10 questions for… Shona

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m 26 and originally from Huntly in Aberdeenshire but now living with my husband Paul Anderson, our 2 wee lads and a dog in Tarland. I started playing the fiddle aged 9 and started singing traditional songs when I was about 14 after hearing great bothy ballad singers like Geordie Murison, Jock Duncan and Joe Aitken at festivals. After I finished school in Huntly I went to Glasgow to study Scottish Music at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

2. What is your weirdest quirk?

If I turn around in a circle I have to turn the other way to “unwind” or I feel a bit weird and I speak to myself constantly!

3. How did you get involved with the Speyside Sessions?

Angus Robertson had contacted my husband Paul and asked if he wanted to come along to the sessions. I just tagged along!

4. What is your proudest moment ever?

The birth of my two lads, Hector and Roderick. Musically, being voted Scots singer of the year in 2009 at the MG Alba Scottish Traditional Music Awards.

5. What Speyside Session tracks did you perform on?

The Muckin’ o‘ Geordie’s Byre, Charlie is ma Darlin’, Achanachie Gordon, Raggle Taggle Gypsy, Westlin’ Winds, These are my Mountains.

6. What is your favourite track on the album?

I loved recording The Muckin’ o’ Geordie’s Byre. Hopefully when folk listen to it they’ll get a sense of how much fun Kevin, Garry and myself were having! I also love These are my Mountains and Diane of Pitgaveny.

7. What is your abiding memory from the sessions?

My cousin, Diane Lunan, had her birthday during the sessions and Paul composed a tune called Diane of Pitgaveny for her. When he played it to her she was just overjoyed. Paul and Ali ended up recording it for the cd and whilst they were recording Diane and I sat on the sofa grinning like Cheshire cats the whole time! Just a lovely moment.

8. What is your favourite album of all time?

Have too many but stand outs would be Ye Shine Far ye Stan’ by Jock Duncan, Attention all Personnel by Croft No 5, Faultlines by Karine Polwart and anything by Doris Day. Everyone needs a bit of Doris in their lives!

9. Do you have any regrets?

Not sitting my driving test before I moved to Glasgow to go to university. I’m going to start lessons again and I am going to pass my test before my provisional licence runs out in 2 years!!

10. Most extravagant thing you’ve ever done (or bought)?

I haven’t done and bought anything extravagant but I do buy far too many books!

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