Six superbly talented musicians, on fiddles, bagpipes,
whistle, bouzouki, guitar, bodhran and vocals, Deaf Shepherd draw their influences and
material from the length and breadth of Scotland, combining traditional tunes
and songs with hand-picked contemporary compositions, including many of the
Deaf Shepherd have performed to consistently rapturous acclaim
and sellout crowds at many of the world's leading Celtic music gatherings,
including the Cambridge, Edinburgh, Shetland and Skagen folk festivals, the
Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, Brittany's Lorient festival and the
Edinburgh Fringe. Their two albums to date, Ae Spark O' Nature's Fire (1996) and
Synergy (1997), both won unanimously rave reviews, with Synergy being named by
BBC Radio Scotland's Travelling Folk programme as one of the year's top
releases, as well as earning a maximum five-star rating as "Album of the
Week" in The Scotsman, one of Scotland's two quality daily newspapers.
Based in Edinburgh, currently home to the UK's most dynamic
roots music scene, the band first got together in 1993, with most of the current
line-up settling into place a couple of years later. Between them, they bring
together most of Scotland's major regional traditions, hailing variously from
the Highlands, Glasgow, the Hebridean island of Barra and the Lowlands of
Ayrshire, with a dash of Irish influence in the shape of percussionist Mark
MaGuire. While many of their musical contemporaries have pursued a
fusion-based approach, Deaf Shepherd have stuck proudly to their traditional
guns, introducing a new generation of fans to their rich native heritage by
capturing the timeless spirit and beauty that has kept the venerable tunes and
ballads in their repertoire alive down the centuries.
A Deaf Shepherd performance runs the full gamut of moods and
emotions, from the hell-for-leather elation of fiery jigs and reels, through the
stirring majesty of Highland pipe marches, to the haunting eloquence of slow
airs and ballads. Their instrumental arrangements match power with precision,
contemporary inventiveness with authentic traditional taste, while lead singer
John Morran, with his richly expressive, subtly poignant voice, is widely
recognised as his generation's leading exponent of Scots song.
> The past few years have seen the band going steadily from strength
to strength, honing their sound through an increasingly hectic international
touring schedule. Small wonder that the Scotsman's veteran critic
Alastair Clark, one of the country's leading authorities on the
subject, has pronounced them "quite simply the best folk band Scotland
has produced in many a year". After experiencing the magic of Deaf
Shepherd's music, few if any would disagree.
Read about our past members.