Irish songstress Imelda May - pictured above - has joined the line-up for this year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival, seven years after making her debut at the internationally-acclaimed event.
The award-winning HebCeltFest - to be held from 19-22 July - also announces today (February 9) eight more acts for the 2017 line-up, ahead of weekend tickets going on sale tomorrow (10 February), along with bespoke ticket and camping packages with Pitch Village.
The renowned musician, producer and singer-songwriter played a memorable gig at HebCelt in 2010 and was voted by the public into the festival’s Hall of Fame the following year.
She will perform on the main festival stage on Friday, 21 July and is the third headliner to be announced this year, after The Waterboys and fellow Hall of Fame entrant Dougie MacLean.
Next month she will release her fifth studio album, ‘Life Love Flesh Blood’, produced by American musician T Bone Burnett, and featuring guest appearances by Jools Holland and Jeff Beck.
She will also begin a UK and Ireland tour in May to support the release of the album - her most personal and autobiographical to date - when fans will hear a new sound and see a new look for the singer previously known for her rockabilly image.
Festival Director Caroline MacLennan said: "Adding Imelda May to an already exciting line-up this year is fantastic news for the festival and our audience.
“She is a wonderful singer and very popular with festival fans, as her place in the Hall of Fame recognises.
“We are also announcing a number of other acts for this year’s festival, some who will be familiar to our audience and some new names. This is what HebCelt is all about, providing the best music and showcasing emerging talent.”
Dublin-born Imelda May began her music career at 16 by performing with a number of local musicians before forming her own band in 2002 and releasing her debut studio album, ‘No Turning Back’, the following year. Her third album, ‘Mayhem’, in 2010 earned her a nomination for the Choice Music Prize.
Winner of the Best Female Artist of the Year award at the 2009 Meteor Awards, she has been described as having a “unique vocal talent”, but also plays the bodhrán, guitar, bass guitar and tambourine.
Joining May at HebCelt this year will be Lewis & Leigh, who last week won UK Song of the Year for ‘The 4:19’ at the UK Americana Awards. Al Lewis, from Wales, and Alva Leigh, from Mississippi, toured with Deacon Blue last year, and released their debut album ‘Ghost’ in August 2016. They received two nominations (Best UK Song and Best UK Act) at the inaugural UK Americana Awards last year.
Elephant Sessions, formed in 2012, hail from Benbecula, Dingwall, the Black Isle, Morayshire and Newcastle and met as students. Their debut album ‘The Elusive Highland Beauty’ was released in 2014 and the band won Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music awards the same year and Live Act of the Year in 2016. Their second album is released this summer.
Hò-rò were winners of HebCelt’s 'One Step Further' award for upcoming bands in 2014, and since then have performed at festivals across Scotland and Europe. They released their debut album last summer.
The Hur are a five-piece folk pop band based in Glasgow and formed in late 2016. This year they have released a video of their debut song 'Still Standing' which has had a very impressive reaction on social media.
The Outside Track’s five members, hailing from Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton, are united by a love of traditional music. They were awarded 'Best Group' in both the Live Ireland Awards and the Chicago Tradition in Review Awards.
Inyal, a four-piece from four different corners of Scotland, as influenced by traditional music and also the eclectic underground scene. Joining them at the festival will be Gaelic singer, Josie Duncan from Lewis.
November Lights, formed in 2014, are a young trio who mix music from their west Highland roots with American pop and Americana.
There is also a return to HebCelt for Eleanor Nicolson, a singer/songwriter from Lewis who has been performing since the age of 13. She is releasing her fourth EP to coincide with her appearance with her band at the festival.
Already announced for HebCelt 2017 are former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan, Skerryvore, the Peatbog Faeries, Ímar, singer-songwriter C. Macleod, Tide Lines and the Luke Jackson Trio.
Early Bird tickets for this year’s festival have sold out. From tomorrow main arena weekend tickets will be available via the HebCelt website - www.hebceltfest.com . Adults - £90; concession - £80; child 7-15 - £25 with youngsters 0-6 going free
HebCelt has again teamed up with Pitch Village to provide ticket and accommodation packages. See http://pitchvillage.com/festivals/hebcelt
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