Dick Gaughan, who plays The Live Room @ Caroline Club, Saltaire on Sunday 24th June, has been at the cutting edge of Scottish music for over four decades as guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor, musical director, composer, arranger and producer.
Possessing one of the truly great folk voices allied to a dazzling guitar technique, Gaughan is well known for his forthright and oft-expressed political views and has never been attracted by the current vogue of consensual, pragmatic and equivocating politics. He gives voice to an uncompromising solidarity with the flotsam and jetsam of tunnel-vision global capitalism: the victims; the helpless; the wronged; the fighters; and the brawny working-class bravehearts who made capitalism work as best they could. Gaughan still burns with anger at injustice and cauterising scorn of those who abuse privilege. In these times of recession, job losses and austerity, never has that fire been more needed.
Dick Gaughan was raised in Leith on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, part of a musical family. His mother was a singer in both Gaelic and English, his paternal grandfather an Irish speaker and fiddle player, from Doohoma in Iorrais, Co Mayo, and his grandmother, born in Glasgow of Irish parents from Killala, played button accordion and was also a singer. Gaughan was brought up immersed in the musical traditions and culture of the Gaels, both Scots and Irish, which provided the foundation for everything he does.
Alongside his 40 year recording and touring career, Dick has composed music for films for the BBC, Scottish Arts Council and independent producers, as well as a full symphony and a 12-part suite for orchestra. He is also an actor and theatre music director, having been in both roles with the celebrated 7:84 (Scotland) Theatre Company in the early 80s. His songs have been recorded by, among many others, Billy Bragg, Christy Moore, Mary Black, Roy Bailey and Capercaillie.
Gaughan has been the subject of three full television documentaries: BBC2 Spectrum (1982), Scottish Television NB (1989) and BBC4 Session (2006) - as well as many radio documentaries in several countries.
In 2010 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Radio 2's annual Folk Awards ceremony. Dick is the only performer to have been so honoured by his musical peers both north and south of the Border. No better example of the esteem in which he is held was Neil Finn of Crowded House, who flew all the way from New Zealand at his own expense to present the award – remarkable!
'the kind of voice that could stop a train in its tracks' - The Independent
'In any style, on any stage, Gaughan is one of folk music's guitar geniuses as well as one of Scotland's finest singers' - Dirty Linen
'The art of contemporary and traditional song by a singer and guitar player of rare quality and integrity; a totally unique experience, there's nobody remotely like him' - Brunswick Music Festival