13 March, 2023
The Waverley, St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh
Pete is a singer, melodeon player, and song collector who has been involved in traditional song since the early 1960s. He was organiser of the original Blairgowrie Folk Festival, a founder member of the TMSA, and decades later is still organising singing festivals, with the annual Fife Traditional Singing Festival his current responsibility. He also runs Springthyme Records which has released many significant recordings of tradition bearers including two albums of his own as part of the trio, Shepheard, Spiers and Watson, with Tom Spiers and Arthur Watson.
Pete has learned songs direct from folk like Luke Kelly and the Dubliners, Jeannie Robertson, Willie Scott, Jimmy McBeath, and the Stewarts of Blair, the latter when joining them one summer at the berries in Perthshire, an experience which led to a long association with the song tradition of the Travellers across the British Isles.
An acknowledged authority on folk song Pete has presented lectures and workshops based on his song and music collecting, on ballad repertoire, traditional singing style, song repertoire among the Gypsy families of Gloucestershire and among the Scottish travelling and farming communities in Fife, Tayside and Aberdeenshire. Expect a wealth of good songs from Pete’s extensive repertoire from all parts of these islands.
(Photograph courtesy Hands Up For Trad)