Scottish history and culture with a mix of traditional and modern Scottish music. Take a virtual trip to Scotland on every episode!
Episode 91: A Simply Scottish Christmas
30:43It's the most wonderful time of the year, and we're celebrating the season Scottish-style! Enjoy a great selection of Scottish Christmas music, including bagpipes, Celtic hymns, and a brand new Christmas single from popular Scottish band Deacon Blue. We'll discuss what the phrase "Simply Scottish" means, and you'll hear from Andrew's father Andrew McDiarmid Sr. as he shares memories of a childhood Christmas in Scotland in a clip from our radio archives. Wishing you and your family a blessed and merry Christmas! This episode was originally released in December 2013.
Episode 90: Planning Your Trip to Scotland
31:26On this episode, Andrew shares 11 top experiences you'll want to add to your own Scottish itinerary! From the summit of Arthur's Seat and the peak of Ben Nevis to the villages along the North Coast 500 and the fresh cuisine on the Isle of Skye, be inspired by these memorable places and activities. Plus, enjoy music from newcomer Katie McFarlane, pianist Neil Pearlman, Gaelic supergroup Daimh, and the Northern Soul sounds of Glasgow musician Kenny Lee Roberts. Want more? Get exclusive episodes, articles, and more when you join our Patreon clan. Learn more at Patreon.com/simplyscottish.
Episode 89: Growing Up in Scotland's Capital, pt. 3
26:28On this episode of Simply Scottish, journey with us to two Edinburgh landmarks as Andrew shares more memories of his childhood in the Athens of the North. Today, The Meadows is a beautiful city park. Discover how the space has been used across the centuries by locals, from drinking water and war garden to derby soccer and the world's fair. Andrew also shares two memories connected to the city's ancient volcano Arthur's Seat, adored by hillwalkers and climbers alike and home to the best views Edinburgh can offer. Along the way, enjoy new and stirring music from Joy Dunlop, Celtic Worship, and Iain Fraser!
Episode 88: Finding John Muir, pt. 1
19:59Journey with us in the footsteps of Scottish-American naturalist, conservationist, and inventor John Muir! Host Andrew reports on an extraordinary experience visiting the Muir Papers and exhibit at the University of the Pacific in California. Hear what it's like to open and examine boxes of Muir's original papers, letters, and fragments. Plus, a selection of great music as always, including Sheena Wellington, Valtos & Project Smok, and Doron Diamond. And don't miss Finding John Muir, pt. 2 - available to members of our Patreon Clan. Join today!
Episode 87: Soul of Freedom: How Robert Burns Inspired America
38:54Scotland's national poet Robert Burns has had a profound impact on the United States since the early years of the republic. On this episode, Andrew talks to nationally syndicated radio host and fellow Scot Janet Parshall on how Burns inspired countless Americans, including two leaders instrumental in America's fight to end slavery: abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. Douglass found great encouragement in Burns and considered himself Scottish at heart. At a Burns celebration in New York in 1849, he mused, "If a warm love of Scotch character—a high appreciation of Scotch genius—constitute any of the qualities of a true Scotch heart, then indeed does a Scotch heart throb beneath these ribs." Plus, we dip into the Simply Scottish Radio Archive to bring you a 1999 reading from my father and former co-host Andrew Sr. He delivers the famous Burns poem "A Man’s A Man For A’ That." And as usual, you’ll hear some lovely Scottish music, this time from Graham Mackenzie, Amer//Hawskworth//Munro, and The Proclaimers.
Episode 86: Living the Braveheart Life, pt. 2
36:53Enjoy the second half of our interview with Braveheart writer and Academy Award nominee Randall Wallace! Learn how to live the Braveheart life as we unpack the lessons Randall shares in his book Living the Braveheart Life. Topics include the importance of mentors, why we all need an Uncle Argyle in our lives, and how we can live out the spirit of freedom as William Wallace did. Plus new music from classical guitarist Cam Ash, acclaimed fiddler John McCusker, and Highland accordianist and vocalist Calum MacPhail.
Episode 85: Living the Braveheart Life: A Conversation with Randall Wallace, pt. 1
35:10On this episode, Andrew interviews Braveheart writer and Academy Award nominee Randall Wallace! Hear about the trip to Scotland that introduced Randall to the story of Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. Discover how Randall learned to be a master storyteller and go on to write and direct several box office hit movies, including We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, and Secretariat. Randall also reveals how to unleash your inner warrior, teacher, and outlaw to live the Braveheart life yourself. Along the way, enjoy rousing music from Cameron Ash and Elaine Meyer. This is Part 1 of a two-part interview.
Episode 84: Edinburgh In Its Golden Age
38:41In this second installment of our Off The Shelf series, host Andrew dusts off a splendid wee book from the 1960s that brings to life the people and places of Edinburgh in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. You get to imagine you're visiting a friend in the majestic Old Town as well as the beautiful New Town. Learn what it was like to live in Scotland's capital city at the height of its glory. And yes, there's a little gory in there too as we touch on the infamous case of the body snatchers! Along the way, enjoy stirring music from Su-a Lee, Teannaich, Fraser Fifield, and Corrina Hewitt.
Episode 83: Tracing Your Scottish Roots, pt. 1 (Wee Yin #9)
23:21On the latest Wee Yin episode, Andrew kicks off a new occasional series designed to help you trace your Scottish roots. Learn the basics, like where to turn to start your search and what types of information are out there. Also, find out how you can unlock bonus episodes and other content by becoming a supporter of Simply Scottish. Plus, how to get your hands on some of our authentic Scottish shortbread. Enjoy great Scottish music along the way from Patsy Reid, Gnoss, Charlie Grey, and Joseph Peach.
Episode 82: Queen Elizabeth II (Six Degrees of Scotland, pt. 6)
33:02In the latest installment of our popular Six Degrees of Scotland series, we pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II by exploring her connections to Scotland and its people. Discover Balmoral Castle, the queen’s paradise in the Scottish highlands. Learn why Elizabeth II was often more popular among Scots than the monarchy itself. And we’ll look at how the queen’s example of duty and morality inspired generations across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Along the way, enjoy music from Jocelyn Pettit, Elephant Sessions, Robyn Stapleton, and Breabach.