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Obituaries

Maggie Boyle 1956 – 2014

We were saddened to hear that, after her long battle with cancer, Maggie Boyle passed away on 6 November at the age of 57. Maggie was well known and well loved throughout the folk scene, known best for her work with her former husband, Steve Tilston, her singing trio, Grace Notes, and her recent duo work with Paul Downes, though she also worked and recorded with artists as diverse as John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, John Conolly, Les Barker, Damien Barber and Peter Bellamy, and even added her name to a couple of film soundtracks (Patriot Games and Legends Of The Fall).

Betty McDonald 1929 – 2014

A fine interpreter of traditional songs from her native area, Scotland and the US, South Shields born Betty passed away on 13 October 2014.

Pete Shutler

It was impossible, I think, for anyone to meet Pete Shutler without coming away from the experience a richer person, and his death on 21 September 2014, after a short period of illness, has left his family, friends and his beloved county of Dorset much poorer. It’s also left folk and traditional music and song without one of its most stalwart exponents over the last 50 years.

Buddy MacMaster - 1924 - 2014

Hugh Allan MacMaster, or Buddy, as he was widely known, died after a heart attack at his home in Judique, Cape Breton at the age of 89 – just two months before his 90th birthday. He was very deservedly credited with helping to bring Cape Breton fiddle music to a wider world and had a particular interest in preserving the region’s musical traditions.

Rick Lee - 1941-2014

Rick Lee was a New York City born, Massachusetts-based old-time banjo and piano player, singer and songwriter with family roots in Appalachia and a great-grandmother from Scotland. He had been part of New England's traditional music scene since the early 1960s.

JEAN REDPATH - 28 April 1937 - 21 August 2014

Jean Redpath died peacefully at a hospice in Arizona. She was 77. Born in Edinburgh in 1937, she grew up in Leven, Fife, where her family’s home resounded with music and an appreciation of Scottish culture. Her father played a hammered dulcimer. She was a major figure in Scottish music, although not too many people below a certain age will have seen her perform live back home as it was in the US where she established her reputation as an interpreter of Scottish folk songs, in live performance, on radio and on record. She was best known in her native country through her recordings, especially of the songs of Robert Burns.

John (Jack) Eaglesham - 1938 - 2014

John Eaglesham, singer, songwriter, raconteur and concertina player, passed away after a long illness on 5 April 2014. He was a fine and respectful singer of the older Scots songs as well as comic music hall material and traditional tunes, and respected singers have said that they never heard a better or more authentic performer of bothy ballads.

Brian Horsfall - 7.5.28–20.12.13

Just about a year ago, Brian Horsfall told me that the news about his health was not good. I was in touch with him as recently as early December and there was no sign that he would soon be leaving us. In fact, he had plans for something and he wanted me to put a musician in touch with him. It was typical of Brian - stoic, wouldn’t want a fuss, single-minded – that no indication of his deteriorating health was given to me.

Davie Henderson

When Shetland Folk Festival stalwart Davie Henderson died suddenly in the early hours of 12th January, the profound sense of shock felt across his own island community reverberated much much further afield – indeed around the world as a whole. The huge outpouring of not only disbelief and sadness but equally respect that followed the announcement of his untimely death at the age of 63 in itself spoke volumes about the person he was.

Ralph Jordan - 1954-2014

The folk world will hear of the untimely death of Ralph Jordan with great sadness. For 40 years, Ralph was a familiar and distinctive figure at festivals, sessions, on the concert stage and behind the mixing desk. His absence leaves a space that will not be filled.