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Calum Macdonald Introduces Us To Five Artists

You Should Get To Know

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Calum Macdonald started broadcasting with Isles FM 103 Radio in the Hebrides of Scotland back in the Mid '90’s during RSL periods where the station had to prove they could sustain a service and begin broadcasting from the Isle of Lewis.

Since Isles FM got the licence and went on air full time in 1998 he's been covering various shows. He started the Celticset around that time which has turned into his regular 1 hour weekly show of contemporary Celtic and folk music,  Calum does some Breakfast shows too.


Blues and Roots Radio Invited Calum to air the show on their Radio Stream just after they started broadcasting in  2013,  giving The Celticset a broader international audience.


Calum said "It was fantastic to be picked up by Blues & Roots Radio and it's opened my ears to a whole new world of music." The Celticset now airs on 4 Radio stations.

As a day job Calum works offshore on an Oil Rig in the North Sea, off the coast of Aberdeen, in Scotland. He works on a 2 on 2 off rota cycle. He has a Podcast kit to record the Celticset offshore and with the wonders of technology he sends the show through cyberspace to be downloaded and played by the stations.


The Celticset covers everything from Celtic Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Country, Gaelic and even Punk Celtic.


Calum continued "I love doing the shows and sharing all the music with anyone who cares to listen. Check out some great artists who I think you will all love, and maybe get to see live once this crazy pandemic is over on the links I've shared below. The music is still out there. Slainte!"



We asked Calum to introduce us to five artists we should be listening to.




This band are, I think,  the most promising Scottish band at the moment, and will be as popular as Runrig one day. It's all for the taking and they are getting noticed big time. They have a a new Song out ' You and I' which has put them in the spotlight.


Scottish favourites Skerryvore are gearing up to release their joyful new summer single Together Again on Friday, 2 July.

The follow-up single to You & I – which won critical acclaim, BBC Radio 2 playlist backing and fan approval – Together Again sees multi-award-winning Skerryvore build on the style and ambition of their distinctive brand of contemporary Scottish music.


Lead singer Alec Dalglish said: “As we are united with friends and family and move closer to some level of normality, we hope Together Again’s feeling of hope will resonate with lots of people, particularly those of us who have felt the strain of being seperated from loved ones.


“The song felt fitting for this period in time and builds on the style, theme, production and ambition of our last single You & I. Recording standalone singles is a new approach for us and means we can put a lot of attention to detail into each song and give it all we can so it stands out in our own genre and hopefully far beyond.”

Alec wrote and recorded part of the folk-pop song from his Glasgow home, before it went to Scott Wood’s Oak Ridge Studio to be finished in April 2021.


Alec added: “We have come to the point where we’re in a good workflow with creating new material within the constrains of a lockdown situation. We’re working collaboratively in the recording process but a lot of it also comes together in isolation too. This of course means that things grow in a different way but it’s been great to have the challenge and I think that we’re producing material that we’re happy with and proud of.”


Over the last 15 years, Skerryvore has performed in more than 25 countries worldwide including across the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. Over the last year the 8-piece act has taken their infamous live show online with a string of exciting livestreams from unique locations across Scotland including the Clydeside Distillery, The Burns Museum and Edinburgh’s luxury floating hotel, Fingal.


Formed by brothers Daniel Gillespie (accordion) and Martin Gillespie (whistles) along with Fraser West (drums) and Alec Dalglish (guitar and vocals) on the Isle of Tiree in 2005, Skerryvore’s line-up includes Craig Espie (fiddle) and Jodie Bremaneson (bass), Scott Wood (whistles) and Alan Scobie (keyboards).





This band have evolved over the years and are now a Highland Institution. They have a great future with a new album in July 2021


Based in the Scottish Highlands since 1993, the band have built up a strong following both throughout Scotland as well as overseas, touring regularly in Germany, Switzerland and Holland in recent years. 


From village halls, Marquee Dances, Music Venues and events of every description in just about every corner of the Highlands and Islands and throughout Scotland, the band also perform regularly at Music Festivals, including in recent years 

Belladrum Festival, Loopallu, Eiliean Dorch Festival, Tunes by the Dunes, Wizard, Unstfest and Wickerman.   


The band have released various albums over the years including 'The Crossing' in 2009, 'Twenty' in 2012 and 'Live at the Ironworks' in 2015. 


In March 2020 the band warmly welcomed to the line up singer/songwriter and guitarist Davy Cowan and his son Sam on Drums.  Davy has been a long time friend of the band and past collaborator with fiddle player Debbie Ross in the 90's East Ross based folk / rock band 'Coinneach' before moving to a successful solo career recording and touring throughout the UK and Europe. 


The new album 'Holding out for Freedom' will be released on 16 July 2021 with the single of the same name out on 25 June.  Also on the album are previous singles , 'Lonely Mountain Road', released on 23 April 2020, and the 'RNR' version of Western Isles classic 'The Dark Island'.  released on 10 December 2020.

This is the Title track from their new CD.


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COAST are Brilliant and should be bigger than they are right now, but times are changing and Europe loves their music . The world is for the taking. This album 10.2 is a fantastic introduction and the New song 'Flesh and Blood' shows how this band are evolving and going to be huge, being inspired by the sound of Runrig and Big Country.


Runrig recently said goodbye to the public stage after 45 years in the music business. Since the death of their charismatic singer Stuart Adamson in December 2001, Big Country have been sounding only a shadow of themselves.


In 1995, Dire Straits declared themselves "inactive", which they are to this day. And yet, fans of Celtic Rock don't have to starve. Because there has been a sextet around for 15 years, which combines all the advantages and power of the above-mentioned bands in a truly excellent way, powerful passion, great pathos and atmospherically expansive with songs that you can let yourself fall into, emotionally like an extra cozy down comforter or, optionally, a cozy cumulus cloud.


It is said to have been in 2007 when the two brothers Paul Eastham and Chris Barnes formed the group called COAST with their friend Finlay Wells, in their hometown in Scotland, where they've lived since they were children.


"At first we played in pubs, there were usually three or four people at the counter and encouraged us to keep going," Eastham remembers the early days of his combo. “But word quickly got around that there is a group in the region that has a lot of steam under its bum. Just six months later, we were performing in front of 300 to 400 people. Thanks to word-of-mouth and the internet, our fan base grew rapidly, well beyond the UK's borders. Suddenly, fans from Germany, Scandinavia and even the USA showed up at our gigs."


In such positive circumstances, it made sense to record an album. The nameless first record came out at the end of 2009. "The debut and its two successors were still pretty folk-oriented," recalls Paul. "But when it was time to record our retrospective album “10” on the occasion of our ten-year studio existence, we wanted to go in a rockier direction.




“I’ve always felt different, like when other people see blue, I see red,” says singer/songwriter Kip Moore, explaining the thoughtful headspace behind his fourth studio album Wild World. But in times like these – when there’s no denying the world is indeed a wild one – it seems like, perhaps, Moore was right all along.


A revelatory collection written as Moore traveled the globe like a self-described lone wolf, it aims to make sense of a world battling nothing short of an identity crisis. Maui, Costa Rica, Australia, Scotland and beyond became the setting for Moore’s searching, and slowly, through isolation and nature, a simple peace emerged. It wasn’t the first time this blue-collar poet looked within for inspiration, but it’s become the clearest expression of the wisdom he found. And his timing couldn’t be better.


“Music is the one thing where I really try to unveil where I’m at mentally, where my soul is,” the MCA Nashville troubadour explains. “As you get older, you start thinking about bigger concepts and where you fit in the grand scheme of this whole thing, and I’ve always lived my life simple. But the more I’ve lived, the more I understand that all this stuff we crave and seek, I see how much of life is smoke and mirrors. When I strip it down to the bare essentials, that’s when I’m the most happy.”


This hasn’t always been Moore’s approach. He splashed into the mainstream with the double-Platinum “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” in 2012, then followed up with three more best selling #1s (“Hey Pretty Girl,” “Beer Money” and “More Girls Like You”), a trio of ambitious, critically acclaimed albums and two gritty EPs. He toured the world headlining his own shows, earning acclaim and a fierce following as an all-in performer in each setting. But the Georgia native also found another side to success – the long stretches away, physical and emotional fatigue and the never-ending stress of staying “relevant.” 



These guys come from the Hebrides and are going to be huge. A raw punk sound inspired by the pogues. They are in a huge demand from festivals all over the world and Uilleam Macleod is a Radio presenter on Isles FM in the Hebrides as well. The frontman Boydie is a local legend and has a brilliant gift with his storytelling, he tells  stories of what really happens in the Hebrides. Innes, on the Box, keeps it all totally real and gives the whole sound a festival feel and full workout  If you have not heard of them you will soon.


The story began when three Stornoway Cove’s (Innes, Uilly and Boydie) met up in the house to have the craic on a Saturday night playing music with just the Dog and the Cat watching.  After a few tunes getting thrown across the room Boydie started muttering a few sentences. As he is a man of few words, no attention was really given to him until he shouted ‘Quick, line me out!’, with not a second to spare, a set of old broken headphones were cable tied to a guitar amp and out came a few cobwebs, followed shortly after with a sound nobody had ever heard before.


What came next was five gallons of lyrics, Verse after verse, Song after song – PEAT & DIESEL WAS BORN !


The songs won’t make much sense to the average person, but the person behind the lyrics isn’t your average man,  so if you have a listen and you can relate to it you are a special breed!


Peat & Diesel's 'Light my Byre' takes you on a journey to the heart of the Western Isles, where peatlemania was born. You might have time for a brandy in the ‘Airidh’ but don’t miss your ride in Calum Dan’s Transit Van, they ain’t stopping 'til they lose the water!

Selling out Glasgow’s iconic Barrowland's in one day as well as over 7,000 tickets across their debut tour happening in Jan 2020 has seen the band turn a corner in the public eye along with the band’s second album “Light My Byre” which came out on Jan 24th  2020 the lads just go from strength to strength.


More artists from around the world you should get to know


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Francesca Fabris introduces five artists from Italy


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Peter Neri introduces five instrumental guitarists


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Craig Mills introduces five artists 


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David Chamberlain introduces five artists from Wales


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Stu Vincent introduces five bluegrass artists



Ken Stearns introduces five artists from the USA


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Anne Connor introduces five artists from Canada



Rick Stuart introduces five artists from England



Ken Wallis introduces five blues artists from Canada



Nathan Seeckts introduces five artists from Australia


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Ian Freedman introduces five folk artists 



Paul Long introduces five blues & roots artists 


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