Calum MacPhail7th December 2023, by Darryn Crow
Highland accordionist and vocalist Calum MacPhail has been playing music since he was only seven years old. Born in Fort William and spending a number of his formative years living in the Highland capital of Inverness, Calum immersed himself in the music and traditions of the region and spent a lot of his younger years learning from some of the best accordionists in the area.
Destined for a career in music from an early age, Calum has worked tirelessly to follow his dream of performing his music all over the world. This dream first became a reality in 2014 when a 16-year-old Calum toured Italy with the award-winning trad folk powerhouse Hò-rò, of which he is a founding member. The band have gone on to tour Estonia, Germany, France and Belgium and were crowned the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards Up & Coming Band of the Year in 2017. To date Calum has recorded three critically acclaimed albums with Hò-rò.
In 2017, Calum decided to also embark on a solo career and released his debut self-titled EP in late 2017. Since then, he has gone on to release his first single and video singing Dougie MacLean's ‘She Loves Me’, with the song going viral on social media platforms.
He won the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2021 Original Work of the Year for his single ‘7 Years Old’ which was released with a hugely emotional video in 2020. The incredibly moving song is about living with a parent with addiction, a situation close to Calum’s heart. With this single release Calum raised an astonishing £2000 for Mikeysline, a suicide prevention hotline based in Inverness that offers a place for young people to turn to if they are struggling with mental health issues.
His most recent single ‘Let Your Love Flow’ was released in November 2022 and provides a fresh spin on the classic 1975 country song from The Bellamy Brothers. Released to huge critical acclaim, this single received airplay on numerous radio stations across the UK, including BBC Radio Scotland.
With an album due for release in 2023, Calum’s star is set to continue to rise as he releases this fresh body of work with his new outfit, Calum MacPhail & Band. The 5-piece will perform an array of Scottish and Irish country pop.
Calum also performs as part of a hugely successful wedding and function band called Highland Fire Ceilidh and not one to rest on his laurels or turn down a chance to play live, he can also be seen performing lively sessions in hotels and pubs across Scotland, and beyond.