Artist Profiles: Na h-Oganaich

Na h-Oganaich

Na h-Oganaich (pronounced “na hawkanich” and means Young Blood) are widely credited with reviving interest in Gaelic music in the 1970s for a younger generation and influencing many musicians who followed in their footsteps, including Capercaillie.

Founding members Margaret and Donnie MacLeod were brought up in Edinburgh and Peterhead (Gaelic was always spoken in their home as their parents came from the Isle of Lewis). Following many musical and Mod successes Margaret won the Gold Medal at the 1970 Mod and the following year she formed Na h-Oganaich with Donnie and friend Noel Eadie. Na h-Oganaich went on to win the folksong competition at the National Mod in 1971 and the Celtavision Song Contest at Pan-Celtic week in Killarney in 1972.

Over the following years they breathed new life into Gaelic music with their three part harmonies accompanied by guitars bodhran and whistles. Their youth and energy combined with the inspiring words of Murdo Macfarlane the Melbost Bard successfully took the Gaelic world by storm. Gradually their appearances onstage and television spread through the Celtic nations Europe Canada and the USA earning them the cult status that they now enjoy.

Na h-Oganaich disbanded in 1976 and went on to enjoy individual success as musicians and broadcasters but their huge fan base from the 1970s haven’t forgotten them.

Discography

The Great Gaelic Sound of Na h-Oganhaich (Beltona Sword SBE 145, 1972)
Gael Force Three (Beltona Sword, 1973)
Scot-Free (Beltona Sword SBE 184, 1975)
Gun Stad (2009)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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