Folk singer Emily Smith at Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans

ONE of the current stars of the Scottish folk music scene is performing at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans next Friday, February 11, as part of her UK tour.

Singer Emily Smith is renowned for her powerful and clear vocals which have gained her award-winning recognition in the folk scene worldwide.

Her songwriting has been compared to that of Joni Mitchell and she presents fresh and new interpretations of traditional song as she carves out her own path in the current folk music resurgence.

Emily’s childhood was spent dancing to music rather than performing it in her mother’s dance school. Aged seven she started out on piano, moving on to snare drum in the local pipe band and subsequently discovering a passion for piano accordion.

But it wasn’t until a solo with the school choir in her late teens that Emily discovered her singing voice and winning BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Music of the Year Award in 2002 gave her the confidence and impetus she needed to pursue a career in music.

Her 2008 release Too Long Away garnered awards and in the same year she was named Scots Singer of the Year by public vote at the Scots Trad Music Awards.

The material for Emily’s new album Traveller’s Joy has, unintentionally, developed something of a travel theme featuring traditional songs sourced from the travelling people of Scotland to blend alongside songs she has written on tours overseas throughout 2010.

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Her recent work includes BBC Songs of Praise, Transatlantic Sessions 4 and Scotland’s Hogmanay Show broadcast live from Edinburgh Castle.

Emily comes on stage at 8pm and tickets are �12 with concessions �10, available from the box office on 01727 864511, in person from the St Albans Tourist and Information Office and online at