The “Tradition Bearers” Concert celebrates the variety and richness of traditional song across the UK and sometimes further afield. Generally the singing is unaccompanied and the range of songs and styles showcases the diversity of the singer’s influences and sources.
This year’s guests are:
Elizabeth Stewart, singer, pianist, composer and storyteller, was born in 1939 in a croft in “the Dukker” – Duke Street in Fetterangus, one of four children in a “settled” traveller family in which the women in particular were doughty characters and vital tradition-bearers. Her mother, Jean Stewart, was a trained musician, teacher and a household name in Aberdeenshire as an accordionist and dance band leader who broadcast with the BBC, and while all the family were steeped in balladry and lore, her aunt, Lucy Stewart, possessed a particularly rich store. For the best part of six decades, she has championed and perpetuated the vibrant store of song, music and lore nurtured by her traveller family over generations.
Di Henderson, originally from Tyneside but now hailing from Teesside, picked about the hardest part of the folk scene to break into the male bastion of the traditional unaccompanied folk song. She has a rich powerful and yet flexible voice and puts passion and commitment into her singing. Her songs are taken from both traditional and the best of newer writers. They cover a range of subjects like pathos, humour, drinking, love, feminism and not to mention the occasional bawdiness.
We are delighted to have Stuart Carolan with us this year, one of the new generation of traditional singers from Ireland. Following in the footsteps of his grandmother, Mary Ann Carolan who was a renowned performer of ballads and songs in the style and tradition of Co. Louth, he has now gained a solid reputation in his own right.
Geordie Murison has been the host of the Tradition Bearers concert at Stonehaven for many years, now he gets a chance to be one of our own Tradition Bearers. He was born and brought up on a farm at Fetteresso just outside Stonehaven, his father having moved there in 1935 from a farm in Buchan. A chance meeting with Jim Taylor, Tam Reid's nephew, in 1997, led to Geordie attending Aberdeen Branch TMSA sessions. There he met Tam and Anne Reid who encouraged him to enter competitions at festivals. This led to him being invited to festivals all over the country including London, Dorset, Dublin and Whitby as well as in Scotland. In February 2008 he won the Elgin Rotary Club's champion of champions Bothy Ballad competition and has since competed taken part every year. He has recently finished recording a CD of Both Ballads as part of the Living Tradition’s magazines Tradition Bearers series.