Thursday, 1 April 2010


The TMSA Keith Festival committee is sad to note the passing in the last year of two regular contributors to the traditional music scene, both at the Festival itself and across Scotland.

Jim Reid
Scottish traditional music lost a stalwart performer on the 6th July last year with the passing away of Jim Reid at the age of 75 after a long illness. Jim was one of the founder members of the Keith Festival in 1976 and he attended every festival since then with the sad exception of 2009.

In the early days Jim had been a member of the Foundry Bar Band from Arbroath and many festival goers of yesteryear will recall the great ceilidhs at Gartly's on Sunday mornings at festival time. Jim, however, forged out a career as a solo artist and his great album "I Saw The Wild Geese Flee" was released in 1984. The title track from that album, adapted by Jim from a poem by Violet Jacob, came a favourite with audiences everywhere and was very much Jim's hallmark.

Jim not only did great service to traditional songs and music, for it is to be noted that he was a gifted instrumentalist on guitar, moothie and pipes, but he also penned a good number of songs as well as putting musical settings to the poems of Helen Cruickshank and the aforesaid Violet Jacob. Jim recorded his last album "Yont the Tay" for Greentrax in 2005 and a great valedictory opus it turned out to be with Jim returning with "The Wild Geese".

This year's Sunday night concert will be held in memory of Jim and there will be many a toast to that memory made on the night.

Frank McNally
It was noted with sadness the passing away of Frank McNally on 26th February at the age of 76. Frank regularly attended the Keith Festival and took part in the singing competitions often winning or being placed in the traditional and bothy ballad sections. Frank had a great voice and put feeling and understanding into the songs he sang. He will be greatly missed.

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