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Shetland Arts is pleased to announce that it will present Shetland Roots, a night of country music in Mareel on Friday 13 June, starring the Sheila Henderson Band, May & Mackie with Rhonda, Alison Kay Ramsay (with Brian and May), and Megan Nisbet and Lauren Johnson.

Sheila Henderson, of the Sheila Henderson Band, said: “I’m delighted that the Sheila Henderson Band has been asked to be involved in this country themed night in Mareel. Country music has always been very popular with Shetland audiences, so it’s great to dedicate a whole night in Mareel to that genre. As well as performing myself, I’m really looking forward to hearing May, Mackie and Rhonda and also the lovely Alison Kay, and for anyone who hasn’t heard the Shetland’s Got Talent winners, Megan Nisbet and Lauren Johnson sing, this is your chance! I think they are very excited at the thought of playing with my band, which reminds of my excitement as a youngster at getting the chance to play with the Country Club Band and also being given a chance to play by the late, Jackie Sinclair.”

Whether solo acoustic, or with her band, Sheila is a diminutive, musical tour-de-force. She has made her mark on the national country scene through appearances at the Wembley Country Music Festival and the Big Big Country Festival, as well as a number of appearances in the UK and Norway. Her band is a who's who of top quality Shetland contemporary music, including excellent guitarist Brian Nicholson, bass player Ivor 'Fred' Polson and Gordon Tulloch on drums.

Sheila Henderson

Sheila Henderson. Photo by Davie Gardner.

Sheila added: “Hopefully this night has some of the feel of some of those nights in the Shetland Country Club when it was still open. There was a regular crowd who came on those nights who I hope this gig will appeal to. I’m often told by local people that Shetland bands are more than equals to many of the visiting acts brought up to Shetland, so I’m hoping this gig is well supported and Mareel will do more of the same in the future.”

May & Mackie Sutherland are a husband and wife team who front a driving country band that are equally at home on stage in a Shetland pub, public hall, larger local venues, venues throughout the UK mainland or even in the arena's of Nashville. May is the daughter of the late Thomas Fraser whose remarkable rise to country music prominence many years after his premature death is one of the most remarkable Shetland music stories ever. With May's daughter Rhonda on mandolin and vocals, May & Mackie are about as good as it gets.

Alison Kay Ramsay is the grand niece of Thomas Fraser. She began only a few years ago performing at the Thomas Fraser Festival and since then has increasingly become known around Shetland for the beautiful quality of her voice. Alison is captivating to watch on stage and enjoys singing jazz standards, gospel and blues. She is accompanied by Brian Nicholson on guitar and May Gair on bass.

Megan and Lauren are just 13 and 16 years old respectively. Both from Yell, they recently won Shetland’s Got Talent for their brilliant vocal performance. Known for their excellent harmonising, they’ve been singing together for around 2 years now and originally started performing together regularly after being inspired by Madison Violet. They later sang with Madison Violet at this year's Shetland Folk Festival.

The concert will take place in Mareel’s Main Auditorium and will be seated in a cabaret style with a space for dancing at the front of the stage. Tickets cost £12 and are available via Shetland Box Office from Friday 16 May @ 10am. Early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Booking is via Shetland Box Office at Mareel and/or Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at shetlandboxoffice.org and/or mareel.org.

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