St Boswells Live! presents:
Heidi Talbot and John McCusker
Heidi Talbot + John McCusker
Making a rare appearance as a duo, especially for St Boswells Live! Heidi Talbot and John McCusker are performers of prodigious talent, charm and musicality borne of decades immersed in traditional and contemporary music.
Born in the rural village of Kill, County Kildare, Ireland, Talbot began singing in the church choir run by her mother. At sixteen, she enrolled at Dublin’s Bel Canto singing school, studying for the next year and a half under its founder and director Frank Merriman.
When she was 18, Heidi moved to New York, where she spent two years working in bars and clubs before being invited to join Cherish the Ladies in 2002. In between the band’s touring schedule, Talbot continued to develop her solo work, releasing Distant Future on Nashville roots label Compass Records. Produced by John Doyle, the record featured such guests as multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, concertinist John Williams and fiddler Rayna Gellert. Three years later, the recording of In Love and Light coincided with her decision to leave Cherish the Ladies at the end of 2007.
After the launch of In Love and Light at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival in January 2008, Talbot featured as a guest on albums by Radiohead drummer Philip Selway, and the new trio collaboration of John McCusker, Kris Drever and Roddy Woomble. She has also sung on records by Eddi Reader, Boo Hewerdine, and Idlewild. She tours as a trio with John McCusker and Boo Hewerdine and finished a six-week tour opening for and singing with Eddi Reader.
In Love and Light won an Indie Acoustic award for best album in 2008 and Talbot has been nominated for an Irish Music Award 2009 in the best female vocalist category along with multiple BBC Radio 2 Folk award nominations.
Born in Bellshill, near Glasgow, John began playing whistle and fiddle as a child and joined the legendary folk outfit Battlefield Band aged 17. During his 11 years with the band, he also released his first two solo recordings, 1995’s self-titled debut and 2000’s Yella Hoose. His most recent albums include Under One Sky and the reissues of Yella Hoose and Goodnight Ginger re-mastered deluxe. John has long been renowned for his skill at transcending musical boundaries: striving to keep his music fresh and exciting, never leaving the past behind but always embracing new sonic adventures. As a live and studio guest he has shared stages with Paul Weller, Paolo Nutini, Teenage Fanclub, Graham Coxon and Eddi Reader. Since 2008, he has been a member of Mark Knopfler’s band, playing arenas around the world including a double bill with Bob Dylan at The Hollywood Bowl and 20 nights at the Royal Albert Hall. An expanding portfolio as a producer features debut albums by Kris Drever and Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble. He’s also manned the controls for top folk chanteuses Eddi Reader, Heidi Talbot, Eliza Carthy and Linda Thompson. Film and TV work includes soundtracks for the movie Heartlands (2002) and 16 Years of Alcohol (2003), Billy Connolly’s World Tour of New Zealand (2004), Jennifer Saunders BBC sitcom Jam and Jerusalem (2008) & Starlings sitcom for Sky TV (2012). John was awarded the coveted BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year in 2003 and also The Spirit of Scotland Award for music in 1999 and again in 2009. 2016 saw John receive the Good Tradition Award and perform with his band at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at The Royal Albert Hall.