So who's the Catskinners then?

The Catskinners are a folk band from Glasgow who perform a variety of material from the tradition and contemporary sources, as well as original songs written by John McCreadie.

Working on the principle that there is more than one way to perform a song, (hence the name) we have a flexible and adaptable approach to the music where, (depending upon the venue) we can alternate between big orchestral sounding arrangements to intimate moments where we and the audience become close confidantes. We’re able to adapt the complexity of how we present each show to best fit the performance space.

We cover a huge range of styles, including jazz/folk fusion, blues, shanties, traditional ballads, Americana and English chanson using acoustic and electric guitars, various drums and other percussion, concertina, melodeon, harmonicas, and a Roland guitar synthesiser which lets Kenny Caird conjure everything from piano to saxophone to big orchestral backdrops from his guitar.

Similarly we draw our material from a wide range of sources, including the Tradition, Robert Burns, and 20th century writers and poets such as Alistair Hulett, Henry Lawson, and Guy Clark, with a number of John McCreadie’s own songs peppered through the mix.

The current line up is:

John McCreadie: Guitarist, Singer, and Songwriter. Formerly of Diggery Venn, Radical Road, and the Govan Spoonful, and an established solo performer and festival compère, John’s involvement with Scottish folk music spans several decades.
He has a considerable reputation as a songwriter, and his songs have been covered by some of Scotland’s great singers such as Arthur Johnstone, (Doomsday In The Afternoon), and Sheena Wellington (Where Are You Now My Son?)

Kenny Caird: Multi-instrumentalist and Singer. Kenny plays acoustic and electric guitars, guitar synthesiser, chromatic and octave harmonicas, anglo concertina, and button accordion.
With a background in blues rock, Kenny came to the folk scene in the early 1980s after hearing a Dick Gaughan record and deciding he wanted to be part of this music. His use of synthesisers and electric guitars bring a certain unorthodoxy to some of the Catskinners performance.

Trish Caird: Percussionist and Singer. A relative newcomer to the world of performance, Trish has developed her skills at various singers’ sessions around Glasgow before joining forces with Kenny and John. Her percussion playing occasionally raises eyebrows among the traditionalists of the ethnic drum because of her love of using domestic utensils such as pastry brushes as drumsticks. Trish’s attitude is “If it works, why not?”

Book the Catskinners for your club or festival!

For bookings or any other queries:

Ken: 07570829683
John: 07796005934

Listen at our Reverbnation Page and become a fan!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

2nd Annual Lowe Syndrome Fundraiser Saturday 5th September

Oh No! Three and a half MONTHS since I last updated this blog!!!!!

Summer's been and gone and we've been spotting and sessioning around as usual, and doing wee bits and pieces for the album.

We've also been arranging the second fundraiser for the Lowe Syndrome Association , this time at the Georgian Hotel in Coatbridge on Saturday 5th September.

People are queueing up to take part in this event.

On the bill so far are:

The Catskinners
Clark & King
Claire & Gavin Livingston (The Icing)
David Stevenson - Scottish songwriter based in Cambridge

We're also hoping to see Gifford Lind and the gang from Dunfermline Folk Club who put so much into arranging and performing in last year's concert at Dunfermline Athletic's stadium.

Lorna can't make it as she's stuck in Canada.

We're doing the gig this year in collaboration with Coatbridge Rotary Club and Intimate Gigs

Tickets available on the door £8/£6(concs)

Kickoff around 8pm.

It'll be a good show. Come and join us.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Catskinners on Celtic Music Radio from the Oran Mor

After the fun we had with Lorna on CMR the other week, they've asked the Catskinners back in to do the 10 am slot at the Oran Mor on Saturday 23rd May (that's tomorrow).

Jim King and Steven Clark are scheduled to go on at 11, but we'll probably end up sitting in with each other.

Choon in and listen.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

What's been happening this month?


The Lorna Lavelle Band did the opener at the Star Club on the 16th April. Lorna was jetlagged all to hell, but the professionalism was all there.

Then there was Jim King and Steven Clark's album launch onthe 24th.

I recorded them at the Star Folk Club early in 2008 and we finally got the editing finished and the album released.

It's called "Tougher Than Suet". Find out more here and here and here, and it's a damn fine record.

The launch was in Dows in Queen Street and we had a rather spiffy session after it.

People travelled from all over the world and Shawlands to be there.

Here's Jim and Steve looking performy.

Then the Lorna Lavelle Band had a live broadcast spot on Celtic Music Radio from the Oran Mor on the 2nd May. Here's John and me tuning up in the empty bar.

They recorded it and put it out on their listen again feature. The sound is a bit iffy because they had some techy problems.

After the Oran Mor we were all off down to Girvan for the Folk Festival, which was good fun this year. We managed to find a session in the Hamilton Arms with a bunch of good musicians and singers, then over to the Roxy for sunset in the beer garden where we got in tow with John Morrison the Silver Fox for a tune or two.

The Roxy session didn't last long because it was getting too cold to play - but it was a laugh anyway.

9th May was the Moniaive Festival, and we joined the Babbitty Bowster session musicians on the charabanc down to the Borders.

We spen the day in a six and a half hour megasession in the Craigdarroch which has since been described as the best afternoon session anywhere, ever, so it must have been good. We were in the middle of it and we had a great time. Thank you Moniave.

Here's Lorna having a great time.

On the way back up the road we had a session on the bus..

Tricia had thoughtfully packed a bottle of whisky which helped smooth the journey back to Babbitty's. We all piled in there and had yet another session.

Lorna went back to Canada the day after Moniaive. We did record a couple of tracks with her which I'll post later.

Check out her myspace

More later.


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Lorna Lavelle Band at the Star Club Thursday 16th April

Lorna gets off the plane from Canada mid afternoon Thursday.

8 PM she will be on stage with us for the opening spot at the Star.

It's a few months since we all played together.

Och well. We're troupers.

More details after the show.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

New album "Feline Our Way" on the cooker and nice pics from the Star Club

John and I spent the last week cloistered up in the studio laying tracks for a new album to be called "Feline Our Way".

It's a while from completion yet. We need to add some more instrumental parts and re-record the odd bum performance once we've had a good listen to the roughs. There's ten tracks almost completed so far with another four planned, and it'll be a mix of John's own songs and songs from the tradition that we've "skinnered".

Some of it'll have the folk polis apoplectic!

The Star Club floor spot went well last Thursday. We tried out some new stuff that we're putting on the CD and people seemed to like it.

Catskinners skinnering.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Star Folk Club Thursday 19th March

We're helping out our old pals at the Star Folk Club on Thursday 19th March by doing the opening spot for Steve Turner.

John and I are working on some new stuff and some of that will be geting its first outing that night.

They used to call this floor spotting when I were a lad. It's a good opportunity to try out new stuff in front of an audience, and for young acts it can be good for a bit of exposure and experience.

But it seems it's not a floor spot any more. No sirree. If you believe some of the minor acts around the scene it's "Playing Support", so I suppose we're supporting Steve Turner.

Anyway, whatever you want to call it, Steve's a top notch act and well worth going to see.

The big bonus of course is that you get half an hour of the wonderful Catskinners to kick the evening off so get there early!!!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A night at Sammy's Monday 2nd March

We did the musical spot at the Southside Writers' at Sammy Dow's bar on Monday night.
The writers meet monthly and there's always a lot of entertaining poetry on offer. We had a great time and a few good laughs.

The MC at Sammys is Gail, who up until a while ago was Ian. This was the first time we'd met Gail since she officially became a woman. I think from that picture John's applied a wee bit of lippy as a gesture of solidarity. It looks good on him dontcha think?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

New Audio Files from rehearsals.

John and I were kicking some songs around on Sunday with the 16 track recorder hooked up.

These need to be tidied up a bit but they'll give you an idea where we are just now.

All of these are recorded in a single take with no overdubs.

Which Side Are You On? Written by Florence Reese in the 1930s, this is one of the songs from the Wobblies show. It's missing Tricia's driving drum. She had to call off through illness.

Joshua Gone Barbados Written by Eric VonSchmidt, another song from the Wobblies show, and we did it in the Johnny Cash show too since JC recorded it once. We used to do this with concertina, guitar and voice, but after fidding with it for a while we decided on the broken down drawbar organ sound which, I think, adds a kind of island feel to it.

Empty Pocket Blues An old Incredible String Band song. A jolly wee bluesy thing.

More soon.


Monday, 19 January 2009

Well That Was The Wobbly concert

After a bit of a logistical nightmare we got this show on to the stage last night and started more or less on time.

Someone called MickStubbles was kind enough to write this about us on Footstompin:

A most uplifting night! It took me back to my younger days when you started to feel that songs and shared experiences could help to change the world. It is sad that (in my case at least) the optimism of youth fades away with the years - but as last night showed the flame can quickly be rekindled.

I have always been interested in the IWW, especially the background to its formation in 1905 and the role of outstanding personalities like Eugene Debs; and it was good to have a representative from the Clydeside branch of IWW at the concert to tell us about current IWW activities. The Catskinners managed to include a whole bundle of great songs of protest, social and political comment, reminders of industrial hardship and mining tragedy, etc. which I had forgotten I knew but found myself singing along with.

Congratulations to Jim McKenna and co. for putting on the show - and for the whole fortnight of the Songwright Festival.

We could have done with more of an audience, but since it was January, freezing rain outside, Glasgow on a Sunday evening, when the public transport's almost non-existent, and whatever was on at Celtic connections last night, we did alright.

Thanks to Jim McKenna and Eric Grant for hosting the show and Jim King for compering.

I'll post some sound files if what we caught on the field recorder was any good.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Wobly Concert firming up.

Eric and Jim from the Glasgow Festival of Songwriting have been busy setting up for this year's event.

Our Wobblies concert in Dow's in Dundas Street on Sunday 18th is part of the festival.

We checked the venue out last night and it's a good room - if they can find the light switch!

The line up for Sunday will be.

Ken, John, Trish Caird, Steven Clark, and Dave Featherstone

Compere will be Jim King who will do a couple of songs with us, and all being well we'll have a special guest appearance from Roisin Caird too.

The playlist and narrative are taking shape and we were sounding damn good at rehearsals last night, even if I do say it myself.

Looking forward to Sunday.

Hope to see you there.