Major Influences Part 3 – Dougie Maclean

Well, not so much an influence, as a Kindred Spirit.

Me and Cerri were on holiday in Scotland, travelling to some of the Herbidean Islands when, at breakfast time in one of the B & Bs on the Isle of Skye, I heard this song being played. It was a lovely B & B and I had fallen in love with Skye, but it was to give me an even greater gift on that morning. As I listened to the song I simply fell in love with it.

I write songs that I would listen to myself, I mean, if I wouldn’t listen to it, why would anyone else right? And here, drifting though the speakers of this B & B was a song that was about the closest I had ever heard to the kind of music I was trying to create. I asked the waitress who it was and she told me it was a Scottish folk singer/songwriter called Dougie Maclean.

When we left the B & B for that days trek, one of the destinations was a music shop to see if I could find a CD from this man. There, hidden in the rack I found his album Roif. I popped it into the car’s CD player and I knew I’d found a musician that spoke my language, he even sang in the same key as me. The themes of his songs were certainly rural, and some also held within them a Pagan edge too.

I played that CD all over the rest of our Hebridean holiday (Cerri was admittedly a little tired of it by the time we got home…) but then I bought the rest of his albums, and fell in love with each and every one. A few months later I saw he was playing at a small venue near us in Sussex so I bought tickets, and when I saw him live he even entertained and communicated with the audience like I do!

His voice and songwriting is a joy, and his love of the land, and old traditions is palpable. If you like my music, you would love Dougie. So have a listen and watch these videos and, like me, I think you’ll be drawn into his world, and fall in love with his music too.

5 thoughts on “Major Influences Part 3 – Dougie Maclean

  1. I saw Dougie MacLean at the Whare Flat Folk Festival, Dunedin, New Zealand in the early ’80’s. His music and presence completely captured everybody. There was no shortage of young women to give him a ‘happy new year’ kiss.

    He’s the whole package; he’s funny, a gifted singer, song writer and musician who speaks to one’s essence with his words and music and brings a tear to the eye without being sappy.

    I believe he’s a living treasure in Scotland, a title well deserved.

  2. Lovely post…Dougie’s music is so wonderful! The first time I heard it was in a music shop where they had play stations (not the gaming kind!), so you could put headphones on and listen to a featured album. The one I wandered up to had a CD with this interesting looking cover…Riof. I was there for the next half hour…enchanted, thrilled, moved to tears. The music went straight into my heart. I like a lot of music, but there is only a few artists whose music resonates with something in me so strongly that I ache for it if I can’t hear it for a while. Dougie’s is one of them…yours is another Damh…I can totally see why you would identify with him so strongly. To me, I don’t hear just a simple similarity of style…you each have your own wonderfully unique and equally beautiful musical voices…to me it is more that there is something in the music that ‘feels’ very similar…the phrase that has just popped into my mind is ‘drawn from the same well’ :).

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