CARDROSS fiddle player Ryan Young is looking forward to a local gig this week as he prepares to bring back the buzz from the recent Celtic Connections festival to Helensburgh.

The Scottish traditional musician is set to play at the Mackintosh Club in Sinclair Street with folk guitarist Jenn Butterworth on Friday, February 8 as part of the venue's Famous Four O’Clock series of events.

And the upcoming performance comes just weeks after the pair starred together at the latest Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.

The popular celebration of Celtic music – which ran from January 17 to February 3 – started in 1994 and has since grown into a world-leading annual festival, attracting over 130,000 visitors this year to watch more than 2,000 artists spread across 35 stages.

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Fiddler Ryan, who released his self-titled debut album in 2017, and stage partner Jenn opened for the Rheingans Sisters at Celtic Connections on Sunday, January 20 in the National Piping Centre and the pair played the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall the following day.

They also played the Celtic Connections late night sessions at Drygate Brewery as the festival came to a close in magnificent style after 18 days of top shows from some of the biggest names in the industry.

Ryan said: “Celtic Connections was as fantastic as ever. I’ve played the past couple of years and wasn’t sure if I would be again this year because of that. I was quite a late addition this time, but I was delighted when my agent forwarded on the email.

“I had a lovely gig at the National Piping Centre and then played for 1,800 school kids in the Royal Concert Hall the following morning. I actually found the smaller Piping Centre gig more nerve wracking but I enjoyed both equally as much.

“It’s such an important festival. It draws in huge crowds of people and with the variety of music on offer, I would say it has been very influential in getting more and more people interested in traditional music.”

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The Celtic Connections festival has been boosted by the news that it will receive £100,000 in funding from the Scottish Government.

Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland, which helps fund the festival, said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that we’ve just experienced one of the best Celtic Connections ever.

“Music seemed to be filling every corner of Glasgow, in venues right across the city, showcasing the very best of Scottish talent while introducing the sounds of the world to audiences here.

“The festival proved yet again that Scotland is as eager to welcome international acts with open arms as it is to share our own musical heritage with all our visitors, building friendships across borders. Celtic Connections 2020 can’t come soon enough.”

One of a ‘new wave’ of young players bringing fresh and inventive ideas to traditional Scottish music, Ryan’s skill in providing his own take on classic tunes has seen him named as a finalist in BBC Radio 2’s young folk award twice, as well as being awarded MG Alba up and coming artist of the year in 2017.

A Master of Music graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, his playing style was called “simply stunning, exhilarating and magical” after a recent gig - his first of the year - in Selkirk, which was described as “inspirational and unforgettable”.

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Ryan’s appearance at the Mack Club this week comes amidst an extremely busy, yet successful, schedule in the first few months of 2019. He is signed up to play at the Orkney Folk Festival as well as in Germany and England later in the year, while he will also close the Killin Music Festival in Perthshire in June.

He added: “To be playing a local gig really means a lot to me, especially as this is where it all started for me. I’ve had such amazing support from the local community and it means so much to be playing at home.”

Tickets for the event are available online from (£12 plus booking fee), or at the Mackintosh Club, subject to availability, and include a glass of fizz before the concert. Doors open at 4pm and the music starts at 5.30pm.