Autumn in highland Perthshire, in Scotland, is a time for changing colors in the trees, a crisp edge ot the air, and a time for celebrating music, with a festival whose name celebrates autumn: Perthshire Amber.

Internationally known songwriter and composer Dougie MacLean founded the festival. Even if you’re not up on your Scottish music, you will have heard his songs, especially such ones as the unofficial anthem of Scots everywhere, Caledonia, and Ready for the Storm, which has been recorded by Grammy winning American country artist Kathy Mattea. MacLean has written loads of songs, so part of his reason for founding the festival was to be able to share more of those than he gets to do in just one evening’s concert. With the festival he gets to bring in musical friends and their work as well, and to showcase his well loved Perthshire.

This year, Perthshire Amber will take place from 29th October through 5th November. Artists on hand will include renown Irish singer Heidi Talbot, top Scottish fiddle player and composer John McCusker, the Irish band Beoga, and award wining Scottish singer Emily Smith, They and other artists on the bill will appear in venues ranging from concert halls to town halls, from castles to crannogs.

There will be workshops, talks, and sessions on offer as well, and a popular festival feature called the Songbus returns. . Riders who book tickets on the bus are treated to music and a picnic lunch as they visit sites in Perthshire having to to with music. This year, there’s an emphasis on outdoor activities, with walks and a horse trek among the possibilities.

As ever at Perthshire Amber, festival goers will have the chance to give back, by contributing food to Amber Harvest and by creating or buying woven goods at The Big Knit. Proceeds from both go to help those in need of food and warm clothing in Scotland.

In past years, the festival has streamed and posted videos of the goings on for those who aren’t able to make it to Perthshire. The festival web site Perthshireamber.com, will keep you up to date on the plans for this year.

photo is of the Irish band Beoga, who will appear at Perthshire Amber this year. it is courtesy of the band

Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis recorded a live album at Perthshire Amber and shared a song with Dougie MacLean.

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