OLD BLIND DOGS have stood on the cutting edge of Scotland’s roots revival since coming on the scene in the early 1990s. The band has developed its own trademark style with an energetic mix of songs and tunes. Dynamic percussion, polished vocals, soaring fiddle, and stirring pipes fuel the delicately phrased melodies and traditional songs. The Dogs have released 13 albums and have won numerous awards including the prestigious title of Folk Band of the Year at the 2004 and 2007 Scots Trad Music Awards.
The Dogs, one of Scotland’s most highly touted traditional folk bands, are not known for shying away from change. A strong, shared musical vision has allowed the group to ride out inevitable line-up changes. The Dogs popularity has never dimmed though and the current foursome of Jonny Hardie (fiddle, vocals), Aaron Jones (bouzouki, guitar, vocals), Ali Hutton (Border pipes, whistles, vocals) and Donald Hay (percussion, vocals) have proven more than capable of carrying on the tradition of the band that the Montreal Gazette called …” a Scots neo-traditional super group with a bracingly modern musical attack.”
OLD BLIND DOGS MEMBERS:
JONNY HARDIE – Fiddle, Vocals
Jonny Hardie co-founded Old Blind Dogs in 1929, or thereabouts. Since the band began, they have recorded 13 studio albums and two live albums. Over the years, Jonny has been involved in many other musical collaborations. He has performed with/arranged or produced over 50 CDs in his career (so far) recording and performing with artists as diverse as Kylie Minogue and The Chieftains with Ry Cooder. Jonny is currently working with fellow Aberdonians Simon Gall (in Clype) and Jenny Sturgeon. He is also musical director and writer for Dogstar Theatre Company and teaches fiddle at Aberdeen City Music School.
AARON JONES – Bouzouki, Vocals, Guitar
Aaron is one of the most sought after accompanists on the traditional music scene today. He continues to tour worldwide and record with many of the biggest names in traditional music, including Kate Rusby, Siobhan Miller, Emily Smith, Robyn Stapleton and many more. As well as being an official accompanist for the BBC Young Traditional Scottish Musician of the Year Awards for ten years, Aaron was voted ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in a public vote at the 2005 Scots Trad Music Awards. He is a passionate member of the Live Performance Committee of the UK Musicians Union, a committed Evertonian and a very proud Dad.
ALI HUTTON – Pipes, Whistles, Guitar
Ali Hutton, from Methven in Perthshire, was inspired at the age of 7 to take up the bagpipes and rose through the ranks of the world famous Vale of Atholl Pipe Band. It was there that he was taught, alongside Ross Ainslie, by the late, great Gordon Duncan. He has since gone on to become a successful multi-instrumentalist on the Scottish music scene. Ali has performed and worked alongside some of the most respected musicians and bands on the scene such as Capercaillie, Dougie Maclean, Carlos Nunez, Deaf Shepherd, Clueless, Steve Forman, Salsa Celtica, and Shooglenifty to name but a few. During his apprentice years as a professional musician he was fortunate enough to become a member of the multi award winning bands Brolum and Back of the Moon. He toured with them for several years across Europe and North America. Back of the Moon went on to win ‘Scottish Folk Band of the Year’ at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards in 2005, and was also nominated for ‘Album of the Year’. Ali has also found himself producing some of the most well received Scottish Folk albums in recent years. In 2007 he co-produced Maeve Mackinnon’s award winning album, ‘Don’t Sing Love Songs’. This went on to be chosen to be performed in the ‘Classic Albums’ series at Celtic Connections in 2008. In 2015 he was nominated for ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards, the same year in which Treacherous Orchestra won ‘Album of the Year’, of which Ali was a co producer. Ali is currently a member of Treacherous Orchestra, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson Band, and the Ross and Ali Duo.
DONALD HAY – Percussion, Vocals
Donald Hay is a drummer/percussionist with an exceptional ability to play with power, empathy, delicacy and drama. Coming from the fiddle led rock’n’roll explosion Mystery Juice, over the last twenty years he has become one of the most highly sought after percussionists on the Scottish and English folk scenes. He’s appeared on recordings by Sting, Eliza Carthy ( including her Mercury Award nominated ‘Anglicana’ ), Kate Rusby, Martin Carthy, Kathryn Tickell, Gordon Duncan, The Battlefield Band and The Nuala Kennedy Band. As well as Old Blind Dogs, he is currently performing with The Nuala Kennedy Band, and harpist Mary Macmaster. He has also done live session work for Shooglenifty and has appeared on the highly successful TV show and Celtic Connections concert ‘The Transatlantic Sessions ‘ performing with Joan Osbourne, Jerry Douglas, Donal Lunny, Ali Bain and Phil Cunningham.
“The skill, talent, and verve with which they played belied their laddishness and the crowd responded with thunderous applause. Folk is the new rock and roll.” – Evening News
“The Old Blind Dogs play with a compelling energy and intoxicating rhythm; players and audience seem to share a wild ecstasy of emotion.” – The Scotsman
“Old Blind Dogs have mastered the tricky art of innovating within a musical tradition while faithfully revealing its essence.” – Acoustic Guitar