single meta

June 21, 1997

At the top of Arthur’s Seat.                       Edinburgh, Scotland. (1997)

On this day exactly 20 years ago I did a very scary thing. I embarked on a journey that changed my life, leaving my home in Chico, California to live in Edinburgh, Scotland for six months.

I had reached a crisis of sorts. My personal life was falling apart, my middle-school teaching job was eating me alive and I was saddened to watch my mother’s health decline more and more as time moved on. With all that going on, I made an important discovery about myself: I had to sing.

Earlier in the year, I was given an opportunity to perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a venue called the Spiegeltent and I decided to go for it. I had made some friends in Edinburgh a couple of years previous and enlisted their help in finding me a place to live.

I spent my first three weeks going to music sessions almost every night. I began to meet many of the musicians who play folk music in Edinburgh and actually got my first gig at the Hebrides Bar near Waverly train station. A few days after that, I got a call to sing at a wedding at a pub called the Sheep’s Heid in Duddingston and a few days after that I got a call from the landlord at Sandy Bell’s. He offered me the Monday evening session and I jumped at it.

Every Monday night from July through November, I sat in “The Corner” and ran the session at Sandy Bells. Many evenings I was joined by some of the Scotland’s most talented singers and players and many of them are friends to this very day.

I learned so much from my experience in Scotland. Not only did a I get a fantastic education regarding Scots traditional songs and Scots musical culture, but I also was on the receiving end of many kindnesses and some great and memorable times. I gained confidence in my singing and brought that with me when I moved to New England to pursue a full-time folk music career.

It all started in Edinburgh on June 21, 1997.

 

On the calendar

See all dates

Your shopping cart

Items in your cart

Your cart is currently empty.

Programs

Roberts Cowan Picture

Receive A Free Full Album Download!