Category Archives: publishing

A things (may) Come tae an End – –

Jack gets to do the Monday book and his usual Wednesday guest post while Wendy’s at a conference –

Two things are sadly coming to an end –

  1. After nearly fifteen years our annual small group tours of Scotland and Ireland are coming to a finish. The last one, of the highlands and islands should have taken place in 2020 but Covid got in the way. In addition, my friend, co-host and driver Colin died suddenly and unexpectedly. The pressures of organizing the tours had also already begun to take its toll on me so it was time.

But we have many great memories and have made many friends along the way.

  • When Wendy came to Scotland and we married, one of the friends she inherited was Pete Heywood, who had started a very high quality folk music magazine called The Living Tradition. It has been going for over thirty years and is recognized as one of the best covering the traditional music of the British Isles. Wendy helped Pete with grant applications and for a few years was the education editor for the magazine. More recently Pete’s daughter Fiona took over control and we started writing a regular series of articles called Transatlantic Connections. That’s been great fun. But this morning I received an email telling me that the next edition will be the last one. The pressures of producing and publishing a print magazine are enormous compared to organizing a tour!

As I was writing this my phone rang and it seems that my radio show may be picked up by other stations – there’s always light at the end of the tunnel!

1 Comment

Filed under between books, folklore and ethnography, Life reflections, publishing, reading, Scotland, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch

A Carrying Streamlet – –

Jack jumps in to rescue the Monday book post – –

The Folk River – Fraser Bruce

I should start by saying this is yet another book to which I had some input.

It started with a lengthy series of discussions instigated by Fraser Bruce on FaceBook where he challenged some of the accepted ‘myths’ surrounding the Scottish folk scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s. This led him to do some serious research, including interviewing those folk still around from these days, as well as previous publications – books and magazines.

He then set out on the mammoth task of pulling it all together and then enlisting our mutual friend Pete Heywood to proof, type set and insert lots of pictures.

Most other books covering this subject that I’ve seen tend to be written by observers rather than practitioners so this one is different and wherever Bruce’s experiences overlap mine I can attest that they are accurate. I can be reasonably sure, then, that where he overlaps with other folks’ experiences they are likely accurate as well.

Being married to a writer and published author I have some idea of the work that has gone into this and commend Bruce for taking on this formidable task.

Of course it will be of most interest to the diminishing band of like-minded folk who were around then, but I hope, like Bruce, that it might add to the existing small number of more academic publications about this fascinating time.

Finally – even if I hadn’t been involved I would still recommend this as an excellent window to a time that both mirrored and connected with the similar American folk revival.


Filed under book reviews, bookstore management, folklore and ethnography, publishing, reading, Scotland, Wendy Welch, writing