SCOTTISH folk music legend Alastair McDonald has agreed to perform at the opening night of Musicfest in Uddingston.
Fresh from appearing with Tony Bennett at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Sunday, Alastair will be at Park United Free Church on Thursday, February 14, at 7.30pm.
A prolific broadcaster and entertainer, Alastair turned professional in 1970 and became well known for his recordings of Jim MacLean’s folk songs, such as The Barras and The Massacre of Glencoe, and jazz comedy song Sam the Skull.
He would also become a familiar face on Scottish television beginning in 1973 co-hosting Songs of Scotland with baritone Peter Morrison.
Since then he has toured all over the world, including America, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Thailand, East Africa and the United Arab Emirates.
Alastair says that he was delighted to be able to accept founder Lorna Cammock’s invitiation to play at Musicfest.
He said: “Lorna knows pretty much everyone on the Scottish folk scene so she just phoned me and asked if I could perform.
“As luck would have it I happened to have a free day on the 14th, so I am really pleased that I can play on the opening night of Musicfest.
“As far as I’m concerned community is the most important thing which sadly is escaping from us nowadays, so events like this which bring everyone together are wonderful.”
The Times & Speaker spoke to Alastair during rehearsals for Tony Bennett’s show and he admits to getting a thrill from working with ‘achievers’.
He said: “I’m hardly so famous that I wouldn’t be delighted to have the opportunity to work with Tony given his personality and the amount of work he has done in his life. I have met so many people who achieved great things, although it is embarrassing sitting next to a footballer of distinction at some event and having no idea who they are.
“I’ve worked with the likes of Jimmy Logan, Jack Milroy, Andy Stewart, even Rolf Harris, and it has always been my great privilege beacuse they were great at what they did.
“Going full circle I have great admiration for Lorna, who despite being in her 80s, is pulling together Musicfest and proves age is just a number when someone is motivated to achieve something.”
Park Church minister Rev Bruce McDowall, who is helping to organise Musicfest, is delighted to host Alastair.
He said: “Our church always like to get involved with community events so we were very happy to support Musicfest.
“Alastair is well known throughout the country for his music and we are very pleased to be able to welcome him on opening night and we’re sure it will be a great show.”
Entry will be with by donation with proceeds going to Uddingston Pride.