Barbara was brought up in Fife, learning Scottish and Irish songs from her grandparents . She was delighted to meet up with many other traditional singers and musicians when she left home to become a skint student at Dundee Uni and was persuaded to start singing for her supper. At that time she became a founder member of the band Coelbeg.
She still sings many of her grandparents’ songs though and is delighted to have had numerous, recent opportunities to air them despite a 20 year break from performing during which she had 3 bairns and pursued a medical career. She did get a telling-off from Sister once for singing “Mrs McGrath” to a Mrs McGrath, but nowadays people rarely tell her off for singing traditional songs, either solo, or with the talented and weel-kent singers and musicians she collaborates with from time to time.
Check out her latest collaboration with Dundee musician and producer Christopher Marra – Leaf an’ Thorn. Chris has been a musician since his teens, working in many distinct fields from bighair rock to sophisticated pop with Danny Wilson via London’s Theatreland. The majority of his time was spent recording and performing with his brother Michael Marra, producing albums for Michael and the legendary Saint Andrew.