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US acts give Thomas Fraser festival international flavour

Miss Tess will be one of two Nashville acts to play at the festival.

AN INTERNATIONAL array of music acts have been confirmed to appear at this year’s Thomas Fraser Festival.

The event, due to held to mark the 40th anniversary of the local musician’s death, will take place at the Burra Hall between 8 and 10 November.

Headlining the festival will be JP Harris and the Tough Choices, a country outfit based in Nashville.

Rolling Stone magazine said that Harris, who released his debut album I’ll Keep Calling in 2012, is “a country musician you need to see”.

Another Nashville artist set to appear in Burra is Miss Tess, who Paste magazine said provides an “amalgamation of country blues music with influences from artists old and new”.

JP Harris.

US multi-instrumentalist Steve Thomas will also perform at the festival following a previous appearance as part of The Whites.

He has toured with numerous bluegrass and country acts such as the Osborne Brothers, Aaron Tippin and LeeAnn Womack.

Duncan McLean and his Driftwood Cowboys will also make the trip north from Orkney.

Locals Arthur Pottinger, Eddie Williamson, Robbie Cumming, Alan Tulloch and May, Mackie and Rhonda are also on the bill.

Alison Kay will be joined by fiddler Liza Fullerton, Kenny Johnson and May Gair, while Laeverick and Kansa will also perform.

The festival follows the release of Thomas Fraser’s Long Gone Lonesome Blues album on vinyl for Record Store Day.

The LP is available locally at the non-profit record store Bop Shop on Harbour Street in Lerwick, which opens once a month.

Festival chairman Karl Simpson said it is the “most ambitious” event to date and admitted that it has been “very challenging especially in the current funding climate”.

“It will be a great weekend I’m sure and we are lucky to have such a line up,” he added.

“We are grateful to JP Harris in particular who has based his whole European tour around appearing at the Thomas Fraser Festival.

“To have three high quality acts from the states as well as the blend of fantastic local acts…I think there is something for everyone.”

Ticket information will be released in due course.