ASF Members & Friends invited to attend the Explorers Club “Tartan Turban” Talk Monday October 1st

The Explorers Club have extended an invitation for The American-Scottish Foundation®  Members & Friends to attend their upcoming lecture “The Tartan Turban”

Monday, October 1
6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Lecture
The Explorers Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, NYC

Member Ticket Price: $10
Guest Ticket Price: $25
Student Ticket Price: $5 with a valid student ID

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John Keay, British historian, journalist, radio presenter and lecturer specializing in popular histories of India, the Far East and China, is widely seen as a pre-eminent historian of British India.

Keay will take one on a journey …
Like the travels of Marco Polo, those of Alexander Gardner clip the white line between credible adventure and creative invention. Either he is the nineteenth century’s most intrepid traveler or its most egregious fantasist, or a bit of both. Contemporaries generally believed him; posterity became more skeptical. And as with Polo, the investigation of Gardner’s story enlarged man’s understanding of the world and upped the pace of scientific and political exploration.

Before more reputable explorers notched up their own discoveries in innermost Asia, this lone Scots-American had roamed the deserts of Turkestan, ridden round the world’s most fearsome knot of mountains and fought in Afghanistan ‘for the good cause of right against wrong.’

From the Caspian to Tibet and from Kandahar to Kashgar, Gardner had seen it all. At the time, the 1820s, no other outsider had managed anything remotely comparable. When word of his feats filtered out, geographers were agog.

He witnessed the death throes of that Sikh empire at close quarters and, sparing no gruesome detail, recorded his own part in the bloodshed (the very same featuring as the exploits of ‘Alick’ Gardner in the ‘Flashman’ series).

Fame finally caught up with him during his long retirement in Kashmir. Dressed in tartan yet still living as a native, he mystified visiting dignitaries and found a ready audience for the tales of his adventurous past. But one mystery he certainly took to the grave: the whereabouts of his accumulated fortune has still to be discovered.

Using much original material, including newly discovered papers by Gardner himself, renowned historian John Keay will take us from the American West to the Asian East to unravel the greatest enigma in the history of travel.

Author of over 25 books and regularly contributor to a number of prominent publications in Britain and Asia. He began his career with The Economist as a political correspondent, and was a contributor to BBC radio.

Keay is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society & the Royal Literary Fund, and he has received several major honors including the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He read Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford, and now lives in Argyll in the West Highlands of Scotland while traveling widely.

https://explorers.org/…/public_lecture_series_with_john_keay

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ASF Autumn Calendar of Events

SEPTEMBER CALENDAR

Thursday 20th September - Washington DC

The Spirit of Conservation

Republic Restoratives Distillery ,

1369 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002

6.30pm Ambassadors Reception   7pm Main Event -

in support of the critically endangered Scottish freshwater mussel.  

Reservation & ways to be involved HERE

 Tuesday 25th September – New York

Historic Scottish Gardens & Scots Influence on the Early Gardens of New York

The Arsenal Central Park, 64th Street & Fifth Avenue, NYC 

6pm Talk  – followed by Wine & Cheese up on the Arsenal Rooftop Garden

Guest Speakers:

Chris Wadle, National Trust for Scotland’s Garden and Designed Landscape Manager for Aberdeenshire and Angus. Chris’ will update us on the restoration of the Robert Burns cottage garden and give us insight into the restoration of the National Trust for Scotland’s Gardens.

John Kinnear,  Architect, Author and Historian, President of the American Friends of the Georgian Group. Noted for his work in historical preservation,  will speak to the influence of Scots on the early gardens of the United States including Alexander Hamilton home The Grange, and the heather gardens at Fort Tryon Park. 

On Line Reservations:

Member tickets (ASF, NTSUSA, Burns Society) $45

Non Members $55

Not yet a Member of the ASF - Join NOW and attend this event as our Guest. Membership Link HERE

OCTOBER:

19th – 21st October – Kilgour Centre, Troy, Michigan

Scottish NA Leadership Conference

MASTER SNALC

Join us and add your voice to the conversation.

TRANSFERRING OUR SCOTTISH HERITAGE TO THE NEXT GENERATION THROUGH MUSIC, ARTS & CULTURE

NOVEMBER: 

Friday 9th November – New York

The ASF Wallace Awards Celebration

honoring Sir Moir Lockhead & Andy Scott

For ways to be involved from Attending, to Donating to the Silent Auction or placing a message in the Journal, click here - or call the ASF Office directly.

HIGHLAND GAMES AROUND THE USA IN THE WEEKS AHEAD: 

14th – 16th September, Scotfest Oklahoma

Tulsa, OK       www.okscotfest.com 

 21 st – 23rd September, New Hampshire Highland Games

Loon Mountain, NH   www.nhscot.org 

22nd – 23rd September, Ligonier Highland Games

Altoona, PA    www.ligonierhighlandgames.org 

28th – 30th September Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival

Bethlehem, PA     www.celticfest.org 

28th – 29th September, St. Louis Scottish Games & Cultural Festival

Chesterfield, MO  www.stlouis-scottishgames.com 

28th – 29th September, Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival

Jefferson, TN     www.scots-irish.com

TO KEEP UP TO DATE ON ALL ASF EVENTS, please visit our website at www.americanscottishfoundation.org

ADDITIONAL WAYS TO SUPPORT THROUGH MEMBERSHIP OR DONATIONS:

If you are not yet a Member of the American-Scottish Foundation we invite you to join and take advantage of our Membership.

Click here to join as an Individual or Corporate Member

If you would like to make a donation to the Foundation in support of our Heritage, Arts and Culture programming, opportunities are noted HERE.

Have you tried the ASF Harney & Sons Scottish Morn or Scottish Afternoon Teas?A percentage from each purchase of these two special teas goes towards supporting the ongoing work of the ASF. To order one of our great brews order directly from Harney & Sons HERE

When next in Lower Manhattan a “must see” is the South Street Seaport Museum – and we encourage you to take time to wander around the Seaport which is one New York’s most historic areas.

The restoration and development of such historic places does not just happen and the story behind South Street Seaport Museum is just that.  There would be no South Street Seaport Museum were it not for two visionaries - Jakob Isbrandtsen, founding chairman of the South Street Seaport Museum and founding president Peter Standford, together they  envisioned so much of what is today’s wonderful South Street Seaport Museum.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, outdoor and indoorThe sad news of Isbrandsten’s passing last week brough to the ASF’s attention not only what he did for Lower Manhattan and New York – but for Scotland too.

One of Isbrandtsen’s great loves was the restoration of the windjammer Wavertree which was has deep roots to Scotland and the Jute trade.

As Captain Boulware, CEO of the South Street Seaport Museum notes… “He financed the purchase of the ship when she might have otherwise gone to scrap, bringing to New York a windjammer of the age of sail suitable for the task of representing her thousands of sisters.”.

The Wavertree was built in Southampton, England in 1885 and was one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron. She was built for the Liverpool company R.W. Leyland & Company, and is named after the Wavertree district of that city.

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The ship was first used to carry jute between eastern India and Scotland. In 1947 Wavertree was converted into a sand barge at Buenos Aires, Argentina, This ship was discovered in 1967 by an American working on a sand barge and acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968.

After restoration at the the Arsenal Naval Buenos Aires the ship was towed to New York in 1969.

As well as being a visionary, Isbrandtsen was a tireless volunteer, inspiring others as Capt. Boulware continues …. “After his career in commercial shipping, he shifted to volunteerism and led by example, mucking bilges in the hold of Wavertree and all manner of dirty, difficult, and dangerous tasks. He was the first person aboard the ship in the morning and the last to leave. It was all for the ship and all for the people in her. His advertisement for volunteers: “Long hours, dirty work, no pay” was just the right way to engage people in the ship, and the work done under his leadership kept Wavertree afloat for decades, allowing the restoration and care that continues today.”

RARE PERSIAN GARDEN CARPET FROM THE BURRELL COLLECTION, GLASGOW, goes on display for the first time outside Great Britain at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The Wagner Garden Carpet – a late 17th-century Persian carpet never before seen in the United States – will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art  now through October 7, 2018.See the source imageStaff from Glasgow Museums with the Wagner Garden Carpet. The Burrell Collection. ©    CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Titled Eternal Springtime: A Persian Garden Carpet from the Burrell Collection, the collaboration between the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, and The Metropolitan Museum, New York, will provide a rare opportunity for members of the public to see the earliest example of a garden carpet outside of Asia.

A detail from the Wagner Garden Carpet (Glasgow Museums/PA)
Detail of the Wagner Garden Carpet. The Burrell Collection. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

The Wagner Garden Carpet is considered to be one of only three early surviving Persian garden carpets in the world. The design of this particular carpet is unique and no other examples resembling it or using part of its base-pattern have yet been identified. Measuring 5309 mm (17.5 ft) in height and 4318 mm (14.2 ft) in width, Wagner Garden has rarely been seen on display and has spent most of its time in storage at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow.

Named after an early 20th century owner, the carpet is a 17th century Persian Kirman pile carpet with a formal garden layout. Unusual for this type of garden carpet, it almost invokes a heavenly walled menagerie that immerses the person sitting on it in its natural but well-ordered world.  The design was inspired by both the pre-Islamic Persian Paradise and the descriptions of the Garden of Heaven in the Qur’an.

Eternal Springtime will be displayed in the Metropolitans suite of 15 galleries and takes place whilst the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, undergoes an estimated £66 million refurbishment of its building and redisplay of its extensive Collection.

When the Burrell Collection reopens in late 2020, The Wagner Garden Carpet will be focal object of a three-carpet display that explores heavenly gardens in Islamic art as depicted on Persian carpets.

Director of Burrell Renaissance, James Robinson, says, “Expanding our international reach, reputation and impact is core to the Burrell Collection’s vision that will enable the Collection to engage with the world in new and more meaningful ways. Our collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum demonstrates the Burrell’s reach, in geography and material culture, which will see the collection regarded rightly as a global resource.”

 

Glasgow and New York celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

June 7th marks the 150th Anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
At Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum a temporary exhibit is on show through to August 14th showing Mackintosh’s work in the context of Glasgow, his predecessors, influences and contemporaries.

Assistant curator Hannah Willetts stands in front of posters at thttps://content-wordpress.pressassociation.com/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=advisoryhe launch of Charles Rennie Mackintosh Making the Glasgow Style (Andrew Milligan/PA)The exhibit features work from Glasgow’s civic collections, alongside key loans from Hunterian Museum and Art GalleryThe Glasgow School of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and a number of private lenders.

As the Daily Mail notes – the exhibit …. “It features more than 250 objects including stained glass, ceramics, mosaic, furniture, textiles, interior and tearoom design and architectural drawings, most of which have not been shown in Glasgow for more than 30 years.”

“The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Making the Glasgow Style exhibition is one of the highlights in the Mackintosh 150 programme, a year long celebration of events throughout 2018.”

decorative artIn New York on June 7th a talk & reception will take place hosted by General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York together with The American-Scottish Foundation® & The National Trust for Scotland, on the influence of Mackintosh on New York architecture – presented by John Kinnear, Architect, Historian & Director, and on the power of Mackintosh’s design and threstoration of Hill House.                                                                                                                              To read more about the Scots Who Built New York visit the American-Scottish Foundation project page HERE.                                                                                                                                             For more information surrounding the National Trust for Scotland restoration of Hill House visit the NTS USA project page linked HERE                                                                                                                                                                 Tickets are from $10 for ASF, NTS USA, GSMT, ROS, NYCC and $15 for Guests and Friends and are available directly on line here                                                                                                                    To learn more of the exhibit visit Glasgow Life Museum website and rad the full Daily Mail article linked here

Thousands of spectators show their Scottish pride at the 2018 Tartan Day Parade

We take a moment here to look back at the 20th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade which took place on April 7th, the highlight to a week of events… so much to report on, so many to thank – and we have to mention how we were under the threat of snow – and it didnt happen – brisk but clear.

Related imageASF presented several events during the week in addition to a series of lunchtime concerts at Bryant Park.  A thank you to all those who helped with the programming which included

- Tea with a Highlander, a talk with celebrated author The Hon. Sarah Fraser of Lovat introducing us to ‘The Prince who would Be King’, co-hosted by Clans & Castles , Walkers Shortbread, Harper Collins and Harneys Teas

- an opportunity to learn more around the discovering of your Scottish roots with Dr Bruce Durie

- ‘A Taste of Scotland’ with a menu prepared by Scotland’s National Chef Gary MacLean,  co-hosted with City of Glasgow College

-  ASF Members & Friends Post Parade Reception at which we were joined by many guests from Scotland including the Archie Foundation, Clans & Castles, The Convenyor of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs Donald MacLeod of MacLeod, members of VisitScotland, the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Office.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, crowd and outdoorThank you to all who joined the The American-Scottish Foundation® contingenet and marched with us in the 20th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade – AND to all those who cheered us on.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, walking and outdoorKT Tunstall was a fabulous Grand Marshal – the first woman to lead the Parade.  AND Congratulations to all the volunteers and our fellow NYC Tartan Week committee members – EVERYONE did a great

We have discovered a few highlights of  Parade Day captured in a video  on You Tube.  - from the Pipes and Drums on the Fountain Terrace presented by The American-Scottish Foundation® at Bryant Park and onward to the Parade.

A thank you to The Accrington Pipe BandThe Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic WatchShamrock and Thistle Pipes and DrumsThe Highland DivasShot of Scotch – NYC’s Premier Scottish Highland Dancers and Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Bandl for being part of the pre Parade Bryant Park concert, https://youtu.be/W-cPpsj2wBQ

Prior to the Parade the young band of pipers from Sgoli Lionacleit had an opportunity to meet Keith Brown MSP for Clackmannanshire & Dunblane who could not resist the opportunity to try out a snare drum which he is pictured “carrying” below.

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The Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band  performed twice at Bryant Park - and for their second performance they were joined by 18 year old Lisa Kowalski  who is winning recognition throughout the UK – this was her first visit to New York and the Parade.  The involvement of the young performers is something ASF fully embraces within our ongoing bursary program – and reflects Scotland’s message of  the Year of Young People.

Also taking part in the lunchtime concerts were Craig Weir and the multi talented Hannah Read - who left the following day for a month long tour in support of her latest album. Both Craig and Hannah have helped us in the development of the lunchtime concerts, a Thank you to everyone who took part.

Great performances from all

The Daily News carried a great report on the day which we link to below… “Scots of all ages proudly celebrated their homeland during the 2018 Tartan Day Parade in Manhattan on April 7, 2018.

Image result for daily news tartan day paradeThe annual march, now in its 20th year, was led by Scottish singer   KT Tunstall and included pipers playing traditional Scottish songs, dancers, flag twirlers, aplenty of dogs for the cheering crowd of spectators.” New York Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/2018-tartan-day-parade-gallery-1.3920754

A Hundred-Year-Old Handmade American Flag Flies Home… to Scotland

When WWI American soldiers died off the coast of Isle of Islay, Scotland, a group of villagers brought honor to their memory with a handmade American flag.

Islay flag

Smithsonian Magazine this week spotlights the loss of over 200 Americans aboard the SS Tuscania, On February 5th 1918, seven miles southwest of Islay, Tuscania was struck mid-ship by a 2,000-pound torpedo launched by the German submarine UB-77.

Over 2200 young Americans were aboard. The British frigates accompanying them rescued many but 200 were lost, over 180 rescued from the seas by the people of Islay.

The flag is housed in the Smithsonian, but will travel back to Islay for the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.

“Islay’s populace, still mourning the deaths of more than 100 of its own men killed in war, felt deeply the tragic toll upon the U.S. soldiers who had come to help the Allied cause. The islanders resolved to bury the American dead with honor. For them this meant interring them under an American flag. But there was no such flag on the island. So, before the funerals began, they made a decision to fabricate one.

Using the encyclopedia as their guide, a group of four Islay women (Jessie McLellan, Mary Cunningham, Catherine McGregor, and Mary Armour) and one man (John McDougall) worked through the night at Hugh Morrison’s Islay House, gathering cloth, roughly cutting out 96 five-pointed stars (48 for each side) plus seven red and six white bars, and respectfully stitching together a rectangular Stars and Stripes 67 inches long by 37 inches wide.”

Read more from Smithsonian Magazine:

Where to watch and celebrate the Royal Wedding on May 19th : Breakfast Screening Celebrations announced by Jones Wood Foundry & The Shakespeare NYC

The count down is on to Saturday May 19th and the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Harry of Wales (Harry) and Megan Markle

We are delighted to learn that two of The American-ScottishFoundation® favorite restaurants are opening early and hosting live broadcast viewing parties of all the Royal Wedding Festivities.

- The Shakespeare at 24 East 39th St. NYC – from 6.30am -

or the sister restaurant

- Jones Wood Foundry at 401 East 76th St. NYC – from 6.30am

 Reservations for either the Shakespeare or Jones Wood are $70.

The Wedding Breakfast menu has been developed by the restaurants Chef/Owner Jason Hicks, and is inspired by the couple’s favorite foods, as well as British and American traditional breakfast favorites

Upon arrival you will be greeted with a Mimosa – there will be a Champagne Toast to the Newlyweds, with same British bubbly – Chapel Down Brut – that Prince Charles will reportedly serve at his reception for the couple

There will of course be Wedding Cake and mementos of the occassion…!!

The menus mirror each other AND both events will conclude with Chapel Down Wine Tastings

- at the Shakespeare on their Terrace,

- and at Jones Wood in the Courtyard Garden

https://theshakespearenyc.getbento.com/store/product/royal-wedding/

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Meet Steve Grozier: Americana Artist From Glasgow

Steve Grozier is a singer-songwriter and musician from Glasgow, Scotland. Scottish though he may be, his sound is at home in America, with acoustic, alt-country instrumentals to back his warm, buttery voice. His songs settle over you like the southern heat of a Tennessee summer night.

Steve, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, is his band’s frontman. He wrote all of the music and lyrics of their debut EP, “Take My Leave.” Roscoe Wilson sings backing vocals and plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and the lap steel guitar, while John Dunlop plays the bass. Dillon Haldane played drums and percussion the EP, but left the band shortly after, and Pete Colquhoun is now the bands drummer.

Steve and his band recorded their country-tinged debut EP “Take My Leave” in September 2016, and are currently busy recording the follow up EP “A Place We Called Home.”

In one of the tracks from their debut EP, “Drink Before Dawn,” Steve describes stopping for a cup of diner coffee to stay awake while he’s on the road. Listening to the country ballad, you can picture the open highway stretching before your headlights. Although this experience is not unique to American drivers, it is a theme that crops up time and again in Americana.

“Ringing of the Bells” is another track from the debut EP that really invokes a Southern feeling. What with the singer’s slight twang, and his use of small-town imagery, you might have just happened upon Steve in a Nashville bar.

We wanted to learn more about the man behind the music! In our interview with Steve, below, we learned just what it was that drew him to Americana, and inspired his country sound and imagery.


First, could you tell us a bit about where you’re from and how you started getting into music?

I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was only there for a few years before my family moved to Bishopbriggs, a small suburb with a population of around 20,000, just north of Glasgow, Scotland. I lived there until I was 18 and old enough to move to the city for University.

The house I grew up in was filled with music. My dad had a vinyl and cassette deck that was always on. And, when we’d take rides in the car on weekends or school holidays there was always music playing. I remember thinking even then that music was this magical thing.

Then when I was around 15 or 16 I found my dad’s semi-acoustic guitar. A cheap Encore. It was horrible to play. The action was so high and it sounded dreadful. But, it was the first guitar I’d ever held and that was it. I knew I had to learn to play.

What about your band, how did you get together? Are you all Scots?

Yes, we’re all Scots. We’re all from the country’s central belt. I actually met both Roscoe and Pete via the internet. And I met John via Roscoe. I’ve known Roscoe for over ten years. When I was starting to play open mic nights and gigs in bars I placed an advert on Myspace or Gumtree, I can’t recall which, looking for a pedal steel player. Now, the chances of finding someone who can play that instrument well in Scotland are pretty rare, especially back then. Roscoe could and we’ve been friends ever since.  

When 2016 rolled around and I was looking to put a new band together Roscoe was first on my list to call. He was playing with a band and John was the bass player. I put a post-up on Facebook looking for a drummer and Pete got in touch. The rest as they say is history.   

Because we’re an organization that serves as a bridge between Scotland and the US, the fact that you’re a Scottish Americana artist is something we really love! What does Americana mean to you?

I think the term Americana is a relatively new one. When I first started writing and playing it didn’t exist, or it wasn’t widely used. They’d call the style of music folk, country or alternative country. The AMA defines Americana as contemporary music that incorporates elements of American roots music styles. For me, it isn’t a conscious decision to write in a particular style and I’m not that interested in what label is used. I think where the term Americana is useful is in fostering a sense of community and helping bringing attention or exposure to independent artists.     

American music obviously inspires your work! Who are some artists that inspire you? Any Scottish artists?

Unsurprisingly, I listen to a lot of American music. Growing up my dad had records by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Creedence, and a lot of acoustic blues. So, I was immersed in American music and culture from a young age. When I got around to buying and exploring records for myself I gravitated towards artists and bands that sounded like those I’d heard at home.  

I mean, I listen to music from across the spectrum. The colour of the music isn’t as important as how it speaks to me or makes me feel. The music from Scotland that interests me the most are bands like Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mogwai, and The Vaselines.   

A lot of Americana music has themes of travel and wayfaring- would you say that plays a part in your music?

Absolutely, I lived and travelled around Canada and the US for two years. One year on the east coast and one on the west. During that period I wrote a lot. Books full of prose, poetry and songs. Most of which will never be published or recorded. I was always interested in the writings of Jack Kerouac and the peripatetic lifestyle that he describes.  When you’re travelling it’s a different way to be in the world. I think one of the reasons I’m drawn to Americana music is because the songs are often narrative driven. They’re stories that take you on a journey to a different place or time.  

What do you think about what music means for American-Scottish relations- or just in terms of connecting people in general?

For me, my closest friendships have been formed through music. Be that playing in a band, going to shows, listening and discussing records. I think a shared passion for music can really enrich a relationship. There’s this great Hold Steady song called Stay Positive and it’s about music’s power to bring people together. The make the analogy of music being like religion when they sing “And the sing along songs will be our scriptures.”

Then there’s this great lineage of Scots and Irish who settled in the Canadian North East, the Appalachians and even North Carolina and Alabama in the 18th century. The Celtic folk songs from Scotland and Ireland would form the basis of what we now call bluegrass, country and Americana music. An interesting thing is now happening in the UK where we’re seeing British artists finding inspiration in American country music.

Do you hope to bring your music to the states?

I would love to. I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future, but it’s definitely a longer term ambition.