Scottish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Malcolm MacWatt is a unique voice in British Americana with the likes of Gretchen Peters, Laura Cantrell, Jaimee Harris, Eliza Carthy and Kris Drever lending their names and voices to his recent work.
Hailing from Morayshire with the Highlands and North Sea as a constant backdrop, Malcolm MacWatt was raised listening to the folklore and music of Scotland. His love for the outdoors saw him spending much of his life as a keen hillwalker, snowboarder and surfer; learning first hand that the Highlands are beautiful and uplifting but unforgivingly harsh if taken for granted.
Like many other young men from the area he worked on the offshore oil rigs where the power of the North Sea was a constant reminder to remain humble in the face of nature. Later, as a newspaper journalist he reported on local topics including the criminal courts and social issues. As such there’s sensitivity, compassion and humanity in his songwriting with a rugged simplicity and directness in how they are delivered.
MacWatt has been releasing music since late 2018 with four albums and three EPs to date. He mainly performs on the London Folk & Americana circuit both as a solo artist and occasionally with his band The Glass Mountains. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro and bodhran and is teaching himself to play the whistle.
“I’ve had a lifelong love of American music and culture. At the same time as those US influences were coming through the TV and radio I was also being steeped in Scottish folk tales and traditional music. So I’ve always been fascinated by music with Trans-Atlantic connections.”
As well as his own projects, he is currently co-writing and producing an album with Shannon Hynes as The Broken Bairns.