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LIZA MULHOLLAND - Inside Folk Vol 1: Notes From A Scottish Musician’s Year 

LIZA MULHOLLAND - Inside Folk Vol 1: Notes From A Scottish Musician’s Year 
Metagama Productions Ltd ISBN: 9780952666929 

With 25 years’ experience in the folk world, Liza Mulholland is ideally placed to give the low down on the travels, trials and (sometimes) triumphs of a musician’s life. In 98 pages of chatty, easy-to-read pieces, Liza covers a range of subjects including Celtic Connections, a friend’s 300 accordions, audience etiquette (including drunks interrupting songs) and the Scottish Traditional Music Awards.

The life of a folk musician is not easy and Liza discusses its multiple aspects - balancing performing, teaching, composing, travelling, listening, juggling children, families and work. Folk artists, in particular, face the paradox of being both at one with and yet other than their audience. She writes about the “thousands of hours of practice”, the months of preparation needed to create an album, and musicians’ various ailments such as fiddler’s neck and bagpiper’s fungus! Liza also describes a period when she stopped playing and singing. However, far surpassing any difficulties, there is the feeling for being part of a long legacy “running through time and history – a sort of cultural continuum.” Liza also writes about “the ability of music to take you outside yourself,” taking both performer and listener to other worlds.

Light-hearted and pacy, Liza captures the hard work, diversity and transcendence of a folk artist’s environment, without ever being complaining or downbeat. Informative and inspirational, Liza’s mantra is the old Gaelic proverb “Mairidb gaol is ceol” – love and music will endure.

Jim McCourt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.