Local Talent: Barry Nisbet, the Shetland Islands, 60° North

Barry Nisbet is a songwriter from Shetland; a guitarist, fiddler and sailor with a repertoire inspired by the drama of life, his islands, and the sea. Rum-laced shanties meet Scottish Trad meets Americana songwriting in a style influenced by Gillian Welch, The Pogues, Karine Polwart and The Chair, among others. 

He performs and records with the Rattled Rig Band, a line-up that includes Robbie Ward on piano, Gavin McGinty on guitar, Fiona McAndrew on vocals, Ade Dacre on drums and Stephen Jack on bass. 

The band launched their first album, 'A Bright Ray of Sunshine', featuring eight original songs and three tunes, in March 2018 to excellent reviews; gaining 5 stars from R2 Magazine’s Briony Hegarty, who described it as ‘Magnificent’. 

They headlined the Dundee Summer Streets Festival in July 2018 and have a number of gigs and festivals lined up for 2019. 

As a solo act Barry has recently played support for Salt House, Tide Lines, The Furrow Collective and Colum Sands

As one of the Cullivoe Fiddlers, he plays a unique regional style of Shetland fiddle music; as a Captain of tall ships such as Søren Larsen, he has sailed through the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, gaining inspiration from the wind and the stars. 

As a member of Shetland band Rack n Ruin, Dundee-based Americana group Wire and Wool, and French group Tildon Krautz, he has performed at numerous festivals and events in Shetland, Scotland and mainland Europe. He gained a Dundee Musicians Award in 2016. 

Barry runs the Sessions and Sail voyages, bringing groups of musicians together for workshops and sessions aboard the Tall Ship Lady of Avenel, cruising on the Scottish coast in the summer.