"Jim Malcolm is one of Scotland's rising stars. He is a good songwriter, great singer, good guitarist, good mouthorgan player and he is learning the business in the proper fashion. I think he is definitely a name you will hear of." This is what late Danny Kyle, one of Scotland's best known persons in the folk music scene, said about the 34 years old full time musician from Edinburgh, who has just brought out his second excellent album. A new album is always a good reason to feature a musician – so here you have an interview with Jim, recorded already several months ago in Edinburgh...
How did you start? Do you have a traditional background? "My family is very interested in traditional music, especially my mother. She has been involved for a long time with the TMSA (= Traditional Music & Song Association in Scotland), and she still is. She used to go to folk clubs when they started in the Sixties; she used to go to see people like Danny Kyle and Billy Connolly and Archie Fisher, you know, all these people. In fact I once went to see Billy Connolly and Gerry Rafferty, they used to play together, and there were six of us in the audience, and now Billy Connolly would play in the playhouse, which is the biggest venue in Edinburgh.”
"I think a lot of people who like folk music have a family background. I don't think it's too easy to enjoy folk music when you first hear it. I think you have to be exposed to it over a long period. It seems to me that most people have a background.”
You have also written quite a few Edinburgh based songs? "Yes, I have written a couple of songs about Edinburgh, it is a very interesting city, it is also - people feeling very attached to it, it is a good subject for songs. People sit up and listen; it is a very old town and has a great deal of history. One of the songs I wrote was also based on a famous tune, 'The Flowers of Edinburgh', which is my favourite tune. Although the trouble with tunes is that they are fast, the words have to come out very quickly. I have also written songs about my - although I live in Edinburgh, I was brought up in the countryside, and I have written songs about the area, Perthshire and Angus, which is a part of the country I was brought up in. I also like to sing songs that other people have written from that area.”
Music takes most of his time; still if he finds some free time, he loves to go fishing. "Music and fishing is about as much as I have time... - and golf, I like golf, and drinking and - its about that I am afraid. I am very interested in politics. I like watching football...”
Photo Credit: Jim Malcolm, harmonica-playing/Cider drinking in a session; by The Mollis
Latest published CD: Rohallion (Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX 150); reviewed in this issue!
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