JIMMY HUTCHISON : SCOTTISH SINGER.
Jimmy Hutchison was born in South Uist in the Outer
Hebrides and moved to Perth on mainland Scotland when he was twelve. It was these early years, when he was still bilingual in
English and Gaelic, that influenced his understated singing style. When he sings Jimmy is telling a story with no need to
over-emphasise or over-dramatise. In this respect he has all the attributes of a traditional Gaelic singer. The only difference is
that he sings in English, or to be more precise in Scots, performing mainly traditional Scottish songs and ballads learned
directly from source singers such as Jeannie Robertson, Belle Stewart, Jimmy Mc.Beath and Davy Stewart to name but a few. He also
has a good few Irish songs collected during visits there in the 1960’s.
The divisions in definition
between traditional and revival singers are sterile when applied to Jimmy Hutchison. All singers have to learn their songs from
sources other than at their mother’s knee and when presented with a good song, Jimmy will learn it, absorb and adapt it,
then reproduce it as though it had been transferred to him via his mother’s milk.
He is often
described as a singer’s singer and his appeal can be summed up in a review in the Scotsman by Alisdair Clark: “ He
sing with a craftsmanship and intensity that make the senses tingle.”
Jimmy is a regular guest at all
the traditional Scottish festivals, Whitby Folk Week and the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow and works as a self employed
joiner in Fife.
These notes are adapted from the information and sleeve notes by the late Mr. Owen Hand
which accompany Jimmy’s recently issued CD Corachree, in the Tradition Bearers series.