Please sign in to post.

The Proclaimers, Glasvegas, “Scotland the Brave” and … ?

I’ve asked this question a couple of times for various tours and I’ve received some fantastic responses, so I’m asking it again!

In the past I’ve put together iPod playlists for some of my tours, and they’re marvelous to listen to during my daily commute while thinking, “Only ‘X’ days till I go to France/Germany/Ireland!” I include popular music/artists from the destination country. Among other fun selections, I’ve had Dutch rock, Bavarian drinking songs, Austrian waltzes, Italian opera, some Swiss yodeling, and Irish folk songs.

Now I’m signed up for the Best of Scotland tour, and I need MORE music suggestions. The songs/artists don’t necessarily have to be from Scotland. For example, Justin Timberlake singing “Loch Lomond” (!) would work. I’m interested in any song/artist from any era and any genre (folk, rock, protest songs, drinking songs, bagpipes, etc.) provided the song is either performed by a Scot or has to do with Scotland. Basically, I’m looking for anything that’s likely to set a Scottish mood.

Thanks for any ideas!

Posted by
285 posts

Last fall when I took a tour of Scotland, Gillebride MacMillan entertained our group at dinner one night. He sings traditional Scots ballads, in both English and Gaelic, and is a lovely gentleman with a beautiful voice. I brought home one of his CDs. If you are familiar with the "Outlander" series (on Starz) or have read the books, Gillebride played the role of Gwyllyn the Bard early in the first season, and he has collaborated with the composer on Scottish music for the show. He has also entertained at Gaelic festivals throughout the U.S.

This is his website:

Posted by
244 posts

I ask a similar question last year on this forum and had wonderful replies! here
Everyone gave me such great suggestions and I created a wonderful playlist of Scottish songs for our trip through the highlands last fall! What a memorable trip made better with amazing music!
You are going to enjoy Scotland!

Posted by
876 posts

Thanks, both of you. Pfresh, I will definitely check out your link.

If anyone else wants to chime in, please do!

Posted by
5669 posts

So much great music ahead for you!

If you want some traditional ballads try Alex Beaton. His CD Beaton's Best might be a good place to start.

Then there are the fiddlers!

  • Natalie Macmaster--Technically, she is from Cape Breton, but her music is all Scotland. Try the CD My Roots are Showing.
  • Alasdair Fraser--he lives in San Francisco now, but is from Scotland and does gigs in the US and Scotland. He also plays with Natalie Haas who plays cello. I love all his music.
  • Aly Bain--He is from Shetland has a different style of music. He teams up with Phil Cunningham and the result is marvelous music. I heard the two of them in Pitlochry one year.
  • Bonnie Rideout is an American who plays great Scottish fiddle music.
  • Duncan Chisholm is amazing. I love his CD Redpoint. I would play this CD in the St. Louis airport and be transported back to the highlands. I could almost smell the heather. It you want your fiddle with a bit more rock in it, try the band that Duncan has played with, Wolfstone.
  • Richard Wood is another Canadian. (A lot of Scots emigrated to Canada.) I have his CD Firedance.
  • Abby Newton--not a fiddler, but a cellist who has marvelous CD's. My favorite is Crossing to Scotland.
  • Dougie MacLean did the music for The Last of the Mohicans. He started and I think is still involved in the Perthshire music festival every fall. He's a wonderful singer. His song Caledonia is practically a national anthem. I love it.
  • Shoogenlifty--combines tradition Scottish tunes with contemporary rhythms. I really enjoy them.
  • Steve MacDonald--I first encounter Steve in his CD Sons of Somerled. It's a complete CD and the music is amazing. I followed it up with his Stone of Destiny CD. He is from New Zealand (another place a lot of Scots emigrated to) and in the 90's got interested in his ancestry...thus the music.
  • Stuart Cassells--you have to have at least one piper on this list. Stuart's piping is contemporary...
  • Keltik Elektrik--I love their CD's. Jack Evans put these together and they make want to dance. The transform traditional music into the 21st century.

I may have to have a part two.

Posted by
5669 posts

Here are some more....

  • Gibb Todd-- I heard him sing in Inverness when Museum of Scottish Music still existed. His version of Wild Mountain Thyme was wonderful.
  • Peatbog Faeries--they are from Skye! I enjoyed the CD that I have. They are contemporary folk.
  • Glasgow Song Guild--Glasgow is known for political and labor protest songs. I picked up one of these and found it fascinating.
  • The Wrigley Sisters are from Orkney and are fiddlers. I have a couple of their CD and I love them.
  • Fiona Driver is another great Orcadian fiddler.
  • Battlefield Band is old and standby that has been playing Scottish Music joyously for many years.

I may think of more for you. I've picked up so many CD's over the years. It's one of my favorite souvenirs.

All this said though, I have to tell you that I also had Jimmy Buffett on my play list when I was driving around Scotland and on a few of those rainy days a little bit of Margaritaville went a long way!


Posted by
876 posts

This is such fun! I'm going to have a massive playlist. :)

Keep 'em coming!

Posted by
1345 posts

Runrig and Capercailie for a more modern take on folk music, for pop there is also Paolo Nutini.

Or you can have the Bay City Rollers.....

Posted by
6511 posts

If you like real hard highland pipes and drums check out Albannach, it's definitely not 'easy listening' music but it does get your blood rolling. They play quite a few Celtic festivals here in the US and I've seen them twice now. I love their music.

Posted by
876 posts

I have the pipes in my blood, Nancy. ;)

I'm loving all these suggestions!

Posted by
5669 posts

Ah, and then there is the classical side with Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture and the Scottish Symphony, No. 3.


Posted by
876 posts

Thanks, everyone! I'm finally going to have time to play around on iTunes this weekend.

Emma, I love Texas! (And I had no idea that Simple Minds were Scottish.)

Posted by
106 posts

Soundtrack from Outlander. Beautiful music to watch the countryside go by.

Posted by
608 posts

If you haven't heard the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, they are great fun. They call themselves "bag rock" and do mostly covers of rock songs with bagpipe accompaniment. I love them!