Its the most wonderful time of the year. Even though the festive season has now well and truly ended, one of the highlights of the Scottish music calendar is about to begin.
Celtic Connections, which has now been running for over twenty years, has consistently brought over some of the biggest artists from all genres of music and walks of life to Glasgow, as well as providing a platform to upcoming artists. Over the years, the city has been lucky enough to be treated to intimate, one-off sets from world-famous stars, such as Robert Plant performing at a tribute concert to the late Bert Jansch.
The 2017 lineup brings together acts playing the festival for the first time, alongside Celtic Connections favourites. The highlights include Olivia Newton-John, best known for playing Sandy in Grease, performing alongside Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky as new project LIV ON.
Celtic Connections pride themselves on the diversity of their lineup, and it doesnt get much more diverse than going from Mexrrissey, a band who perform Morrissey covers with a Mexican, mariachi twist, to Wind Resistance - a theatre performance inspired by the migration of pink-footed geese from Greenland to a Scottish peat marsh, written by Karine Polwart.
Roddy Hart and his band The Lonesome Fire showcase their new album Swithering at Saint Lukes, before taking up residence as the house band at the now annual Roaming Roots Revue. This years theme being "The Women Of Song" featuring guest spots from the wonderful SAY Award-winning Kathryn Joseph, Frightened Rabbits Scott Hutchison and many more.
The Americana and folk lineup is also strong with Margo Price making her debut festival appearance on the back of one of the albums of 2016 with The Midwest Farmers Daughter, performing at Oran Mor, North Carolina duo Mandolin Orange at Broadcast, and John Paul White (formerly of The Civil Wars) playing a solo show at The Mackintosh Church as well as being part of the Transatlantic Sessions performances at the Royal Concert Hall.
Despite the vast array of talent from around the world that stand out on the bill, there is still plenty of Scottish talent to show what our wee country has to offer. Arab Straps Aidan Moffat has a final Where Youre Meant To Be ceilidh, with special surprise guests joining him at the Old Fruitmarket. Dundonians Sinderins (formerly known as Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward & Fisher) bring their brand of melodic folk to Oran Mor, and Rachel Sermanni plays what is bound to be a spellbinding show at The Mackintosh Church.
Organiser Donald Shaw has previously said that the implications of Brexit on the cost of bringing acts over from the States has affected their booking process, however, you wouldnt be able to tell with a festival which has so many highlights.
Cancel any other plans from now until the second week of February, and immerse in the fantastic array of acts Celtic Connections has planned.
Celtic Connections runs from 19th January to 5th February 2017.
Tickets for all performances are available now from celticconnections.com.
Keep an eye on glasgowmusic.co.uk where well have extensive coverage from the festivals best performances.