Folk music in Glasgow is booming at the grass roots. Celtic Connections was in many respects a game changer as far as public recognition goes but it is has been informal education initiatives that are now really feeding through. You can find traditional music being played, often to an incredibly high standard, throughout the City on any night of the week.
There are well established Folk Clubs presenting guest artists on a regular basis. These include Live at the Star, which meets weekly in the Admiral Bar, Partick Folk Club, Milngavie Folk Club, The Glasgow Ballad Workshop, The Meeting Place in Rutherglen. Students studying in the City, including those studying at degree level at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and The Piping Centre, add more richness to the tapestry and tuition at a more grass roots level is also booming. The Glasgow Fiddle Workshop caters mainly for adults in a wide range of instruments and tuition in Irish music is long established in the City earning it the reputation as the first City of Irish music outside of Ireland.
Folk Clubs can appear to the outsider as closed events with some people asking if you have to be a member to attend. The answer is absolutely not, everyone is welcome, but folk clubs have been fairly unique in music during the last 50 years as being an extensive network of venues organised by enthusiasts but providing a platform for many professional musicians. The list of well-known performers who started out in folk clubs is a long one. In Scotland Billy Connolly, Barbara Dickson and Aly & Phil immediately spring to mind but the list, of performers who cut their teeth in the folk clubs, including musicians as diverse as Rod Stewart, Benny Gallagher, Jasper Carrot, Ralph McTell and Gerry Rafferty is a long one.
The Star Folk Club, the Admiral Bar – www.starfolkclub.com
Partick Folk Club – www.partickfolkclub.org.uk
Milngavie Folk Club – www.facebook.com/milngaviefolkclub
Acoustic Nights @ The Meeting Place, Rutherglen – www.facebook.com/groups/722794921148229/
Glasgow Ballads Workshop – glasgowballadworkshop.wordpress.com
Strathaven Folk Club – www.facebook.com/strathavenfolkclub
Quarter Acoustic Music Club – http://quarteraccoustic.wix.com/qamc01
Irvine Folk Club – www.irvinefolkclub.org.uk
Stirling Folk Club – www.stirlingfolkclub.co.uk
Falkirk Folk Club – www.falkirkfolkclub.co.uk
Glasgow Fiddle Workshop – www.glasgowfiddle.org.uk