Steve & Spider perform at a private house concert
"Celticana" Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023 Steve Crawford and Spider MacKenzie
The Acoustic Music Centre @ Ukranian Community Centre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 14 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, EH7 5AB
Steve and Spider perform their one-off intimate show "Celticana" at the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Friday 11th August 2023 - show time - 8.30-930pm
Ticket sale details to follow
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”.
To record their most recent album, ‘Celticana’, they relocated first to Nashville to rehearse in the city’s historic East Side, soaking up all the muse this musical heartland has to offer. From there they travelled on to Moon House Studios in Austin, Texas to work with veteran musician-producer and former Texan musician of the year Chris Gage. The result is music stylistically drenched in Americana set to lyrics that spin stories from the Scottish motherland.
Steve Crawford has featured his songwriting on numerous albums over the years including with founding members of Old Blind Dogs in the band Catford. More recently, his work with the band Ballad of Crows won praise from legendary folk hero Mike Harding when he said, “Listen carefully to the words, they’re making really great music”. Now based in Germany, he has also established himself on the folk scene there in his work with the popular Cajun band Le Clou and also in his duet together with fiddler Sabrina Palm, receiving a nomination for best folk album from the distinguished German Critics Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) in 2019 for their second album, ‘Two’.
Spider MacKenzie is well established as one of the UK’s finest harmonica players. He is the go-to session player for many revered Scottish musicians - the late great Tam White, guitarist Andy Gunn and more recently UK Perrier Jazz Vocalist award winning singer Niki King have all sung his praises. Discovered by Stateside musicians as well, he has been called upon as a session player for a number of recording projects. Paying tribute to him, Christine Albert, former chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the organization that puts on the Grammys wrote: “I feel that it is indeed rare to come across a harmonica player with such a genuine empathy for American music. He is an incredibly talented musician”.
Since the release of their first album ‘5 am’ in 2008 to great reviews (Scotland’s biggest selling newspaper The Daily Record awarded it five stars) the duo have gigged extensively in Scotland and across mainland Europe, with their first gigs in the USA in 2018.
“As good a combination of vocal, guitar and harmonica as you’re likely to hear, decorating songs that remind me of the quality and easy skill of early Jackson Browne” (Folking UK)
“Their music may be inspired and influenced by musicians on both sides of the pond, but it doesn’t actually come from anywhere. It’s already there. The music is embedded in Steve and Spider and they are graciously welcoming it to surface” (Texas Lifestyle Magazine, USA)
“An absolute asset to fans of wonderful folk, blues and Americana music” (Rootstime, BELGIUM)
“Masterful and rich Celticana, underpinned by perfect playing and singing, creating a whole that just shines with class” (Times Past & Times Passing, UK)
“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)
Spider performs with Michael Hearne, Shake Russell and others at Michael Hearne's wonderful 2023 Big Barn Dance Music Festival in beautiful Taos, New Mexico.