For over 30 years Dougie MacLean has been at the forefront of the development of Scottish music and song. One of Scotland’s most gifted and successful contemporary singer-songwriters, his innovative work has created a modern interpretation of this music but its fundamental values remain rooted in the ancient Scots culture.
You’ve been performing and making music for over 30 years. How have you seen Celtic music evolve or change over the years?
When I began playing music there were only half a dozen fiddlers in Scotland, now there are hundreds of young people playing. It is quite fashionable.
What are your feelings about fusing traditional Celtic and Rock Music together?
Rock and celtic music have always co-existed together, but I think people are more aware of it now. With traditional music, there are a finite number of traditional songs you can perform. I like to see the younger bands writing and creating their own stuff, but keeping their roots.
The Celtic Festival tagline is “Come for the Music, Stay for the Magic.” What makes Celtic culture so magical?
I suppose it comes from its ancientness. People have been living in that part of the world for thousands of years, and have left a lot of carvings, burial grounds, superstitions and stories. It’s a mysterious kind of place, it seems only natural it would seep into the music.
You have performed at the KVMR Celtic Festival before. What do you enjoy most about the festival?
Every festival has its own identity. I love Northern California and the festival’s rural setting is lovely. I think the music benefits from it; there is something lovely about making outside.
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