Salt and Light #24

Love to you from Celtic Connections

Celtic Connections 2023!

The first time I visited Glasgow was in 2003 hosting journalists for a travel company I was working for. I ventured out to a small underground music venue called the ‘Cellar Bar’ and a singer I hadn’t heard of before was performing. It was Kate Rusby. I was already familiar with the music of Glaswegian singer Eddi Reader, so I asked at the box office if she was similar. The woman on the door said ‘Well you’re in luck. Eddi is here tonight and they’re singing a duet.’ It’s serendipitous moments like this that have continued to inspire me and fuel my own journey as a folk singer.

A few nights ago I saw Kate and Eddi sing together at the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall, to an audience of 2,500 for the finale of Celtic Connections Annual Festival. Kate was celebrating her 30th year of touring and Eddi Reader was her guest, aswell as Beth Neilsen Chapman and Sierra Hull from Nashville.

I spent four days at the conference, meeting people in the music industry from all the over the world, and hearing new music and seeing old friends. Courtesy of Vic King, Vaguely Sunny, my agent from the Isle of Wight, this was my tenth year of going and was by far the most productive and feel-good conference I’ve attended. After the pandemic there seemed to be more interest and a new sense of enthusiasm to get the show back on the road!

Exhibiting at The Trade Fair with cellist Juliette Lemoine and Gail Cooke of Laughing Dog Music

The first night Mary Chapin Carpenter, performed with Robert Vincent, who I double billed with in London a few weeks ago, along with Julie Fowlis, and Karine Polwart. It was a sold out show at the Theatre Royal. Mary Chapin’s ‘Travellers Prayer’ was beautiful, as was hearing all the performers voices together. The following evening I went to see Cara Dillon, who showcased her new poems and songs, with her husband and pianist Sam Lakeman, a cellist and a piper! Staying in the West End of Glasgow I travelled in and out of the centre by Scottish rail, and only got on the wrong train once!


Shrewsbury: I’ll be singing solo and with a choir at Shrewsbury Abbey for the ‘Children’s Voices Across Shropshire’ concert on March 17th, in aid of teenage and children’s counselling service, Crane. It was great to be asked to do this by the governor of HMP Featherstone Prison, who is Chairman of the organisation.

Yarpole: Tickets are now on sale for my forthcoming concert at St Leonard’s Church in Yarpole on April 22nd. I’ll be accompanied by Martin Riley on piano, and a special young Swedish violinist who will be guesting on a few songs!


Here’s my latest Facebook post of my recent adventure in London, singing at Green Note Cafe with Robert Vincent and meeting the cast of Strictly Come Dancing. You’ll find a reel of our duet on there too! Thanks to everyone who showed up and made it a sell-out gig.


I’m enjoying a new term studying Ministry with the Hereford Diocese exploring wisdom in the Psalms. I sang my new song based on Psalm 149 at the concert last month in London and I’m feeling inspired to write more. Tonight we’re studying Genesis and the book of Daniel ‘The Handwriting on the Wall’ one of the most mysterious passages in the bible.

I’m excited to be starting a new job this month as a relief support worker for Vision Homes helping people who are visually impaired and who have learning difficulties to live independently. I’m wondering if it was a coincidence that at the Kate Rusby concert in Scotland the random person who bought my spare ticket for the show at the box office was an eye doctor who has invented a solar powered device to detect vision problems for people living in third world countries. His main research was in Uganda and Tanzania! Our local vicar says coincidences do happen, but notice how they happen even more when you pray.


It was a great honour to be included on a Spotify playlist of Awesome UK women artists. Thank you singer-songwriter, Annie Dressner who added my song ‘Anam Cara’ to this list. Lovely to be among artists such as Laura Marling and The Staves.


It was a beautiful occasion singing for a celebration of LOVE for a funeral last week, where the emphasis was on the happy life of an elderly women who died shortly after her husband. I was joined by Martin Riley and Julian Smith on saxophone. The funeral wake was musically themed and on every table a reminder to guests to love fully in life, and do what you can, while you can.


Here is a list of some of the artists I met and discovered at Showcase Scotland this week in Glasgow, including Beth Malcom who performed a song about Mary Queen of Scots! Listen below!

Chloe Matharu – harpist

Juliette Lemoine – cellist

Malin Makes Music – piper

Ryan Young – violinist

Beth Malcolm -singer-songwriter

Lucy Farrell -singer-songwriter

And here’s a love song to close this month’s letter. Eddi Reader singing one of the finest; ‘My love is like a red, red rose,’ words by Robert Burns


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Happy Valentines!

With love,