Scottish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Malcolm MacWatt is a unique voice in British Folk/Americana with the likes of Gretchen Peters, Laura Cantrell, Jaimee Harris, Eliza Carthy, Nathan Bell, Angeline Morrison, Pat McManus 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 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 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.
“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, or Transatlanticana as I like to say.
I'm indebted to my label Need To Know Music for their steadfast support. Thinking back to September 6th 2020 when I received an email out of the blue from a guy called Brian Brinkerhoff in California. He’s just been tipped off about ‘Skail’ from a friend at Americana Highways who gave the EP a glowing review. Says he’s been a music producer for much of his life and mentions some of the great artists he’s worked with… and he’s keen to work with me!
Over the next few days we talk politics, family, books, films, history, cooking, Scotland, America and of course music and pretty soon the conversation comes around to how we could collaborate on an album and what form that album might take.
That first contact was the start of the most important musical relationship of my life and I now count Brian as a personal friend and mentor. Together we released ‘Settler’ in November 2021 and here we are again with ‘Dark Harvest’ coming out in January. To work with someone who has a real passion for the art of music is a joy, a privilege, an education and a huge boost to my confidence as a songwriter and musician.
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who continues to support me on this musical journey. You allow me to continue producing music and to keep my old Toyota rolling up and down the road. I couldn't do this without you so thanks again."