Our Lori on song after collecting top award

Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year, Lori Watson.  Picture by Chris James
Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year, Lori Watson. Picture by Chris James

From playing fiddle in the Small Hall Band to winning the Scots Trad singer of the year 2016, Birgham’s Lori Watson has come a long way.

Lori was presented with the Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year award at the annual celebration of Scottish traditional music, held this year in the Caird Hall at Dundee.

“I’m very surprised by the nomination, never mind winning the award,” said Lori, a composer, fiddle-player, singer, teacher and recording artist.

“It feels great to be representing the Borders in a category with three very strong north east singers.

“The Trad Awards were set up to raise the profile of, and to celebrate, our rich cultural traditions in Scotland, so although there’s a bit of fuss about the winners, there is so much great music being made all across Scotland.

“I’d encourage everyone to get involved – go to a gig, buy a CD, take up an instrument.

“It’s something we should all be proud of.”

During her acceptance speech Lori invited the audience to sing with her, the first person to do that in the awards’ history, and together they sang a chorus of In Friendship’s Name, a favourite of Border shepherd Willie Scott.

The 14th MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards ceremony was broadcast live on BBC Alba, BBC Radio Scotland and globally online.

Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland, said: “Congratulations to all the winners, and to a superb set of nominees as well. Across every category, there’s living proof that Scotland’s long-standing traditions are being taken forward by world-class talent.”

Lori is the firstperson to do artistic research doctorate in Scottish music, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland describes her as a “leading light of the new generation of Borders fiddle-players”.

A BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2002 and 2003 finalist, Lori performs across Britain and Europe, and this award places her in the higher echelons of Scotland’s increasingly popular traditional music scene.