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When Kenny Higgins and Cliff Uney met at Strathyre Inn in 2011 and chatted about music interests, they never really envisaged that their idea of a Jam Session would lead to the formation of a Folk Band which they named Balvaig after the local river in Strathyre. The small group kept growing with new members. They played a few Gigs around Scotland and one day during a Music Session they decided to try a small Music Event.
The idea grew in its original suggested format to what became the first Strathyre Music Festival in 2013. Now in its fourth year, the Strathyre Music Festival has become a popular friendly event attracting a great mix of established and up and coming stars.
Balvaig run Bothy Style Folk Sessions which is the type of popular format often seen in Ireland where people simply walk in and join in the Music, often bringing an instrument along. This format started when Tommy Anderson popped in with a Guitar and Bodhran, then Stevie Black appeared with an Accordion.
Cliff's son Owen, popped in with Banjo and Harmonica and Kenny's son - Mikey came along with his Guitar and unique voice. Mike Keeney was next to join the band, bringing along a Bodhran harmonica and then Banjo.
The Band was taking shape and then we had a boost when Jane Booth came into the pub with Husband Adrian to listen and thankfully was not put off with Jane adding Acoustic Guitar, Bass and considerable singing talents, then after a small degree of encouragement, Greig Watson Joined with Guitar and super voice and along with Jane brought along some new song ideas. Then more recently we received a real boost when Andy Bates came along with considerable skills on Mandolin, and Whistles.
Balvaig have been invited to perform at several venues including Aberfoyle, Hilton Hotel Edinburgh, Bell Tavern Tayport, Corn Exchange Cupar, Mhor 84 Kingshouse, and Dreadnought Hotel Callander.
In October The band embark on a sailing Tour through the Caledonian Canal in October playing at venues in Corpach and Fort Augustus and other Pub locations on the way.
Next year (2017), the band is invited to play at Doochary Music Festival and Local Music Venues in County Donegal Ireland.
Below Balvaig in action at the Bell Rock Tavern at Tayport in 2014 a few weeks later the band were invited to play another large gig at Corn Exchange in Cupar then to Edinburgh's Grosvenor Hotel for a special function in aid of charity. Right - Balvaig Music session outdoors in Strathyre.
Local Band Balvaig Take to the stage at this years Strathyre Music Festival around 1:25pm on Saturday afternoon. This bunch of local friends put the band together and established the Strathyre Music Festival. Please come along and give Balvaig and all the other performers some support. Have a Great Time