Artist Profiles: Giveway


Formed in 1998, Giveway is made up of four musically skilled sisters: Fiona Johnson, a fiddle player, vocalist, guitarist, pianist and whistle player; Kirsty Johnson, a pianist, accordion player and singer; Amy Johnson, a drummer and accordion player; and Mairi Johnson, a piano and keyboard player, vocalist and bass player.

The musical diversity of the group encompasses Scottish traditional and folk music, with haunting airs and lively jigs, energetic blends of folk-jazz, spine-tingling vocals, exquisite harmonies and bold tunes guaranteed to put a smile on your face and stay in your head long after you leave a Giveway concert or switch your stereo off.

In the years since the sisters formed their own band, Giveway has won awards at the acclaimed Scottish music festival Celtic Connections, in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk awards, performed on numerous radio shows, on television and at a series of high profile venues including the main stage at the Cambridge Folk Festival. They have also supported top musical acts. Their debut albumFull Steam Ahead (Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX245) was released in 2003 to widespread, international acclaim.

Their 11-track album, Inspired (Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX28), was released late in 2005 and, as the title suggests, it features an inspirational collection of music covering various styles: traditional Irish and Scottish tunes, foot-tapping and jazzy folk songs, rock-inspired jigs, songs written by acclaimed Scottish artists including Phil Cunningham and John McCusker, and songs written by the sisters in memory of loved ones.

The third album, titled Lost In This Song (Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX332, 2009) featured guest musicians Ross Hamilton on bass, electric guitars; Phil Cunningham on whistle; and Mairi Campbell, Robert McFall and Sua Lee on strings. The album was produced by Phil Cunningham.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (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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