Gaelic Supergroup and un-challenged champions of straight-in-the-eye Highland music, Dàimh are based around West Lochaber and the Isle of Skye. A long-established favorite at folk festivals in Scotland, Ireland and across Europe, the band won the “Eiserner Eversteiner” European Folk Music Award in the 23nd German Folkherbst competition and also nominated for Folk Band of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards.
Formed around the turn of the century and taking the name from the Gaelic word for “kinship” Daimh (pronounced Dive) have taken their contemporary take of Highland and Gaelic music to over 20 countries, setting audiences alight from Moscow to San Francisco.
With a reputation as giants of the Bagpipes and Fiddle, Angus MacKenzie and Gabe McVarish remain the lead instrumental force with fellow founding member Ross Martin underpinning the groove on the Guitar. The Band are joined by “new guy” Murdo “Yogi” Cameron on Mandola and Accordion to complete the instrumental line up.
Daimh have always had the renown and notoriety of working with some of the finest Gaelic singers in Scotland and the current line up only serves to cement that distinction with the addition of the rapidly rising star in the Gaelic firmament, Ellen Macdonald on vocals.
“Dàimh have carved a reputation from the bedrock of Gaelic culture – authentic Gaelic music with a modern edge and a magnificent range of expression.” – FOLKWORLD
Angus MacKenzie: Highland Pipes/Border Pipes/Whistles A Gaelic-speaking piper from Mabou, Cape Breton Island on Canada’s East Coast residing for the past 19 years on the Isle of Skye. His piping style draws on his strong South Uist roots along with the dance-influenced rhythms of Cape Breton music. 2012 saw Angus, along with his brother Kenneth nominated for Roots Traditional Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards for their album, Pìob is Fidheall.
Gabe McVarish: Fiddle Hailing from Northern California, where his family settled after emigrating from Morar, Lochaber via Prince Edward Island. At the age of 17 Gabe travelled to his ancestral homeland of the Scottish Highlands where he spent a year studying music under the tutelage of fiddler and tradition bearer Angus Grant Sr. After completing a degree in Scottish music Gabe released solo album Eclection, a culmination of fiddle styles and repertoire from both sides of the Atlantic.
Murdo Cameron: Mandola/Mandolin/Accordion Murdo comes from a long line of traditional Gaelic singers and was immersed in music growing up Glenelg, a wee village a stones throw across from the Isle of Skye, famous for being twinned with Mars. A member of the Mountain Rescue, Murdo started out as an accordion player and piper, who in the last few years has been a busy guitar accompanist and stringed things enthusiast.
Ellen MacDonald Widely tipped as the most exciting thing to happen to Gaelic song since the invention of the Ceilidh, Ellen MacDonald is fast finding a flock of fans and followers with her natural, smoky voice and individual interpretation of songs covering the full emotional spectrum of the Gael. Born and raised in Inverness with strong maternal ties to the language and songs of North Uist and Scalpay, Ellen studied at Scotland’s only dedicated Gaelic language college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the the Isle of Skye. Ellen’s acting skills have seen her nominated for ‘Best Performance’ at the FilmG awards for her role in a Gaelic short film ‘Briste’ and landing a key role in the BBC’s new Gaelic drama “Bannan”.
Ross Martin: Guitar From Arisaig though now lives in neighbouring Morar. A fisherman from early teens until his twenties and now an active member of the Coastguard, Ross has gone on to tour Europe and the U.S. with Irish singer Karan Casey. Ross’ unique style of guitar accompaniment has him in demand for numerous projects including Dual, a collaborative exploration of traditional Gaelic music of Scotland and Ireland by Danù singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoimh and Brave singing sensation, Julie Fowlis.
Love, life, loss and Lochaber; Tuneship displays the growing maturity of a group whose work screams of place but which is rooted firmly in the present. SUNDAY HERALD