With less than 80 days to go until the 30th Shetland Folk Festival, the organisers have announced three additions to the line-up.
Booked on the back of their stirring and exhilarating appearances at this year’s Celtic Connections in Glasgow are Brooklyn-based The Wiyos, who will make a special one-off trip from the States for their festival appearance.
A band said to be “full of surprises” by blues musician and singer Seasick Steve, The Wiyos are truly unique in what they do. They create original yet vintage sounding country blues, swing, jugband, hillbilly and ragtime tunes while adding the visual element of a vaudeville-style stage show.
As each band member has always shared a common passion for the old-time stringbands, blues singers, jugbands and hot jazz ensembles of the 1920s and 30s, this ensures that their original material retains that feel and sound. The organisers feel they will be a guaranteed hit with the Shetland audiences and in many respects are the icing on the festival’s cake.
Recent winners of the prestigious Scottish folk band of the year award at the Scots Trad Music Awards, Bodega, are also confirmed as appearing.
This blistering young band is unquestionably musically mature beyond their years, but their star is still very much on the rise – despite their already being veterans of the international festival and concert circuit.
Shetland’s own Ross Couper on fiddle is joined by prize-winning vocalist Norrie McIver from Lewis, multi-instrumentalist Tia Files on guitar, June Naylor on clarsach and, for their trip to Shetland, Lorne MacDougall, one of Scotland’s leading young pipers.
McDougall was a finalist in the 2010 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition and in keeping with this theme, fellow finalist Paddy Callaghan has been invited with his band Feolta as this year’s session act.
Winners of a Danny Kyle award at 2008’s Celtic Connections, Feolta consists of excellent traditional musicians and session animals – musicians that Scotland can be guaranteed of hearing a lot more from in the near future.
All three acts will be in Shetland for the festival’s duration, playing at different venues throughout the isles alongside Shetland musicians such as the Sheila Henderson Band, Bryan Gear and Violet Tulloch and Inge Thomson, who is making the trip home with her band to formally launch her debut solo CD Shipwrecks and Static.
The festival organisers are currently busy processing advance memberships before the deadline of 26th February and dealing with enquiries from the many visitors who travel to Shetland from other parts of the UK and further afield.
Once again sponsor NorthLink Ferries is offering discounted rates to travelling revellers while the festival has also secured the support of Event Scotland to significantly increase capacity to better cater for ticket demand from both locals and tourists alike.
The first set of tickets will go on sale on Saturday for the one-off concert by Scotland’s leading children’s entertainers The Singing Kettle. Priced at £10 for all, they will be available for purchase between 10am and 3pm at the festival office, 5 Burns Lane, Lerwick, or by phoning (01595) 696349 during those hours.
For all other concerts, advance members will receive the ticket booking form mid-March with booking open to all from 2nd April.
For further information on purchasing memberships and tickets and all acts appearing, visit www.shetlandfolkfestival.com