“Surely the most impressive young instrumentalist and songwriter singing in English”****
"One of the leading artists of the contemporary folk scene"
“Clear, clean and elegant vocal style” ****
Multi award winning Scottish folk singer Emily Smith is a leading figure of the Scottish folk scene. As a songwriter Emily has been likened to ‘a Scottish Joni Mitchell’, but is equally adept at presenting fresh and evocative interpretations of traditional material.
From Dumfriesshire in South West Scotland, Emily grew up only a few miles from Ellisland Farm, once the home of Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns whose work Emily acknowledges as a big element of her musical heritage. Emily plays piano and accordion but it’s her outstanding voice which has gained her a stream of awards throughout her career including ‘BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year’in 2002, USA Songwriting Competition Winner in 2005, ‘Scots Singer of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2008 and more recently two nominations at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for ‘Folk Singer of the Year’ and ‘Best Traditional Track’for her song ‘Sweet Lover of Mine’ from her album ‘Traiveller’s Joy’.
Emily holds an honours degree in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
During her years as a student in Glasgow she met New Zealand born multi-instrumentalist and husband, Jamie McClennan. Jamie has become an integral part of Emily’s sound playing fiddle and guitar in her band and producing Emily’s most recent albums.
Emily has toured worldwide performing on the main stage of many of the world’s biggest folk festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections, Denmark’s Tonder Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival and the National Folk Festival in Australia. She has also taken her music to audiences in Japan, Russia, New Zealand and North America.
Alongside her solo career Emily has worked with an array of artists from the folk scene and beyond including Richard Thompson, Eddi Reader, Chris Wood, and Beth Nielsen Chapman. In 2005 she was one of eight UK songwriters commissioned to be part of collaborative project ‘Burnsong’ and in 2009 she was a writer in ‘The Darwin Song Project’ which produced a live album and DVD of newly written songs inspired by the life and work of Charles Darwin.
TV appearances include the award winning Transatlantic Sessions 4, BBC Songs of Praise, Scotland’s ‘Hogmanay Live’, BBC Ulster’s ‘Santer’ and an exclusive performance for Sky Arts Channel filmed at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2011. She has performed live sessions for Bob Harris and Aled Jones on their BBC Radio 2 shows as well as receiving regular airplay on BBC Radio Scotland and further afield.
Alongside singing in English, Emily also promotes the use of Scots language through her music. She has run Scots song workshops for adults and children and recently led a songwriting workshop for the TV programme ‘Scots Scuil’ which was broadcast on BBC 2 Scotland in February 2012.
Emily has released four solo albums to date (‘Traiveller’s Joy’ 2011, ‘Too Long Away’ 2008, ‘A Different Life’ 2005 and ‘A Day Like Today’ 2002) as well as ‘Adoon Winding Nith’; a duo album with Jamie McClennan, of lesser known Robert Burns songs which they released in 2009 to mark the 250th anniversary of Burns’ birth.
2013 sees the release of ‘Ten Years’ a special anniversary album to mark Emily’s tenth anniversary as a folksinger. The first Emily Smith songbook will also be released this year followed up by an all new studio album in 2014.
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