From Thursday 16 January to Sunday 2 February 2020, musicians from across the world will take part in over 300 events in venues throughout Glasgow for the UK’s premier celebration of Celtic music. As usual, there are numerous shows of interest to country/Americana fans, some of which are highlighted below.
Renowned as a musical cure for the wintertime blues, Celtic Connections 2020 will be the 27th incarnation of a festival that began in 1994.
BELA FLECK & ABIGAIL WASHBURN – JAN 15 – CITY HALLS
Banjo legends Fleck and Washburn make a welcome return to CC. Opening the show, a labour-of-love collaboration between Julie Fowlis, Éamon Doorley, Zoë Conway and John McIntyre, their album project Allt is inspired by old and new Gaelic poetry from Scotland and Ireland.
CAM PENNER & JON WOOD – JAN 18 – GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL, NEW AUDITORIUM
Canadian singer-songwriter Penner, alongside longtime sideman/producer Jon Wood. Opening the show, Anglo-Irish Girl Power Bluegrass”, Midnight Skyracer.
ROBERT VINCENT – JAN 19 – ORAN MOR
Catapulted towards the big-time by winning 2016’s inaugural Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award at The UK Americana Awards, Liverpudlian country/blues singer-songwriter Vincent plays CC ahead of his hotly anticipated third album, produced by Ethan Johns.
LUCY ROSE – JAN 19 – GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL, NEW AUDITORIUM
Midlands-born singer-songwriter Lucy Rose made the album Top 10 with 2015’s pop-inclined second LP Work It Out. Subsequently dispensing with major-label machinations, she’s artfully reworked that early acoustic sound into the elegantly textured palette and potently emotive lyrics of her latest, No Words Left.
IRIS DEMENT – JAN 20 – GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
The country-folk songstress who is an extraordinarily affecting live performer. She will be supported by her step-daughter Pieta Brown who performs American roots music with shades of jazz, blues and hip-hop.
ANNA MOURA & MOISHE’S BAGEL – JAN 24 – GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
The best-selling exponent of Portugal’s national music, Fado. Support from Scotland’s Moishe’s Bagel who blend klezmer, Balkan, Celtic, Latin, jazz and Middle Eastern folk music.
CATRIN FINCH & CIMARRON – JAN 26 – GLASGOW OLD FRUIT MARKET
An arresting collaboration between the adored Welsh harp adventuress with the all-star Columbian 7-piece Cimarron who play Latin American folk music.
MILK CARTON KIDS & THE SECRET SISTERS – JAN 27 – GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
The L.A. based Americana duo comprising Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan hit a unique sweet spot between heartbreak and hilarity. The Secret Sisters from Muscle Shoals, Alabama are a unique Americana duo.
DELLA MAE – JAN 28 – GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL STRATHCLYDE SUITE
Nashville-based all-gal Grammy nominees Della Mae deliver bare-knuckle bluegrass chops.
ANAIS MITCHELL – JAN 29 – THE OLD FRIUTMARKET
US singer-songwriter Mitchell, whose folk opera Hadestown won 8 Tony Awards in 2019 plays her own full-band set, and opens with her new super-trio line-up Bonny Light Horseman, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist/producer Josh Kaufman (The National/Hiss Golden Messenger) and Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats), formed during a 2018 residency at Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Festival.
AND JAN 30- ST LUKES
Mitchell’s second CC appearance hosting Campfire, an in the round singer-songwriter gathering featuring Josh Kaufman and Eric D. Johnson, fellow tradition-loving free spirit Sam Amidon, beguiling songwriter and This Is The Kit’s bassist Rozi Plain, and Scotland’s own Kris Drever.
RORY BUTLER WITH KITTY MACFARLANE – JAN 29 – CCA
Featured (with Paul Weller and Danny Thompson) in Celtic Connections’ 2019 John Martyn tribute, Grace & Danger, Scottish acoustic troubadour Butler previews his long-awaited debut album. Support from hotly-tipped songwriter and guitarist Kitty Macfarlane from Somerset.
RETURN TO Y’HUP : WORLD OF IVOR CUTLER – JAN 29 – GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
The late Scottish humourist, poet, philosopher and surrealist will be celebrated by a gathering of Scottish musicians launching a new tribute album.
SIERRA HULL – FEB 1 – GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL NEW AUDITORIUM
The brilliant former bluegrass child prodigy mentored by Alison Krauss will also be featured in the Transatlantic Sessions shows and UK tour dates. Her new CD “25 Trips” will be out soon.
Finally, a reminder of the TRANSATLANTIC SESSIONS 2020 TOUR DATES
Jan 31 to Feb 8, 2020
Sierra Hull, Tommy Emmanuel, Cathy Jordan (from Dervish), Rachel Sermanni and Cahalen Morrison join Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas plus top musicians from the UK, Ireland & the USA
|31-Jan||Glasgow||Royal Concert Hall|
|02-Feb||Glasgow||Royal Concert Hall|
|06-Feb||London||Royal Festival Hall|
“No concert series I know is as downright joyous. . . performances that evoke the informality of a sing-song in a pub” (The Times)
25 years on from the original Transatlantic Sessions TV series, the 17th live edition will once again highlight the format’s evergreen fruitfulness, with a fresh cross-generational array of Scottish, Irish and North American-based special guests joining the regular all-star instrumental line-up.