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December 19, 2011
Celtic Connections presents: Transatlantic Sessions UK tour

Raul Malo, Ruth Moody, Declan O’Rourke, Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson and Tim O'Brien join Aly Bain, Jerry Douglas, plus top musicians from the UK, Ireland & the USA

Having received rapturous ovations up and down the country throughout their two successful UK tours in 2010 and 2011, Transatlantic Sessions returns in 2012 for a highly anticipated third national tour.

 The fastest annual sell-out at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival, Transatlantic Sessions brings together an all-star cast of Celtic and Americana musicians for the ultimate back-porch session. The 2012 show premieres at Celtic Connections in Glasgow before touring concert halls across the country this February, including a visit to Shetland for the first time as part of the national celebrations of the Year of Scotland’s Islands.

The Transatlantic Sessions concept – where a dazzling international line-up of musicians revisit shared musical roots and forge new common ground in new and one-off collaborations – was dreamed up by film-makers Douglas Eadie and Mike Alexander of Pelicula Films and has proved

a huge hit on BBC and RTE TV and subsequently in concert, with the TV series winning the 2010 Good Tradition title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.


With Shetland fiddle icon Aly Bain and dobro deity Jerry Douglas as joint musical directors, this year’s stellar line-up also features lead singer of The Mavericks Raul Malo, founding member of Wailin’ Jennys Ruth Moody, Irish singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke, Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader and gaelic songstress Karen Matheson. From the USA, this year’s Transatlantic Sessions features US roots doyens Tim O'Brien and American multi-instrumentalist Bruce Molsky. With the ensemble flanked as ever by a crème-de-la-crème 'house band' including Russ Barenberg, Danny Thompson, John Doyle, John McCusker, Mike McGoldrick, James Mackintosh and Donald Shaw.


Scotland's Islands is a year-long celebration of all that's special about our people and their culture and the year of Scotland’s Islands is a programme of events and activities to showcase the islands’ vibrant cultures and creativity, natural environment and quality produce.  By bringing Transatlantic Sessions to Shetland, this will benefit the local economy and broaden awareness of the diversity of cultures.


Murdo Mackay, project leader for Western Isles council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said“We are absolutely delighted with the programme of events that will make up the Year of Scotland’s Islands.  In the 12 months that this initiative is running, we are supporting over 100 events with a combined budget of more than £4 million.  The diversity and quality of requests for funding support has been very high, and with music, art, dance, literature, theatre, and gourmet events galore, whatever your interests this is truly a year to visit Scotland’s Islands.”


“If you had to choose only one show to see at the festival this would be it.” ***** The Herald


“Like a hybrid of a Scottish ceilidh and a US backporch session [...] uniting top-class musicians from different traditions to explore and forge common ground, and to share their delight in doing so with a raptly appreciative audience.” ***** The Scotsman


“As winning concepts go, it’s a bit of a no-brainer. [...] Besides the obvious virtues inherent in assembling such a cornucopia of musical class, the bonus of these gigs is the artists’ palpable pleasure at sharing the stage with each other, by way of old acquaintance or new... it certainly felt like a privilege to be listening in.” Sunday Herald


“A stunning night of folk, country and gospel from some of the world’s finest musicians.” **** The Telegraph


“Great musicians having a great party. Even better, the sell-out crowd enjoyed it just as much.” **** Scottish Daily Express


See all tour dates here