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Gilly Hewitt

Another "Sidmouth friend it is great to welcome Gilly back to Wales. Gilly and husband Ian were at the Llantrisant Folk Club Festival about 20 years ago, the one when it rained all weekend and we camped at the bottom of the Common!! This was my first Welsh Festival and will admit to wondering if and how I could get involved. Now look at the fine mess I've got myself in to.

Growing up in Ayrshire, Gilly had ample opportunity to soak up Robert Burns poetry, music and culture. With an Irish father and Scottish mother she sympathises with both Irish and Scottish traditional song. Her Irish grandfather played fiddle and piano, and her mother sings and plays piano.

Gilly has sung traditional and contemporary folk song in the Edinburgh area since the late 1910s, and accompanies herself on 5-string banjo. She has appeared at folk festivals all over the U.K., regularly being asked back to Sidmouth International Folk Festival in Devon since 1988.

Her first album "From Down tae Boon" was produced in 1981, and her second album "An Honest Lass" was released in 1996 It consists of 11 songs of Robert Burns, of which a few are unaccompanied, and on others she is joined by an array of well known instrumentalists. She sings Burns songs in a style which is not bawdy but not drawing room, and pours out the feeling which she learned from the songs and the count enriched by her own experience as a traditional folk singer.

Apart from her Burns repertoire Gilly has a love for Irish ballad singing, particularly songs from the north of Ulster she knew well as a child. She also chooses songs from more contemporary writers who have something to say, and sings with rare sensitivity of feeling. She supported the Poozies while they were on their Scottish tour, and went down a storm at the iron Folk Club in Edinburgh.


"From Down tae Doon" Jigs Music JIGS 981 Recorded at Fireside Studios.
"An Honest Lass" Smiddy Made SMD 607 / CSMD 697 Pier House Studios.

Watch out for Ian -pipe, kilt and a wicked sense of humour. A regular band member in his native land, Ian will be playing in the scratch band on Sunday evening.