"Celticana"

Latest cd with Steve Crawford

Welcome

To the website of professional harmonica player & musician Spider MacKenzie

Spider is no regular harmonica player but rather one who has a unique technical ability matched with an inimitable talent to convey the emotion of a song. Hence it's not surprising numerous, notable artists are keen to choose to work with him.  Whether it's in Europe with his long term musical duo, companion Steve Crawford, Perrier award winning singer Niki King or across the pond with former Texas Musician of the Year Chris Gage or Grammy nominated artist Bill Kirchen in the United States of America.  Spider's music is "sure to touch your heart and bring a smile to your face" to quote Sugar Blue the Grammy Award winner who has played with legends from Willie Dixon to The Rolling Stones.

After hearing Steve and Spider's recent album "Celticana" Charlie McCoy the most recorded harmonica player in history, Grammy-winning, Country Music Hall of Fame legend wrote "Spider's harmonica is a high spot. Put an ear on this one. You'll be glad you did"

A quick word from Spider -  Thank you for taking the time to visit my website. You will find information on projects and shows I'm involved with. It's April 2021 as I write this and I hope to be performing live again as soon it's safe.  

In the mean time I have been kept busy recording at home for a number of projects. Session playing on some lovely tracks for friends. I will keep you posted when their CDs, records come out.

I'd love it if you would join my mailing list so we can keep in touch. 

I'd also like to express my gratitude to the following people.  

Thanks to Hohner Harmonicas & Sutherland Trading for their support and supply of my harmonicas. No other brand and no other harmonica in my 40+ years of playing has given and continues to give me so much joy. 

Hence, I  am delighted to be a Hohner Artist and Endorsee of their fabulous harmonica's.  

Valerie Fremin thank you for sharing your talent and the wonderful photography. 

Finally thank you to all the press, musicians and friends for all the lovely comments.  

Hope to see you soon. 
  
Love & hugs 
  
Spider 
Xx 

 

Let's stay in touch

I'd love to stay in touch. So please do join my mailing list

What revered musicians & press say 


“Colin MacKenzie 'Spider' as we all know & love him, is one of the finest musicians I have ever had the privilege of playing live & recording with Class A on both counts. I can assure you Awesome Bluesman but then there is this other whole side to Spider that makes him stand out, jazz & almost Avant Garde area he can inhabit that is way off the map, both articulate and free spirit combined, but also he takes direction great, so fantastic to work with if you are a songwriter, he also knows when to back off, which is a weakness for many musicians of all levels or genres But more important, Spider is a great man too! Solid as they come and a great friend to have I am proud to call him a brother in music.”
Martin George Stephenson Ex Capitol & London Records recording artist
 
“Colin “Spider” MacKenzie is a wonderful player, he has a fluid, clean and sensitive style that is sure to touch your heart and bring a smile to your face, listen and enjoy!!”
 Sugar Blue - Grammy Award winner who has played with legends from Willie Dixon to The Rolling Stones


"Spider is simply one of the best harp players there is. He's also one of the best musicians I've ever had the pleasure of working with. When we play songs together, he has an innate ability to remain sensitive to what the songs need. Whether that's creating some luscious soundscape, providing a nice groove or finding the right spaces, he always manages to know what serves the song best. But when it comes to taking a solo, then all I can do is sit back and gaze in wonder at what he can achieve with his instrument! And if this wasn't enough to make a great musical partner, then he's also one of the finest human beings I've ever known!"
Steve Crawford - singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist, session musician

“Spider – a polite, unassuming guy… Until you put a harmonica in his hand. At that point he’ll take a song, and make you feel it. In your bones.” – Texas Lifestyle Magazine

“Spider is clearly a virtuoso harmonica player” - Blues Matters magazine

"I just listed to "Celticana: with Spider MacKenzie and Steve Crawford. The CD is full of great songs, great vocals and Spider's harmonica is a high spot. Put an ear on this one. You'll be glad you did"  - Charlie McCoy most recorded harmonica player in history, Grammy-winning, Country Music Hall of Fame legend. 

 “the contributions of the harp player were very tasteful (keys were good too, but I thought the harp was excellent"  Bruce Iglauer legendary CEO/Founder of Alligator Records


“Intensely moving harmonica sound” 
“Massively exciting naturally talented harmonica player” 
“I would cheerfully walk 100 miles over hot coals to feel some of his music”  - Blueprint - magazine

“I still prefer the sensitive virtuosity and imagination of Aberdeen’s junior James Cotton, Spider MacKenzie”  - The Sunday Times

“Harmonica virtuoso”, “Star of bloos moothie”  - The Aberdeen Evening Express

“I bet you think every town has a blues harp player this good. They don’t and we should cherish him.”
The Aberdeen Press & Journal

“Top class music from Scotland” - WAZ newspaper, Germany

“Informed harmonica playing, adding atmosphere and filling spaces where spaces need filling. A formidable player who knows when to hold back and when to dive deep into a solo” - Northern Sky

“Very talented Scottish harmonica player”  - Roots Time Belgium 

Shows & tours

Old chums Martin & Spider have decided to do a nice wee intimate show at The Blue Lamp in Aberdeen Having known each other for many years with many recordings and performances shared, they thought it was time to do something in Aberdeen. Should be a treat xx Doors 7pm, show starts 7:30pm 2 x 45 minute sets with a 20 minute break in between Tickets £18.50 + book fee

https://daintees.co.uk/event/5520232/675939520/martin-stephenson-spider-mackenzie-special

Martin Stephenson began his career as a busker aged 15. He then spent three years plying his trade as the guitar player in various bands in the North East of England . But Martin wanted more, he wanted to tell stories of his own and he was quickly developing ways of doing just that.

He developed his song-writing technique by firstly learning a few licks from a Spanish guitar book and repeated the process with Jazz, Blues, Country, Skiffle, Reggae etc. Eventually, this glorious collision of styles would become the trademark which Martin has carried through his career of almost 40 years.

Martin formed his band The Daintees, who became busking sensations and were signed by Kitchenware at around the same time as Prefab Sprout and Hurrah! The band, and indeed Martin, have always been known for their incredible range of styles, each album covering a multitude of genres, tempos and moods. The Daintees went on to release four critically acclaimed albums between 1986 & 1992; Boat To Bolivia, Gladsome Humour and Blue, Salutation Road, and The Boys Heart.

His must-see live performances are an exuberant tour-de-force combining heart-in-your-mouth intimacy with playful humour and warm self-deprecation.

Spider MacKenzie “Harmonica virtuoso” The Aberdeen Evening Express, “I bet you think every town has a blues harp player this good. They don’t and we should cherish him.” The Aberdeen Press & Journal. Are two quotes from Aberdeen’s local newspapers.

A versatile, informed player he has been chosen as a harmonica player for numerous artists in the UK, Europe & the USA. To name a few: the late great Scottish blues and jazz singer Tam White, Perrier award winning jazz singer Niki King, Martin Stephenson & the Daintees, actress Elaine C Smith, Guntmar Feuerstein and Dik Banovich. In the United States he has worked with Texas music legends such as: Shake Russell, Gary P Nunn, Bill Kirchen, Michael Hearne, Bill Hearne, Chris Gage, Bob Livingston, Danny Britt and Tom Peterson the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recipient.

Today Spider continues to record and perform with many of the above artists in the UK, Europe, and the USA. He also performs regularly with his long-time duo & Steve Crawford & Spider MacKenzie.

https://daintees.co.uk/event/5520232/675939520/martin-stephenson-spider-mackenzie-special

Tickets £18.50 + book fee

Steve Crawford and Spider MacKenzie perform their one-off intimate show "Celticana" at the 2024 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Tuesday 20th August 2024 - show time - 5.30-6.30pm Steve Crawford & Spider MacKenzie from Aberdeen in Scotland make music that is at times rich in warm, candlelight intimacy and in others all burning hell fire and brimstone. Bold and eloquent songwriting, and delivery, often reminiscent of the classic ‘70s singer/songwriters, combines with acoustic guitar, wailing and weeping virtuoso harmonica and mellifluous vocals to complete this dynamic duo. As Germany’s WAZ newspaper simply put it, “Top class music from Scotland”.

"Spider's harmonica emotes the feelings that emerge from the lyrics and music of Steve. Together, the Scottish pair has introduced a version of Americana music that raises the bar for everyone" (Texas Lifestyle Magazine, USA). "I sat spellbound, in love equally with Steve Crawford's strikingly charismatic voice and Spider MacKenzie's wistfully virtuoso harp playing" (Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Germany) "Perfect playing and singing, creating a whole that just shines with class" (Times Past & Times Passing, UK) "As good a combination of vocal, guitar and harmonica as you're likely to hear" (Folking.com, UK)

£15 and £14 concessions

Michael Hearne’s Big Barn Dance Music Festival Taos, New Mexico

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Kit Carson Park, Taos, New Mexico

Spider is a guest at Michael Hearne’s incredible Big Barn Dance Music Festival in Taos, New Mexico. He will perform as part of Michael's band South by South West and with other acts. "We are very happy to present Michael Hearne’s Big Barn Dance Music Festival this coming September in beautiful Taos, NM. We’re bringing the best of Americana, Country, Folk and Bluegrass music to northern New Mexico. Get ready to bring your listening ears and your dancing feet as we celebrate Michael Hearne’s 22nd Annual Big Barn Dance in Taos, NM!"

Please see https://bigbarndance.com/buy-tickets/