The next Thomas Fraser Memorial Festival will be held between Thursday 8 November to Sunday 11th 2018.
Thomas Fraser died in 1978 aged 50. A fishermand and crofter from Burra, Shetland, he kept a low profile. Although a uniquely talented musician, he was also incredibly shy and kept his talent hidden from all but a few close friends and family members.
His extraordinary talent and a passion for music drove him to painstakingly record thousands of his unique takes of favourite blues, country, jazz and traditional tunes of the era on a reel-to-reel recorder in his small croft house. Twenty five years after his death in 1978, the tapes were discovered by Thomas' grandson, who has since compiled 6 CDs, allowing his grandfather's name to be recognised across the globe.
To coincide with the release of the first Thomas Fraser CD Long Gone Lonesome Blues in 2002, the Fraser family decided to host a special Thomas Fraser Tribute Concert. This was such a success that the festival has since been a regular event in the Shetland music calendar.
There are some folk who might think that Thomas Fraser must be ‘turning in his grave’. The Burra Isle fisherman Now, ironically, the festival held in his name celebrates his talent loud and long. His skills as a singer, guitarist and re-imaginer of songs are discussed, dissected and praised to the heavens. And somewhere up in those heavens poor Thomas looks over the edge of a cloud, blushing at all the attention.
See the Shetland News for information on the line up of this year's festival.