Hands Up for Trad, the organising body of MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, recently announced the artists and bands shortlisted for 2019’s prestigious awards, and the Tannahill Weavers are one of them, up for Scottish Folk Band of the Year. The band spoke with The Fountain about their nomination and where that stands, as well as their long-standing past.

TF: You are up for Scottish Folk Band of the Year, that’s exciting?

Very exciting, we value the Scottish awards very much as it’s our home!

TF: And how do you view the Scottish MG Alba Trad Awards, have you been on the shortlist before?

We’ve been made members of their Traditional Music Hall of Fame, and were on the shortlist for Scottish Folk Band of the Year a few years ago – also our new album Òrach was on the longlist for Album of the Year.  The MG Alba Trad Awards are the most respected Scottish music awards within the industry. We also won the Scotstar award in the 70s from the Scottish record industry. In the 90s we won an Indie award in the the US for our Album Capernaum.

TF: And can you tell us more about the Tannahill Weavers, I take it you are Paisley based, but how long have you been recording and performing for etc?

Believe it or not, the band will be 52 years old next year! Born of a session in Paisley in 1968, and named for the town’s historic weaving industry and local poet laureate Robert Tannahill, the group has made an international name for its special brand of Scottish music, blending the beauty of traditional melodies with the power of modern rhythms. The Tannies began to attract attention when members Roy Gullane, Phil Smillie and Hudson Swan added the full-sized highland bagpipes to the on-stage presentations, the first professional Scottish folk group to successfully do so. The combination of powerful pipes, fiddle, and flute along with a driving rhythm section (guitar & bouzouki) presented quite a unique sound, which many bands from around the world have copied. This we take as a real honour to the the Tannies.

TF: And what else is on the cards for the Weavers, no doubt there is more exciting news up your sleeves? 

We’ve got several North American tours planned for 2020, as well as a couple of UK tours and a European tour. In 2021 we’re planning to tour Japan and Australia, as well as Hawaii, for the first time, so we’re very excited about that. We also plan to record another album next year, which will our 20th – all good and still firing on all cylinders!