All enquiries about Dick Gaughan to ...
e: John Barrow
m: +44(0)7968 13 17 37
Dateline Wednesday 20 October 2021
Dick Gaughan is not taking bookings because of health issues. It looks unlikely Dick will return to performing.
In October 2016 an MRI scan confirmed that Dick had had a stroke several months previously.
There have been many warm and kind messages of support for Dick since this news and all have been passed to him.
It isn't possible to respond these messages individually but they are appreciated.
"The only performer to hold the dual honours of a Lifetime Achievement award by BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and induction into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame, Gaughan returns for his annual hometown solo Fringe appearance. 'One of the five or six great voices of our time.' (John Peel). 'How music from the gut really sounds (Guardian). 'Gaughan is absolutely one of the best in the world' (Frets). 'In any style, on any stage, Gaughan is one of folk music's guitar geniuses as well as one of Scotland's finest singers' (Dirty Linen)"
(Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme notes, 2015)
" ... one of the cornerstones of modern traditional music" (Herald).
"One of the most powerful, passionate, accomplished and singular talents to have emerged from post-war Scotland" (Scotsman).
"One of the most coveted and revered voices of recent times" (Rock 'n' Reel).
"Scotland's head and conscience" (Dirty Linen).
DICK GAUGHAN was brought up immersed in the musical traditions and culture of the Gaels, both Scots and Irish, which naturally, therefore, provide the foundation for everything he does.
He has been a professional musician and singer since January 1970 (2015 is his 68th year on the planet), has been playing guitar since the age of seven and made his first solo album in 1971 (No More Forever). Working in the broad milieu of folk music Dick has recorded extensively in many countries and in various combinations with other musicians and has also worked extensively as a session musician in a wide variety of musical styles.
Dick Gaughan was an early member of the Boys of the Lough and is on their first album. He was with the now-legendary Scottish folk-rock band, Five Hand Reel, making three albums with them in the 1970’s. In the 1990’s he founded and produced the short-lived but quite extraordinary ensemble Clan Alba. According to a critics poll in fRoots, he recorded the best album of the 1980's (Handful of Earth: Topic).
So clearly, Dick has been at the cutting edge of Scottish music for almost five decades! Guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor, musical director, composer, arranger, producer, engineer, he's been there, done it. He is a stunning singer with a wonderfully expressive voice belying passion, allied to a dazzling guitar technique; Dick just doesn't deliver gigs which are 'ordinary'.
Well known for his forthright and long-time consistently held, oft-expressed political views Dick has never been attracted by a vogue of consensual, namby-pamby, pragmatic and equivocating politics. Dick gives voice to an uncompromising solidarity with the flotsam and jetsam of tunnel-vision global capitalism: the victims, the helpless, the wronged, the fighters, the brawny working-class bravehearts who made capitalism work (after a fashion). This has a particular resonance today in the early 21st century.
The hideous events in Chile in 1973, when the liberal world lost not only Allende but also the poet and singer Victor Jara, served to underline a young Gaughan's empathy with the oppressed, wherever they may be, and amplified his desire to shout their case from the rooftops. And out of that solidarity, Gaughan burns. There is fire. There is anger. There is cauterising scorn.
In more recent years Dick has composed and arranged music for films and television dramas and his 90-minute orchestral work, Timewaves, was performed as the closing concert at the 2004 Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow. He also had a commissioned orchestral work performed at Celtic Connections in January 2007 called Treaty 300 (three hundred years since the Act of Union between England and Scotland).
Dick Gaughan is a troubadour out there, on the road, taking his songs and music around the world and only making the occasional foray into the recording studio when the urge comes on him. And, in the course of it all, making new friends, new enemies, and influencing people.
Dick has collaborated successfully over the past year or two with Canadian reggae act The Jason Wilson Band (feat. Dave Swarbrick and Pee Wee Ellis) while, at the same time, performing with his own top class (of course!) 7-piece band (feat The Bevvy Sisters) for the occasional gig.
In December 2009 Dick was honoured by being inducted into the Scots Trad Music Hall of Fame. Then, less than two months later in London, he received a Lifetime (not yet!) Achievement Award at BBC Radio 2's annual Folk Awards ceremony. Dick is the only performer to have been so honoured by his musical peers both north and south of the Border. Dick was handed the BBC Radio 2 award by Neil Finn (of Crowded House) who had flown all the way from New Zealand at his own expense to be able to do so! Remarkable.