J.P Cormier and Tim Edey

J.P Cormier and Tim Edey

Both of these amazingly talented musicians are no strangers to Shetland Folk Festival audiences, and to have them billed as a duo as part of our visiting acts line-up is just too exciting for words!

Hailing from Cape Breton, J.P. Cormier is a first-class multi award winning bluegrass/Folk/Celtic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, whereas Tim who is originally from Kent and of Irish descent, is rated by many as one of the world’s finest ever melodeon and guitar players on the folk scene today. Cormier has previously performed at the Shetland Folk Festival in 1997, 2004, and in 2012 (latterly with the Elliott Brothers) whereas Edey performed in 2006 (with Seamus Begley), in 2011 as an honorary Shetlander (!) in a Year of Scotland’s Islands project and in 2012 (with Brendan Power). 

The outstanding Cormier and Edey first met at Celtic Colours in Cape Breton back in 2010 where Tim says they both felt something magical happen in their meeting and playing together. The following year Tim returned to Cape Breton and “went into [JP’s] studio...and just played solidly for 6 hours, ate pizza and drank whisky”. The result was the fantastic album “Once” (eventually released in 2018), perhaps named as such due to the fact that every track was recorded in one take! Shetland guitar fanatics will possibly remember that they both performed at our Festival’s own guitar summit back in 2012. With the recent release of “Once”, we felt the timing was perfect to invite them back to recreate that magic once more.

A singer and virtuoso on both acoustic guitar and button accordion, Tim’s incredible musical ear and total technical command allows him to play the most demanding instrumentals and improvise freely in any style you throw at him. Tim was voted Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2012 and also “Best Duo” with Brendan Power. He has toured the world with many major folk names including The Chieftains, Wolfstone, Dougie MacLean and Christy Moore, and is now a name on the world stage in his own right.

J.P. is an amazing individual who has been bringing his dazzling compositions and finger work to many theatres and festivals across North America and overseas for over 30 years. He began playing guitar at the age of 5 and quickly become immersed in the rich musical heritage of his Cape Breton roots. He moved to the USA for 10 years and performed many memorable nights at the Grand Ole Opry with such notable artists as Waylon Jennings, Marty Stuart and Earl Scruggs to name a few. From winning his first guitar contest at age 9, he has since claimed thirteen East Coast Music Award trophies, 5 Music Nova Scotia Awards and a Canadian Folk Music Award, as well as Juno Award nominations. As well as guitar, JP has played a vast list of other instruments on his albums including fiddle, upright bass, banjo, mandolin, drums, percussion, cello and piano. 36 years after stepping on stage as professional union musician for the first time at the tender age of 13, JP is still going, and frighteningly, still getting better.

Although performing as a duo for the majority of the weekend, we will be sure to programme them at one concert each where they will show off their solo material.