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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 13:39 GMT
Celebration of Matt McGinn's life
By Alex Robertson
BBC Scotland news website
Glasgow and West reporter

Matt McGinn
Matt McGinn was said to reflect Scotland's passion and humour
This was how it once was - one singer, one song and a party in the front room where everyone knew the words.

Family, friends and neighbours would gather and borrow from Glaswegian Matt McGinn's immense body of work.

There would be poems and ballads, politics, tragedy and comedy and lots of laughter amid lots of tears.

He was a local hero. And for one night those memories were rekindled in St Andrew's in the Square as artists paid tribute to a giant of the folk scene.

His songs were delivered with passion before a sell-out audience as Celtic Connections made good on its promise to embrace musical roots.

Thirty years after his death in his beloved Glasgow at the age of 49, his music continues to inspire.

Scotland's passion

Singer Carol Laula, who performed on the night, said: "Matt McGinn's tradition has been there in everybody's family whether we know it or not.

"It appeals to everybody, you can see a grandpa singing it with the wean on his knee.

"It is beautiful music, there is humour and there is heart-wrenching stuff."

From the moment Partick folk club singer Mick West took the stage, the engaged audience lifted the roof with every chorus.

Matt's music and lyrics are full of life, joy, sadness, criticism, praise - it is everyday life
Patrick Rolink

Duncan McCrone then performed Matt's version of Loch Lomond.

Mr McCrone played with Matt as a teenager in Glasgow's pubs and clubs.

"He was a hero of mine," he said.

"His writing was diverse. He wrote a lot of political songs, funny songs and had an incredibly sensitive side to his nature.

"It seemed to flow out of him, he was unique.

"He was a pure entertainer and could hold the audience in his hands, he was fantastic."

Patrick Rolink, who hosted the event, said Matt McGinn reflected the nature and beliefs of a nation.

He said: "Matt's music and lyrics are full of life, joy, sadness, criticism, praise - it is everyday life.

"It is a mixture of feelings and expressions. His passion sums up Scotland as a nation.

"The event has been an absolute joy, great music, great lyrics great comedy."

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