Paisley-based musician, Evelyn Laurie, released new single Auld Lang Syne, which was in fact played on Paisley Radio on Hogmanay. Selling on Bandcamp in order to raise funds for Help Musicians Scotland, Evelyn is doing her bit to assist with the uncertainty of Scotland’s live music industry. The Fountain caught up with Evelyn to discuss her generosity and the album that Auld Lang Syne will be released upon.

TF: You have a new single out, what has the reception been like to your timely Auld Lang Syne?

Yes, it is part of an album of old Scottish songs that I’m recording and isn’t quite ready yet (due to covid restrictions) but I wanted to release the single on St Andrew’s Day as the sentiments seem particularly poignant this (last) year. It’s about nostalgia and goodbyes – we all wanted to say goodbye to 2020! And we could all surely use a cup of kindness now.

It’s beautifully arranged to the original tune that Burns set his words to and I’m accompanied by the wonderful playing of Euan Stevenson.

It’s been very well received and had a lot of radio play with several stations, including Paisley Radio, choosing to play it at midnight on Hogmanay.

The biggest honour though is that the World Federation of Burns Societies, representing over 250 Burns societies across the globe, will be playing it at the end of their zoomed Burns supper in January.

TF: And you are offering the money made to Help Musicians Scotland, they must be pleased with that?

A lot of musicians have been struggling, losing their livelihoods, with live performances being virtually wiped out. I wanted to do a little bit to help. Yes, the charity is pleased but I wish I could do more!

Given that this is now “Burns month”, I’m keeping it available for sale till end of January on Bandcamp with proceeds going to the charity.

TF: What is your plan for 2021, after this release?

As I mentioned, the track is part of an album of lovely 18th and 19th century Scottish songs, reinvented and given a contemporary spin, including some by Paisley’s own poet, Robert Tannahill. There are also a couple of originals.

I hope to get it finished soon and released. I will then be launching it at a gig in late April, hopefully with a live audience but, if not, then filmed and streamed.

Called, My Scottish Heart, I think it will appeal to a wide audience, including the worldwide Scottish diaspora. It’s an exciting project with some great tracks and, of course, top class musicians. We’re all proud of it.

TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?

It’s always good to play in my home town of Paisley and, in fact, I premiered a lot of the tunes from My Scottish Heart at a gig in Brew Cafe, as part of the inaugural Tannahill Arts Festival in 2019.

The album launch will be in Paisley too which will be great. I hope, though, to get the chance to perform the songs abroad. Fingers crossed!