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Guest Blog: Songs in the South

“Songs in The South” is an evening of Americana music from both sides of the Atlantic in the south-side of Glasgow. The event, which takes place at The Glad Café on Thursday 16th May for the second year running, will feature performances by singer-songwriters, David Starr (Arkansas via Colorado), Martha L. Healy (Glasgow) and Al Shields (Edinburgh via Bute).

Martha & the guys tell us more here

It’s really exciting to be doing “Songs In The South” again this May. Originally, the idea was borne out of a chance meeting between myself (Martha) and David Starr. I was at a house concert in the south side and I hadn’t ever heard of David’s music before and he was touring from Colorado, where he’s based. When I got there and heard his material and his voice, I was an instant fan!

After the gig, we got chatting and stayed in touch in the hope of gigging together in the future – which came to fruition in the shape of last year’s “Songs in The South.”

Then, I enlisted friend and Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter, Al Shields, to join the line-up and the three of us hit it off with a gig in Edinburgh at The Bluebird Café and then brought the show to the Glad Café in a song writing round-style performance.

Initially, Al was a bit sceptical of the format of the gig: “I hadn’t done any of these Nashville-style songwriters-in-the-round style gigs until last year. I’d always felt they seemed a little self-indulgent, but when I did the shows with David and Martha I was amazed at the unique way these gigs allow you to engage with the audience, playing off one another, and picking out songs at random based on the mood of the room, or the subjects of the other artists’ songs. It can be really special.

Picture: Al Goold (

“In the round” style gigs are popular in Nashville and all over the States but, in recent years, have made their way across the pond. All three of us also found we share a mutual appreciation of everyone from Jackson Browne and The Band to Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen, which helped us to gel on-stage.

Coming from the States David was used to this style of gig and enjoyed celebrating what he calls “the universal language or music” at last year’s gig. The format of the gig will be the same this year, with each of us introducing our songs and sharing some of the inspiration behind the songs, something the audience last year seemed to relish. As well as original songs, we are working on some special cover versions to perform on the night.

David is especially looking forward to be playing back in Scotland again, “Now that we’ve gotten to know one another’s music, we can relax a bit more and just let it flow,” he says. “I’m so grateful to be coming back to the UK.”

Photo by Kris Kesiak

We have been a busy trio in each of our own careers since the last gig: David has been working on his new album (Beauty And Ruin) which was produced by the legendary John Oates (of Hall & Oates fame); Martha has released her second Nashville-recorded album (Keep The Flame Alight); and Al has released an EP with his band, The Delahayes (Fire On Holy Ground).

Let’s just say the merch stand will be fully stocked on the night!

We hope you can join us from 7:30PM on Thursday 16th May at The Glad Café for an intimate and relaxed evening of music, chat, laughs and (optional) tears.

Buy Tix Here