Tenor Jamie is feeling inspired

BBC Radio event in PQ''photographed by Alan Peebles
BBC Radio event in PQ''photographed by Alan Peebles

You may well have heard Jamie MacDougall’s voice on stage or over the airwaves but you won’t have seen him at The Maltings before as he is making his debut at the theatre on Friday, May 9.

The widely acclaimed tenor and BBC Radio Scotland host is arriving in town on his ‘Inspirations’ tour, a nationwide jaunt which shares its name with Jamie’s latest album.

Rather amazingly for someone who has 45 albums under his belt, ‘Inspirations’ is actually Jamie’s first solo release, having previously lent his talents to collections by other acts such as the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt.

The list of his collaborators also includes soprano Lorna Anderson, who he recorded a 20 CD collection of 429 songs with over the course of five years, ready for its release in 2009.

As someone who was brought up on and still enjoys many different genres of music, Jamie wanted ‘Inspirations’ to be a personal offering, with one of the songs a tribute to his late father who he cites as his biggest inspiration.

“Obviously, having enjoyed the career I have, it is very easy to be inspired by your fellow musicians and the places you visit but for me ’Inspirations’ began very much at home,” he told ‘WOW’.

“My dad is still my hero and he used to listen to greats like Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

“His favourite song was ‘Danny Boy’, so I’ recorded a version for the album.

“My mum said he would often ask when I’d perform it and thankfully he did get to see me do it before he passed away.

‘Inspirations’ also includes Jamie’s takes on traditional Scottish songs and some classical, a style of music he also fell in love with thanks to a relative.

“Me developing a love for classical music was primarily down to my grandfather.

“ Both his own singing around the house and his record collection of his own ‘vocal heroes’ provided an amazing foundation.

“At the age of five I was asked wanted to be when I grew up and I said a tenor- I don’t think many five year olds would give that answer!”

The catalyst for Jamie getting into the studio to record the album was a Christmas concert with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

“At the show I had the opportunity to do a very varied repertoire,” he explained.

“I thought I’d love to do an album where I could unite all of my favourites regardless of their genre.

“It was originally going to be called ‘Heroes’ and I was in the middle of planning it when my dad passed away. All thoughts of it were put on hold and instead I turned it into a show which was a tribute to my dad.

“Performing the album does require a lot of thought though.

“You can’t switch from a more easy listening number song straight into a big, heroic number; there has to be a progression.”

Jamie’s work has taken him all over the world to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America and Germany, where he performed cabaret in Berlin for five years.

He has joined forces with the likes of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Although he hasn’t performed at The Maltings before he has been on the bill for Music at Paxton at Paxton House.