Bio

Barry Nisbet combines the music of his native Shetland with a songwriting style inspired by the drama of the islands, history, the sea, and his own travels and life. 

As a solo act he has recently played support for groups such as Salt House, Tide Lines and The Furrow Collective; he also performs with a line-up that includes pianist Robbie Ward, guitarists Gavin McGinty and Theo Barnard, bassist Stephen Jack, vocalists Fiona McAndrew and Amira Kremers, and drummer Ade Dacre. 

He with the band launched the first studio album 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine' this year, to excellent reviews.

Barry tours regularly with France based folk quartet Tildon Krautz, and plays occasional gigs with Shetland group Rack n Ruin. He has previously recorded with Scottish Celtic-Americana band Wire and Wool (2016), and traditional fiddle group The Cullivoe Fiddlers (2006). 

Growing up as a traditional musician in Shetland, Barry’s involvement in the music scene has often had to be put on hold due to his other passion and career, tall-ship sailing. The oceans, the weather and the isolation of a life far from land have influenced his music as much as the Scottish, folk, jazz, Americana and songwriter influences he draws upon. 

He now combines these passions as the creator and director of Sessions and Sail, a project that will see the tall ship Lady of Avenel sail in summer 2018 with a crew of 12 musicians, playing sessions, workshops and ceilidhs in numerous destinations on the west coast of Scotland. 

Barry formed Rack n Ruin in Shetland with three friends from the village of Cullivoe while still at school and this group, having gone through several adaptations over the years, still plays frequently in the islands and beyond, being regulars at the Shetland Folk Festival. 

Frequently he would be gone for many months on end, often sailing the islands of the tropical Pacific, the coasts of Australia or the Atlantic Ocean. During these voyages he wrote and performed, whether to an audience of tall ship crew and guests, or merely to the sea and stars. Inspired by this environment, and by the people he met and their own stories, he would bring back new songs and tunes on his return to Shetland. 

He has regularly performed with The Cullivoe Fiddlers at events in Shetland but also as far afield as the Skamba Skamba Kankliai Festival in Lithuania. In 2006 he managed the production of a CD of the Cullivoe Fiddlers’ music. 

In 2011 he headed a community group in Cullivoe that ran Sail Yell, a tall ship based festival that brought bands including The Chair and Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag to Cullivoe. 

It was on moving ashore to Dundee in 2013 that Barry found himself at the heart of a music scene that spawned bands such as Wire and Wool. He was part of a group that formed the Dundee Acoustic Music Club, which was supported by Scotland Live and was nominated for Club of the Year at the Na Trads Scottish Traditional Music Awards in 2016. 

During the following three years he performed with Wire and Wool at events such as the Eden Festival, the Kelburn Garden Party, Celtic Connections, The Insider Strathspey Safari, the Southern Fried Festival, the Glasgow City Festival and Dundee Westfest. In July 2016 Wire and Wool launched their first album, and soon afterwards played their biggest gig to date in froMerchantnt of 5,000 people at the La Roche bluegrass festival in the Alps. 

He won a Dundee Musicians Award in October 2016.

Photograph (C) Siobhan Diamond Photography

Photograph (C) Siobhan Diamond Photography

the band

Stephen Jack plays bass with the band and on the album 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine'. He is a Dundee-based musician who also performs with bands such as Two Thieves and the Burning Wood.

Photograph by Donald Milne at The Weaving Shed, Dundee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Robin Wynn Evans runs TPot Studios in Perthshire. He is a recording engineer and musician and produced and engineered the album 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine'. He plays bodhran and persussion on the album.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Gavin McGinty is a guitarist, singer and songwriter based in Dundee, well known for his solo performances, and as a member of Sinderins and Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher.

Photograph (C) Siobhan Diamond Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Fiona McAndrew sings backing vocals on the album 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine'. She is a musician and illustrator originally from Zaragoza, Spain, who studied in Dundee and now lives in Edinburgh.

Photograph by  Malcolm MacLean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Theo Barnard plays guitar and provides backing vocals on the album 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine'. He is a regular performer with bands such as Wire and Wool and Cuck's Bounty.

 

 

 

Ade Dacre plays drums, and features on the album 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine'. He is based near Oxford and has performed with Badly Drawn Boy.

 

 

 

 

 Robbie Ward is a multi-instrumentalist from Dundee who is well known as a solo performer and as a member of Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher. He plays piano, harmonium and bass and provides backing vocals on the album 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Amira Kremers sings backing vocals on the album 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine'. She performs with bands such as Two Thieves and the Burning Wood.

Photograph by Donald Milne at The Weaving Shed, Dundee