Guitarist Graeme in running for awards at double with band Talisk

Folk band Talisk are no strangers to awards ceremonies, having picked up a steady stream of silverware since they formed in 2014.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 11:17 am
Jedburgh's Graeme Armstrong, left, in Talisk.

They’ve stacked up several major awards, including 2018’s Belhaven Bursary for Innovation and 2017’s Folk Band of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, plus a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award.

And this year is proving no different with the trio up for Album of the Year, with their second album, Beyond, and Live Act of the Year accolades at the MG Alba Scots Traditional Music Awards.

And for guitarist, Jedburgh’s Graeme Armstrong, the nominatons, annouced this month, are “exciting news”.

He and fellow band members, box player Mohsen Amini and fiddler Hayley Keenan, are up against nine other acts for the best album honour and four others for the live act title.

“We are so pleased and excited to have been nominated for the Trads this year,” Graeme told The Southern. “It’s always a lot of fun. Unfortunately we won’t be attending, but we will be watching from Japan when on tour.

“It’s been an really busy year for us. We started off the year with a great Celtic Connections gig in Glasgow, followed by a UK tour in the spring and a summer of festivals in Europe, the UK and North America.”

Talisk are currently mid way through a 20-date UK tour and are already looking ahead to Japan in December and another state-side tour in March.

Former Howdenburn primary and Jedburgh Grammar schools pupil Graeme started playing guitar aged 12. Taught by Galashiels singer and guitarist Kathy Stewart, he went on to study on the prestigious Folk and Traditional Music course at Newcastle University where, through specialising in performance and composition from the Borders, he achieved an honours degree.

“Kathy was the one that gave me the bug and I really got into traditional music in my later teens,” Graeme added. “I also spent a fair bit of time in the music department at Jedburgh Grammar, although it was when I moved to Glasgow I started taking guitar seriously. The traditional music scene there is amazing.”

Graeme co-founded the award-winning Rachel Hamer Band and has since toured extensively throughout Europe, Middle East and Australia with various folk bands and musicians.

He joined Talisk in 2017 and now lives in Edinburgh, working as a full-time musician.

Dubbed the Oscars of the folk music world, the awards, streamed live on BBC Alba next month, recognise the best of traditional music and song at a televised ceremony each year.

The public can find all the award nominees on the Hands Up For Trad website and vote online via the survey www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/scotstrad2019 up to and on Saturday, November 24.

The award ceremony will be held at Aberdeen Music Hall on Saturday, December 7, where guest and nominees will enjoy performances from Skerryvore, the current BBC Radio Scotland Young Musician of the year, Benedict Morris, Heisk, Aberdeenshire Youth Band, Kris Drever, Sian and Robyn Stapleton.

Event founder and promoter, Simon Thoumire, said: “As always, the Trad Awards amaze me. It shows the strength of the scene, breadth of talent and sheer scale of the industry.

“We are really excited to announce two new awards this year, each with important recognition; The Trad Video of The Year and Musician of The Year.”