Dougie Maclean is one of Scotland’s leading singer-songwriters and an ambassador who has taken a piece of Scotland and its culture to admiring audiences around the world.
A classic example of a musician who emerged through the folk clubs and has gone on to great things, Dougie took up the guitar and fiddle at school. His early musical experiences included local bands Puddocks Well, where he partnered Andy M Stewart, and Hen’s Teeth, with Michael Marra, and from there he progressed to international touring and recording with the Tannahill Weavers, Silly Wizard and the pan-European group Mosaic, with Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Marta Sebestyn.
Having also worked with the legendary Scottish cowboy Alex Campbell and fellow songwriter Alan Roberts, Dougie went solo in 1979 and quickly established a following for his highly personal and lyrical, roots-based songwriting and warm, engaging performing style. His songs have been covered by a host of artists, including Paolo Nutini, Amy MacDonald, Mary Black, Dolores Keane, Cara Dillon, and Grammy award-winning country singer Kathy Mattea, and his Caledonia has become an international anthem in homage to his homeland, enjoying successive runs in popularity.
Already a favourite with Dougie’s audiences and across the folk music world generally, Caledonia became one of Scotland’s most loved contemporary songs after Frankie Miller’s version was featured in a television commercial and became a No 1 hit in 1992. It has subsequently reached further peaks through featuring in the international hit musical show Celtic Woman and as the final song of the massively popular show Celtic Thunder, whose DVD has registered phenomenal sales in the USA.
Dougie’s music has featured in Hollywood films including The Last of the Mohicans, and TV dramas including A Mug’s Game, and as the soundtrack to an exhibition about the Loch Ness Monster. His tune The Gael has rivaled even Caledonia for exposure, being the soundtrack for a Nike commercial that has had over a million views on YouTube, and his large scale compositions include the orchestral piece Perthshire Amber and the multi-cultural work Rural Image, which was commissioned for Celtic Connections 2005.
From his home in his old school in Butterstone, near Dunkeld, Dougie maintains a touring schedule, both solo and with his band, that has seen him play at the Carnegie Hall, New York, the Festival Hall, London and Australia’s immense Woodford Festival. As well as Dougie Maclean projects, his family-run studio produces recordings of a wide range of singers and bands, and through his annual Perthshire Amber festival he champions the traditional music he grew up with and continues to cherish through his own creative activities.