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NEW Saturday Night Traditional Concert

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:02 am
by Kintyre Forum News
NEW Saturday Night Traditional Concert
Saturday 20th August 2011

Karen Matheson Band
Jim Malcolm
Suzanne Houston
Arthur Johnstone MC
Tickets £20.00

This year see’s the introduction of a new concert to the Saturday Night of the Music Festival.  Based on the hugely successful concerts which were held in the Campbeltown Picture House until 2009 this new concert will feature the best in current and emerging artists on the traditional scene.  The Festival committee have noted the audiences appreciation of the vocal based acts that have appeared in the past and they have made sure that this new concert caters for this.  To enhance the venue and atmosphere at the concert the committee have arranged to black out the windows of the Heritage Centre and new cushioned seating will be installed up stairs.
Headlining this new concert is the Karen Matheson Band which features four members from Celtic Super group Capercaillie. Supporting Karen on the bill is singer songwriter Jim Malcolm who has been described as “one of the finest singers in Scotland in any style”.  Singer and pianist Suzanne Houston will open the concert and Festival favourite Arthur Johnstone returns to compere this new concert and he will be joined by the opening guest artist who will be confirmed shortly.
This new concert with it’s blacked out windows and new cushioned seating which will help showcase and complement the artists. This new vocal based concert replaces the event which was held in the Campbeltown Picture House until 2009.

Karen Matheson is well known to the Campbeltown audience having performed at the first MOK Fest in 1993 with celtic super group Capercaillie. She has returned with Capercaillie twice since, playing at the 10th anniversary concert in the Victoria Hall and again in 2008 when the band performed an acoustic set in the Campbeltown Picture House. Karen received an OBE in 2006 and she has released 3 solo albums and over 16 albums with Capercaillie. She will headline this new concert with her four piece band who are the backbone group from many of her solo recordings - James Grant (vocals and guitar),Donald Shaw(piano and accordion) and Ewen Vernal (double bass).

As a solo performer, Karen has been involved in various projects of collaboration including the award winning BBC series Transatlantic Sessions, where she recorded tracks with Emmylou Harris, The MacGarrigle Sisters, Nanci Griffith, Paul Brady and a host of respected musicians. She also recorded and toured as lead vocalist on Heritage de Celts, produced by Donal Lunny and Dan Ar Bras that sold half a million albums and culminated in a sold out concert at Bercy (17,000 capacity) in Paris. More recently she has been collaborating with James Grant in special concerts and TV appearances (having guested on his solo albums 'Sawdust in my Veins' and 'My Thrawn Glory'), and recorded songs for Norway's multi-platinum artists Secret Garden


For two years running at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Karen has performed sell-out solo shows in the reverential ambience of Glasgow Cathedral and the MOK Fest committee are delighted to welcome her back for this new event.
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Jim Malcolm who was lead singer with the world-renowned and multi-award-winning Old Blind Dogs for eight years makes his MOK Fest debut at this year’s Traditional Concert. Singer songwriter, Jim is the ultimate Scots troubadour. Travelling the world with his guitar, harmonicas, and engaging wit, he sings the traditional songs of Scotland and his own masterfully crafted songs in a style which is modern and accessible, yet utterly authentic. He is highly regarded as an interpreter of the songs of Robert Burns, and has been described as “one of the finest singers in Scotland in any style”.
As a solo performer with ten solo CDs to his credit, Jim can mix it with anyone out there. As well as a renowned singer, he is in the top handful of simultaneous guitar and harmonica players in the world. His concerts are always highly entertaining, peppered with funny stories and observations, in the great tradition of Scottish artists through the ages, Jim has featured many times on radio and television on both sides of the Atlantic, unfazed by cameras and completely at home behind a microphone.


The release of 2011’s CD ‘Sparkling Flash’ marks a milestone for Jim. He has now recorded fifty songs which are either entirely original or were built by him around some ancient fragment of text, a poem or melody. In 2004 he was voted songwriter of the year at the annual Scots Trad Music Awards and to date he is the most nominated Scots singer for the Scots Singer of the Year Award, having been nominated three times. His career highlight of 2011 was to perform his own songs Lochanside and Battle of Waterloo with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at a sold out concert in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.

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Suzanne Houston is a pianist with her style deeply rooted in Scotland’s traditional music, and a singer of Scots and Gaelic song. She is graduating from RSAMD with an honours degree in Scottish Music. Suzanne attended the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton for 3 years, during which time she recorded her solo album, "Stay Tuned". She has performed at numerous events through the Fèis movement including the Ceòl Nam Fèis tour 2007 and Runrig’s ‘Beat The Drum’ festival 2007. At Celtic Connections 2008 Suzanne won a prestigious Danny Kyle award alongside fiddler Neil Ewart.

Suzanne first appeared at the MOK Fest l in 2009 when she opened the concert set at the Festival Ceilidh and she made a guest appearance with hoots heppnin when they headlined the Survivors Night Concert.

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Arthur Johnstone’s appearance this year will be his 19th as he has been MC and sang at every traditional Saturday night concert since the Festival began. A hugely popular character Arthur, a founder member of “The Laggan”, returns to compere the Saturday evening Traditional Concert. Having started the Star Folk Club in the 1970’s he is known for his clear, strong and passionate voice is still regarded as one of the best in Scottish folksong.


Tickets will be on sale from TicketWeb at or phone 08444 771 000 and A.P. Taylors (Thu and Fri nights & Sun afternoon only) on June 16th.

For more details please go to the Festival Web Site at or email: