Borders folk veteran to bring his expertise to St Boswells

River City head shots''Photographs by Alan Peebles.
River City head shots''Photographs by Alan Peebles.
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FOUNTAINHALL’S Archie Fisher travels to St Boswells Live! this month.

The son of a Gaelic-speaking mother, from Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides, and a father who sang in the City of Glasgow Police Choir, Archie was inspired by the 1950s skiffle boom.

He discovered kindred spirits and role models such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and taught himself to write songs originally through patching up incomplete traditional material.

His first recordings, with his sister Ray and other family members, were followed by his self-titled solo debut in 1968, and Ray and Archie won widespread popularity with their TV appearances, singing topical songs on the current-affairs magazine show Here and Now.

As a guitarist, Archie – along with Martin Carthy and Davey Graham – was among the earliest steel-string players in British folk music.

The range of his talents has led to collaborations with Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem, Silly Wizard, Bert Jansch and Tom Paxton, while his specific contribution to the Edinburgh folk scene, which began when he ran the Howff club in the early 1960s, continued during his directorship of the Edinburgh Folk Festival, from 1988 to 1992.

He is well known as the long-time presenter of BBC Radio Scotland’s weekly flagship show Travelling Folk, which he took over in 1983.

He consistently championed the very best of Scottish folk music, mixing support for new artists with a vast knowledge of the genre’s history and international context until he left the show last year.

He will be supported on the night by Angus Gunn, a guitarist and singer from Clovenfords who has played two open mics at St Boswells Live!

The St Boswells Village Hall gig takes place on Friday, August 26, and tickets (£10, £5 under-12s, free for under-fives) are available from St Boswells Post Office or by calling 01835 822692 or email

Doors open at 7.45pm.