Anna Massie & Friends
Biography (Courtesy of the Artist’s site, 2006)
Anna Massie was the winner of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2003 Award. A talented multi-instrumentalist, she excels in playing the fiddle, mandolin and tenor banjo. Though perhaps most impressive is her guitar playing - equally at home either accompanying in her unique rhythmic style or flatpicking tunes, Massie’s dexterity shines through.
She has performed twice at the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton. As well as solo performances, Anna also formed the Anna Massie Band – a trio featuring the impressive guitar and vocal talents of Jenn Butterworth and the outstanding accordion and border pipe playing of Mairearad Green. With performances at Celtic Connections, Shetland, Orkney, Hebridean Celtic and Tønder festivals, this year has seen these talented young women’s careers go from strength to strength.
Highly energetic performances and a warm and friendly stage appearance have earned the band a growing fan base and nominations as “Best Up and Coming Band” at the 2004 Scots Trad Music Awards and the Horizon Award at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
At Celtic Connections last year, Anna’s first commission was performed – her New Voices piece was very well received by critics and audience alike. She also performed a Master and Apprentice gig with guitar whiz John Doyle. This year saw Anna performing with the Karen Matheson Band, Donald Shaw, and many international musicians in Donald Shaw's Harvest.
As well as live performances, Anna is a busy recording artist, with an appearances on Michael McGoldrick’s latest album "Wired" and Troy MacGillivray's "Eleven."
Anna Massie’s debut album – ‘Glad Company,’ is available on Footstompin Records. The CD has been very well received and features her band as well as solo tracks. As well as a highly professional sound, the album has retained a very live feel, and conveys a live performance very well.
Butterworth has always had a love for traditional music. Brought up in Whithorn in Dumfries and Galloway, she began playing fiddle at the age of 10. She soon began borrowing her father’s guitar, and by the age of 14 she was singing and playing in local venues. As she continued to grow as a musician and performer she travelled with her family to many different festivals across the UK delivering workshops, playing as a band and performing solo.
An honours graduate of Strathclyde University’s BA in Applied Music course, Jenn is highly sought after both as an accompanist and a singer.
As a member of the Anna Massie Band, her vocal and rhythmic skills shine.
Last year's Celtic Connections saw her team up with Eddi Reader for a very mature Master and Apprentice concert. Jenn is also a winner of the Danny Kyle Open Stage Award, where she performed with Skye fiddler Sarah Naylor. The duo supported Deaf Shepherd and performed in the Musical Ark.
Jenn Butterworth is definitely a musician to watch out for!
Grew up in Achiltibuie, a small village in the Highlands of Scotland where she made the most of great local sessions. She received regular pipe lessons from PM Norman Gillies and enjoyed occasional accordion tuition through Feis Rois. At just 16 , Mairearad was in the finals of BBC Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year 2001 and she attended the Plockton Music School of Excellence for her final year at school. She has recently attained a BA in French and Marketing from the University of Strathclyde.
Equally talented on the piano accordion and the bagpipes, Mairearad contributes a very energetic and driving sound to the Anna Massie Band.
A keen composer, Mairearad's tunes are rapidly becoming popular session tunes and have been recorded by other bands, such as Canadian band Clan Terra and fellow accordionist Gary Innes. Among the best-known are "Maggie West's Waltz," "Dad's Landrover" and "Dram Behind the Curtain."
Now that Mairearad's studying days are over, we can look forward to hearing much more of her audacious playing.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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