Transatlantic Sessions

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
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Nearly a quarter-century on from the original Transatlantic Sessions TV series, the live version is securely ensconced as an annual highlight not only of each year’s Celtic Connections, but – thanks to its now-annual post-festival tour – of many fans’ musical calendar throughout the UK. As No Depression put it in their 2018 review (citing co-musical director Aly Bain), “the ‘special relationship’ across the Pond has come under scrutiny recently, but in the context of this music it remains as strong as ever.”

Among a generation-spanning array of guests for 2019, Nashville-based New Yorker Gretchen Peters recently followed up her double AMA Award-winning Blackbirds with more rave reviews for Dancing With the Beast, whose characteristically vivid, eloquent story-songs address post-Trump and #MeToo themes. It’s always a treat to welcome back the great Tim O’Brien, whose own new release, Where the River Meets the Road, covers songwriters from his native West Virginia including Doc Williams, Larry Groce, Bill Withers and the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers.

Aged just 25, and already crowned in 2017 as the first ever female IBMA Awards Guitar Player of the Year, Californian wunderkind Molly Tuttle picked up 2018’s AMA Instrumentalist of the Year, plus Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards – all before releasing her debut album.

Celtic voices among the line-up include the incomparable Cara Dillon, whose transcendent interpretation of traditional exile and emigration songs, on her latest album Wanderer, were summed up by the Observer as “gorgeous homesick blues”. Scotland’s own Paul McKenna has long been ranked among our finest younger singers and songwriters, whose voice and passionate conviction are often likened to Dick Gaughan.

Backing the singers as ever is the likewise incomparable Transatlantic ‘house band’, led by Bain and dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas, featuring Russ Barenberg, Phil Cunningham, John Doyle , Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Donald Shaw, Danny Thompson and James Mackintosh.

Featuring

Gretchen Peters

Gretchen Peters appearing at this event

Hailed by many as one of Nashville's best contemporary songwriters, Gretchen Peters' intelligent and introspective songs have been covered by pop, country, blues and folk artists all over the world. She possesses a rare ability to drive a strong point, yet capture it eloquently in song. That ability has won Peters two Grammy nominations and sold her millions of records worldwide.

See Gretchen Peters tour dates

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien appearing at this event

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

See Tim O'Brien tour dates

Molly Tuttle

Molly Tuttle appearing at this event

With nearly two million viewers on YouTube and features in Bluegrass Now, Flatpicking Guitar and Acoustic Guitar magazines, Molly Tuttle is making a name for herself in the acoustic music scene. A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals.

See 5 tour dates featuring Molly Tuttle

Cara Dillon

Cara Dillon appearing at this event

Cara Dillon has one of those rare talents you only come across a handful times in your life. Her crystalline, angelic voice has the ability to reach inside the soul of a song with profound sweetness, poignancy and depth. A former member of the folk group Equation, who also sang with De Danaan, this young Irish singer from Dungiven, County Derry, sings with clarity, beauty and style. Winner of 2010's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Album ('Hill of Thieves') and winner of 2010's Spiral Awards for Best Female Singer and Best Traditional Song ('Jimmy Mó Mhile Stór'). 'Quite possibly the world's most beautiful female voice...' (Q Magazine).

See 6 tour dates featuring Cara Dillon

Paul McKenna

Combining their love for traditional and folk music as well as original songs and tunes the Paul McKenna Band have been playing to audiences throughout the UK since 2006. With a contemporary approach to songs, although not straying too far from their roots, their arrangements are both fresh and innovative. Their exciting sound is created through outstanding vocals, driving Guitar and Bouzouki, intense Fiddle playing, a warm pairing of Flute and Whistles and dynamic Bodhrán and percussion.

See Paul McKenna tour dates

Phil Cunningham

Phil Cunningham appearing at this event

World famous accordion player and composer, Phil Cunningham emerged with Silly Wizard and has played with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Relativity, Altan, Paolo Nutini, Mark Knopfler, and Dolores Keane.

See Phil Cunningham tour dates

John Doyle

John Doyle appearing at this event

John Doyle’s gifts as guitarist, songwriter and vocalist have played an essential role in the ongoing renaissance of Irish traditional music. Now living in the states, John was the recent musical director for Joan Baez and toured with her for 2 years. One half of the stellar duo Liz Carroll and John Doyle, he is also a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Irish group Solas.

See John Doyle tour dates

Michael McGoldrick

Michael McGoldrick appearing at this event

One of the big names of the current folk scene and member of Celtic favourites Capercaillie. He was also a founding member of Flook, a band much loved by regulars of the David Hall. He is a flute and whistle player who has won two Radio 2 Folk awards. His live performances are truly special, allowing audiences to enjoy the sheer energy as well as subtlety of his music.

See 2 tour dates featuring Michael McGoldrick

John McCusker

John McCusker appearing at this event

John McCusker is one of Scotland's foremost traditional musicians; winner of the BBC Radio Folk Musician of the Year in 2003. John McCusker started playing the fiddle at the age of seven, joined The Battlefield Band at 17, and has also worked as a producer for Eliza Carthy and Kate Rusby.

See 2 tour dates featuring John McCusker

Danny Thompson

A magnificent bass player and founder member of the legendary Pentangle.

See Danny Thompson tour dates

Also Appearing

Jerry Douglas, Russ Barenberg

Bridgewater Hall

  • Lower Moseley Street
  • Manchester
  • M2 3WS
Website:
bridgewater-hall.co.uk
Enquiries:
0161 907 9000
Booking:
0844 907 9000
Disabled Booking:
0161 907 9000

Seating Plan

Transatlantic Sessions image © John Soffe