A doctor to trade, a fly-Fifer by birth, singing is Barbara’s main hobby, passion and interest. She literally learnt Scottish and Irish songs at her grandparents’ knees, but until joining Dundee University Folk Club in the 70s, didn’t realize anyone would want to listen to her singing them. With friends made at that club she formed the all-female a cappella group Fair Game. Barbara was also a founder member of the band Ceolbeg, one of the finest traditional bands to emerge in the late 70’s.
For a while Barbara’s singing became limited mostly to lullabies, nursery rhymes and children’s television themes due to the arrival of 3 sons. As work and childcare permitted she had a couple of brief forays into 2 other bands in the 80s and 90s, Rathlin and Fon a Bhord - with a selection of very weel-kent Scottish traditional musicians.
Now the kids are all grown up rugby players, currently Barbara sings solo, or with a cappella divas Palaver, and occasionally in a duo with tradition-bearer Maureen Jelks. She’s a bit of a musical hing-oot and enjoys singing with anyone who asks really. A brand new venture is the duo Sinsheen with Christine Kydd. Christine is best known for her groundbreaking work in the duo Janet Russell and Christine Kydd, harmony group Chantan and more recently with Calluna.
Legend is not always loud, particularly in the beneath-the-radar substreams of Scottish folk music. Barbara who? She’s been hiding her light under a bushel for a while, but holds a unique position as a fresh veteran of the Scottish music world (is that an oxymoron?).
Her innovative airings of traditional songs; merging dynamism, power and grace, delivered with fun, passion, pedigree (and maybe a bit of bodhran) are sure to enhance her growing reputation.