Big 'Backwards' Biography (Courtesy of the Artist’s site, 2005).
• Dougie MacLean embarked on a very successful short solo tour in Denmark in November, which followed hot on the heels of an adventure-filled tour with young Perthshire band Rinwud in the Scottish Hebrides . In the autumn MacLean performed in the USA which included a main stage appearance at the new Festival of the Mabon in Lyons , Colorado as well as concerts (that were all sold out!) in Washington , Ashville, Ann Arbor and Mt Pleasant.
• Dougie MacLean enjoyed great success in August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the 15 th year in succession . His favourite Edinburgh venue The Queen’s Hall was the setting for two quite different concerts…and many MacLean fans from Scotland and all over the world filled the hall for both. On Friday 16 th he performed ‘centre stage & solo’ many of the songs that have helped make his mark ( Cale don ia which was covered by Frankie Miller and gained No 1 in the Scottish charts, and Dolores Keane who took it to No 1 in the Irish charts, Turning Away which featured in the latest Jennifer Lopez film, Ready for the Storm covered by Grammy award winning country singer Kathy Mattea, Broken Wings covered by Mary Black…) as well as songs from his recently released album “Who Am I”.
On Saturday 17 th MacLean was joined by the Perthshire Ensemble, a strings group comprising some of Scotland ’s finest classical musicians from all the main orchestras in Scotland , under the musical direction of cellist and arranger Kevin MacRae. The arrangements of MacLean’s songs with strings have been described as “evocative, lush and memorable”. He was also joined by Celtic musicians (fiddle, percussion, Scottish small and highland pipes, guitar and whistle) who are all expert in their field to perform MacLean’s instrumental composition in 4 movements Perthshire Amber “an irresistible tapestry of tunes, rhythms, instrumental and orchestral colours, harmonies and textures” (Scotsman) .
• Millions of listeners to 3 very different Radio Programmes have enjoyed the music of Dougie MacLean during May 2002. National Public Radio in the USA’s main morning programme Morning Edition , ran a profile of his musical career and featured songs from his new album “ Who Am I” which has been described as “stunningly produced”… “profound yet positive songs for a new millennium”.
Also during April an interview with MacLean, and play of his instrumental album “Perthshire Amber”, were featured in the USA on The Thistle & Shamrock- the celebrated coast-to-coast Celtic music programme produced and presented by Fiona Ritchie …and this same composition, described as “an irresistible tapestry of tunes, instrumental and orchestral colours, harmonies and textures”, was heard in the UK on Radio 3
• To coincide with the release of his long awaited new CD “Who Am I” on Dunkeld Records, Dougie MacLean featured in a unique concert on Thursday 24 th January in the Main Auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of this year’s Celtic Connections Festival. Unique because the concert will be divided into 4 parts with Dougie MacLean performing his internationally acclaimed songs solo and with 3 different musical groups… a 12 piece classical strings ensemble, a 5 piece traditional Celtic band and a 7 piece rock band.
2000 & 2001
• Jennifer Lopez film Angel Eyes and subsequent soundtrack features Dougie MacLean song Turning Away
• New album of songs Who Am I recorded at Old School Studios, Butte rstone
• MacLean Real Music Bar at the Taybank awarded Music Pub of the Year 2000, by the Scottish Licenced Trade Associattion
• Special sell-out performance of “Perthshire Amber” at the Celtic Connections Festival 2000 when Dougie was joined on stage by some of Scotland ’s finest Celtic Musicians and the BT Scottish Ensemble.
• Hugely successful World Tour 200 included places as far flung as Australia , New Zealand and Singapore ; then on to USA , Canada & Cape Breton . 2001 included tours in England , Scotland , USA and Denmark …
• An extremely successful ‘one-off’ solo performance at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh as part of the Festival Fringe attracted an international audience.
• The highly acclaimed “Perthshire Amber” suite was performed at a special fundraiser concert in the stunning setting of Blair Castle in Highland Perthshire. Dougie was joined by the newly formed Perthshire Ensemble as well as Celtic musicians Pete Clark, Graham Mulholland, Johm Morran and Jamie MacLean.
• Between touring and home performances Dougie took time out for filming in the Western Isles of Scotland when he circumnavigated the islands in his rib boat. The film Clann na Mara (Children of the Sea) screened on BBC TV during 2001 and nominated for the Celtic Film Festival.
Celtic Connections sell-out again. Stunning band line-up of Billy Jackson, Mike Ward, Jamie MacLean, Davie Duncan, Graham Mulholland & Ali Napier. Widely acclaimed composition in four movements "Perthshire Amber" commisioned by and premiered at 'Perth Festival of the Arts', May '99 Tours and concerts included England, USA, Cape Breton, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany. Oct '99 "Perthshire Amber" recorded at CaVa studios in Glasgow Re-rlease of 'The Gael' (techno dance version recorded in Germany) reaches Top 10 in Spanish and German dance charts. August '99 'Struth na Maoile' Hummingbird production for BBC Alba & Telefios Eirean filmed at the home of Dougie MacLean in Butterstone near Dunkeld. Featured Dougie along with luminaries of Gaelic songsuch as Tomas MacEoin, Marie Breatnach, Arthur Cormack & Andy Thorburn. MacLean's real Music Bar at the Taybank becomes established as a meeting place for spontaneous music sessions and draws people from all over the world. Mary Black records Dougie MacLean songs Turning Away & Broken wings on her album 'speaking with the angel'
Dougie MacLean made a guest appearance on the BBC network ‘Hogmany Live’ alongside James Taylor. His song ‘Caledonia’ was heard just after midnight to welcome in 1998. His concert in the main auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall during the prestigious Celtic Connections concerts SOLD OUT with great response following. Tour in England and Jersey, Scotland, New Zealand, Spain, Denmark and USA - virtuall all selling out ahead. Summer 1998 saw the opening of a brand new venture - ‘MacLean’s Real Music Bar’ at the Dunkeld Records new premisies on the banks of the River Tay in Dunkeld. MacLean’s fiddle tune ‘The Gael’ was performed by the massed bands during the Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Tours in England & Wales, the Channel Islands, Scotland, USA (including Alaska ) & Canada. For the first year virtually all concerts were sellouts! • August ‘97- new album RIOF released to great critical acclaim and seriously increased sales. Launched at Virgin Megastore. Edinburgh. • Dougie MacLean voted “Favourite Male Vocalist” by listeners of US Radio programme “Thistle & Shamrock” • BBC Network screening of SongRoads- A Musical Friendship from Nashville to Dunkeld. This film focuses on the music and frienship of Dougie MacLean with the American Country music star Kathy Mattea. • MacLean performed to crowd of over 30,000 in Murrayfield Stadium during the Five Nations Rugby Championship.
Tours in Scotland (with the Band), England (solo), USA (2 tours-one with Band, one solo) • Dougie MacLean song She Loves Me (recorded by the band Equation) on the Blanco Y Negro label for Polygram, playlisted for Radio One. Meanwhile clubs on the continent rave to a Techno/Dance version of MacLean’s composition The Gael, produced by Galleria and liscenced to Warner ( a stunning video is released to accompany the track.). The same composition was performed every night during the Edinburgh Tatoo, by the Royal Marines Brass Band. • August 1996- moving appearance by Dougie MacLean in Gaelic TV programme Tacsi. • January 1996 - Dougie MacLean appeared in Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall at this year's Celtic Connections Festival as part of The Song Field, a memorable concert which brought together, for the first time, 5 of the best contemporary singer-songwriters from Scotland and Ireland.
• December 1995 - Dougie wrote and recorded the music for the networked BBC series A Mug's Game - from the BAFTA award-winning writer/director team, Donna Franceschild and David Blair. • October 1995 - released Tribute , an acclaimed album of traditional Scottish songs and tunes (by Burns, Tannahill and Gow) beautifully adapted and arranged by Dougie MacLean. • Awarded gold discs (sales of over 500,000) for his music used in the Last of the Mohicans and also for co-production on Kathy Mattea's album, Time Passes By. Sales of his own albums have attracted a further six gold discs. • March 1995 - Putumayo, in one of its' first efforts to showcase an individual artist, releases The Dougie MacLean Collection, an 11-track compilation that greatly enhanced distribution and awareness of Dougie's music via both traditional and non-traditional markets. January 1995 - Dougie MacLean joined country star Kathy Mattea and her band in Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall as part of the "Celtic Connections" concert series.
November 1994 - BBC filmed Transatlantic Sessions a documentary series spotlighting talent from both sides of the Atlantic including: Dougie MacLean, Kathy Mattea, Emmylou Harris, Iris DeMent, Mary Black, Davy Spillane, Richard Thompson and a host of others. Autumn 1994 - Dougie MacLean was added to the respected roster of artists handled by Fleming/Tamulevich who orchestrated a coast to coast US tour in April and May 1995. Appeared at Carnegie Hall N.Y.C in October 1994 as part of the first Singer-Songwriter Festival presented by Putumayo as a benefit for the National Coalition for the Homeless. In conjunction with this concert Putumayo released a 2-volume compilation, Shelter: The Best of Contemporary Singer-Songwriters, which included Dougie MacLean's track "Ready for the Storm". August 1994 - released Marching Mystery, Dougie's first song album since 1992, which garnered widespread praise and pleased Dougie's eager and ever-growing audience. Delores Keane records Dougie MacLean's "Caledonia" on A Woman's Heart and "Solid Ground" on A Woman's Heart 2, dazzling compilations featuring Irelands finest female talent.
1992 - 1993
Dougie MacLean's song "Caledonia" (sung by Frankie Miller) reaches #1 on the Scottish Charts in February 1992. 20th Century Fox film The Last of the Mohicans features 10 minutes of music by MacLean published by his own company, Limetree Arts & Music. BBC Scotland screens 40 minute film The Land: Songs of Dougie MacLean in January 1993 to critical acclaim. As one of Scotland's leading singer-songwriters Dougie MacLeans popularity widens and Regular Music promote his concerts in Scotland from Feb.1993. Composer and Musical Director for TAG Theatre Company's productions of A Scot's Quair (including Sunset Song) based on a trilogy by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, performed in theatres throughout Scotland as well as one of the highlights of the 1993 Edinburgh Festival. Three sellout concerts during Edinburgh Festival 1993, tours with band in Canada and the US - including New York City Town Hall and other large venues.
1990 - 1991
Dunkeld Records, with its own studio, publishing company and retail outlet, continued to thrive and began manufacturing in the USA as well as the UK. Dougie MacLean's albums first reach the High Street shops. Dunkeld Records began the promotion of concerts throughout Scotland featuring Dougie MacLean with his band. Dougie also performed on tour in the US with the Grammy award-winning country singer Kathy Mattea, who records his song "Ready for the Storm" on her album Time Passes By. Many cover versions of MacLean's songs recorded in the US, Ireland and the UK, as well as increasing requests for commisioned music for film and TV. MacLean's albums Whitewash (1990), The Search (1991) and Indigenous (1991/2) are released and sell in ever increasing numbers to an ever widening audience. In 1991 Real Estate and Whitewash were awarded Gold Discs for sales , by the Scottish Music Industry Association.
Years of consolidation for Dunkeld Records, which became one of Scotland's most respected independant record labels. Described as "Scotland's new heritage music," musicians recorded include Dougie MacLean, Hamish Moore, Sheena Wellington, Frieda Morrison, Gordon Duncan, David Allison and Blackeyed Biddy. Two successful concert tours of the USA in conjunction with American Public Radio and the networked US radio program "Thistle & Shamrock" meant that during '89 - '90 Dougie MacLean and other Dunkeld Records artists played to over 50 000 people in the USA. At home Dougie MacLean's reputation grew and he played at most of the festivals from Shetland and Orkney to the Edinburgh Festival. During this time television and radio appearances became more frequent. The album Real Estate was released in 1988.
1981 - 1986
Dougie returned to live in Perthshire and consolidated his solo work at home, on the continent and in North America - later widening his horizons with tours in Australia and New Zealand. In 1983, with his wife, artist Jennifer MacLean, he launched his own record label, Dunkeld Records, with the very successful album Craigie Dhu (1981) . With numerous recording projects in view, Dougie set up his own recording studio. The albums Fiddle (1984) and Singing Land (1986) followed.
Dougie MacLean spent six months playing with respected Scottish band Silly Wizard, touring with them in the USA, Holland and Germany. Dougie teamed up with Edinburgh guitarist Donald MacDougall. This duo became a popular draw in Canada and England as well as in Dougie's now familiar European venues. During this time his first solo album, Snaigow, was recorded.
Wanting to concentrate on his own music, Dougie left the Tannahills and teamed up with fellow Scot, Alan Roberts. They toured Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France, and played all of the major European festivals. Together they made an album, Caledonia, which sold well and was met with critical acclaim, as well as an album with Alex Campbell called C.R.M. Joined the Tannahill Weavers and toured extensively in the UK and Europe playing fiddle, mandolin and sharing vocals. Are Ye Sleeping Maggie? was recorded while MacLean was with the group. Born in Perthshire, Scotland in 1954, Dougie MacLean grew up in the countryside where his father was a gardener. He was surrounded by his families love of music - his mother played mandolin, his father fiddle.
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