Karine Polwart

Karine Polwart is a Scottish artist who combines traditional folk music styles with modern themes. I’ve been cruising around the internet looking for pieces to include here and I haven’t found a song yet that I didn’t like. Her voice is pure and her emotions deep. The music she creates has feeling, and often deep social meaning.

Polwart’s debut album FAULTLINES won three awards at the 2005 BBC Folk Awards, including Best Album. Its follow up, SCRIBBLED IN CHALK (2006), contained “Daisy”, a gentle word to the wise to one of life’s givers and truth-tellers who can’t quite comprehend that “there are people in this world who don’t think like you do”. The song won Polwart another BBC Folk Award for Best Original Song in 2007.

Karine Polwart performs “Daisy” for PRI’s “The World:”

Visit Karine’s website to learn more about the amazing, young artist.

Bwani Junction

Fergus, Jack, Rory and Dan make up Edinburgh’s Bwani Junction. The recently made history by being the first band to play on the Forth Rail Bridge. This being a follow-up to their recent music video for their song “Two Bridges,” shown below. An article from The Skinny (November, 2011) describes their sound as, “. . . a breezy, summer sound tempered with homegrown tales, . . .” comparing them to bands like Vampire Weekend. Listen and enjoy!

Visit them on Facebook or YouTube.

Tallia Storm

Let me start by saying . . . she’s 13. Listen to that voice! No 13-year-old should have that much soul. Tallia Storm was born and (is being) raised in Killearn, Sterling, Scotland. On June 10th, 2012, she opened for none other than Sir Elton John at his performance in Falkirk  (the only date in Scotland on his current tour.) This all came about because Ms. Storm ran into Sir Elton’s partner, David Furnish while vacationing in Hawaii. She handed over a demo CD and a note, and hours later Elton John was on the phone. Crazy. Please take a listen. Even if R&B/Soul is not your prefered choice of music, I think you’ll be impressed.



Learn more about Tallia Storm on her website.

KT Tunstall: Black Horse & The Cherry Tree

You may be familiar with Scotland’s KT Tunstall and her song “Black Horse & The Cherry Tree,” but if you’ve never seen her ‘one woman’ version, you should treat yourself! It’s amazing to watch her build the back tracks as she begins the song.

Find out more about KT Tunstall on her website!

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born on June 7th, 1868, on Parson Street in Glasgow, Scotland. As a young man he apprenticed with a local architect then, in 1889 moved on to a larger, more established firm in the city. To compliment his apprenticeship, Mackintosh began taking classes at the Glasgow School of Art, and it was there that he met  Margaret MacDonald, her sister Frances MacDonald and Herbert MacNair (who was also a fellow apprentice with Mackintosh at the architectural firm Honeyman and Keppie.) Mackintosh would later marry Margaret MacDonald and, together with Frances and Herbert, become known as “The Four.” They formed an informal creative alliance which produced innovative and at times controversial graphics and decorative art designs which made an important contribution to the development and recognition of a distinctive ‘Glasgow Style’. This was all during the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement.

If you travel to Scotland there are several place you can visit that will show you Mackintosh’s architectural work. The Charles Rennie Mackintosh (CRM) Society‘s website is a good place to find information on his buildings and displays of his design work. There are a few gems that shouldn’t be missed including The Hill House, the Glasgow School of Art and the Willow Tea Room.

The Hill House

The Hill House is located in Helensburgh, Scotland and was designed as a residence for a prominent Glasgow publisher. Charles and Margaret designed the home as well as many of the interior fittings and furniture. (Image by Mrs. Billerman on Flickr. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

The Glasgow School of Art is considered Mackintosh’s ‘masterwork,’ and still functions as an art school today. Tours are available.

The Willow Tea Rooms are both located in Glasgow. The tea room on Sauchiehall Street is the one originally designed by Mackintosh, while the Buchanan Street address is described as a replica of a CRM design. Either would be a wonderful place for tea or lunch. (Image by acb on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)