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Band Country Jazz


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We heard from Mending Hearts' bandleader, singer-guitarist Iain "Stretch" MacFadyen. If the names sounds Scots, well, it is, in fact Scotland's only known Western Swing Band and they want to play for us!

Stretch describes the band's sound: "we specialise in mid 50s western swing, with a big dose of contemporary swing, i.e. hillbilly and rock-a-billy, lots of energy for the dancers. We play dance-friendly music and love it when people dance. We like to play traditional legends like Hank Penny, Wade Ray, Merle Travis. Call it 'rockwesternswingabilly'! I don't know any more, it keeps on changing! I guess I'd say it's our version of western swing.

"We started about 6 years ago and we're all session musicians on tour so we don't get out a great deal as a band, but we are working on it. We have two lead/rhythm guitars, fiddle, trumpet, bull fiddle, drums/traps." - Western Swing Monthly Oct 2007

"Out of the Bedroom"

Next up was Iain 'Stretch' MacFadyen, lead singer with Scotland's favourite country swing band, who brought down the house with two songs, one about some woman's tartan underwear who the singer had obviously seen, and a second song called You Overshot the Runway to my Heart, with some of the best humorous lyrics that we've heard in years. Keep a look out for Stretch and his solo album, due to be released next year. Scotland's truly new-found country superstar! - Out of the Bedroom

"Scottish western swing"

Normally the idea of country music makes me slightly queasy, and I find myself running for the door. But catching the Mending Hearts' last set at the Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh festival fringe made me think twice. I just wish I'd got there earlier and ended up doing something I haven't done for years - and certainly never to a country band - and that was, dance. Just to compound my uncertainty about what was taking place, I met a chap after the gig, a certain George Sanger from Austin, Texas, who is the brother of Asleep at the Wheel's drummer, and who I understand are the cultural ambassadors for western swing, who not only gave the band a big Texan thumbsup, but also bought TWO CDs! If you want to have a good time, listen to some hilarious songs and dance the night away, go and check out the Mending Hearts. - The Scotsman


We have an EP which gets played locally - please contact Leith FM in Edinburgh or contact Mike Gross via the western swing monthly website. Also, Radio Scotland for more information.



The music is mostly of the humorous variety, perfect for dancing and laughing. My main influences are Hank Penny and Bill Hicks. What sets me apart is I am the band leader of the world's only Scottish western swing band, the Mending Hearts.