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dick gaughan

Dick Gaughan

“One of Britain’s most innovative and contemporary voices . . . A superb musician, one of the finest guitarists in the British Isles (Martin Carthy has called him the best player on the folk scene), and a brilliant all-around entertainer.”
Boston Globe

Scottish-born guitarist, singer, songwriter and unparalleled interpreter of traditional and contemporary folk songs, Dick Gaughan has been called “the Scottish Woody Guthrie” for the depth, passion and political conviction of his music. Gaughan has one of the finest voices on the planet, capable of capturing the heart with the most traditional of ballads in one moment and stirring the fire of the spirit with his uncompromising commentary on social injustices in the next. And as a guitar player since the age of seven, his mastery of the instrument – acoustic and electric – is astounding.

For more than 35 years, Gaughan has been forging an incredible musical legacy. He recorded his first of many solo albums in 1971 before joining the Boys of the Lough, one of the very first internationally touring Celtic bands, in time for their first album. Shortly after, he helped found the legendary Scots/Irish folk-rock band Five Hand Reel, with whom he performed and recorded three albums during the ’70s. Since that time, Gaughan has released a series of powerful solo albums and occasional collaborations, such as Parallel Lines with Andy Irvine, Gaughan’s Irish counterpart in fusing traditional ethnic music and electric instrumentation. Gaughan’s 1980 album, Handful of Earth, was voted by a Folk Roots critic’s poll as “the album of the decade.” In the mid-’90s, Gaughan formed, Clan Alba, a shortlived “supergroup” of Scottish traditional singers and musicians, before resuming his solo career. Since the mid-‘80s, Gaughan has balanced his musical interests with an unlikely second vocation as a computer programmer and website designer.

Dick is deeply committed to fighting social injustice and standing up for the common man in the face of oppression. His unwavering belief in the strength of the human spirit to conquer seemingly unsurmountable obstacles has influenced his willingness to sing new songs and rework old ones to accentuate an essential optimism and belief in humanity’s ability to stand up and be free. In this, he has become a leading voice in the topical song movement, inspiring a generation of songwriters that includes Billy Bragg, who says “Gaughan is one of my favorite artists and has been a tremendous influence on my career.”  

Dick Gaughan’s version of Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” which originally appeared on Dick’s Sail On CD, is also on Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger; and “Sail On” is included on our Sowing the Seeds – The 10th Anniversary set; Dick’s rendition of “Bells of Rhymney” can be found on Pete Seeger & Friends’ Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 3.



tour dates


Outlaws & Dreamers
Redwood Cathedral
different kind of love song
A Different Kind of Love Song
sail on
Sail On
live in edinburgh
Live in Edinburgh


where have all the flowers gone
The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 1
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 3

sowing the seeds

Sowing the Seeds - The 10th Anniversary