Steve Crawford & Spider MacKenzie from Aberdeen in Scotland make music that is at times rich in warm, candlelight intimacy and in others all burning hell fire and brimstone. Bold and eloquent songwriting, and delivery, often reminiscent of the classic ‘70s singer/songwriters, combines with acoustic guitar, wailing and weeping virtuoso harmonica and mellifluous vocals to complete this dynamic duo. As Germany’s WAZ newspaper simply put it, “Top class music from Scotland”.
To record their soon to be released (June 1st 2020) and long awaited second album ‘Celticana’, they relocated first to Nashville to rehearse in the city’s historic East Side, soaking up all the muse this musical heartland has to offer. From there they travelled on to Moon House Studios in Austin, Texas to work with veteran musician-producer and former Texan musician of the year Chris Gage. The result is music stylistically drenched in Americana set to lyrics that spin stories from the Scottish motherland.
The album was mastered by the five-time Grammy nominated Jerry Tubb, whose previous work includes albums by Jonny Cash and Willie Nelson. In contrast to their stripped-back debut album ‘5am’, which features the duo alone in an almost live setting, Celticana benefits from Gage’s excellent contributions on piano, mandola, mandolin, guitar, Hammond organ and harmony vocals alongside the mighty Austin rhythm section of David Carroll on upright bass and drummer Kevin Hall
Since the release of their first album ‘5 am’ in 2008 to great reviews (Scotland’s biggest selling newspaper The Daily Record awarded it five stars) the duo have gigged extensively in Scotland and across mainland Europe, with their first gigs in the USA in 2018. Following Celticana’s release on June 1st 2020 they return to the USA in June and will be on tour in Germany, Belgium and Holland in September.
What the press & revered musicians say
“Top class music from Scotland” WAZ newspaper – Germany
"A fresh and upbeat collection, just what we need at the moment" - BBC Radio NAN GAIDHEAL
"As good a combination of vocal, guitar and harmonica as you're likely to hear" - Folking.com
"I just listed to "Celticana: with Spider MacKenzie and Steve Crawford. The CD is full of great songs, great vocals and Spider's harmonica is a high spot. Put an ear on this one. You'll be glad you did" - Charlie McCoy most recorded harmonica player in history, Grammy-winning, Country Music Hall of Fame legend.
“Spider Mackenzie’s harmonica emotes the feelings that emerge from the lyrics and music of Steve Crawford. Together, the Scottish pair has introduced a version of Americana music that raises the bar for everyone.” - Texas Lifestyle Magazine
“It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a guitar and harmonica combo this good” - Fatea Magazine
“Powerful alt-country and blues arrangements from a singer with a voice with 'open-road 'Americana' written all over it” - The Daily Record
“Confident in every different style they play they serve an enticing mix of country and jazz to their enchanted audience – bluesy, funky, humorous and presented most virtuously” - WAZ newspaper – Germany
"Lovely acoustic country and blues tinged harp behind the great vocals of guitarist Steve Crawford, It is what the harp was made for" - Harmonica World