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Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis - JPop.com
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Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis

Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis

Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis


The Cast, David Francis (guitar) and Mairi Campbell (fiddle, viola, voice), have been playing together since 1992. They made their debut album ‘The Winnowing’ for Alasdair Fraser’s Culburnie Records the following year, with a second CD for Culburnie, ‘Colours of Lichen’ appearing in 1996. After a long absence from recording, their third album, ‘greengold’ came out on Greentrax in the summer of 2007. Their repertoire includes their own songs Read more on Last.fm
The Cast, David Francis (guitar) and Mairi Campbell (fiddle, viola, voice), have been playing together since 1992. They made their debut album ‘The Winnowing’ for Alasdair Fraser’s Culburnie Records the following year, with a second CD for Culburnie, ‘Colours of Lichen’ appearing in 1996. After a long absence from recording, their third album, ‘greengold’ came out on Greentrax in the summer of 2007. Their repertoire includes their own songs, interpretations of the songs of Robert Burns and contemporary writers, traditional songs from the British Isles, and the fiddle and dance music of Scotland and Cape Breton.

Their arrangement of the Robert Burns classic, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, is featured prominently in the 2008 hit film version of ‘Sex and The City’, and features on the movie soundtrack. In the autumn of 2007, a song from ‘greengold’, ‘Smile or Cry’ was announced as one of the winners of the biannual Burnsong competition, which attracted over 400 entries, while Mairi’s tune ‘Jean Yelland’ was voted ‘Composition of the Year’ in the Chicago-based LiveIreland.com awards for 2008. Also at the end of 2007, Mairi was voted ‘Scots Singer of the Year’ at the annual Scots Trad Music Awards, while LiveIreland.com declared her ‘Female Musician of the Year’. The Cast has appeared at festivals and venues in Italy, Spain, the US, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland and Germany, as well as clubs, arts centres and festivals all over the UK – including major festivals such as Celtic Connections, Towersey, Burns and a’ That and Warwick.

Performance highlights include TV appearances as part of the Robert Burns birthday celebrations, an appearance in Washington DC at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1999 in a segment of the show devoted to Sir Sean Connery, and performance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Edinburgh. (A few years later, when asked by ‘The Independent’ newspaper for five favourite tracks on his iPod, Sir Sean included The Cast’s version of Auld Lang Syne (that song again!) from their first album.) Mairi Campbell trained as a viola player at the Guildhall in London, and worked in London until she withdrew to focus fully on traditional song and fiddle music, essentially finding her musical roots. Her musical interests are wide, and range from playing Scottish dance music to free improvisation (the former with Bella McNab’s Dance Band, the latter with the Working Party). She is in great demand as a fiddle teacher, and was one of the pioneers in the re-introduction of solo step-dancing to Scotland in the early nineties.

Mairi is currently musical director of the Edinburgh based folk-choir Sangstream. She has also worked extensively as a session musician. David Francis is active in dance music (also with Bella McNab’s) as a guitarist and dance caller, and teaches both guitar and Scottish dancing in Edinburgh. He is a former director of Edinburgh Folk Festival, and in 1999 produced a comprehensive report on traditional music in Scotland for the Scottish Arts Council.

He is currently director of Ceol Mor, Aberdeen International Youth Festival’s traditional music big band, and a co-founder of Distil, a creative development programme for traditional musicians interested in composition. He is active in traditional music education in Edinburgh, and is carrying out research into the role of the traditional artist in community development. Mairi and Dave were married in 1994 and have two daughters. They live in Portobello in Edinburgh. Read more on Last.fm.

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