Media Release: 50 years of history in one night!

Archie Fisher guitar photo credit Joy C. Bennett

Back to Blairgowrie Concert

Saturday 27 August, 7.30pm

Blairgowrie Town Hall, Brown Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6EX

FIFTY years ago, a new organisation was born out of one of the first folk festivals in Scotland.

After a successful initial Blairgowrie Folk Festival, in 1966, the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) was formed to continue running the event as well as develop other activity.

This one-off ‘Back to Blairgowrie’ concert features a selection of the people who have made and make the TMSA what it is today.

Performers include singers and musicians – Archie Fisher, Joe Aitken, Sheena Wellington, Kenny Hadden, Davey Stewart, Doris Rougvie, Aileen Carr, Pete Shepheard, Gillian Frame and Simon Thoumire.

Many of the performers come from the local area and were involved in the Blairgowrie and successor festivals. Others represent the progression of the traditional music and song. The TMSA invites folk to come and celebrate their birthday where it all began!

Tickets £10 (for TMSA members £8). For more details or to book visit:

This concert is supported in memory of Ian (Jock) Hunter.

Notes to editors:

For more press information including photos, contact: Alison Mackinnon tel: 07746 417 747

  • The TMSA was established in 1966 to promote, present and preserve the traditional music and song heritage of Scotland, and is the country’s oldest individual membership organisation associated with traditional music and song.
  • The Blairgowrie Folk Festival moved to Kinross after a few years and then later to Kirriemuir – where the TMSA Angus Branch runs a festival every first week in September.

Brief performer biographies:

Archie Fisher MBE is a Scottish folk singer and song writer, who has released several solo albums since his first in 1968 and recorded with many other groups and singers, including The Clancy Brothers. He hosted his own radio show – Travelling Folk – on BBC Radio Scotland for almost three decades. Archie is a patron of the TMSA and was at the initial Blairgowrie Folk Festivals.

Dr Sheena Wellington is often best known for her singing of ‘A Man’s A Man For ‘a That’ at the opening ceremony of the first Scottish Parliament. Born in Dundee into a family of singers and factory weavers, Sheena’s repertoire covers everything from Burns to ballads to the best of contemporary songwriting, drawing from the rich Scottish tradition passed from musician to musician through the ages.

Pete Shepheard is a founder and member No.1 of the TMSA. He has continued to be involved with the organisation and other local traditional music activities including the annual Fife Traditional Singing Weekend event. An acknowledged authority on folk song including contacts with the Scottish traveller folk such as the Stewarts of Blairgowrie and Jeannie Robertson’s family in Aberdeen and his enthusiasm as a singer and collector resulted in the creation of Springthyme Records in the 1970s. A fine singer and melodeon player with a wide repertoire, he is well known for his working together with Tom Spiers and Arthur Watson as Shepheard, Spiers & Watson.

Davey Stewart from Kirkcaldy, was a founder member of the TMSA, and is possibly best known for his long-term collaboration with John Watt. Together they brought out the recording, ‘Shores of the Forth’, which included many iconic songs about Fife. Davey is still involved in the Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club.

Joe Aitken is one of the finest exponents of North-east bothy style. He is a retired haulage contractor, one-time berry farmer and a favourite singer at festivals throughout the UK, including of course, his own local Kirriemuir Festival. He picked up his songs from some of the great traditional singers including Jimmy McBeath. He has been a multiple winner of the Champion of Champions Bothy Ballad competition in Elgin and recently featured in Paul Fegan and Aidan Moffat’s film, ‘Where you were meant to be’, with Sheila Stewart.

Kenny Hadden started learning traditional music in the early 1970s when at school in Blairgowrie, with Dougie MacLean among others, teaching himself to play mandolin, guitar and whistle and getting involved in the Aberdeen folk scene. He is a musician, teacher and organiser with several organisations including Aberdeen Folk Club, the TMSA, and most recently as a tutor with the ‘Scottish Culture & Traditions’ group (SC&T), where he currently teaches the flute class. Kenny also DJs on SHMU radio.

Doris Rougvie, from Perthshire, is a popular guest at festivals and folk clubs, with many trophies for traditional singing. She has judged countless singing competitions at TMSA festivals and always encourages young singers. She hosts ‘The House of Song’, at Celtic Connections and was a long-serving committee member of Glenfarg Folk Club, equally at home singing traditional and contemporary material.

Aileen Carr was born and brought up in a musical household in rural Perthshire and she can’t remember a time she didn’t sing. Being at the early Blairgowrie Festivals and later, Kinross, was the catalyst for her lifelong affair with traditional music, through hearing people like Belle Stewart and other tradition bearers.

Gillian Frame is a professional Scottish fiddle player and educator based in Glasgow, Scotland. As a performer she has worked with many acts and was a founding member of the band Back of the Moon with whom she toured for seven years. Gillian also graduated with a BA (Hons) in Scottish Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was the MG BBC Alba Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year in 2001. In 2012, she was awarded Music Tutor of the Year at the Scots Traditional Music Awards. She currently plays with the Fiona Hunter Band and Findlay Napier and works as a peripatetic fiddle teacher for North Ayrshire Council. She is also part of a new project ‘Hunter’s Law’ with Bella Hardy (BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year) and Siobhan Miller (Scots Singer of the Year – MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards)

Simon Thoumire is a concertina player and composer who has been fortunate to perform all over the world. He has made many CDs with fabulous musicians including most recently Ian Carr and David Milligan. Simon has spent the last few years working with Hands Up for Trad! who organise the Scots Trad Music Awards, BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award, Scotland Sings and many other projects designed to promote Scottish music.


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TMSA contact details…

Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07922533915