Celtic Connections' Final Weekend and The Transatlantic Sessions.

It's the final weekend of Celtic Connections and what a festival it has been. We have been rushed off our feet here at ESP but loved every minute of it. To mark the end of the festival there will be the 17th live edition of the Transatlantic Sessions with an array of Scottish, Irish and US special guests joining the regular all-star instrumental line-up. The show will feature Sierra Hull, a 3 time winner of IBMA Mandolin player of the year and also an accomplished singer songwriter. She will appear alongside fellow American Singer and multi-instrumentalist Cahalen Morrison.

Tommy Emmanuel

Tommy Emmanuel will feature at this years Transatlantic Sessions.

This year Transatlantic also becomes trans-Pacific with the appearance of Australian-born guitar deity Tommy Emmanuel (long based out of Nashville), whose dazzlingly multilayered finger-style prowess earned him the title of Certified Guitar Player from the late Chet Atkins. From this side of the Atlantic the show will feature Irish singer and front woman of the band Dervish, Cathy Jordan. Scottish ‘folk noir’ singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni will also feature after the success of her 2019 studio album As It Turns. Once again the sessions will be under the annual musical direction of Shetland fiddler Aly Bain and multi-Grammy-winning dobro maestro Jerry Douglas, with the accompanying instrumental dream-team featuring Russ Barenberg, Phil Cunningham, John Doyle , Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, Daniel Kimbro and James Mackintosh. There are shows at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall tonight (Friday 31st) and Sunday and afterwards the show will go on a small UK tour starting in Liverpool on the 3rd of February and finishing in Brighton on 8th Feb. We will be supplying a substantial backline for both the Celtic Connection shows and the subsequent tour.

Footage of 2015 Transatlantic Sessions for PBS.

Tonight there is another show that is bound to be a highlight of the festival as Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara brings her Grammy Award nominated set to Tramway. Fatoumata Diawara’s 2011 debut LP saw her hailed as a thrilling new standard-bearer of Mali’s celebrated musical traditions. Since then, she’s featured in collaborations with Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock, Roberto Fonseca and Damon Albarn, plus compatriots Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangaré and Toumani Diabaté. 2018’s Grammy-nominated second album, Fenfo, showcased her compelling range and depth of expression amid a vibrant array of ancient and modern sounds. Her captivating live performances are demonstrated wonderfully in her performance of her song Nterini for Colors Studios which we have linked below. We are delivering a full backline to the show which includes our Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute Drum Kit with Zildjian Cymbals, a Roland SPD-SX, Timbales, multiple amplifiers, a Fender Stratocaster, a Novation Impulse 61 and much much more.

 Fatoumata Diawara performing Nterini at Colors Studios.

Other hires for the festival's last weekend include a backline for English musician Keeley Forsyth at the CCA, and a Drum Screen for Scottish multi-instrumentalist Ross Ainslie at St. Luke’s on Friday. Also on Friday our Gretsch USA Custom Drum Kit will be going to the Mackintosh Church for Dutch band Under the Surface. On Saturday the shows begin early with a performance at The New Auditorium by The Fridays (a misnomer if ever there was one.) We will then be delivering a substantial backline for the Annie Ebrel Quartet at the Tron Theatre which includes Roland RD 800. There will also be another delivery to St Luke’s for Cape Breton singer-songwriter Heather Rankin and another one to the CCA for American songwriter Ryley Walker. The final show that we have a hire for at this year's festival is at the Old Fruit Market for Scottish band Rura. They are hiring 2 Fender Twin Reverbs.

Line-up for Colours 25th Birthday Party at SWG3.

We have more hires outside of Celtic Connections this week including separate hires of our DJ equipment. On Friday 31st we will be delivering 2 Pioneer CDJ 900NXS and a Pioneer DJM 800 to The Glasgow Women’s Library for an evening of music and chat as they celebrate the creativity and talent of women for their first St Brigid's Day Celebration in association with the Celtic Media Festival. On Saturday at SWG3 Colours will be celebrating their 25th birthday with a line-up including Key4050, Faithless DJ set, Roger Sanchez and much more. The event begins at 3pm and will run all day through until 12am. The hire includes 6  Pioneer CDJ 2000 NXS2 , 2 Pioneer DJM 900 NXS2 and a Pioneer RMX 1000. We have another hire for Forest of Black who we wrote about in last weeks newsletter. They are filming another video this week and have hired our Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute Drum Kit.

Its been a very busy January for us and we are looking forward to next month. If you are heading to any of these shows we hope you have a great time and if you would like to hire anything from us at all in the future don't hesitate to contact us at info@esp-musicrentals.co.uk.