Not to succumb to this marvellous voice is almost impossible. Iona Fyfe is one of the best that Scotland has to offer. Anyone who knows the scene knows that everything is great. The first album of the Iona Fyfe band is coming out of the company of CPL-Music.

“I’ve always wanted to release a physical CD and I’m very excited about the finished product. I’m so passionate about. “” I’m so passionate about. “

The simple title of this EP, “East”, refers to the origin of both the music and the artist, namely the Scottish east coast. Iona Fyfe has formed a band with which she recorded five traditional songs (plus a more recent date) of her home in a strikingly simple way. There are no sound gadgets that would distort the character of the music. Thus, although these are usually ballads and love songs, one perceives a certain roughness between the notes. Even the entrance of a piano seems as if it were a traditional Scottish folk instrument.

A first highlight of the album is clearly “Cairn O ‘Mount”. Only Iona Fyfe’s voice can be heard and at the latest you can see the incredible talent of this young woman. One may not believe that the musician has yet completed her education at the Royal Scottish Conservatory. But with the final “Bonny Udny” they finally climb the summit. This title crowns the album.

On “East” the Iona Fyfe band pays tribute to the Scottish legends Belle Stewart and Jeannie Robertson . At the same time it transmits old songs carefully in modern times. We are already looking forward to the band’s 2018 full-length debut. “East” is just beautiful.  

Read the entire review here.

Vanuit Schotland, dat deel van Engeland waar de traditie van het zingen nog altijd erg goed in ere gehouden wordt, krijgen we dit korte schijfje toegestuurd, al gebeurde dat eigenlijk via een ommetje naar Duitsland. Deze ep is een voorproefje van de begin 2018 te verschijnen debuutplaat van de nog erg jong ogende Iona Fyfe, een dame uit de regio Aberdeenshire, die de eretitels aan elkaar rijgt: zopas werd ze “BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017” en voordien was ze al vier keer op rij winnares van de “best local singer” prijs op het Keith TMSA festival, ze werd ook beste in de categorie “female traditional singer” bij TMSA Falkland in 2014 en vorig jaar won ze zowel in de categorie “Ladies traditional Singing” in Aberdeen als “Female Singer” bij de Buchan Heritage Society.

Vooraleer u daar een beetje lacherig over doet: dergelijke wedstrijden zijn in Schotland bloedige ernst en er wordt door honderden mensen aan deelgenomen. Noem het gerust het equivalent van de Rock Rally bij ons. Dat Iona prijs na prijs wint, bewijst dus op zijn minste dat het hele eiland of minstens toch met muziekminnende deel ervan -en zijn ze dat ginds niet allemaal?- haar stem en haar zang begint te (h)erkennen.

Dit ep’tje bevat slechts zes songs, waarvan vijf traditionals zijn. Meestal gaat het om eeuwenoude ballades, die via de zogeheten liedboeken die de Bothy Songs verzamelen, van generatie op generatie overgeleverd worden. Zelf was ik maar met twee van de vijf traditionals bekend, namelijk het openende “Sleepytoon” en “Earl Richard”, maar dat is niet meteen belangrijk: waar het hier om gaat, is dat je een staaltje krijgt van het vocale kunnen van Iona Fyfe, die zichzelf begeleidt op piano en Indisch harmonium of shruti box en verder bijstand krijgt van Callum Cronin op staande bas, Chris Ferrie op gitaar en bodhran, Charlie Grey op fidele en tenorgitaar en Ross Miller op allerhande doedelzakken.

Samen leveren zij een ultra fijn kennismakingsplaatje af, waar je alleen maar met ontzag kunt naar luisteren: het respect voor de traditie, gemengd met het oog op moderniteit en de welhaast perfecte beheersing van de verschillende instrumenten -waarvan de stem er één is-, maakt dit schijfje tot een waar genot om naar te luisteren. En meteen ook maar uitkijken naar die full cd, begin volgend jaar….

(Dani Heyvaert)


From Scotland, that part of England where the tradition of singing is still very much honored, we will send this short slice, even though it actually happened to Germany. This ep is a preview of the debut album of early 2018, by Iona Fyfe, a lady from the Aberdeenshire region, who is joining the title of the title: “Radio Radio Young Musician of the Year 2017” and before she had won the best local singer award winner at the Keith TMSA festival, she became best in the “female traditional singer” category at TMSA Falkland in 2014 and last year she won both in the category “Ladies Traditional Singing” in Aberdeen as “Female Singer” at the Buchan Heritage Society.

Before doing a little bit of humor, such matches are bloody serious in Scotland and hundreds of people participate. Feel free to call us the equivalent of the Rock Rally. That Iona’s prize wins at least, at least, proves that the whole island or at least with music-loving part-and are they not all that? – Her voice and her vocals begin to (h) acknowledge.

This epic contains only six songs, five of which are traditional. Most of the time, it’s about ancient ballads, which are handed over from generation to generation via the so-called songbooks that collect the Bothy Songs. I was only familiar with two of the five traditions, namely the opening “Sleepytoon” and “Earl Richard”, but that’s not immediately important: what’s going on is that you get a voice from Iona Fyfe’s vocal ability , who accompanies himself on piano and Indian harmonium or shruti box and is further assisted by Callum Cronin on standing bass, Chris Ferrie on guitar and bodhran, Charlie Gray on fidele and tenor and Ross Miller on all sorts of bagpipes.

Together, they deliver an ultra-nice touch of attention to listening to: respect for tradition mixed with modernity and the almost perfect control of the various instruments-of which the voice is one-makes this disc is a real pleasure to listen to. And look forward to that full cd, start next year ….

(Dani Heyvaert)




I’m delighted to announce that I have been nominated for the “Contribution to Music Award” at The Pride of Aberdeen Awards, which is to be held on 4th November at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen.

As a Huntly folksinger, very passionate about North East song, winning the award would be a real honour, but I need some votes! If you could click on the link below, scroll down to the “Contribution to Music” award, and fill in my name, then I’d be chuffed!

Voting is open here:

Delighted to announce that I’ll be playing at a brand new festival in Blairgowrie, celebrating Hamish Henderson. Hamish Matters will be held at Blairgowrie Town Hall on 11th November at 7:00pm and will feature Perth Gaelic Choir, Aileen Ogilvie, Jim Mackintosh and the Mad Ferret Band. Tickets are £10/6 with stovies included and are available from or 01250 871538 or 01250 871305.

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Grizzly Folk has made a brilliant series on folksongs which would serve as a great starting point for any beginner. There are contributions from Greg Russell, Jimmy Aldridge, Laura Smyth, Ben Nicholls.
See the full article here.

What makes this one of the best British folk songs?

“I heard this song from the singing of Lizzie Higgins and John MacDonald. It is also found in the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection Volume 6 and John Ord’s Bothy Songs and Ballads. The narrative explains his love for Udny as well as his love for his significant other. Udny Green is situated in Aberdeenshire, southwest of Pitmedden. The parish of Udny is made up of Udny Green and Udny Station, which lies on the old Buchan Rail line.

The song has been sung by source and revivalist singers of the North East of Scotland such as John Strachan, Jane Turriff and John MacDonald. It was also sung by Daisy Chapman, one of the various North East source singers who toured England. Daisy was recorded singing Bonny Udny at the Kings Head Folk Club in London between 1968 and 1970, at the heart of the folksong revival.

John Mearns stated that the song is, “found in various forms in many parts of the country”. Peter Hall comments: “The theme and form of this song facilitate its attachment to any locality, and versions are known under a variety of names: Yarmouth is a Pretty TownBonny PortmoreThe Boys of Kilkenny.”

Bonny Udny, to me, highlights the universalism of folksong; the song, carrying the same message – of love for land and women – can be found in Scotland, England and Ireland, linking the British oral tradition. To me, Bonny Udny has all the properties of a lovely short folksong and would serve as a great place for a beginner of any sorts to start.”

What do we know about ‘Bonny Udny’? 

Firstly, thanks to Iona for doing most of my work for me! So much info in a single enthusiastic email – you can spot the singers who also have the scholarly bug a mile off.

So, what is there left for me to add? Only really that ‘Bonny Udny’ also turns up, under the Roud number 3450, a total of 49 times in the Vaughan Williams online library, and that the central word ‘Udny’ is never very far from the title. It seems to be about as geo-located as any folk song gets.

As beautiful as the song is, however, it has been recorded far fewer times than most of the songs that have been suggested for our British folk songs list so far. First taped in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire on July 16, 1951, less than 10 versions have been recorded in the time separating that initial session and Iona Fyfe’s own gorgeous rendition, released on her Eastcollection in 2016.