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Calm Sea

Tom Clelland

Singer/songwriter

"An admirable talent"    (Rob Adams in The Herald)

“Tom Clelland is a talent” (Living Tradition)

"Excellent storytelling and country/folksy finger picking"   (The List)

“The Van Gogh of songwriting, Tom Clelland, painted pictures of death, mayhem, beauty, love and a measure of tongue-in-cheek humour.”  (Glasgow Festival of Songwriting.)

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MUSIC FOR DODDIE BENEFIT CONCERT:

UPDATE: The day-long concert at West Linton on 25 May raised £5500 for the Doddie Weir  Foundation. Thanks to everyone who came along to hear us and the other performers.  Many thanks to the organisers for inviting us.

 

Thanks to everyone who came to see us at the Hopetoun Arms in Leadhills on 26 April. You were a wonderful audience. Wendy played beautifully and thanks also to John Weatherby for giving us a great sound.

 

WEE FOLK CLUB: Wendy and I are back at the world-famous Wee Folk Club at the Royal Oak on 22nd September.  When we were at the Wee Folk Club last October, the show was SOLD OUT  with a really great audience.

Book your tickets early. (Here's their facebook page with links-

https://www.facebook.com/weefolkclub/ .)

 

You can email Marianne and Charlotte for more info or to book a ticket. )

2025: Looking forward to 2025, we're on at Newtongrange on 1st May.

Farewell, Norman Chalmers - an old friend and a wonderful

musician from the very best Scottish folk bands.

We had a few great adventures over the years.

We'll all miss you.

 

And farewell Rod Paterson and John Croall - also

from the very best Scottish folk band - Jock Tamson's Bairns.
 

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To contact me, email tomclellandmusic@btinternet.com

Reviews of Handpicked and Collected

From Iain Anderson's Facebook Page

 

"This week's featured album is 'Handpicked & Collected' by Tom Clelland, a double-CD collection of remastered tracks by the Lanarkshire songwriter who we haven’t featured in quite a while. Nice to rediscover his catalogue in this handpicked format. CD one includes story songs digging into Scottish history and legend, and CD two is an assortment of old favourites, specialising in love songs, nostalgia and gentle Americana, all performed with utmost modesty and warmheartedness."

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From Living Tradition

This is a double compilation CD from the Scottish singer songwriter, showcasing examples of his work from previous albums and other projects.  It has a laid-back, gentle feel throughout, making the most of Tom’s easy style of delivery, warm familiar-feeling voice and nicely finger-picked guitar.
 
The first disc, Handpicked, features eight “story songs”, some from his own albums along with one from a Lanarkshire Songwriters project, a live recording from a David Roberts tribute evening in the Elphinstone, and an unreleased song, Berries, that’s got a familiar, folky vibe to it – a song I can definitely imagine being picked up and sung by others.
 
The second CD, Collected, boasts 15 songs from previous albums, Little Stories, Life Goes On and Next Time, as well as a track from A Garden Of Songs, adapted from a Robert Louis Stevenson poem.  This CD has a bit more of a country / Americana feel to it in places, and includes a great song, I Wish That I Could Write Like Old Guy Clark (don’t we all!).  Ironically, it actually does sound like it could be a Guy Clark song, as do a couple of others here (e.g. Jack Jackson and Slip Away), so Tom’s not doing so badly.
 
Tom and his guitar are front and centre in these recordings, but he has gathered a fine group of other musicians around him, and their contributions are sensitively made.  They include Clive Gregson and Steven Polwart on guitars, Wendy Weatherby on cello, Mairearad Green on pipes and accordion, and producer/arranger Davie Scott on “all other instruments” and occasional harmonies.
 
I love the honest sentiment of Next Time and Let It Snow, the wry observation of life in Slow Down, the storytelling of The Grassmarket Butchers and The Devil And The Hangman, and the clever lines in Country Music Once Again (“don’t let those fiddles turn to violins.”).  I’d happily spend an evening in the company of Tom and his songs in a folk club somewhere, when we finally can. 

Fiona Heywood

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From the Folking website.

While I was not well-acquainted with the work of Tom Clelland, I’ve always liked songs that tell a story, so I was immediately drawn to his new CD release Handpicked & Collected. The compilation consists of 23 tracks mastered/remastered by Kris Koren and spread over two CDs. Handpicked is a selection of eight story songs – including the previously unreleased ‘Berries’ – with a Scottish connection, while Collected features a wider range of themes and influences.
All the songs are credited to Tom except for ‘How Far Is It To Babylon’, of which the lyric is adapted (very successfully) from Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem To Minnie. Tom sings and plays guitar on all tracks, but a number of very capable musicians provide support on various songs (but not all at once), notably Mairearad Green on pipes and accordion; Wendy Weatherby, Don Dougall and Joanne Grant on cello; Steven Polwart, Clive Gregson and Robin Laing on guitar; Norman Chalmers on concertina; Willie Gamble on pedal steel; Fiona Cuthill and Pete Clark on fiddle; Alistair Kennedy and Kris Koren on mandolin;  Phil Sakerski on dobro; and Davie Scott on “all other instruments“. Rather an impressive guest list.
Though the first CD favours Scotland in its subject matter, the actual themes of these stories cover a wide range – the Great War (‘Dig’), the Gulf War (‘The Wind She Changed’), the 15th century Battle of Harlaw (‘Carrion Craw’), the persecution of the Covenanters (‘The Grassmarket Butchers’), the supernatural (‘The Ghost Wi’ The Squeaky Wheel’), whimsy (‘The Balancing Boy’) and “the passage of the seasons” (the previously unreleased ‘Berries’). All told with unassuming grace and subtlety.
While there’s an Americana-ish tinge to some of the tracks on Handpicked, there’s a more pervasive country feel to many of the tracks on Collected, as well as a fuller instrumentation. Which is all fine by me: there are worse things than admiring Guy Clark (‘I Wish That I Could Write Like Old Guy Clark’), or writing the pop-y ‘Send Me Another Smile’. And if there isn’t a ‘Desperados Waiting For A Train’ on Collected, ‘Stormclouds At A Distance’ and ‘Let It Snow’ have an emotional pull of their own, though perhaps my own favourite track is the Stephenson setting ‘How Far Is It To Babylon’ (sic).
Tom Clelland has a pleasant voice, plays effective guitar, and has attracted some first-class instrumental support. But the real treasures here are the songs. For me, the tracks on Handpicked are the most interesting, but the country vibe on Collected is never less than engaging and includes some classy songwriting and performance, with some very singable choruses. And while cover art isn’t something I generally comment on, there’s something very pleasing about Savannah Storm’s floral paintings.

David Harley

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