Joy Dunlop goes down a storm in Ardrishaig

Mhairi Marwick and Ron Jappy joined singer Joy Dunlop to the delight of the Ardrishaig audience

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A delighted Ardrishaig audience was treated to a performance by Gaelic singer Joy Dunlop, accompanied by fiddle player Mhairi Marwick and guitarist Ron Jappy on Saturday May 7.

Hosted by the The Mid Argyll Arts Association Joy is probably best known as a weather presenter and, more recently, BBC Alba SpeakGaelic presenter.

She is a renowned Gaelic performer, winner of the Royal National Mòd Gold Medal and nominated as Gaelic Singer of the Year four times.

Argyll-born and a true West-Coaster, Joy presented a concert full of Argyll songs, with which she holds a real fascination.

She made it clear that Lochgilphead holds a special place in her heart – originally from Connel, and learning Gaelic song there as a child, she performed in many Lochgilphead Gaelic Mòds – as she recalls, the last competition of the year before the National Mòd.

Joy, Mhairi and Ron’s concert included audience participation, a fiddle solo and step dancing.

Joy has a passion for Gaelic story-telling through song, and has a natural and charismatic way of leading the audience there too.

Through different styles of song, Joy brought the audience into her world – a world of comedy, tragedy and dance.

Her beautiful interpretation of laments, such as Cadal Cuain and Òran na bantraich, and her rhythmic waulking songs (working songs for the making of tweed), including Mo nighean donn ho gù and Buain a’ choirce, were fantastic.

Probably the most popular on the night, however, were the exquisite puirt à beuls – fast and wordy songs for dancing to.

These Gaelic ‘tunes from the mouth’ were created for dancing without instruments, and incorporate reels, jigs and strathspeys.

Joy’s perfect diction and amazing breath skills brought these songs to life, and were the highlight of the evening.

Mhairi Marwick and Ron Jappy provided beautiful accompaniment and sonorous harmony to Joy’s bright soprano voice; a beautiful folk trio who charmed all who attended.

Mid Argyll Arts Association representative Fiona Simpson said: ‘Mìle taing, Joy – tha sinn an dòchas gun till sibh a dh ‘aithghearr.’

The final concert of the MAAA 2021/22 Season is Ryan Corbett (Classical accordion) on Friday June 10 at 7.30pm in Ardrishaig.