News September 17th 2019

Hiya all

Welcome to this September missive

Pardon prolonged silence. It’s a while since I was here so here’s the resume:-

The month of June held some interesting moments and trips, not least a solo visit to Ullapool on Tuesday 18th closely followed by a duo show with Barbara Dickson at Portsoy Boat Festival on 21st.

Earlier in the month, on the 7th there was a visit to Haverhill in Suffolk for a show at the Arts Centre with Brooks Williams. I have some history there on two counts. The more recent one is the fact that there is a family connection, on Stephy’s side. One of her brothers lived there and her Mum had a wee house there for a while so we visited the town quite a bit a year or two ago. The other, older, connection is musical. Back in 1967 the Reverend Brian Bird, a noted author of probably the first book on Skiffle, was holidaying in St Andrews and saw/heard me perform. He invited me to his home-patch for a long-weekend Folk Club tour. This was duly arranged for Spring 1968. When the time came I was working with Robin McKidd in our banjo/guitar duo and the two of us went south for the five nights. It was our first professional trip south of the border (I’d been in London in 1966/’67 but not by then professionally). We played Great Yarmouth, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Haverhill and Colchester. It went well and Robin and I, as planned, went off to London afterwards for the remainder of that year. In Haverhill I recall them saying they enjoyed what we did and must have you back messages were received. It was a delight to find that fulfilled, after only 51 years. It was a good night at the Arts Centre, as all the shows with Brooks are, I must say.


So, since I was last here, with some webnews, I’ve been out-and-about on some other good’n’interesting shows. Some have been solo but there have been others with Rod Clements and, as reported, with Brooks Williams. There’ll be more collaborations with them, and with others, over the coming months. Next month October sees me out’n’ about with Barbara Dickson. See the Forthcoming Shows bit below.


Also here’re video links to a couple of songs from Brooks’n’me

Jackson Greyhound 

A little way up

Going to New Orleans


Staying on the subject of collaborations, on a less happy note, I have to report the night at Skagen Folk Festival had to be amended as Allan Taylor hasn’t been well. He has been boldly public about the issue, which is a mental health one. He’s been enduring a spell of anxiety and nervous exhaustion and has cancelled all performances for the foreseeable future. The Skagen night did go ahead and Allan was of course present via song and reference and I wish him well. Eleanor Shanley joined MC Hansen and me and we had a really good time. It was one of those very short rehearsal yet full of invention shows. It had that chatacterful first-night feel. Such things do contain little bumps that can (will) be ironed out in future outings but that is fully compensated for by the voyage-of-discovery nature of the first outing. I enjoyed it immensely as, I’m glad to say, did my fellow performers, and the audience.

Since all that, I‘ve paid Allan a visit, I’ve talked with him a few times and I’m now pleased to report he’s improving by the day.


The Welcome to Anniversaryville release continues to gain supporters and, I’m glad to say, sales.

Please visit  to see what’s on offer.

Here’s a review from David Pratt at folkradio. I do like this as it’s very perceptive and is clearly wtitten by someone who gave the record a proper listen and made perceptive comments. I am glad he liked it too, of course.


There are some interesting projects being planned for 2020 including a 50th Anniversary celebration of The Great Fife Road Show. For those of you who don’t know of this it was a group of Fifers in a folksong-related revue. Its first outings were in 1969 with a major tour in 1970 followed by some events further into the 1970s.

There’ll also be some dates around another 50th Anniversary They’ll celebrate the recording and release of my first LP ‘Do you see the lights?’ They are listed below and there’ll be more, additional, details in future webmails.


Here are some forthcoming performances.


A one-off with Roddy Hart and Emma Pollock


11 Paisley                                              Rafferty Night at The Spree Festival


SOLO dates


8 Edinburgh                                           Carrying Stream Festival   

March 2020

17 Leith                                                 Folk club                         


Do you see the lights? at 50 – more info, and more dates, to come.


17 Kinross                                              Backstage at The Green


27 Glasgow                                           Glad Café          


16 Edinburgh                                         EFC Pleasance                


Many others are collaborations so that’s how I’ve listed them.





28 Isle of Man                                        Laxey Working Men’s Institute



24 Liverpool                                           Liverpool Philharmonic


April 2020

24 Claygate                                          Ram Club            

25 Ascott-under-Wychwood                   Wychwood Folk Club

26 London                                             Green Note                    





18 Milngavie                                          Baljaffray Church Bearsden                                               

19 Biggar                                               Biggar Little Festival

20 Goostrey                                           Music and Arts Festival

23 Shoreham                                         Ropetackle Arts Centre

24 Poole                                                Lighthouse

25 Taunton                                            The Brewhouse

26 Bromsgrove                                       Artrix

27 Thorner                                             Victory Hall

28 Livingston                                          Howden Park Centre




17 Kinross                                               Backstage at The Green   


15 Newcastle-under-Lyme                      tbc


The Great Fife Show at 50


18 Lochgelly                                          Lochgelly Centre


A couple of Celtic Connections collaborations


17 Archie Fisher’s 80th                             poss Mitchell Theatre

25 Christine Hanson’s Sam McGee          tbc