Multi award winning singer Emily Smith is a leading figure of the Scottish folk scene. For over a decade she has entertained audiences all over the world with her blend of traditional and original songs. Unshakeably Scottish but with farther, wider horizons, Emily’s music sees time worn texts weave beautifully alongside contemporary material, blurring the borders of old and new. Emily’s beautiful voice eases tired ears and lifts souls with its simple beauty. She also plays accordion and piano.
Emily has released eight studio albums, most recently ‘Songs For Christmas’ (2016). Her original song ‘Find Hope’, was selected as part of the BBC Radio 2 official December playlist. From humble beginnings in a rural farm shop her annual Christmas tour is now in its sixth year and selling out theatres across the UK.
Emily has performed and recorded with many musical greats from the folk scene and beyond including Barbara Dickson, Richard Thompson, Eddi Reader, Jerry Douglas and Beth Nielsen Chapman. She was a guest singer on the Transatlantic Sessions’ live tour in 2013, alongside Mary Chapin Carpenter, Teddy Thompson and Aoife O’Donovan.
Television appearances include BBC Four’s Transatlantic Sessions, BBC One’s Songs of Praise, BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Live and BBC Ulster’s ‘Santer’.
Her long term musical collaborator, and husband, Jamie McClennan has accompanied her throughout her career on guitar and fiddle and in recent years produced several of her albums. Originally from New Zealand, Jamie moved to Scotland in 2002 and initially joined Emily’s band line up on fiddle.
2017 saw Emily and Jamie celebrate 15 years of making music together. Having scaled back on touring in recent years to focus on their young family, Smith and McClennan are now touring as a duo performing newly written material drawing inspiration from folk, roots and Americana. They have a live album set for release in April 2018 with a studio album to follow in 2019.
Emily’s career began when she was named BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year back in 2002. The accolades continued as she won the USA Songwriting Competition in 2005, Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2008 & 2014 and two nominations in the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (Folk Singer of the Year & Best Traditional Track). Her 2014 album release ‘Echoes’ which featured special guests Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan and Kris Drever, received a nomination for ‘album of the year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards.
From rural village halls to grand concert halls, Emily has toured all over the world. Along the way she has graced the stages of Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Tonder Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival the National Folk Festival in Australia, via Europe, Russia, Japan, North America and New Zealand.
“The sincerity in Emily’s singing is simply entrancing” R2 *****
“Virtually every number was a highlight” The Scotsman **** (Live Review, Queen’s