NEW BEDFORD — Legendary Scottish folk troubadour Archie Fisher makes a rare local appearance and brings his songs, stories and the best of Scottish folk music to the Music in the Gallery concert series Saturday, Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m., at the James Arnold Mansion, owned by the Wamsutta Club, 427 County St.
The special concert is presented through a partnership between Boston’s Music for Billie and New Bedford’s Music in the Gallery.
Fisher has been a towering figure in Scottish folk music for almost five decades, according to a news release.
"His achievements as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer make his place in the annals of folk music secure," series organizers said in a news release. "He stands as a linchpin figure between that music’s rural past and its largely urban present; between the Celtic and American folk-song traditions, both old and new. He has shown an expertise in marrying rhythm, melody and language which has characterized his songwriting through the years, with many of his songs having entered the contemporary folk-song canon."
As a guitarist, Fisher, along with Martin Carthy and Davey Graham, was among the earliest steel-string players in British folk music, devising a mix of new tuning and inventive picking that has influenced generations of successors. The range of his talents has led to collaborations with artists such as Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem, Silly Wizard, Bert Jansch and Tom Paxton. His songs have been recorded by Stan Rogers, Eva Cassidy, Fairport Convention, and John Renbourn, among others.
Coming of age as he did at a time when folk music enjoyed its highest profile on the nation’s airwaves, Fisher was also to emerge, in parallel with his performing career, as one of the genre’s most important ambassadors and advocates in the broadcasting world, the release said. As presenter of BBC Radio Scotland’s weekly flagship show "Traveling Folk" from 1983-2010, he championed the best of Scottish folk music, complementing his support for new artists with his vast knowledge of the music’s history and international context. Recognized for his contributions to Scottish folk music, Fisher was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the queen in 2006 for services to traditional music. In 2007, he was inducted into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame. The most recent recognition of his art came in 2008 when he was granted the Tradition Bearers Award from the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in Canada.