Emily Smith Brings Her Scottish Folk to the States
Celtic music of all varieties has peaked my interest for many years now. Among the books I’ve read of Celtic yore are by the author Stephen R. Lawhead. The Pendragon Series, was my favorite for its intriguing spiritual conflict and victory. Most of these tales take place in Wales or Ireland with some adventures in the land of the Scots. The gentle and beautiful tapestry that Emily Smith paints with her multifaceted palate of musical colors and textures, makes the land and the people of Scotland real to this forlorn pilgrim. The strange thing is, my path is leading to the lands of the Celts, with its mystery and terrible beauty and not to my Iberian homeland, where my forebears once called home.
Dumfries & Galloway’s EMILY SMITH is one of the leading singers of the contemporary Scottish folk scene. Her powerful, clear vocals have gained her award winning, worldwide recognition. As a songwriter Emily has been likened to ‘a Scottish Joni Mitchell’, but as a passionate collector she is equally adept at presenting fresh and evocative interpretations of traditional songs on her upcoming North American Tour.
Emily’s childhood was spent dancing to music, rather than performing it, in her mother’s dance school. She grew up assuming everyone knew how to do a highland fling and weekends were spent dancing at ceilidhs rather than nightclubs. Aged seven she started out on piano, moved onto snare drum in the local pipe band and subsequently found a passion for piano accordion, where at the age of eighteen she was National Mod champion. But it wasn’t until a solo with the school choir in her late teens that Emily discovered her singing voice. She moved to Glasgow in 1999 where she gained an Honours degree in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. With principal study of Scots Song, she also studied accordion and piano.
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