Two of Scotland's foremost folk singers, Mercury Prize-nominated King Creosote and Orcadian Kris Drever, have been signed up to play in Mareel early next year. They are among the first names to be brought to Shetland by new music promotions outfit Ragged Wood.
Set up by Lerwick-based couple Neil and Kelly Riddell, Ragged Wood has put in place an agreement with Shetland Arts to stage a series of singer-songwriter dates at the North Ness waterfront venue in 2013.
Kris, the son of popular Orcadian songwriter Ivan Drever, will be joined by his regular Irish sidekick Éamonn Coyne and highly-rated fiddler and harmonist Megan Henderson for a concert on Friday 8th February.
They will be performing numbers from Kris and Éamonn's brand new album Storymap, due for release four days earlier, along with selections from Kris' back catalogue and songs from the trio's five-track EP. The Kris Drever Trio will be supported on the night by Vair, one of the brightest new additions to the Shetland folk scene.
Kris and Éamonn previously played before a 200-strong audience at Sound Hall in early 2011. Kris is also part of adventurous folk trio LAU, who won plaudits in November for their outstanding performance on the BBC's Later With Jools Holland series. LAU also went down a storm at the Shetland Folk Festival back in 2010.
Kris and ÉamonnKing Creosote, aka Kenny Anderson, is part of the Fife-based Fence Collective label and is one of the most highly-regarded songwriters in Scottish folk circles. Anderson visited Shetland three times in the early 1990s as part of the Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra.
His collaboration album with Jon Hopkins, Diamond Mine, was nominated for the 2011 Mercury Music Prize. Performing as part of a duo, he will take to the Mareel stage on Tuesday 9th April
He has released over forty solo albums and is also a member of Scottish-Canadian band The Burns Unit. His other LP releases include KC Rules OK, Bombshell and Flick the Vs, while this year the prolific musician has issued a trio of four-track EPs. Local support is to be confirmed.
King CreosoteRagged Wood, which previously staged the successful Devon Sproule concert at the Garrison Theatre in August, is a not-for-profit organisation. Its focus will be primarily, though not exclusively, on acts with a folk, country or Americana hue, and any financial surplus will be reinvested in organising future concerts.
"We are really chuffed to be bringing Kris back to the Shetland stage, and equally excited to be welcoming Kenny here as a solo artist for the first time," Neil said. "If there proves to be sufficient demand for this type of concert, we envisage putting on up to half a dozen events over the course of next year.
"Although it is early days, initial signs from speaking to agents and musicians are that having a world-class music venue with a truly outstanding sound system will help to increase Shetland's attractiveness to visiting artists."
In addition to bringing singers north to perform, Ragged Wood hopes to provide a showcase for the wealth of talented local musicians and singers - in particular some of those who have performed at open mic singer-songwriter nights in Islesburgh, organised by Sheila Duncan - to play in a more formal concert setting.
Shetland Arts Marketing Officer Lisa Ward said: "We're delighted to work with Ragged Wood Promotions to welcome such a fantastic line-up of visiting singer-songwriters to Mareel in 2013. It's a perfect way to start the New Year!"
Tickets for both gigs are on sale now via Shetland Box Office in Mareel & Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online here and here. Doors open for both concerts at 7pm, with the show starting at 7.30pm. Kris Drever Trio tickets are priced £15, or £12.50 for concessions. All tickets for King Creosote cost £12.50.