Multi award winning Scottish singer Emily Smith and New Zealand born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jamie McClennan have been making music together for over fifteen years. Having spent much of 2016 off the road (with Emily on maternity leave) the couple took time to focus on writing new material. The fruits of their labour are two albums, the first of which ‘Unplugged’ was released on in April 2018. ‘Unplugged’ features ten tracks with seven previously unrecorded songs (including three preview tracks to their studio album coming out in 2019).
The duo’s new sound features originals by McClennan and reworked traditional material from Scotland and New Zealand drawing on influences from the folk tradition, Americana and beyond. With rich vocal harmonies, accordion, fiddle and sublime guitar backing they are one of the most vibrant duos on the UK folk scene today.
Smith’s accolades include BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the year, two BBC Radio 2 folk awards nominations and twice winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Meeting in 2002 when McClennan moved from NZ to Scotland, fiddle player Jamie soon became an integral part of Emily’s sound, taking on the role of lead guitar and backing vocals and producing several of her albums. They have performed throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Russia and North America.
Alongside their solo careers they have performed with many musical greats including Richard Thompson, Barbara Dickson, Jerry Douglas and Mary Chapin Carpenter. TV and Radio appearances include Transatlantic Sessions, BBC Songs of Praise, BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday, Bob Harris Show & The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe. Emily’s original song ‘Find Hope’ was also chosen as part of BBC Radio 2’s official playlist in December 2016.
Sublime” Maverick ****
“Beautiful country-folk” Americana UK
“The freshest sounding folk album in an age” Sunday Express ****
“One of Scotland’s most distinctive voices….simply entrancing” R2 *****
“Stunning…virtually every number was a highlight” The Scotsman **** (Live Review)
“The beauty of music, words and delivery simply takes the breath away” The Wee Review ***** (live review)