Birnam CD

Birnam CD (like Greentrax) have been one of the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards longest running sponsors. They’ve have been supporting us and sponsoring Album of the Year since 2003. We always look forward to Martin’s ‘witty’ speech or song. If you have any CD pressing needs they’re the company to go to. Read more about them below. If you haven’t voted in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards you can VOTE NOW!

Birnam CD were the second recipients of Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight Award. The “Limelight’s” are a monthly initiative (launched in October 2012) that recognises the outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today. Birnam CD have been meeting music users need since 1986 and taking all musicians through the many transitions that have happened since,

We asked Martin Hadden of Birnam CD the following questions.

What is your principle company activity?
Music Services, including:
CD / DVD / Vinyl pressing & packaging; Media Promotion; Promotion of artists to Festivals; Online Services (Downloads / streaming / online CD/DVD sales); Graphic Design

When and where did the company first start trading?
Started in 1986 in Fountainhall, Scottish Borders

What made you want to work in Scottish culture?
My first job within “Scottish Culture” was when I joined the band Silly Wizard in 1976. I was told that there would be lots of free beer in the dressing rooms.

I have worked in Scottish Culture, covering all areas of Scottish and Scottish-made Music, from the age of 19. Apart from the promise of free beer, I really can’t remember what made me want to do so. I didn’t really think about it, just jumped on board!

Can you tell us of any particular company highlights?
Successfully managing the move from being a cassette duplication company to becoming a CD / DVD replication company. Appointing Mike Garden as graphic designer, enabling us to add the very highest standard of creative design to our range of services. My son Calum joining the business in 2008. He takes care of our social media presence and handles the digital services for our clients. The redesign and launch of our new website in 2012.

What are your company’s plans for the future?
To broaden our range of services to offer even more opportunities and assistance to artists and labels. We will do so by expanding our present promotional packages and by introducing new schemes to further help our clients in spreading the word about their music. To keep abreast of new developments as music delivery methods change.

How will you celebrate receiving Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight award?
We will fly to Las Vegas, hire a pool table and see what develops……….

Either that or go for a curry in Dunkeld.

Decisions, decisions…..

Birnam CD
Station Road
Birnam, Dunkeld
+44 (0)1350 727 158 (general)
[email protected]

Greentrax Recordings

Back on October 2012 Greentrax recordings were awarded Hands Up for Trad’s inaugural Business Limelight of the Month Award. Greentrax are sponsoring “Live Act of the Year” at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. Read more about this great company. Vote now in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards.

Greentrax Recordings Limited are the first recipients of Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight Award. The “Limelight’s” are a monthly initiative (launched in October 2012) that recognises the outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today. Greentrax are one of Scotland’s longest running record companies and have a reputation for being very fair and honest and continue to regularly release CDs that promote Scottish music.

We asked Ian Green, Managing Director of Greentrax the following questions.

What is your principle company activity?

We specialise in traditional, contemporary and Gaelic music from Scotland and beyond. We have recorded leading artists in this genre of music but we also record debut albums of the very talented emerging young musicians and singers from Scotland. Our labels are Greentrax, G2, Celtic Collections and Culburnie. We release physical CDs but our albums and tracks are also available as downloads on the major download sites, including I-Tunes. Our Grian Music takes care of new works by songwriters and tunesmiths.

When and where did the company first start trading?

When I retired from the Lothian and Borders Police in 1985 I was already running Discount Folk Records, a mail order and folk festival stall service. In 1986 I launched Greentrax Recordings and Grian Music (publishing) believing that there was an  abundance of very talented musicians and singers who were being ignored by the major record labels. My intention was only to record a couple of albums per year but Greentrax quickly expanded and releases became fast and furious as top artists joined the company.

What made you want to work in Scottish culture?

My father was a Highland bagpipe player and I lived at that time in rural Morayshire where traditional music was all around us. I drifted away from the music as a teenager but returned to it in the  late 1950’s and was ‘hooked’ for good. I gradually became obsessional about the music, or so my friends and family say. I first became the organiser of  The Police Folk Club (‘Fuzzfolk’), was a concert organiser, an assistant to John Barrow, the Director of the Edinburgh Folk Festival, co-editor of Sandy Bell’s Broadsheet and more. I believe that Scottish  music and song are key elements of our culture and I believe that much of the music presented as ‘Scottish’ for so many years was ‘music hall’ and mostly tainted by the ‘Brigadoon’ image. I felt a need to redress the balance and worked tirelessly to that end.

Can you tell us of any particular company highlights?

The McCalmans signing immediately to the fledgling label and recorded for us the iconic ‘Peace and Plenty’ album; being invited by STV to release an album from the  hugely successful ‘Aly Bain and Friends’ TV series; taking on The Scottish Tradition Series on behalf of The School of Scottish Studies; The Gaelic Women project;  signing such stalwarts as Jean Redpath, Eric Bogle, Archie Fisher, Dick Gaughan and the wonderful Cathy-Ann MacPhee, who recorded her first album for Greentrax and went on to record more. Releasing albums of ‘cutting-edge’ bands such as Shooglenifty, Peatbog Faeries, Ceolbeg, Burach, Deaf Shepherd and others. Myself and Greentrax being recognised by the Scots Trad Awards and presented  with ‘The Hamish Henderson Award’ and then receiving on Honorary Doctorate from the RSAMD.

What are your company plans for the future?

To continue to release albums of our wonderful Scottish traditional music and song and to release it on physical CDs and make it available as downloads on such international sites as I-Tunes, or on some other format yet to be identified. Few countries in the world have such a rich musical culture as Scotland and it must be presented to our nation and the international community.

How will you celebrate receiving Hands Up For Trad’s Business Limelight Award?

The award will be posted on our Website; we will send a Press Notice to our database of media people, distributors, retailers etc. and will include it on our next Newsletter mailed put widely to our mail order list etc. The award will also be exhibited on our office wall. It will also be received with pride.

Greentrax Recordings Ltd
Cockenzie Business Centre
Edinburgh Road
East Lothian
EH32 0XL
Scotland, UK

[email protected]
tel: +44 (0)1875 814 155



Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards and they are back again this year with a bang. After weeks of anticipation and thousands of nominations from the public, shortlist for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, has been unveiled. (See full list in editor’s notes). The prestigious event honours and celebrates the achievements of Scotland’s traditional musicians and 2013 will marks its 11th consecutive year.


This year’s awards will take place at Aberdeen’s Music Hall on Saturday 7th December and tickets to attend the glamorous awards ceremony hosted by Mary Ann Kennedy and Tony Kearney are on sale now from or calling the box office on 01224 641122.

The public can vote from today, Tuesday 5th November until Friday 22nd November, for this year’s winners across 16 categories including Album Of The Year, Composer Of The Year, Venue Of The Year and Gaelic Singer Of The Year, by logging online at The winner of each category will be the artist who receives an equal combination of the most industry and fan votes.

Over the past 11 years the awards, produced by Hands Up for Trad, have celebrated and seen performances by some of the finest Scottish traditional musicians and bands including Barbara Dickson, Peatbog Faeries, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Karine Polwart.

This year’s notable nominees include Tiree Music Festival which has been nominated for Event of the Year Sponsored by VisitScotland. It has been a momentous year for the festival which sold out in record time – tripling the population of Tiree over the festival weekend, has been crowned ‘Best Cultural Event’ at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards and ‘Best Small Festival’ for the second year in a row at the Scottish Event Awards. It has also been announced that the festival will be extended to three days in 2014.

Event founder and promoter Simon Thoumire says: “We are delighted to be bringing the Scottish Trad Awards back for the 11th year running. We’d like to thank MG ALBA for their continued support of the awards and are privileged that this is the 6th year they have sponsored us, their contribution is invaluable. The Traditional music scene in Scotland is so vibrant with an unrivalled array of festivals, events, bands and singers. We can’t wait to host the ceremony in Aberdeen this year, it promises to be our best yet so make sure you get your ticket now.”

The hotly tipped Composer of the Year award has been sponsored by PRS for Music who has said “The Trad Awards provide PRS for Music with a tremendous opportunity to celebrate not only the rich heritage of Scotland’s traditional culture, but showcases some of our most exciting young writers and composers of contemporary traditional music. We’d like to congratulate all of our members amongst this year’s nominees.”

Entertainment will be provided throughout the night by some of the country’s top Trad stars including Kathleen McInnes, Blazin Fiddles, Brain Gear and the Violet Tulloch, North East North East Folk Collective, Paddy Callaghan Trio (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Winner 2013), The Shee, Ross Ainslie Band, Deoch n Dorus, Tom Spiers and Family and Bucksburn & District Band.
For more information, interviews and images, contact Wire Media:

Ashley Campbell| [email protected] | 0141 440 6761
Kirsty Atkinson | [email protected] | 0141 440 6761


The Scots Trad Music Awards are produced by Hands up for Trad and supported by:

MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service). MG ALBA is in partnership with the BBC to provide BBC ALBA. Find out more about MG ALBA and about the partnership at or visit for schedule and programme information

The full shortlist for this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards:

Album of the Year - Sponsored by Birnam CD
Wide Open (Ross Ainslie)
Room Enough For All (Battlefield Band)
Cruinn (Cruinn)
An Tra (Marie Fielding)

Club of the Year - Sponsored by Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
Banchory Accordion & Fiddle Club
Folklub (Glasgow)
Ness Melodian Band (Ness, Isle of Lewis)
Milngavie Folk Club

Community Project of the Year - Sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust
Gadie Music (Aberdeenshire)
Atomic Doric (Banchory)
Gizzen Briggs (Tain Royal Academy)
Friends of Wighton (Dundee)

Composer of the Year - Sponsored by PRS for Music
Donald Shaw
Duncan Lyall
Adam Sutherland
Ailie Robertson

Event of the Year - Sponsored by VisitScotland
Tiree Music Festival
Jura Festival
Moniaive Folk Festival
Carrying Stream Festival

Gaelic Singer of the Year - Sponsored by Macmeanmna
Rachel Walker
Alasdair Whyte (Alasdair MacIlleBhain)
Sineag MacIntyre
Linda MacLeod

Trad Music in the Media Award
BBC Radio Scotland Travelling Folk
Horo Gheallaidh (Mac TV, BBC ALBA)
Trad with Pad (Celtic Music Radio)
Transatlantic Sessions (Whirlie Records)

Instrumentalist of the Year - Sponsored by Temple Records
Chris Stout
James Duncan Mackenzie
Patsy Reid
Angus Lyon

Live Act of the Year - Sponsored by Greentrax
The Outside Track
Anna and Mairearad

Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year - Sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland
George Donaldson
Fiona Hunter
Mick West
Siobhan Miller

Scottish Dance Band of the Year - Sponsored by the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs
Trail West
Craig Paton and his Scottish Dance Band
Graeme Mitchell and his Scottish Dance Band
Nicky McMichan and his Scottish Dance Band

Scottish Folk Band of the Year - Sponsored by All Celtic Music 
Nuala Kennedy Band
Blazin’ Fiddles
Paul McKenna Band

Pipe Band of the Year - Sponsored by The National Piping Centre
Newtongrange Pipe Band
Boghall and Bathgate Pipe Band
Greater Glasgow Police Scotland.
Ullapool and District Junior Pipe Band

Up and Coming Artist of the Year - Sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Adam Holmes And The Embers
Robert Robertson
Scott Wood Trio
Tina Jordan Rees

Music Tutor of the Year - Sponsored by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative
Corrina Hewat (Borders)
Margaret Scollay (Shetland)
Bob Massie (Highlands)
Alpha Munro (Highlands)

Venue of the Year Award
Mareel, Shetland
Douglas Robertson’s House, Edinburgh
A’ the Airts, Sanquhar
National Piping Centre, Glasgow

Have you been to the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards before?

Tickets are going fast for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in Aberdeen Music Hall. As usual it will be a great fun night with loads of Awards and fabulous music.

How many awards have you attended? Have you been to them all? I would love to know :) Tell me in the comments below.

Buy your tickets here

It’s time to nominate your favourite act or organisation

It’s that time of year again! We want to know who your favourite Scottish traditional music acts of October 2012 – October 2013 are. Who has been your favourite band of the year? Has there been an organisation that has done some brilliant work in your community? Well please tell us by filling in our nominations form below.

If you would like buy tickets for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in Aberdeen Music Hall on the 7th December you can do so here

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

We’re up for 2 awards – wish us luck!

Scottish Event Awards 2013Hands Up for Trad and MG ALBA are attending the Scottish Event Awards tonight! We have 2 nominations for MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2012 in the Best Traditional and Best Cultural event categories. How exciting!

If you love a good time and would like to attend the 2013 MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards you can buy your ticket here!

Tickets are now on sale for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards!

STMA(2013) (2)Tickets are now on sale for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2013. This year we are in Aberdeen Music Hall and it’s going to be a great venue! Situated in the heart of Aberdeen it’s really easy to get to (Union Street) so there are no excuses for not attending! It is on the 7th December and starts at 7.00pm
The performers at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards are:

Kathleen MacInnes
Blazin Fiddles
Brian Gear and Violet Tulloch
North East North East Folk Collective
Paddy Callaghan Trio (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Winner 2013)
The Shee
Ross Ainslie Band
Deoch n Dorus
Tom Spiers and family
Bucksburn & District Pipe Band

The house band are the Kevin Murphy Trio.

Tickets are £20 (+booking fee) and the event starts at 7pm. You can buy tickets here or phone the box office on 01224 641122. See you there!

Nominations open in October and Voting in November and we’ll keep you posted with these dates.

In the meantime why not attend Our Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame Dinner, Oran Mor, Glasgow on the 11th October (7.30pm for 8pm). Performing are Dick Gaughan, Kenna Campbell, Paddy Callaghan and Maureen Jelks. You can buy tickets here

Not long now…

MG ALBANot long now until nominations open for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. It’s all shaping up for another fantastic night in the Granite City. The Music Hall is going to be a brilliant venue for the 2013 event. Tickets will go on sale very soon for the event. We’ll announce the performers in the next few weeks as well.

If you can’t wait until the 7th December why not join us in Glasgow’s Oran Mor for our Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame Dinner. Performing are

  • Dick Gaughan
  • Kenna Campbell
  • Maureen Jelks
  • Paddy Callaghan (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2013).

Should be fantastic! You can buy a ticket here

More shopfront less FaceBook…

It’s difficult days in the retail industry and musicians have to look for strategies to continue moving forward. I don’t think we use the web enough. The web in my opinion is a musicians storefront and too many musicians don’t bother to change the shop window. (Some may see the gig as the store front but for me the gig is more like the inside of the shop – no-one will come through the doors if they don’t feel enticed to come in.)

We need to spend more time marketing our product, our music and the web is the perfect place to do it. You can have your message out to a lot of people all over the world in just a few minutes. Marketing takes time and thought though and many people don’t seem to find the time… Everyone does seem to find time for FaceBook though! It’s not that FB is a bad thing – it can be very useful. I find when I write a blog and link it to FB this is where I get the most clicks through to the website.

I would like to see musicians / organisations spending more time on their websites creating content like blogs and videos and sharing them through FaceBook, YouTube (world’s 2nd biggest music search engine), Twitter, newsletters etc. We have a very strong product that is popular across the world. Imagine if we were all very active creating content, uploading videos, sharing the word over social networks how even more popular we could be. Everyone would be talking about Scotland and our culture.

Let’s work harder, spend less time on our FaceBook profile pages and more time on our FaceBook pages linking to content on our websites that everyone can access.