About the Tradition Bearers

Traditional Song, music and singers from Scotland, Ireland and England

The Tradition Bearers aims to bring to the fore the role of the current generation of traditional singers and musicians in our musical heritage.

At the core of our recordings we have an important series of recordings of folk songs and ballads from Scotland. Our recordings from Ireland and England are less comprehensive – but we have made a start! Although we have produced a series of recordings, ‘The Tradition Bearers’ is about much more than recordings. Part of our work is to point out to the world, and to some extent to the singers themselves, that they are part of a living tradition and that they are no less a traditional musician than those in the past.

It is now no longer possible to listen to some of the great traditional singers from Scotland’s past, people like Jeannie Robertson, Willie Scott or Lizzie Higgins, other than on recordings. Whilst these recordings convey something of their art they can never quite capture the spirit and presence that these great singers had in a live performance.

However by listening to current masters of their art in live performance, it is possible both to gain a deeper impression and understanding of some of the great singers of the past, together with the experience of listening to a present day masters of traditional music. Be prepared for the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end – that frisson which tells you that you are experiencing something really special. In every case it is not just the singer but also the songs which are special. For these singers, the songs come first, the key perhaps to why they are held in such high regard. If you are interested in traditional song from Scotland, Ireland and England, this site is a good place to start.

“..Isn’t it strange that most artists are only really valued after they are dead!..”