Kevin Macleod

Scottish mandolin, resonator tenor guitar, bouzouki & tenor banjo

Thanks for taking a look at my website and I hope you find something of interest in the various pages.

I have had a lifelong passionate interest in traditional and folk music of Scotland and Ireland and countries further afield. I started music aged 4, and learnt violin until 16, when I had developed a great interest in the mandolin, teaching myself the rudiments of the plectrum, and immersing myself in Scottish music, mainly for dance. 

I acted as road manager for top Irish band De Danann for five exciting and memorable years in my early 20's, forging a great musical friendship with the late Alec Finn, and seeing a great deal of the world with that highly influential Irish band. Here's an in depth interview with Alec Finn and myself in 2013.


I joined Freeland Barbour in 1986 in forming the acclaimed Scottish ceilidh band “The Occasionals”, and 35 years later, 7 cds, thousands of gigs, many broadcasts and TV appearances, we are still getting huge enjoyment from playing for dance. You can follow our activities here and on facebook 

Running parallel with this, I have recorded 4 solo cds, and several others with fine musicians and friends like Alec Finn & Frankie Gavin of De Danann, Ali ‘Beag’ MacLeod, George Duff, Luke Plumb of “Shooglenifty”, John Martin & Phil Smillie of the “Tannahill Weavers”, Kris Drever, Matheu Watson, Malcolm Jones of “Runrig”, Freeland Barbour & Iain Fraser, Gavin McCabe of Rakish, Dan Beimborn, Tim Jones, Alasdair Fraser, Will Maclean and also Jules & The Blue Garnets.

I perform concerts with the fine Scots singer George Duff in a duo, and sometimes trio with Leo McCann and John Martin, and I co-produced a fine solo cd "The Collier Laddie" by George Duff, a collection of 16 songs. John Martin, Mike Katz, Mark Dunlop, Rob Hiley and myself accompanied George on this excellent recording.

I also get much enjoyment still from playing in sessions around Scotland, and holding mandolin masterclasses on occasion or by request. Just ask me for details.

The focus of my music is on the great repertoire of traditional music of Scotland, particularly the pipe music repertoire, gaelic music, the fiddle and dance repertoire, but also the wider folk traditions of the world. The variety of music on my solo recordings reflects this wide ranging interest.

I became involeved with a major collaboration with top Scots luthier of Taran Guitars to create a new Taran "Springwell" mandolin. This was extremely successful, and the final mandolin has sold well, with nearly 30 mandolins coming into existence from the remarkable and hugely talented Rory Dowling at Taran Guitars. The full story is on an adjacent part of the website here .

I have gathered some interesting stringed instruments over the years, mandolins, tenor guitars, bouzoukis and banjos, and have enjoyed making recordings of the great traditional melodies of Scotland on the stringed instruments in my collection. There are some film demonstrations of some of these instruments on the film section here

You can also find more about my recordings on the shop page.

many thanks, Kevin Macleod