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From the award-winning Pelicula/BBC TV series, Transatlantic Sessions continue to revisit shared roots and forge new common ground between today’s finest Celtic and Americana musicians.
Fresh from the success of last year’s sold out tour are musical directors fiddle maestro Aly Bain and dobro legend Jerry Douglas, with the ultimate house band who will accompany some very special guests.
Mary Chapin Carpenter
About this year’s lineup
It’s been something of a landmark year for the Transatlantic Sessions, which followed up its longest sellout tour to date, around the UK and Ireland in early 2012, with its first ever performance in the US, a centrepiece of Celtic Connections’ showcase programme at September’s Ryder Cup in Chicago, heralding the contest’s coming to Scotland in 2014.
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter makes her Transatlantic Sessions debut following the release of her twelfth studio album, Ashes And Roses. Over the course of her career, Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards (with 15 nominations) and has sold over 13 million records.
Creator of a slow-seasoned, richly hybrid sound sometimes dubbed “new world blues”, singer and guitarist Eric Bibb was a natural choice for this year’s line-up, having collaborated on his 2012 release Deeper in the Well not only with the Transatlantic Sessions’ joint musical director Jerry Douglas, but another returning regular, multi-instrumentalist and all-round Southern roots authority Dirk Powell, in whose Louisiana studio Bibb’s album was recorded.
Also here from Stateside are Crooked Still vocalist Aoife O’Donovan, currently winning rapturous plaudits for her solo work, and multi-talented old-time virtuoso Bruce Molsky.
Home-grown guests include the golden-voiced Teddy Thompson, who continues to carve out his own acclaimed style of highly literate, subversively catchy roots-pop, and bewitching Scottish folk singer and songwriter Emily Smith.
Douglas’s co-director Aly Bain helms the customary all-star house band, also featuring Phil Cunningham, Danny Thompson, Russ Barenberg, Michael McGoldrick, John Doyle, John McCusker, James Mackintosh and Donald Shaw.