PICKING UP PIECES OF MUSICAL DRIFTWOOD

September 7, 2023 → 9:00 pm10:00 pm

The Orkney Club, Harbour Street, Kirkwall

The Driftwood Cowboys pick up musical flotsam from the Orkney shores and build something unique from it, connected by stories, reflections and conversation. Country, blues, swing, bothy ballads and traditional fiddle combine in humorous and heartfelt tales of island life.

The four members of the band have travelled the world playing music in multiple groups, not least across the USA. Singer/songwriter Duncan McLean has written extensively about Western Swing, including his prize-winning book, Lone Star Swing: On the Trail of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Also featured are three other familiar Orcadian names – Iain Tait (double bass), Brian Cromarty (guitar) and Douglas Montgomery (fiddle).

Tonight they perform a selection of favourite songs and tunes – “introduced by informative or at least imaginative stories about their origins and significance, and the links between Scottish and Americana music.”

Tickets £8 can be booked through this LINK.

“West Texas roads are so featureless that they easily become abstractions, symbols, like the ones the Orkney poet Edwin Muir kept writing about ….

Wyre was the world of his childhood. Even though it was only a mile long and half a mile wide it was all the world: there was no possibility of travelling beyond its boundaries. To the boy Muir, the surrounding islands and skerries were as distant and unreachable as the stars. And in 1894, this indivisible, self-contained world was changed utterly: Wyre’s first road was laid, bisecting the island, running down its low heathery spine, east to west. Muir was seven. He watched the road grow, walked it, took it into his world: the road that split the world but never took you out of it.

Imagine Muir growing up a Texas sharecropper instead of a north isles peasant farmer! The roads here are different: they take you somewhere, they lead you over the horizon. The road on Wyre stopped when it reached the edges of the island, the edges of the world: go any further and you’d fall off. In Orkney you have borders bred into you by the sea; in Texas the borders have to be marked out by a line of men with guns.”

– Duncan McLean, Lone Star Swing
PAINTERS, PENDULUMS, GHOSTS OF CULLODEN
MADE MANIFEST IN FORM AND NUMBER

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