We have a new fiddle player
We are overjoyed that Eilidh Shaw has agreed to join Shooglenifty. Of course, some of you will have seen her playing with the band already … she lit up the stage at our Night For Angus last January, wowed the audience during a short English tour last May, and brought a spark to the proceedings at our good pal Mattie Foulds’s wedding in September. Best of all she is a West Highland fiddler with a playful, infectious energy who was taught by Aonghas Grant (our Angus’s father).
2017 was a very difficult year for us as we worked on recording projects started with Angus, but obviously missing his physical presence. However, as we get into 2018 and those projects are getting close to completion (more news to come on those soon), we’re feeling a lot more positive. Best of all we’re really looking forward to getting into some serious touring with Eilidh this year and next (see below for some gigs coming up soon). For those of you who’d like to know more about our newest Shoogle, here’s a potted bio to keep you going …
Eilidh Shaw is originally from the Argyllshire village of Taynuilt, where she was the youngest of four in a relentlessly musical family (her older brother is Donald Shaw of Capercaillie and Celtic Connections fame). Throughout her teenage years she played in the family dance band and was introduced to a wealth of west coast musicians, many of whom had gravitated to Edinburgh, and Eilidh soon followed suit – joining the fantastic session scene just as we were getting the band started.
She spent her twenties immersed in the musical melting pot of that time, sharing a flat (and many, many tunes) with none other than Angus R Grant. She joined The Poozies, with whom she still plays, formed eclectic alt-folk band Harem Scarem and prog-ceilidh innovators The Squashy Bag Dance Band, and was involved in a huge number of projects with musicians across the genres.
Although her fiddling style has remained firmly rooted in the West Coast of Scotland she plays regularly with Scandinavian, African, Breton and French musicians. Now living in West Lochaber she teaches fiddle, plays for many local dances and sessions, and runs the annual festival, Fèis na Mara, as well as various other fundraising events.
Interesting fact: as mentioned above Eilidh was taught by Angus’s dad, the legendary left handed fiddler and teacher, Aonghas Grant. Aonghas makes red tassels for the fiddles of his most outstanding pupils. Angus’s sister Fiona tells us that her dad’s first tassel went to Angus, and he made the second for Eilidh …
Our first gigs with Eilidh are at Edinburgh’s Tradfest on Saturday 28 April and the Shetland Folk Festival from 3-6 May. Hope you can join us then. There will be a party (all week long!).
I would like to holiday in Shetland and a party every night appeals
So pleased you have found a fiddle player but also her Lochaber history and connection with Angus Grant
Glad to know that Eilidh was the second recipient of Aonghas Grant’s red tassels! Shoogle on, forever!
Och, that’s just bloomin marvellous!
I can think of no other that could step in and continue making musical joy with you lot.
Great news and best wishes to all for the future. I’m sure Angus would be very happy.