of the year category, while she and sister Bethany Reid’s group RANT are also in the running for the Scottish folk band of the year award.
Isles-based, Orkney-born singer and songwriter Kris Drever, who released his self-penned third solo record ‘If Wishes Were Horses’ earlier this year, is nominated in the composer of the year category.
Fiddler Gemma Donald’s group, The Lomond Ceilidh Band, are nominated in the dance band of the year category.
Another isles connection sees the Dundee Acoustic Music Club up for best venue of the year. The voluntary club’s secretary and treasurer is Barry Nisbet from Cullivoe.
Peter said he was “really chuffed” to pick up a trad award nomination. His band consist of Graham Jamieson on drums, Maggie Adamson on fiddle, Brian Nicholson on guitar, Arthur Nicholson on bass and Peter himself on accordion.
For the past three years they have had a “fairly busy” time entertaining audiences at concerts, dances, weddings and social gatherings in Shetland and on the Scottish mainland.
Last year they released their first CD ‘Out of the Shadows’, which will be followed in a few weeks by album number two, ‘Into the Light’.
He feels the recognition may be partly a result of “using guitar instead of piano, so it’s creating a slightly different sound”, while each of the musicians comes from a different musical background and brings in a lot of different influences.
“The big thing is we’re really enjoying it, having a lot of fun, and that king of creeps over into the audience,” Peter told Shetland News.
“Brian, Graham, Arthur, Maggie… they’re all absolutely solid, great musicians, teachers and everything, so it’s great when we get together, a mixing pot.”
He’s also pleased to see various other Shetland-related nominees in the mix: “It’s great, we’re still getting in there in the national scene. For a small place we’re doing alright!”
Peter, Brian and their respective partners are looking forward to attending the ceremony, which takes place at the Caird Hall in Dundee on Saturday 3 December.
Jenna said she was “delighted” with both nominations, which were “great recognition for what’s been a really busy year for both groups”.
“Rant released a second album this year and with that performed all over the UK, including our first concert in London,” she said.
“We’re just back from a brilliant weekend in Ireland and about to embark on a youth project for Celtic Connections 2017 where we invite 12 young players to join us to make a band of 16 fiddles.”
Jenna hopes the ‘Project for Projection’ can be brought to Shetland with the involvement of young folk in the isles.
Blazin’ Fiddles, meanwhile, had one of their busiest years yet, performing at festivals including Cambridge, Sidmouth, Dartmoor and Tiree as well as their normal Scottish and English touring programme.
They perform at the Glasgow Barrowlands as part of Celtic Connections, following which the group will record their ninth album.
Jenna added: “The Trad Awards is an amazing opportunity for all bands, soloists, clubs and venues to have a platform to showcase the work they do. Winning would be an incredible bonus, but it’s brilliant to be among the nominees.”
- You can vote for any of the nominees for this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2016 here.