Peter Shepheard, Tom Spiers & Arthur Watson are enthusiasts for the Scottish folk tradition.
Links: Pete Shepheard
Links: Tom Spiers
Gigs & Concerts: Where & When
Springthyme: Springthyme Home
Shepheard, Spiers & Watson
were nominated in 2006 as Scots Folk Band of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards
Pete, Tom and Arthur bring together a wealth of song repertoire accompanied on melodeon, fiddle and whistle and gleaned directly from the many traditional singers they have known including well known artistes such as Jimmy McBeath, old Davie Stewart, Jeannie Robertson and Lizzie Higgins. Tom who plays fiddle and Arthur who plays whistle were members of the well respected Aberdeen based group The Gaugers along with founder member the late Peter Hall, noted folk song collector and folklorist. For several years Tom lived in Auchtermuchty in Fife but is now back in the northeast near Turriff. Arthur is originally from Aberdeen but now lives in Perth. Pete has lived many years in Fife, plays melodeon and sings many songs that he has collected directly from traditional singers both in rural Fife and among the traveller community. The three have been sharing their enthusiasm and playing together for the last several years.
Their second album Shepheard, Spiers & Watson: Over the High Hills was released in May 2012.
Their first CD Shepheard, Spiers & Watson: They Smiled as we Cam In received excellent reviews.
Refreshingly real and nourishingly organic Scotland on Sunday
Storytelling in music at the highest level Living Tradition
Sobere maar mooie begeleiding, trekt nooit de aandacht weg van de zang Folk Roddels
Go and buy a copy! Musical Traditions
Stirringly fresh - Why aren't there more records like this?! NetRhythms
- Information and Bookings:
- Shepheard, Spiers & Watson no longer play together regularly as a trio.
Tom Spiers now runs a family group with his wife Margaret and daughter Emma:
The Spiers Family.
Pete Shepheard and Arthur Watson sing together and can be contacted as below.
- Please contact us:
Pete Shepheard: Balmalcolm House, Balmalcolm, Cupar, Fife KY15 7TJ, Scotland
- tel: 01337 830773 email:
Pete Shepheard & Arthur Watson
Click to download: Pete&Arthur.JPG (1.3Mb)
Download: Biog text for Pete & Arthur
Shepheard, Spiers & Watson have been guests at the great Whitby Festival (one of their favourite events) where they have taken part in the usual range of concerts and have presented Workshops on Ballads, Maritime Songs, Bawdy Songs etc. In 2005 Pete presented two workshops on song collecting from the Smith and Brazil traveller families of Gloucestershire. They have also performed at various festivals, clubs etc in Scotland (Stonehaven, Celtic Connections, Auchtermuchty, Montrose, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Girvan etc) and at Vic Smith's club Folk at the Royal Oak in Lewes, Sussex and Peta Webb's, Ken Hall and Dan Quinn's Musical Traditions Folk Club in London amongst others. In November 2006 they were guests at the New York Eisteddfod. They have also been running the annual Fife Traditional Singing Weekend at nearby Collessie in Fife in May.
- Pete is an acknowledged authority on folk song, a founder member of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) in the mid 1960s, his enthusiasm as a singer and collector resulted in the creation of Springthyme Records in the 1970s specialising in the release of recordings of Scottish traditional song and music www.springthyme.co.uk
His contacts with the Scottish traveller traditions of the Stewarts of Blair and Jeannie Robertson's family in Aberdeen led to exploration of traveller tradition in Ireland and England as well as Scotland. He has presented lectures and workshops based on his song collecting, on ballad repertoire in the living tradition, traditional singing style, song repertoire among the Romany gypsies in Gloucestershire and among the Scottish travelling and farming communities in Fife, Tayside and Aberdeenshire. He is himself a fine singer and melodeon player with a song repertoire that includes songs he has collected in England, Ireland and Scotland but, living as he does in the ancient 'kingdom' of Fife, many of his songs are from local Fife and Perthshire tradition. See also solo website.
- Tom was born in Aberdeen and brought up in a family where singing was part of normal social life. His interest in folk song started in the 1960s when he went along to the Aberdeen Folk Song Club. It was there he got to know and admire legendary singers such as Jeannie Robertson, Jimmy McBeath and Lizzie Higgins, who were regular club guests and an invaluable source of material. In 1966 Tom and local folksinger and folklorist Peter Hall teamed up to form The Gaugers.
- Tom's strong Aberdeenshire accent is well suited to his north-east repertoire and his fiddle style has developed over the years to blend perfectly with the songs. As well as singing with Shepheard, Spiers & Watson, Tom also takes solo bookings. After working in the paper industry for many years in Aberdeenshire, Argentina and latterly in Fife, Tom and his wife Margaret moved back to his favourite countryside and now lives near Turriff in Aberdeenshire.
- Arthur too has been steeped in the music of North-east Scotland from an early age. He joined The Gaugers folk group in 1974 to form the definitive line-up with Peter Hall and Tom Spiers, recording their first album for Topic in 1976. He is a fine singer and whistle player with his own distinctive style and a particular enthusiasm for the older ballads.
Arthur is an artist and is now a senior lecturer at the University of Dundee. In the 1970s he set up what became the internationally respected Peacock Print Makers in the folklorically infamous Peacock Close just off Aberdeen's Castlegate. His enthusiasm for folk song and printing technology comes together in his appreciation of Peter Buchan of Peterhead whose early work in both fields came together in his 1828 Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland where such ballads as The Twa Magicians (Child 44) and Willie's Lyke Wake (Child 25) appeared in their first and definitive versions. Arthur is in the process of building himself a new studio and living accommodation in heart of the city of Perth.