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Who's Who in Scottish Folk Music: G

Who's Who in Scottish Folk Music

Gael Folk, The
From Glasgow, this five-piece were Neiliann B Patrick, Mairi M Mackenzie, Bill Gardner, Douglas McLean and Donnie MacGillivray. They were formerly known as The Govan Folk Five and sprang from the famous Govan Gaelic Choir. They recorde one LP for Thistle Records
GallowaysGalloways, The
From Edinburgh, The Galloways came 5th in the 1970 Scottish Folk Group Championships (more details). members were Iain "Mitch" Mitchell, David Lonie, Norman Speakerman and Jim ?----?. Jim left the group in 1973 due to work commitments (and he had moved away from Edinburgh). The group carried on as a threesome until Norrie too left Edinburgh, bringing an end to the band. Mitch went on to sing with his wife, Sheila Baker, and an American, Charlie Fishbourne, doing some gigs around Edinburgh and Lochearnhead. Mitch became an officer in the merchant navy, and ended up moving to New Zealand where he remarried. I have heard that another member of The Galloways - George Grant - moved to Dundee in 1971 and joined Both Sides.
Gallus Molls, The
Late 1980s. This "fabulous supergroup" (as described by Sheena Wellington) only had three gigs (two Mayfests and a Tryst, and each one in Babbity Bowsters in Glasgow). Gallus Molls were Alison Duncan, Gordeanna McCulloch, Anne Neilson, Maureen Jelks and Jo Miller.
Gaugers, The [Arbroath]
The Arbroath group of this name were John Knox (vocals), Ray Stewart (banjo, mandolin) and Erik Wilthill (guitar and vocals). Ray and John had been singing together since about 1966, and Erik - a Norwegian - joined them in 1968. Their material was mainly bluegrass and traditional Scottish folk music. Erik returned to Norway in 1969, and by 1972 Jamie Hutchison was a member. Ray Stewart died in 2002.
Gaugers, The [Aberdeen]
The Aberdeen group of this name were Peter Hall (vocals, concertina), Tom Speirs (vocals, fiddle) and Arthur Watson (whistle, vocals, duclimer, bodhran). All involved with the folk scene in Aberdeen, the group were formed in January 1974, and recorded several records. Some of these can be viewed at the Gaugers discography page.
Gray, Ian
In the 1960s Ian was a member of the Arbroath group Smokey Folk, and later became resident artiste and compere at the Montrose Folk Club in 1969.
Gregorach, The
1978: This duo consisted of Ian McMillan (guitar, vocals, bodhran) and Gordon MacDonald (vocals, guitar) and they released one LP. It's possible they were from the Stirling area. Gordon now lives near Buckie in Banffshire.Discography.

Gentle Folk, The
This group were from Glasgow in the early 1970s. I know nothing else about them.
Ghille Mhor
A group from Aberdeen, active in 1972/73.
Giant Stepping Stones, The
A group from Dundee, active in the 1990s. Kevin Murray (mandolin, percussion), John Rae (fiddle), and Sandy Wright (guitar). They were part of recording called Sounds Dundonian released by Dundee Libraries in 1993 (more information). Sandy Wright later accompanied fiddler Amy Geddes.
GowriesGowries, The
Ian Lamb, Elaine Nicoll, Dave Fyfe and Brian Hendry performed together as The Gowries from August 1969 till September 1971. Forfar-based Dave and Brian were in the Anchor Folk Four previous to this, while Elaine played guitar in The Caterans. One of the group's highlights was reaching the final of the 1970 Scottish Folk Group Championship, and appearing on the resultant LP Folk Philosophy.
Great Northern Jook Band
1972: Edinburgh-based four-piece group featuring Mike Ballantyne (vocals, guitar, kazoo), Neil Munro (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, vocals), "Piney" Woods (vocals, guitar), Ovind Helseth (double bass), Jock Westwater (banjo). Occasionally Jo Farrer sang with them as well (she sang blues like Bessie Smith). Essentially the GNJB were a jug band, playing a lot of material based of Jim Kweskin and his Jug Band. They recorded a single, "The Jug Band's Back" which was only released in Norway. After Mike left the Great Northern Jook Band changed their name to The Shelby County Band. They split at the end of 1972.
Mike Ballantyne also sang solo in Edinburgh pubs and ran a folk club in Edinburgh, before emigrating to Canada in 1973, singing professionally until 1989.
This Glasgow-based group were due to release their first LP in 1972. Group members were Jack Law, Billy Campbell and Ian Campbell (lead guitar, vocals), with singer/songwriter Brian Friel appearing with them on many occasions. In early 1973 Ian had to leave on doctor's advice.
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Last update: 4th March 2015

Any further information about any of the groups mentioned on these pages would be appreciated (email Nigel Gatherer)

Nigel Gatherer, Crieff, Perthshire |