Alastair McDonald, firmly regarded as one of Scotland’s leading musical minstrels, is starring in a musical tribute to his friend and mentor Morris Blythman (1919-1981), aka the poet and songwriter ‘Thurso Berwick’, at the Scottish Storytelling Centre (Netherbow Theatre), Edinburgh, Monday November 14th 2016 at 7.30pm.
In addition to his innumerable television, radio and stage appearances world wide, Alastair is a prolific recording artist with a vast repertoire of traditional, contemporary and original material. In 1973 he was invited to co-host a new TV show of Scottish music entitled Songs of Scotland. After only a few screenings, the viewing public responded so positively that the series continued year upon year, taking Alastair’s music into plays, variety shows and folk clubs throughout Scotland – and round the world.
He has worked with and/or appeared alongside established theatre figures such as Jimmy Logan, Calum Kennedy, John Cairney, Russell Hunter, Alex Norton et al, as well as working with comrades-in-arms in the world of “folk” such as Josh McRae, Dominic Behan, Morris Blythman, Matt McGinn, Billy Connolly, Hamish Imlach, The Stewarts of Blair et al.
Alastair says: “Morris Blythman was easily one of the best human beings I have been privileged to work with and learn from. He mentored me through my early career, even the TV “tartan” shows I was asked to perform on when the ‘folk police’ were sniping at me!
“He was an influence on so many folksingers like Robin Hall and Jimmie McGregor, Jim McLean, Nigel Denver, Hamish Imlach, Matt McGinn, Ewan McVicar, Rae and Archie Fisher, Susan and Jimmy Ross, Josh McRae – the list could go on and on! – That I would say he was perhaps the most significant powerhouse of the ‘Folk Revival’ in Scotland.
“It will be both an immense pleasure and privilege to sing from the Blythman repertoire of “Sangs o’ the Stane” and the Ding Dong Dollar ballads recorded by the New York label Folkways and to gi’e it laldie with his comic and satiric compositions like “The Scottish Breakaway”, “Lucky Wee Prince Chairlie”, “Sky High Joe”, “The Glesca Eskimos”, “The Eskimo Republic” and “Perfervidum Ingenium Scotorum”.”
From Thurso to Berwick: a Celebration of Morris Blythman has been scripted by the playwright Raymond Ross who, with Corinne Harris, will appear alongside Alastair, speaking some of the poems and telling a few tales along the way.
A Theatre Objektiv production in association with The Carrying Stream Festival.
Tickets: £10.00 (£8.00)
Box Office: 0131 556 9579
Scottish Storytelling Centre 43-45 High Street Edinburgh