Well here we are in the midst of the annual January gloom, and I guess you all need cheering up a wee bit, and hopefully Pedie and I can be of some spirit-lifting assistance. Time then to announce some more of the artists who will grace our wee Hall in September.

First up is a band being put together especially for Ceòl Cholasa by none other than that one man ceilidh, the irrepressible Iain MacFarlane! Iain writ his name large in Ceòl Cholasa history when he led the unforgettable session on board the Lord of the Isles a year or three back. A video (complete with Iain falling of his seat whilst in mid jig!) can be found elsewhere on this very site. Enjoy! The diehards among you will also recall that Iain also graced our very first Festival when he played alongside Iain MacDonald, Ross Martin and the wonderful Kathleen MacInnes. Ah, the memories!

Anyway, enough of the past. Who else is in this band I hear you ask. Well. first up it is another Ceòl Cholasa favourite, Ewan Robertson, he of Breabach fame. He also, due to his captivating and dynamic style, has played with many of the UK’s top folk artists. And of course he can sing like a lintie! Need I say more?

And joining him will be the legendary Irish button box player, Dermot Byrne whose inimitable style earned him the accolade of 2013 Irish Traditional Musician of the Year. A member of Altan, Dermot has also played with all the greats including Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin, Tim O’Brien and that honorary Irishman, Stephane Grappelli. What a line-up. I’m salivating already!

And talking of Ms MacInnes, I can reveal that the smoky-voiced Kathleen will be returning to help us make 2017 a very memorable 10 year anniversary indeed. This will be Kathleen’s fifth visit to the island, and she just seems to effortlessly enchant us even more every year. A wonderful singer with a personality to match. If you haven’t heard Kathleen before, be prepared to be blown away…

And finally for this hopefully gloom-lifting post, I can reveal that we will also have perhaps the hottest property on the trad scene at the moment, Elephant Sessions. Worthy winners of the Up and Coming Act of the Year trophy at the 2014 Scots Trad Music Awards, this fiery Highland five-piece are fast maturing into powerhouse headliners, welding weapons-grade grooves and guitar attack with quicksilver fiddle/mandolin melodies. Since appearing at Glastonbury last year, the band have been in great demand, and indeed their gig at Celtic Connections has already sold out. So we are lucky indeed to have lured them to Colonsay.

Here endeth this epistle., but there are still more artists to be announced. Watch this space…

Should you feel the urge to pre-book tickets (always a splendid idea! ), email me at ceolkeith@yahoo.co.uk. No payment required until tickets formally go on sale early March.

Hope you are now a happier wee soul!