Burnsong 2009 – Andy Tucker


Andy Tucker is one of my oldest and dearest friends in Edinburgh music.  We first met about 6 years ago when The Kays Lavelle and his former band The Dead Beat Club played a show together at the Caledonian Backpackers Hostel.  From that moment on we became really good friends and drinking buddies, which more often than not culminated in me doing or saying stupid things.  Professing that it was I that chose Afroman on the jukebox at the Phoenix for example – it was, but god knows why I admitted it or did it in the first place.  For some unknown reason choosing Bonnie Prince Billy “I see a darkness” as a song on the jukebox of the Port of Leith.  This incident almost cost me my life, though I redeemed myself later in the evening with some fine harmonies with Andy and the regulars of the bar on such tracks as ‘Back To You’ by Bryan Adams and ‘Living On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi.  Andy has stuck by me through thick and thin and has always been there for me when running the Kays was too much or things were getting me down.  Hence why I often refer to him as my Uncle A. 

What most people don’t know and what is criminal in my opinion is that the man is a seriously talented song writer.  When I first heard the Dead Beat Club I loved them.  And their only album “Random Heart Felt Trinkets” is a lovely Scottish folk/country album.   It’s well worth checking out.  His song ‘Mercy Killing’ is still a favourite of mine.  Recently I had the absolute pleasure of going into the studio to play piano on some of his new tracks pencilled in to form his first solo album under the moniker ‘Tucker and the Scattered Family’.  These tracks include performances from some very talented individuals including Kays guitarist Graeme Anderson, Roy Henderson, the wonderful vocals of Kat Healy and Shona Brodie as well as many others.  Well I am over the moon to be able to say on this blog that Andy “under rated” Tucker has gone and become one of the winners of the Burnsong 2009 for his track ‘Speilberg Moon’ For those of you who don’t know, the Burnsong basically looks for the best in Scottish song writing and Andy has been chosen as one of 12 winners for 2009.  Previous winners include Roddy Woomble, King Creosote, Karine Polwart and Norman Blake so to win is an incredible achievement and one he thoroughly deserves.  I cannot think of anyone who deserves such success more.  I just want to say congratulations to Andy and encourage you all to check out his wonderful songs here.  Enjoy.


J. Tillman


J Tillman is probably better known to most people as the drummer of Fleet Foxes.  He’s not the original drummer and he’s not the drummer who performs on their stunning debut album, but he is now in place as the drummer of the band.  What he’s probably less well known for is the fact that before he was drumming for Fleet Foxes, he was producing solo albums of some real delicate beauty.  I first caught wind of this Seattleite (?!) a year or so ago with the release of his album ‘Minor Works’.  It’s a sparsely beautiful and delicate album and quickly became one of my favourite records of 2008.  It’s simple in it’s structure and instrumentation but is lifted beyond being simply good by the wonderful tone of Tillman’s vocal.   Becoming a member of Fleet Foxes obviously raised his profile significantly as his next release ‘Vacilando Territory Blues’ at the start of this year received world wide media attention something it’s predecessor had not benefited from.   I didn’t like the reviews.  To be honest, what the press said about the album put me off buying it. It sounded bigger, more produced, over the top and weird.  And so I it was not until this week that I finally took the plunge.  And to be honest, I’m sorry I waited so long because it’s another absolutely gorgeous record.  Full of delicate beauty and gentle refrains this is another spell binding record.  And the best thing about it is that I don’t have to wait long to buy another.  He released ‘A Year In The Kingdom’ just last week.  His 2nd record of 2009.  As always with people with high levels of output I do worry about the standard of the records being put out, but then I simply love the 2 records I own so far so I look forward to getting my hands on his new one asap.   This is definitely one for fans of Damien Jurado,  Fleet Foxes and Bon Ivor.  Gorgeous stuff.  Enjoy.