Adam Raeburn

Died peacefully at the Margaret Kerr Unit on 17th February 2022

Adam was a local artist who sang and played the guitar & banjo around the pubs and folk  clubs in the Borders, either himself or with other local musicians Donald Knox, Pat Douglas and Andrew Brodie as Carlenjig.

He brought out two CD’s, these were Streets of Anywhere in 1998, and Poachers Moon in 2000.

Allie Fox has been working as a musician for over 20 years, performing in clubs and venues throughout Britain. She also plays in a guitar duo with John Rutherford and is a member of Scottish folk-rock band Eclectic Shock. In addition to her composing and performance work, Allie teaches guitar and runs voice workshops.

Border Folk are a small ceilidh band happy to play locally. We still like to take on gigs for charities and other causes. We presently comprise accordion, guitar, mandolin and concertina playing mainly Scottish and Northumbrian dance sets.

We meet in Stichill Village Hall fortnightly on Friday afternoons and we would welcome new members.

Contact us at

Borders Fiddles

Border Fiddles is a six-piece band performing the traditional and contemporary music of their native Scottish Borders, featuring:

Lori Watson
Shona Mooney
Innes Watson
Rachel Cross
Carly Blain

Sandy Watson

Clarty Cloot Ceilidh Band, for Ceilidh Dancing in the Scottish Borders and Beyond! Clarty Cloot Ceilidh Band
The Clarty Cloot Ceilidh Band plays music that is raw, committed and enthusiastic – for dancing and fun. The band’s signature is the singing sound of fiddles. Add to that the flowing air of flute and whistle and back it up with the rhythm and fill of guitar and bouzouki.

Based in the Scottish Borders, the band has been on the go since the mid-90s and has a reputation which travels from Glasgow and Edinburgh, through the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, into Cumbria and Northumberland, not to mention across the water – in Ireland.The band’s bread and butter is playing for Scottish ceilidh dancing.

With a wide–ranging repertoire and a very experienced caller, our dances are fun and sociable, whether the audience are experienced dancers or are enjoying ceilidh dancing for the first time.

Although we like playing for dances, there is enough variety in the line-up to deal with just about anything – fiddles, guitars, flute and whistles, mandolin and bouzouki, and a wealth of songs.


Fiddlers Leap – Formed originally 20 years ago in Jedburgh. The line up has changed a little over the years and in its present incarnation, both founder members, Ian Anderson ( instruments and vocals) and Gordon Kelly ( Vocals ), are for the first time performing as a duo.

Gordon and Ian have, however, jumped to the challenge and are hard at work with a new program of tunes and songs. A wee move away from the bigger band sound but it gives both a chance to show of their individual talents a bit more.Both have been recently involved in exciting recording projects including the twelve volume CD set “Complete Songs of Robert Burns ” by Linn records, both as singers and musicians. Ians second vocals were featured on Jims Reids recent release “Yont the Tay ” which was nominated for best album at the “Scots Trad Music Awards 2005” and both have been asked to make contributions to the forthcoming “Songs of Robert Tannahill” along with many of Scotland’s favorite musicians and singers.

Prior to becoming a duo, the band completed its second album “Tams Auld Luv Song” recorded at Peirhouse studios in Edinburgh and produced by Dr Fred Freeman who was the driving force behind the Complete songs of Robert Burns series and a rising star in the Scottish Music scene having produced several albums for well known artists and Greentrax records.

The album features the original line up of Ian Anderson on vocals and assorted stringed things. Gordon Kelly on vocals with Jimmy Nagle on Fiddle and Gary Forrest on Accordion with a wee guest spot from Ian Lowthian.

We are in the process of getting a website up and running. In the meantime we can be contacted by email for any inquiries including sale of CD’s.

Hillary Bell Singer, guitar player, was born and brought up near the Border town of Gretna, and now lives in the inspirationally beautiful Yarrow Valley in the Scottish Borders. She is an eminently accomplished singer and player of traditional and contemporary folk music, also member of the Rowan Tree Company theatre group specialising in Borders songs, stories and poems and veteran of many educational projects.

Iain Fraser is a Performer and Teacher. He’s fascinated by the fiddle’s rhythmic and emotional capabilities and draws upon the extensive repertoire of traditional music ranging from 18th Century Scottish tunes to new self-penned compositions and from the multiple regional music styles of the British Isles to those of North America and Europe.

His teaching includes group workshops, helping people young and old pursue their musical dreams as well as making music a fun social experience available to all.  Between 1990-1995 he took on and developed the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop from a small group meeting in his house to a broad range of classes operating in central Glasgow. He’s been actively involved and supportive of the Feisean movement for almost 30 years – primarily with Feis Rois.

He was principal fiddle teacher in the Scottish Music Department of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland between 1995-2005 before being appointed Head of Instrumental Music for the Scottish Borders Education Authority until 2011.

He is now freelance as well as being Music Director at the Merlin Academy of Traditional Music in Melrose, Scotland.  He released “Touchwood” in 2002, he wrote ‘Scottish Fiddle Tunes – 60 Traditional Pieces for Violin” for the Schott World Music Series in 2006 and “Canadian Fiddle Tunes – 60 Traditional Pieces” by the same publisher was released in 2015.  He won the Chorus Community “Passing it on – Educator’s” award in June 2017

Ian Lowthian – hails, originally, from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. He was one of the first accordionists to graduate from the Royal Academy of Music. During his last year at college he met with Catriona Macdonald (Shetland Fiddler). Together they played concerts and festivals in America, Canada, Malaysia and extensively throughout Europe. Their music included Shetland fiddle tunes, Scandinavian and Scottish tunes and much original material.

He has worked with many respected musicians including Mark Knopfler. Ian also joins Ian Bruce and Iain Fraser in the Ian Bruce Band appearing on the CD “Jigs, Jives & Jacobites” and on tour.

He has appeared on a number of other recordings including:

  • Land of Creativity – with Small Hall Band
  • Lassie Wi’ the Lint-White Locks – with Christina Harrison
  • Opus Blue – with Catriona MacDonald

He always puts his accordian skills to full use. He displays his natural gift of knowing exactly what to do and when to do it. That poor machine pumps it’s way through the upbeat numbers until its wilting bellows can take little more. Fortunately, they are soothed back into condition by the mellower, melodic side of his vast musical spectrum. Accurate too.

John Wright


John Wright

He was known as ‘the songwriter’s singer’

John Wright, who has died at the age of 60, was a superb interpreter of contemporary songs in the folk idiom and beyond, and his skill earned him the description “the songwriter’s singer”. He was involved in music throughout his life, but it was only in the last 17 years that he achieved national and international recognition.

John was born in Bournemouth but grew up in Didsbury in suburban Manchester, and his introduction to music was in the church choir alongside his three older brothers. After leaving school, he worked as a sales representative by day and played in rock bands in the evenings.

On an impulse, in 1970 he joined the Household Cavalry mounted regiment, the Life Guards. But by night he could be found crooning in the piano bars of the West End. The Life Guards gave him a love of horses and country living – he particularly enjoyed riding in military pageants at events such as agricultural shows – and when he left the army in 1974 as a lance corporal of horse, he lived first in Derbyshire and then in North Yorkshire, where he worked as an assistant shepherd. Moving to north Northumberland, and then across the border to the Newcastleton and Hawick area, he learned his hill shepherding skills from an older generation.

John’s enthusiasm for folk music stemmed from his time in the army. His first traditional song, The Kerry Recruit, was different in style from the Sinatra ballads of the piano bars, but he adapted easily and found he preferred this unaccompanied, more rooted repertoire.

But for more than 10 years he immersed himself in his life as a border shepherd, and it was only when the postman heard him singing around the farm that he was invited to a local ceilidh, where the quality of his voice had an immediate effect. For several years, however, he sang largely at community events such as shepherds’ suppers.

In 1990, with the proceeds from the sale of a horse, John funded the recording of a cassette of his unaccompanied traditional songs, Border Crossings. He ordered just 200 copies for friends and family, but an advert in the local paper led to him selling out in just three days. Another batch went the same way and, in total, about 3,500 copies were sold.

For his next recording, he teamed up with local folk guitarist Kenny Spiers. Paul and Linda Adams of Cumbria-based Fellside Records were impressed by his singing, and in 1993 they released his first CD, Ride the Rolling Sky, with Kenny on guitar and Wattie Robson on fiddle. When an agent in the Netherlands asked them to do a tour there at short notice, these three musicians became the John Wright Band.

By the time the band recorded its next album, Robson had left, to be replaced by young fiddle player Stewart Hardy. This album, The Things We’ve Handed Down, illustrated John’s gradual movement away from traditional folk songs towards more contemporary material. After a third album for Fellside, he switched to the Greentrax label, releasing three CDs in two years. With the album A Few Short Lines (2000), he returned temporarily to his traditional repertoire. A further eight albums followed, at least one a year, plus a DVD. As a performer, John was a superb communicator, with considerable ability to tell the story of the song. He is survived by his wife Barbara, whom he married in January, two children from his previous marriage and two stepchildren.

· John Wright, singer and shepherd, born June 22 1947; died February 7 2008

Derek Schofield
Thursday March 27, 2008


Kenny Speirs
This is a very old image!
Kenny Speirs was a founder member of the Scottish Borders based John Wright Band – considered to be one of the most popular and successful folk bands in the UK, Holland, Germany and Denmark. February 2002 however, is the start of a new career for Kenny, with the formation of a new band and a solo career. He will concentrate on his band Real Time, in addition to performing as part of a duo and occasionally as a solo performer.Kenny’s career over the years has encompassed a wide and varied range of musical styles – he has from an early age played West Coast, pop / rock and acoustic folk music. Kenny has also carved out a career as a solo performer, singing traditional Scottish songs, many from the beautiful Borders country in which he lives. He has also turned his hand to writing his own songs and instrumentals.

Kieran Halpin

R.I.P 04.06.1955 – 05.10.2020

To date Halpin released 22 CD’s. He was a successful songwriter with many of his songs recorded by other artists and performed in clubs, pubs and concert halls throughout the world. Kieran’s albums are eagerly awaited by fans and media alike and never fail to generate superlatives.

Whilst a Kieran Halpin album is always something to look forward to, few will argue that it is live on stage where Kieran really makes his mark. Passionate, powerful, intimate and intense, he is impossible to ignore.

Kieran’s voice is gravely and he sounds like he’s living every song. He has managed to marry his intelligent and sometimes thought-provoking lyrics with great melodies and his now trademark acoustic guitar sound.


Lori Watson is a fiddle player, singer, researcher and composer. “ FIVE STARS Her vivacious, cleanly articulated fiddling was complemented by silvery, beautifully poised vocals and a wealth of inventive accompanying colours and rhythms.”
Sue Wilson, Scotsman

Lori grew up in the Scottish Borders playing traditional music from a young age. Her work on Borders fiddle playing with key players such as Tom Hughes, Bob Hobkirk, Wattie Robson and Jimmy Nagle has been a driving force in the current resurgence of borders music. Lori is working on a PhD at the RSAMD in Glasgow where she did her degree in Scottish Music.

A BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2002 and 2003 Finalist, Lori has performed extensively throughout Britain and Europe. She has broadcast on radio, television and internet throughout Europe and in the USA. Performing with artists such as Brian McNeill, Aly Bain, Cathal McConnell, Dick Gaughan, Duncan Chisholm, Karine Polwart, The Unusual Suspects and Scottish Women
has solidified Lori’s reputation as a leading traditional musician of her generation.Lori is currently performing with her group Lori Watson Three, a three-piece of fiddle and voice, accordion and guitar. They are available for bookings.For more information please see the website or contact Isle Music Scotland on 01890 830 355.

Matt Seattle – Matt is a leading exponent of the Border piping style. He plays concerts, festivals, folk clubs and also pipes at the Weddings of discerning couples. Solo; with accompanist; Border Directors, Northumberland’s premier ceilidh and concert band; Matt Seattle Band, cutting edge arrangements of Border music old and new; concert programme with String Quartet; workshops and talks on Border piping. Matt is also a long-time fiddler and guitarist and occasionally surprises himself with a song; composing commissions welcome; tuition. Phone 01450 374081 or e-mail.

Real to Reel

For ceilidhs, concerts, weddings and anything that needs good live music…working throughout the North East of England.

Real to Reel work with experienced callers and specialise in traditional Northumbrian music on traditional instruments.

Real to Reel was formed in 1998 and has gone on to become one of Northumberland’s busiest ceilidh bands. The band has played at many venues across the region from stately homes to universities and from castles to St James Park, the home of Newcastle United.

T: 01670 815326 – (Lynn)


E: – (Sue)

Riddell Fiddles – Learn to play the fiddle today, with your local fiddle tutor – Sheila Sapkota.The fiddle has been played traditionally in Scotland over many many years. The current surge in popularity has meant many adults and children seeking to learn traditional music.

Riddell Fiddles aims to allow anybody to learn the fiddle, by providing inexpensive fun-filled lessons for young and old alike. As pupils improve, trips to folk festivals, fiddle concerts and work shops with outstanding fiddle players are organised, in order to appreciate traditional music and the wider culture involved.

Lessons are held in Selkirk. Alternatively private tuition may be offered. email:
for more information.

Shona Mooney Borders Fiddler Shona Mooney is one of Scotland’s leading young traditional musicians. The winner of the 2006 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, Shona began playing music with her parents in the band O’er the Border and has gone on to feature prominently in the acclaimed Borders Young Fiddles and has toured with the Scottish folk orchestra, The Unusual Suspects. As a result of winning the award, she has had the opportunity to record her debut album ‘Heartsease’ for Foot Stompin’ Records which combines traditional Borders material with contemporary self-penned tunes inspired by the Borders landscape, culture and people.

In 2001, Shona set off for Newcastle University to become part of the first intake on the BMus in Folk and Traditional Music. Her tutors included such great fiddlers as Catriona Macdonald, Chris Wood and Aidan O’Rourke and a great deal of her study time was spent researching Borders music. Much of Shona’s repertoire comes from her father’s research into Borders piping and she intends building upon this work by searching out more Borders melodies and interpreting them and integrating them with contemporary influences. Shona then graduated with first-class honours from Newcastle University in 2005 and that same year appeared on a Scottish tour with The Unusual Suspects.

Shona Mooney

Swains’ Kitchen

Swains’ Kitchen is a lively new fiddle band from Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders. The band was formed at the beginning of 2007.

The band plays traditional music from all over the place – Scotland, Northumberland, Ireland, Canada, the USA and more. All five members share a liking for Shetland music so understandably a few sets are included in the repertoire.

Some of the band have been regulars for many years at the Pilot Inn session, held in Berwick every Thursday evening.

Swains’ Kitchen is looking for playing opportunities at concerts, festivals, pubs, hotels, and other events.

(As far as we know) there aren’t any other bands in the area with a line up of fiddles, piano and guitar playing the kind of music we do.

If you are organising a festival or concert and are looking for something a bit different, why not give Swains’ Kitchen a try? For further information contact Graham Dolan on 018907 81411