The Crimson White

Scottish folk singer to perform at Acoustic Night

Jim Malcolm is bringing a taste of Scottish culture and storytelling to The Bama Theatre’s Acoustic Night on Wednesday, Nov. 5. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Ledgewood

Andrew Laningham

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Jim Malcolm has recorded over 50 songs, all either written by him or reworked from traditional Scottish music.

“Jim’s often inspired by the landscape of Scotland, and place names he’s passing through,” said Susie Malcolm, the singer’s wife. “There’s something about the mind-numbing nature of driving that seems conducive to his creative process. Most of the best songs have come quickly, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.”

Storytelling, regularly bantering with the audience between songs and telling them colorful stories are some aspects of Jim Malcolm’s shows.

“In folk music, the connection between the artist and his audience is crucial, and you’ll find most successful folk acts are excellent storytellers,” Susie Malcolm said. “Jim’s life on the road is colorful, and he has a terrific sense of humor, coupled with a good memory. His mum also deserves a mention, she is a very successful storyteller in Scotland. He has storytelling in his genes.”

Jim Malcolm’s performance is being held at the Bama Theatre as a part of the ongoing Acoustic Nights Series.

“Acoustic nights are a very organic event,” Bama Theatre manager David Allgood said. “One musician will recommend another to play the Acoustic Night. It’s a happenstance occasion. Lately, we’ve had a lot of international acts play the Acoustic Nights.”

All of the cover charges go directly to the artist, Allgood said. The Acoustic Nights have been going on for over seven years.

“There’s really no other listening room in Tuscaloosa,” he said. “It’s really unique that we can have such an intimate performance at the Bama Theatre.”

The difference between American audiences and Scottish audiences can be quite big, Susie Malcolm said.

“Jim absolutely loves playing in the USA,” Susie Malcolm said. “People laugh at your jokes, whoop, shout out with enthusiasm, applaud and then buy a CD at the end of the concert. When you go back to Scotland it’s like falling back to earth. It’s not unusual to think ‘Oh no, this isn’t working,’ and then to be told by the organizer that this is the best audience they’ve had for a while. The Scottish audiences are more reserved.”

Jim Malcolm starts every concert with a song he wrote called “Lochanside.”

“He used the tune of a very popular bagpipe march and added a lyric about the wildlife in Scotland through the seasons,” Susie Malcolm said. “It’s a call for ex-pat Scots to come home and see it all for themselves.”

Jim Malcolm released a CD this year called “The Corncake.” His performance at the Bama Theatre is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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Scottish folk singer to perform at Acoustic Night