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Who's Who in Scottish Folk Music: S

Who's Who in Scottish Folk Music

Sangsters
Started off in 1991 as a three-piece vocal group from the Kirkcaldy area of Fife, with Anne Combe, Fiona Forbes and Scott Murray, recording an album called "Begin" (Greentrax CTRAX 065, 1993). John Blackwood joined in 1998, and they recorded a second album, "Short and Sweet" (Greentrax CDTRAX 207, 2000). Since their formation, Sangsters have forged a strong reputation which lasts to this day. They continue to perform at folk clubs and festivals throughout the world, and in 2012 Scott Murray released his first solo album, "Evening's Fa".
Saut Herrin
A five-piece folk group from the Moray Coast (Burghead and Lossiemouth to be precise) who performed mainly for charity. Sandra Borthwick (guitar, vocals), George Pratt (banjo, mouth organ), Jim Eckford (mouth organ), Iain White (Northumbrian pipes, whistle, mandolin) and Dan Ralph (fiddle, vocals) recorded one album that I know about, the self-published "A Barrel o' Saut Herrin'" on cassette (n.d.)
Scotland Yard
A trio from the late 1980s featuring Ian Bruce, Marilyn Middleton Pollock and Sandy Stanage.
Selbie, Ken
A burgh surveyor in Montrose, Ken organised the Montrose Folk club in 1969, which met in the Central Hotel.
Shannermen, The
1969: Ian Simpson (guitar, vocals, mandolin, harmonica), originally from Glasgow, teamed with Ian Lamb (later of The Gowries) and occasionally Aberdonian David Ingram.
Shifters, The
A folk group from Dundee, mid-to-late 1960s. A very popular group in their home town, their lead singer was the late Jim Reid, who went on to have a solo career.
Shindig
Band from the East Neuk of Fife playing a mix of folk and ceilidh. Date extant: April 2005.
Sinnermen, The
1971: Roger Scott (vocals, harmonica), originally from Devon, teamed with Iain Simpson (12-string guitar, vocals, kazoo), from Glasgow to sing a variety of styles of folk music. They met in Forfar, where they'd both moved.
Skerries, The
1960s: Iain Mackintosh, Jackie Jeanette and Gavin Livingstone. I know nothing else about them at present.
Smokie Folk, The (Smokey Folk?)
Arbroath group from the late 1960s/early 1970s, rumoured to have recorded an EP, but I have never traced it. The group started out a foursome, with Ian "Smokie" Gray (guitar), Brenda Gray (vocals), Fred Crowe (double bass) and Ivor ?------?. When Ivor left, Grant Langlands (guitar) took his place. They were runners-up in the Grampian TV Bothy Nichts competition in 1972, and at one time supported The Corries. Sadly, neither Ian nor Grant are still with us.

Sons of Usnach, The
Early 1980s: Ruairidh Morrison (flute), Duncan Dyker (fiddle), Hamish Moore (Scottish smallpipes), Dick Glasgow (Anglo concertina) and Sabine Glasgow on harp. They played at the Dingwall Folk Festival in 1983.
Sound Company
From the south of England and now disbanded, Sound Company were Ian Robertson (fiddle), Judith Robertson (piano, bass) and Chris Oxtoby (accordion). Ian and Judith are son and daughter Chiltern Ramblers accordionist Alan Robertson. Chris Oxtoby formed her own band, Folklore, which lasted for 10 years before Sound Company were formed. Recorded a cassette entitled Free Spirit (SCO4, 1996) of instrumental sets of dance tunes and slow airs. Chris Oxtoby now plays in her own band Strathallan (website), and Ian Robertson now plays mainly solo. Judith Robertson married Ian Muir and plays with the Craigellachie band.
Stargazers, The
This vocal group released an EP, Scotland Forever, with another group, The Keynotes. No date is given on the record.
Sterling Folk Four, The
This folk quartet were from Stirling in the early- to mid-1970s. They had also been known as Estrylin (Estrylin and Sterling are old names for Stirling), and consisted of Gavin Anderson (vocals, guitar, mandolin, whistle), Peter Aitken (vocals guitar), Marlyn Graham (vocals, guitar, bass) and Elinor MacRorie (vocals). Gavin now lives in France, while Peter is sadly deceased. Peter and Marlyn went on to perform as Two and a Bit during the late 1970s.
Stravaig
A Scottish vocal group, Moira Greenwood, Susie Kelly, Phyllis Martin and Jean McMonies. On their "Moving On" album release (Greentrax CTRAX 074), they were accompanied by Patsy Seddon (electro harp), Eilidh Shaw (fiddle), Fred Morrison (lowland pipes, whistle), and Davie Steele (bodhran, congas, bongas, bouzouki).
Stuart, Davy
An Edinburgh-born multi-instrumentalist who cut his teeth in the 1970s in the legendary Sandy Bell's pub. He later toured with the folk group Alba, and in a duo with Tony Cuffe before playing for a couple of years with the Crannachan, and later with New Zealand bands Rua and Claddagh. He still lives in NZ and is making a living as a luthier (his website).
Superswillys
A folk and comedy duo from Stiling in the mid-1970s consisting of Dougie Petrie (vocals, guitar, banjo, blues harp, whistle) and Atholl Simpson (vocals, guitar). Atholl had sung with Two and a Bit, while Dougie went to live in Germany in the mid-1980s and performed in a duo (Cheap Dessert) and forged a career as a singer/songwriter.
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Last update: 18th April 2014

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

Nigel Gatherer, Crieff, Perthshire | nigelgatherer@mac.com