Hello All,

Just to let my Canadian friends and followers know that I shall be on Global TV as part of their morning news programme from Regina.

There is a link here, you do need to subscribe to view, but it is free to join, enjoy!

I’m unsure whether the content will be available to view ‘live’ outside of Canada but there will be a link posted soon afterwards.

SK x

Heya folks,

I’m conscious I don’t check in here nearly as much as I should, and I will, of course, endeavour to do so more in the future.

I’m enjoying a period of seven weeks straight in my beloved Edinburgh, though this is not nearly as relaxing as I’ve initially made it sound. The Edinburgh Festival starts again tomorrow, and once again I shall be performing daily at the Royal Oak from between 1700 – 1800, tickets are available here.

My forthcoming album, recorded and produced once again by Ian McCalman is about to be mastered, whilst I’ve also been busy filming another video with Simon P Biggs. I have also squeezed in the time to record another album of instrumentals, a follow up to Estranged.

More extensive news on all these projects shall be coming soon, I assure you. For now, should you find yourselves in Edinburgh during the month of August, I’d be delighted if you would take the time to join me in the Royal Oak.

They shall represent the last Scottish concerts of 2016 for me, before I depart for Canada, Ireland, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium & Switzerland to round the year off.

Thanks, as always, for reading, and I hope to see you some of you soon.

Very best wishes,

SK x

Hello All,

Apologies for my tardiness in posting this blog, but much has been happening in the musical world, more of which I can tell you now.

I should first alert you to the release by my good friend and fine fellow troubadour Paul Cherryseed, his new album entitled ‘The Story of Saint Anonymous’ is now available to purchase on iTunes. From a personal perspective, it is a wonderful honour to have both the area of Edinburgh in which I live immortalised in the song ‘Morningside Road’, and to have Paul and his excellent band perform a superb rendition of my song ‘The Bleeding Mile’, from my debut album ‘Carefree Prisoner’. If you have a moment, please investigate Paul’s work, you won’t be disappointed.

Exciting news for the autumn too, in that I shall be working with a very talented Amsterdam-based string quartet named ‘Quintessences’, and their brilliant arranger and conductor Michael Becker on a full live show of my music. It has long been an ambition of mine to perform live with a string quartet and to finally be realising this with Michael & Quintessences is most inspiring, to say the least! At present, we are in the early stages of planning the track listings, but I will bring further news of this collaboration as it develops, including, of course, the live performance dates in Amsterdam.

Closer to home, remember this?! Well, I’m delighted to announce that filming on a new video, once again with Simon P Biggs is set to commence in a couple of weeks, and it is hoped that this will be ready for the summer. This will feature one of the songs from The Last Car.

As those of you who follow me on Facebook will no doubt be aware, the majority of music has now been recorded for my next album, once again I’ve been working with legendary Scottish folk musician Ian McCalman. A few harmonies are still to be laid down, and a guitar part or two to be added, but we’re pretty much ready to enter the mixing stage and are well on schedule for an autumn 2017 release.

First tour of Spain & Catalonia to come in early May, along with a wee hometown appearance at Tradfest before an extended tour of Germany and Switzerland in late May/early June.

For now, I’m signing off to restring that resonator guitar!

Thanks for reading, as always.

SK x

Hello all,

This is just a short note to let you all know that the first concert of 2016 shall be at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the 20th of January as part of the Scotia Nova project at Celtic Connections, to which I contributed a song entitled ‘So We Must Unite’.

Please see here to read about the project and purchase the accompanying CD and here to buy tickets to the concert itself.

Hoping to see you all somewhere on the road during 2016!

Very best wishes,

SK x

I was thrilled and honoured to have contributed a lead vocal to a beautiful song composed by Ian McCalman on a recent Greentrax album celebrating the life of the great Scottish painter John Bellany.

You can find out more about the project and the album here– and a recent review of the album can be found in this Scotsman article

Thanks, as always, for reading, and I hope to see you somewhere on the road soon.

SK x

Hello All,

Just to let my Scottish friends and followers know that I was recently on STV as part of their festival coverage.

If you would like to see it again, please click here– my piece starts at 33:30 – :-).

You do need an STV account to view, and to be resident in the Auld Country, but it is free to join, enjoy!

SK x

Hello all,

Thanks, as ever, for taking time to read this humble fingerpicking guitarist’s blog, it really is very kind of you.

I write from Riga, where two of the songs from my latest album ‘The Last Car’ were born, the title track ‘The Last Car’ & ‘When Will She Learn’ – it is strange to tread the old steps of creativity, but fascinating nonetheless.

The reaction to the album has been fantastic, and I’m greatly appreciative of all those who have bought or taken the time to listen to it, as well as those who have given the album wider exposure, including (amongst others) Iain Anderson, Frank Hennessy, Roddy Hart, Cherrie McIlwaine, The Durbervilles at the BBC, Jim Gellatly & and to The Glasgow Herald for this excellent review

In other news, Simon P Biggs & I are delighted to announce that the video for ‘A City Beautiful’ has been nominated for the Edinburgh International Film Festival Short Film Challenge & shall be shown on the Big Screen, which will be a huge thrill for us both.  If you haven’t yet seen it, here’s the link!

Have you heard the one about the Scottish fingerpicking guitarist in the German charts?!  You will soon…..courtesy of DJ Cosmin, a leading Bavarian DJ, an unusual collaboration has lead to a release of ours entitled ‘Reality’ chartGerman_Chartsing in Germany.  Don’t believe me…..here’s the evidence! And you can download the track here.

And last, but not least, those residing in Auld Reekie, or visiting our fine Capital City during the Edinburgh Festival, please come along and see my brand new show, featuring many songs from ‘The Last Car’, fresh, for the first time live!  This is the official link for tickets.

Word has it a certain 1987 Fylde Othello guitar may be making an appearance……..

Hope to see you on the road somewhere soon, thanks as always for checking in.

SK x

 

 

The Last Car‘, my new album is finally here.  12 brand new songs, written through the course of 2014 and recorded once more by Ian McCalman in Lasswade.  Featuring Adam Sutherland on violin and Bob Miller on double bass, I’m confident that this is the best album I have ever done & fans of my work so far will not be disappointed.

An interview about the album will follow soon, conducted by good friend Andrew R Hill of Edinburgh journal Blasted – do keep your eyes peeled for this, it will on both websites in due course.

In the meantime, please do browse my brand new website – all feedback very welcome.

Yours,

SK x

In the intervening years, I always carried Mick’s words with me, yet for one reason or another never made the move to contact him, although I came close to doing so on many occasions. In the interim, I took on jobs I did not enjoy, and spent far too much time with the wrong woman, when I should have in fact been focussing on the music, as Mick had advised I should. In short, I did not feel I had fulfilled the prophecy of his words, or worse still, had even attempted to.

Then, only last month, after more than half a decade as a professional musician, a gentleman named Bernhard Eber who organises a programme of beautiful shows in Gundelfingen, Bavaria, forwarded me a photograph of a billboard in Gunzburg advertising the May programme at the venue. I was delighted to see my own name in the listings (who doesn’t like seeing their name on a billboard?!), but to my astonishment the first name on the listings was Mick Pini – could this really be happening? That I was playing the same venue as this wisened and learned individual from all those years ago?

Far more confident and secure in my own identity as a professional musician, I decided to locate Mick on Facebook, and we became ‘friends’ on this most unlikely forum for hardened roots musicians. The next day, I wrote to him, explaining he would most likely not, nor had he any reason to, remember, our encounter, but that it was of great significance to me, more than that, an inspiration, that his words had become a mantra for me, both as an aspiring and, now a working musician. I was very shocked, in the best of ways, when Mick wrote back, saying he was touched by my message, and that he indeed could not remember the conversation, but was proud to have played a part in my journey and that I should continue resolutely on my musical path.

Despite my best intent to reply, the arrival of both a new car and a new album in the same week meant that I never found the words I wanted to – his words had been so important to me for over a decade, I did not just want to scrape back an apologetic response with little meaning or resonance.

And so, by the time I found myself later that very week en route to Gundelfingen, Bavaria, it was with a heavy heart that I cursed myself for not replying to Mick, and I realised, to my great disappointment, that perhaps I had missed an opportunity to meet with him again.

How wrong I was. As I stepped out of my car, having parked outside the venue, I caught sight of this striking, avuncular figure striding towards me – ‘Simon‘ – he cries. ‘Yes‘, I respond, still not entirely sure who this person was (if it was Mick he was taller than I’d remembered – I’d forgotten I was standing behind a shop counter!). ‘It’s Mick Pini – It’s Mick‘ and he opens his arms as I walk towards him. A huge bear hug ensues, tears surface in my eyes, as I struggle to contain my emotions. He thrusts a cluster of cherished and rare Mick Pini recordings into my hands, to my barely containable delight. ‘If I’ve helped you – if my words have helped you, and you’ve made a career out of music, the least I can do is be here to support you‘, he responds to my amazement that he is here.

Not only was Mick present, but his wife and daughter had also come along to see me perform, rarely have I felt so energised on stage – it was such a pleasure to see this person again after all these years – I’d thought he was just a voice in my head, a mythical voice, that haunted me, to actually be performing in front of him was beyond my comprehension.

After the concert, Mick praised me profusely, further reinforcing my belief that to fulfil his mantra was indeed the correct decision – to receive praise from someone who has lived and breathed music for more than four decades, is worth more to me than the views of any critic or reviewer. Later that evening, I went to visit to Mick in his family home, where he showed me his home studio, played me his latest recordings and of course, his treasued guitar collection, including his infamous ’54 Fender Stratocaster. We talked into the small hours of Freddie King, of John Martyn, of Bob Dylan, of politics and history, of guitars and trains. Yes, trains – Mick possesses an amazing model railway!

I left twice the man I’d arrived, what an experience – how blessed can one man be? Mick Pini – I salute you – an inspiration, a musical genius, and now, after over a decade since our first encounter, a true friend in music.

A beautiful ending to a wonderful story – blues gonna be our way.