When it comes to Scottish music, there’s a gentleman out there who brings this genre to life: Colin Grant-Adams. Born and raised near Winchester, England, in a predominantly Scottish community, Grant-Adams was influenced by his father, who was himself a gifted musician hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland. Taking what he learned from his father, he’s traveled the world bringing his love of the music and lore of Scotland to all willing to listen and be entertained. Twenty years ago, he moved to the U.S. and Glasgow, Kentucky, where he now resides, and in a recent telephone interview from a West Coast festival, Grant-Adams talked about his music and what he’s doing nowadays.

Q: How’s the festival going?

Grant-Adams: Well, it started last night with the opening ceremony where the clans gather. I do a singalong song for them. I sing a lot of songs the people can join in and have a good time with. It’s a fun time.

Q: Do you do many festivals over the course of a year?

Grant-Adams: I do festivals all over the country, yes, and then I do concerts here and there. We also lead tours of Scotland. We do a lot of different stuff.

Q: Have you played in Maine before?


Grant-Adams: I’ve performed at the Scottish festival they have there. I do that most years.

Q: So you’ve never played at the UCCPA before?

Grant-Adams: This is my first time there, yes. I’m looking forward to it, too.

Q: Are you doing any other shows in Maine?

Grant-Adams: I’ll be doing the Scottish Festival that weekend. Saturday I’ll be at the Maine Highland Games in Topsham.

Q: Do you do many recordings?


Grant-Adams: I have about 11 recordings.

Q: Are you working on anything new at the moment?

Grant-Adams: Well, I put out a new CD last year and I’ve got a project started on a new recording, but we’re putting together our tours to Scotland now so that’s what we’re working on now.

Q: What can folks expect from your show at the UCCPA?

Grant-Adams: Well, they can expect a little bit of the traditional songs from Scotland — the ballads — mixed in with a few of my own songs that I write, which involves being in Scotland also. Since I’ve been here in America, I’ve written songs that involve the Scottish Americans, but I also do some stuff that kind of incorporates how our music got into the old-time bluegrass and how it came together. So I do a few songs that show the aspect of how American music came alive because of the old Scottish and Irish music.

Q: It’s amazing when you think about how interconnected we all are through music.


Grant-Adams: Yes, oh yes! Being a musician, I travel all over the United States — and quite a bit of the world — playing, and my philosophy has always been: Really enjoy what you’re doing and make someone happy.

Q: What do you play for instruments in your performances?

Grant-Adams: I’ll be playing the guitar and a little bit of fiddle probably. Mostly I accompany myself with a guitar, and I play a little different style than other people: I use different capos to give me a lot of open tunings and stuff like that.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the readers of this article?

Grant-Adams: Just that I’m looking forward to visiting the area. And I’m also looking forward to passing on a little bit of my history and my culture and sharing it with the folks who come to the college there, hopefully giving a little bit of insight of what I do, where I come from and what we do with our music.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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