Music from the Land and the Sea: The Heart of Crofters

Call it roots, folk, traditional or even country…the music at the heart of Crofters is the music of the people, the music that has creatively arisen from generations living and working on the land and the sea, right up to the present day. It tells of their history and their heartbreaks, from Appalachian bluegrass to Irish fiddle tunes to Scottish ballads, and emerges from the landscape itself.

Often, it’s music that was once suppressed or sanitised by the establishment, removed from the crofts and the farms and the village halls. However, it survived in pockets of traditional culture and thrived uninhibited elsewhere in the world, carrying a rich historical and cultural legacy in the voices and hands of emigrants who created new songs and melodies as they carved out a living in unfamiliar places. In recent decades, that music has started to return to its origins, as people revive and combine elements of various Celtic, transatlantic and other traditions from across the world.

However, it’s not stuck in the nostalgic past - over the years we have had fantastic performers at Crofters who draw on those traditions to create new and vibrant original music that pushes at the boundaries of old forms. Music at Crofters often defies definition by genre. Whether it has a touch of gypsy jazz here or a hint of blues there, the connecting thread of music at Crofters is that it recreates the atmosphere of the living room session or the homespun kitchen ceilidh, bringing strangers and friends together in shared enjoyment of music, accompanied by a generous share of good food, drink and fun.

In 2020, as the ‘unplugging’ of live music in Scotland threatens to sever that thread, we want to keep the music alive. For many people, music, of any genre, is everything - a creative outlet, a shared connection with something larger, even therapy. It’s essential to who we are.

Until we can sit in Crofters again and enjoy a night of live music, we’re continuing on the traditions of the hearthside session as best we can. We hope you’ll join us!


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