Laura McGhee
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Laura McGhee


Band Country Folk


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Laura has a very individual vocal style, the closest comparison I can think of, being Carlene Carter. But add her vocals to her fiddling prowess and her songs, and Laura is certainly someone we should be proud of. *****
Stewart Fenwick Aug 2009 - Sots Country Album

"New Folk Star"

Laura McGhee has the confidence and talent to hold any crowd, the Scots/Irish songbird first emerged on the traditional folk scene over a year ago when she accompanied Shane MacGowan on Fairytale of New York at the Barrowlands proving not only could she sing but was also a mean fiddle player into the bargain. Just don’t expect Laura to be sporting an Arran sweater, she may sing in a strong dialect like The Proclaimers but her image is sharp and contemporary.

Songs such as Tell It Tae The Lover are bursting with rich language and a fiddle hook that will be swimming around your head for weeks. Never Loved At All is a teary Celtic love ballad and it’s on tracks like this you understand why Shane MacGowan described her as “Loretta Lynn’s Celtic soul sister”. There’s a quality here also reminiscent of Eddi Reader as Laura takes dialect and far from alienating her audience; it draws them in. Indie fans, flat capped punters and weekend drinkers all bop along to her infectious folk pop on Stepping Stone and Green Eyes.

McGhee has the potential to crossover because her strength is that she understands the genre in which she is operating in- ancient folk stories in a contemporary setting. Her unquestionable virtuoso fiddle playing has the hair on the back of your neck standing on end. Not only that but working alongside Echo And The Bunnymen’s Ian MacCulloch and Shane MacGowan has granted Laura an essential street kudos. One to watch out for! - Richard Purden, Irish Post 17th Feb 2006. - Irish Post, 17th Feb 2006

"Suite Inspiration"

LAST month the Scottish Fashion Awards played host to Laura McGhee and Sandi Thom. Thom's rags-to-riches story, the internet viewing figures of her online performances and No1 success have all made great copy for the first of the inevitable post-KT Tunstall flood of female singer-songwriters. Not one for bandwagons, however, Angus-born Laura McGhee has built up a reputation over the years by playing everything from murky folk clubs through to the Dressed To Kilt event in New York as part of Tartan Week.

The 25-year-old classical graduate of the RSAMD cut her teeth doing session work for Ian McCulloch, of Echo and the Bunnymen, and Shane MacGowan. After arranging strings for McCulloch he recommended that Pete Seeger consider her for the Broadway production of the Matt McGinn tribute on Broadway two years ago. Seeger advised that she should make herself sound more Scottish; contrary to the advice she was being given at home.
McGhee's fervent Scottish accent is one of the most arresting attributes on her debut album Green Eyes - a diverse collection of traditional folk, gospel, pop and country. For McGhee it all travelled from Scotland to the US and back again, and her fascination with Scotland's multicultural musical landscape is captivating and infectious.

The Scottish and Irish songs about emigration that fed American folk and country music is the subject of Bruce Springsteen's recently released The Seeger Sessions. McGhee says: "Both the traditions are the same when you look at American roots music, where it comes from and the Celtic Scottish tradition. On the album I do a cover of the Beatles 'I've Just Seen a Face' to take the song back to its roots. The Beatles had an American country influence which was obvious around the mid-60s. I wanted to explain the journey of Scottish traditional music over to America, through to English pop in the 60s and back to Scotland again."

Since the birth of mainstream pop there have been few Scots that sing with their own tongue. The Proclaimers are one of the few who have managed massive international success. Is it more acceptable to be fed the influence second-hand through America? For McGhee it's something that has been thrashed out of the nation. "Singing in a Scottish accent is important to me because it's natural. People forget this music in America would originally have been sung with a Scots accent. The country and folk influences work with a Scottish accent as well.

"I think people need to be a bit more open-minded; everything comes from something. It's folk and country music with a pop hook, which is no different from what the Pogues were doing with Irish music, Loretta Lynn with country or Diana Ross with soul. It's all rooted in something but the important thing is that the songs are hook driven; that's why they appeal to a lot of people
McGhee uses Scottish folk, Gaelic mouth music and church hymns for her passionate descriptions of doomed love affairs and modern-day morality tales. The musician is determined to buck the trend of roots music appealing to only the elitists. For the tradition to survive it has to blend and evolve.
Next weekend McGhee will begin a short tour round Borders bookshops in Scotland before heading off to New York to record her forthcoming single 'Reaching Out'. "It's really a whole other side of it, the influences of church music from Scotland and how that fed into gospel and black American music. We are going to do the song with the Harlem Gospel Choir. 'Reaching Out' was inspired by Gaelic mouth music which is a dying language. If there was a course on how to learn it I would do it but there is no funding in Scotland like there is in Northern Ireland.
There's something refreshingly honest and organic about McGhee. "The way I look is for me, I don't think this is how a folk or country singer should look; where does that idea come from? The American audiences don't bother about the surface; it's about the music. My focus is to get the audience going whether it's the Barrowland with Shane MacGowan or a record shop, or a folk club. That's the only way you are going to open it up to more people. It's not about an image. I want to look good but I'm not going to start wearing wigs or eyelashes either. Well, I did wear some awful false eyelashes at the Scottish Fashion Awards, but that's another story."

- Scotland on Sunday - June 2006

"Road To Paradise"

Road to Paradise” was originally due for release in May but was hit by a run of bad luck. First MacGowan was hospitalized by an unprovoked attack on him in London. Then the major record stores in England refused to stock the single on the grounds that it was too much of a “specialist interest” release, and national radio DJs felt unmoved to play it.

Despite no industry support, the track went in at number eight in the independent chart and record shops finally relented. MacGowan recovered from his attack and set up a string of live performances and interviews. He has just finished a promotional tour of Ireland supporting the single. Shane is also accompanied by Scotland’s latest Celtic country star Laura McGhee on backing vocals and fiddle, while The Rolling Stones brass section, The Kick Horns, provide the backbone to MacGowan’s most rousing anthem in years.
- Irish American Magazine nov 2004

"This gal knows how to rock her country"

This gal sure knows how to rock her country ****** Oct 09
Dan Wunch Nashville Music Guide - Nashville Music Guide Oct 2009

"A Perfect Celtcana album"

what a fantastic release, this has everything-wonderful vocals, superb musicianship variety in song and subject and a sound that is captivating & thrilling -what a release, the perfect Americana album,****
( Laura Bethell ) - Maverick Aug 2009

"Her Green Eyes Are Still Smiling"

"I fufilled a lifetime ambition and actually peformed Fairytale Of New York with Shane MacGowan at the Barrowland Ballroom last year" - Irish News 20th May 2006

"Laura McGhee - Green Eyes"

Pitched somewhere between The Proclaimers and Sinead Lohan

Taysider Laura McGhee makes her debut with this hugely endearing collection of mainly co-penned songs and instrumentals that covers plenty of bases, from traditional folk ballads to Celtic flavoured pop, nearly always underpinned by plenty of spirited, if occasionally overwrought, fiddle playing. She admirably makes no attempt to hide her accent, a decision that works better on some tracks than others, the stand-outs being the lovely Autumn Fair, the heartfelt Tell It Tae The Lover and the exuberant title track. - The Skinny Mag

"Whats Hot this Month"

Laura McGhee's debut album, her sassy vocals mixed with fiddle playing - that's accompanied Shane MacGowan - show a mix of styles from her Gaelic roots to Dylan through to rock. We like it. - Music News Scotland - issue 34


Sunday Times, 1st April
Folk Chick lined up for US triumph

A Scots singer/songwriter and violinist,relatively unknown in Scotland, Laura McGhee, 25, has been attracting a great deal of attention in America, where she has played to sellout crowds.
The Monifieth-born folk/rock artist has attracted the attention of Jim Lauderdale, who has penned some of the bestselling tracks by the Dixie Chicks, America’s biggest selling female band. The trio from Texas has sold more than 30m albums.
McGhee, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of the Scots singer-songwriter KT Tunstall,McGhee accompanied Lauderdale during a folk showcase event in the American south earlier this year, and is due to record with him in Nashville, the home of American country music, later this year.
“Jim really liked my music and was keen to work with me and do some co-writing” she said. “It is a real honour, as Jim is a huge figure in American music and he has written for the Dixie Chicks, who are enormous in the States, I am hoping to build up a large fan base and crack America, and I hope this will help me.”
McGhee added that she was inspired by Tunstall’s success. “KT has done incredibly well and is a great example for Scots looking to break America.” She said. “It is great that one of her songs was featured in the film “The Devil Wears Prada”, and whenever you go into a coffee shop in America, KT seems to be on in the background.”
Lauderdale, who has worked with music stars including the English blues singer John Mayall and the country singer Patty Loveless, is convinced McGhee has the potential to become a huge star in America.
“I first became aware of Laura after her manager gave me a CD of hers at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow”. He said “From that, I invited her to perform with me in Memphis, and we have taken things from there.”

Her debut album, Green Eyes, has already received widespread radio play and critical plaudits across the Atlantic. “I am getting a lot of support, particularly in the south and Tennessee, which is fantastic”, she said. “There seems to be an affinity between traditional Scottish and American music, want to play music that makes people happy.” she said.
and audiences really seem to be picking up on that”.
One of McGhee’s tracks has been included on a charity CD compiled by the American chat show host Montel Williams. “It is for people with multiple sclerosis”, and I’m delighted to be part of its success”, she said.
The violinist is now looking forward to playing in New York during Tartan Week later this month, which will be her third consecutive performance at the event
I’ve been looking to crossover traditional music mixed with rockier beats,and i will be working with Tigerstyle Asian DJs in New York.
McGhee’s biggest musical hero is the veteran country singer Dolly Parton.
“Dolly is a great song-writer, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously – and neither do I. I would love to work with her one day. I think we both



Sweet Jack O'Lee----------Ultimate Celtic album 2004
Hail Caledonia--#12 UK Download only charts 2005
Tribute To Jinky ............#2 UK Indie Charts 2006
Green Eyes.................UK album released April 2006
Green Eyes Single Selected for Montel Williams MS CD
UK #1 Year Of The Flood (Runrig) featuring Laura McGhee
One Scotland november 2007
Arbroath suite August 2008
new album released September 2008 UK /USA
"Tell it Tae The Lover " on "G" CD Compilation
NAFA CD "Reachin Out"
ISC fnalist AAA category "Reachin Out"
Celticana R2F Records 2009
radio play on BBC radio 2 /BBC Radio Scotland/Radio TayFM/Northsound/Oban Fm/Lochbroom/BBC Radio Ulster/Saga Radio/Radio Clyde/Westsound/Central Fm/Morayfirth am/Downtown /
Nashville public Radio. WFUV,NPR/Womens Rock Radio /Sirius Radio/Girls Rock Radio RadioU105/CM Radio/RadioAM740 /
streaming vids on



The London Times described my music as"Crossover Celtic Folk Rock- with a hook"
my music which mixes rock, Country , Celtic , Gospel , Folk as CELTICANA
My influences range from The Band , The Faces, Carole King,The Pogues to The Proclaimers,and Lorretta Lynn and Dolly Parton
AS a classically trained fiddler, I was fortunate to land my 1st gig as string arranger for Echo and the Bunnymen, and from this I landed an appearance on Broadway with Pete Seeger and followed on to work with Pogues Shane MacGowan. I released a track with Simple Minds in March 2006 which reached no2 in the UK Indie charts. The following month I appeared at the Nokia Theater Times Square NYC with Runrig. my debut album "Green Eyes" sets out to showcase my music and influences.
2007-2008 headlined at Knitting Factory NYC, Midpoint Indie Festival, Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland ,The Canadian Music Week, NAFA Memphis, and guesting with bluegrass Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale in Austin, and folk legend Odetta in Washington DC
I have been performing and working with Ian Hunter(Mott The Hoople). Celtic Connections Showcases 2008, UK tour with Runrig, and headlined gigs at Folk Alliance Memphis and coast to coast USA live broadcast on Nashville's legendary Americana show Western Beat. My song "Reachin Out" was finalist of ISC Awards this year. I have also been featured on award winning BBC TV series Scotland's Music. My live DVD the Arbroath Suite will be released in June, USA Album Release Careless due in September recording in Nashville, and i will be touring UK July and August with feature highlight at Edinburgh International Festival, and performing at Edinburgh Castle with Runrig this July.latest News , I guested onhe Runrig DVD (Year Of The Flood )f #1 In UK Charts June 2008, produced Josh white track "We Can do it "featured in OBama campaign, see