Full Biography

2010 - 2017

These have been tremendously creative and successful years for Dougie MacLean.

  • Having celebrated 40 years as a touring professional musician in 2014, MacLean's performances have carried on apace though these years with great tours and festival appearances in England, Wales , N. Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Canada, the USA, Spain, Australia and all parts of Scotland. Venues have included Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s Main Auditorium with the legendary Mavis Staples and with Phil Cunningham Aly Bain and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Usher Hall with 3 wonderful choirs, solo with his trio and with the MacLean Project in The Queen's Hall during the Edinburgh Festival and a concert in Hollyrood Palace for HRH Prince Charles and company. Hogmannay 2013/14 was celebrated with a performance along with Deacon Blue at Stirling Castle with Dougie singing "Caledonia" before the bells! and in 2015 he performed with the RSNO in the International Burns Night Concert at the prestigious new 12,000 seat SSE Hydro Auditorium along with Capercaillie, Karine Polwart and an array of international stars.
    Dougie toured in Australia February/March 2010 and Dec/Jan 2012 and 2015/6 with concerts in all major cities as well as the Sydney Opera House. During this time he went down a storm at the prestigious Woodford Festival in Queensland, Ten Days on the Island in Tasmania, Victoria’s iconic Port Fairy Festival and at the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains Festivals in NSW.
  • In August 2014 he had the honour of performing at the Closing Ceremony and musically ending the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with his song "Caledonia" (performed with his band) followed by "Auld Land Syne" where he was joined by Kylie Minogue, Lulu and Deacon Blue as well as massed pipes and drums! An audience of over 40,000 were present at Hampden Park and it is believed to have been viewed by over 1 billion people in 71 countries worldwide.
  • In 2011 Dougie was awarded an OBE (for services to music and charity) in the New Years Honours List which was presented to him by the Queen at Holyrood Palace. Then in January 2013 Dougie MacLean was awarded a coveted Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. He performed "Caledonia" in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as the show's grand finale with luminaries from the UK and international folk community including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eddi Reader, Aly Bain, Gerry Douglas, Barbara Dixon, Billy Bragg and Ralph McTell.
  • These years have been a busy time for recording and filming in the studio at Butterstone as well!
    Most recent has been the release in October 2016 of the stunning contemporary collection of compositions Dougie MacLean - Caledonia Cantata which was recorded live in Perth Concert Hall with strings and celtic instrumentalists (Ross Ainslie - pipes and whistles; Jenna Reid - fiddle; Sorren Maclean - guitar; Iain Sandilands - percussion). In 2011 he had released a stunning album of songs “Resolution” which included the title track Resolution along with Then We Cried, Some Hearts, Fly Away (The Gift) and Loving One…all predicted to join the host of classic songs by MacLean which will be covered by hosts of artists. In 2010 he had released the beautifully filmed and well received DVD “Songmaker”. The summer of 2013 saw Dougie recording an album with the RSNO (Royal Scottish National Orchestra) which was released on Linn Records in June 2014…in time for a special performance with the orchestra in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. In response to demand, in December 2014 a second best-selling double disc compilation Dougie MacLean - Essential Too was released.
  • 2012-2017 saw the growth of the online subscription phenomenon Butterstone.tv with successful monthly live streams of Dougie MacLean from the studio in Butterstone, the Isle of Lewis, from An Tobar Arts Centre on Mull and other special venues. The Perthshire Amber Festival concerts were also Lived Streamed from all venues 2012-2015. All this content plus archive film and interviews and Dougie's guitar lessons are also available on demand from the site.
  • The 6th-12th Perthshire Amber Festivals have been increasingly successful. With it's base moved to Dunkeld and now with 18 different and very special venues and attendance ranging from 8,000-10,000 people from up to 27 different countries worldwide the festival has become an important part of Scotland's musical calendar. It contributes over £1 million to the local Perthshire economy and has been nominated for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards was a winner of a VisitScotland's Regional Thistle Award. Artists performing with Dougie over these years included Eddi Reader, Emily Smith, Mischa MacPherson Trio, Blazin' Fiddles, The Paperboys (CAN), Eliza Lynn (USA), Martin Carthy, the RSNO, The Old Dance School, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The Mae Trio (Australia), Buddy MacDonald (Canada), Ross Ainslie Band, Dallahan, Karine Polwart, Rura and Bella Hardy….and many many others.
  • Among many cover versions of his songs Dougie MacLean’s song "Caledonia" (now known as Scotland’s alternative anthem!) was covered by Ronan Keating of Boyzone fame on his album Winter Songs. In 2017 it was featured twice in the internationally iconic film T2 Trainspotting.
    Dougie’s own version of "Caledonia" was included in the top selling multi-disc The Broons Family Album! and has again in 2012-2016 been used by Tennants for their TV advertising of Caledonia Best. The youTube video (filmed by Butterstone Studios) of the Dougie MacLean Acoustic Band performing "Caledonia" has exceeded 3.5 million views.

2002 – 2009

  • 2009 was a great year with successful tours and concerts in the Scotland, England, USA, Canada, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Holland and Australia!
  • Dougie MacLean’s song was chosen to be the theme song for Homecoming Scotland 2009 and was the ‘star’ of a very successful TV advert which featured Sir Sean Connery, Brian Cox, Lulu and other Scottish celebs.
  • Dougie MacLean’s song Caledonia (now recorded by over 200 artists wordlwide) is covered by chart-topping Scottish artists Paolo Nuttini as well as Amy MacDonald. Meanwhile in the USA it is the finale song (and included on bestselling CD and DVD) of blockbusting show and PBS specials Celtic Woman (2007) and Celtic Thunder (2008). Also performed by 1000 massed pipes and drums during Edinburgh Tattoo (2006)!
  • 2005 saw Perthshire Amber-The Dougie MacLean Weekend launched as a concept that has grown to become a successful 10-day festival in the autumn. Described as “a jewel of a festival” it welcomes Scottish and international artists to perform in imaginative, atospheric and prestigious venues throughout Perthshire.
  • Albums released during this time: Inside the Thunder, With Strings and Early all produced by Jamie MacLean at Butterstone Studios. Also best-selling double disc compilation The Essential Dougie MacLean.
  • MacLean’s standing within the UK music industry was recognised at a special reception in Buckingham Palace during March ‘05!..(along with Eric Clapton, Phil Collins,  George Martin, Oasis, Kate Bush, Robert Plant etc…).
  • During May ’05 universally acclaimed singer songwriter Lou Reed performed at the Gala Concert at Culzean Castle, Scotland, as part of the prestigious Burns An' A' That! Festival, alongside Scotland’s successful performers…Dougie MacLean, Eddi Reader and Phil Cunningham as well as the Orchestra of Scottish Opera.
  • Dougie MacLean returned during 2002 - 2008 to Denmark, Belgium and Holland for concert tours. For 20 years, since going solo, MacLean’s touring has been focused in the UK, North America and  Australia/NZ…though he has performed at many festivals worldwide. In returning to selected European countries for concerts he has made the important shift into theatre and arts venues that are ideal for his concerts.
  • Dougie MacLean’s 2 Edinburgh Festival concerts at the Queen’s Hall during August have become a regular calendar fixture for many MacLean enthusiasts from all over the world. At a time when competition for venues and audiences  is fierce Dougie MacLean’s Edinburgh festival concerts (sometimes solo, sometimes with Celtic band or strings…) have been packed and abounding with great atmosphere.    
  • Millions of listeners to very different Radio Programmes have enjoyed  the music of Dougie MacLean during 2002 - 2006. National Public Radio in the USA’s main morning programme Morning Edition, ran a profile of his musical career;Interviews with MacLean, focusing on his instrumental album “Perthshire Amber” and song album “Who am I” and the Perthshire Amber Festival have featured in the USA on The Thistle & Shamrock- the celebrated coast-to-coast Celtic music programme produced and presented by Fiona Ritchie. MacLean has also featured in the UK on Radio 3, Folk on 2 and Radio Scotland regularly plays MacLean’s music in their various music programmes.
  • The Main Auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall has been the venue for 7 stunning sell-out concerts as part of  the annual Celtic Connections Festival between 2002-8. Maclean has variously performed with a 12 piece classical strings ensemble, a 5 piece traditional Celtic band and a 7 piece rock band. He was also commissioned by Celtic Connections in 2005 to write and perform “Rural Image- A SongVision Symphony” (with 30 musicians, choir and 4 dancers) and in 2006 his moving “Muir of Gormack- A Pictish Story” with The Dougie Maclean Acoustic Band.  

1999 - 2001

  • Jennifer Lopez film Angel Eyes and subsequent  soundtrack features Dougie MacLean song Turning Away
  • New album of songs Who Am I  recorded at  Old School Studios, Butterstone
  • MacLean’s Real Music Bar at the Taybank awarded Music Pub of the Year 2000, by the Scottish Licenced Trade Associattion It has become established as a meeting place for spontaneous music sessions and draws people from all over the world.
  • Special sell-out performance of “Perthshire Amber” at the Celtic Connections Festival 2000 when Dougie was joined on stage by some of Scotland’s finest Celtic Musicians and the BT Scottish Ensemble.
  • Hugely successful World Tour 2000 included places as far flung as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore; then on to USA, Canada & Cape Breton. 2001 included tours in England, Scotland, USA and Denmark…
  • Between touring and home performances Dougie took time out for filming in the Western Isles of Scotland when he circumnavigated the islands in his rib boat.  The film Clann na Mara (Children of the Sea)  screened on BBC TV during 2001 and nominated for the Celtic Film Festival.
  • Widely acclaimed composition in four movements “Perthshire Amber” commissioned by and premiered at “Perth Festival of the Arts”, May ’99
  • Tours and concerts included England, USA, Cape Breton, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany
  • Oct '99 "Perthshire Amber" recorded at CaVa studios in Glasgow
  • Re-release of 'The Gael' (techno dance version recorded in Germany) reaches Top 10 in Spanish and German dance charts.
  • August '99 'Struth na Maoile' Hummingbird production for BBC Alba & Telefios Eirean filmed at the home of Dougie MacLean in Butterstone near Dunkeld.  Featured Dougie along with luminaries of Gaelic songsuch as Tomas MacEoin, Marie Breatnach, Arthur Cormack.
  • Mary Black records Dougie MacLean songs Turning Away & Broken wings on her album 'Speaking with the Angel

1997-1998

  • Dougie MacLean made a guest appearance on the BBC network ‘Hogmany Live’ alongside James Taylor.  His song ‘Caledonia’ was heard just after midnight to welcome in 1999.
  • His concert in the main auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall during the prestigious Celtic Connections concerts SOLD OUT with great response following.
  • Tours  in England and Jersey, Scotland, New Zealand, Spain, Denmark and USA – virtuall all selling out ahead.
  • Summer 1998 saw the opening of a brand new venture – ‘MacLean’s Real Music Bar’ at the Dunkeld Records new premisies on the banks of the River Tay in Dunkeld.
  • MacLean’s fiddle tune ‘The Gael’ was performed by the massed bands during the Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall, London.
  • 1997- Tours in England & Wales, the Channel Islands, Scotland, USA (including Alaska ) & Canada. For the first year virtually all concerts were sellouts!
  • August ‘97- new album RIOF released to great critical acclaim and seriously increased sales. Launched at Virgin Megastore. Edinburgh.
  • Dougie MacLean voted “Favourite Male Vocalist” by  listeners of  US Radio programme “Thistle & Shamrock”
  • BBC Network screening of SongRoads- A Musical Friendship from Nashville to Dunkeld. This film focuses on the music and frienship of Dougie MacLean with the American Country music star Kathy Mattea.
  • MacLean performed "Caledonia" to crowd of over 30,000 in Murrayfield Stadium during the Five Nations Rugby Championship.

1994-1996

  • Tours in Scotland (with the Band), England (solo), USA (2 tours-one with Band, one solo)
  • Dougie MacLean song She Loves Me (recorded by the band Equation) on the Blanco Y  Negro label for Polygram, playlisted for Radio One. Meanwhile clubs on the continent rave to a Techno/Dance version of MacLean’s composition The Gael, produced by Galleria and liscenced to Warner ( a stunning video is released to accompany the track.). The same composition was performed every night during the Edinburgh Tatoo, by the Royal Marines Brass Band.
  • January 1996 – Dougie MacLean appeared in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall at this year’s Celtic Connections Festival as part of The Song Field, a memorable concert which brought together, for the first time, 5 of the best contemporary singer-songwriters from Scotland and Ireland.
  • December 1995 – Dougie wrote and recorded the music for the networked BBC series A Mug’s Game – from the BAFTA award-winning writer/director team, Donna Franceschild and David Blair.
  • October 1995 – released Tribute , an acclaimed album of traditional Scottish songs and tunes (by Burns, Tannahill and Gow)  beautifully adapted and arranged by Dougie MacLean.
  • Awarded gold discs (sales of over 500,000) for his music used in the Last of the Mohicans  and also for co-production on Kathy Mattea’s album, Time Passes By. Sales of his own albums have attracted a further six gold discs.
  • March 1995 – Putumayo, in one of its’ first efforts to showcase an individual artist, releases The Dougie MacLean Collection, an 11-track compilation that greatly enhanced distribution and awareness of Dougie’s music via both traditional and non-traditional markets.
  • January 1995 – Dougie MacLean joined country star Kathy Mattea and her band in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall as part of the “Celtic Connections” concert series.
  • November 1994 – BBC filmed Transatlantic Sessions a documentary series spotlighting talent from both sides of the Atlantic including: Dougie MacLean, Kathy Mattea, Emmylou Harris, Iris DeMent, Mary Black, Davy Spillane, Richard Thompson and a host of others.
  • Autumn 1994 – Dougie MacLean was added to the respected roster of artists handled by Fleming/Tamulevich who orchestrated a coast to coast US tour in April and May 1995.
  • Appeared at Carnegie Hall N.Y.C in October 1994 as part of the first Singer-Songwriter Festival presented by Putumayo as a benefit for the National Coalition for the Homeless. In conjunction with this concert Putumayo released a 2-volume compilation, Shelter: The Best of Contemporary Singer-Songwriters, which included Dougie MacLean’s track “Ready for the Storm”.
  • August 1994 – released Marching Mystery, Dougie’s first song album since 1992, which garnered widespread praise and pleased Dougie’s eager and ever-growing audience.
  • Delores Keane records Dougie MacLean’s “Caledonia” on A Woman’s Heart and “Solid Ground” on A Woman’s Heart 2, dazzling compilations featuring Irelands finest female talent.

1992 – 1993

  • Dougie MacLean’s song “Caledonia” (sung by Frankie Miller) reaches #1 on the Scottish Charts in February 1992.
  • 20th Century Fox film The Last of the Mohicans features 10 minutes of music by MacLean published by his own company, Limetree Arts & Music.
  • BBC Scotland screens 40 minute film The Land: Songs of Dougie MacLean in January 1993 to critical acclaim.
  • As one of Scotland’s leading singer-songwriters Dougie MacLeans popularity widens and Regular Music promote his concerts in Scotland from Feburay 1993.
  • Composer and Musical Director for TAG Theatre Company’s productions of A Scot’s Quair (including Sunset Song) based on a trilogy by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, performed in theatres throughout Scotland as well as one of the highlights of the 1993 Edinburgh Festival.
  • Three sellout concerts during Edinburgh Festival 1993, tours with band in Canada and the US – including New York City Town Hall and other large venues.

1990 - 1991

  • Dunkeld Records, with its own studio, publishing company and retail outlet, continued to thrive and began manufacturing in the USA as well as the UK. Dougie MacLean's albums first reach the High Street shops.
  • Dunkeld Records began the promotion of concerts throughout Scotland featuring Dougie MacLean with his band.
  • Dougie also performed on tour in the US with the Grammy award-winning country singer Kathy Mattea, who records his song "Ready for the Storm" on her album Time Passes By.
  • Many cover versions of MacLean's songs recorded in the US, Ireland (particularly Caledonia!) and the UK, as well as increasing requests for commisioned music for film and TV.
  • MacLean's albums Whitewash (1990), The Search (1991) and Indigenous (1991/2) are released and sell in ever increasing numbers to an ever widening audience.
  • In 1991 Real Estate and Whitewash were awarded Gold Discs for sales , by the Scottish Music Industry Association.                                                                                                                                                                     

1987-1989

  • Years of consolidation for Dunkeld Records, which became one of Scotland's most respected independant record labels. Described as "Scotland's new heritage music," musicians recorded include Dougie MacLean, Hamish Moore, Sheena Wellington, Frieda Morrison, Gordon Duncan, David Allison and Blackeyed Biddy. Two successful concert tours of the USA in conjunction with American Public Radio and the networked US radio program "Thistle & Shamrock" meant that during '89 - '90 Dougie MacLean and other Dunkeld Records artists played to over 50 000 people in the USA.
  • At home Dougie MacLean's reputation grew and he played at most of the festivals from Shetland and Orkney to the Edinburgh Festival. During this time television and radio appearances became more frequent. The album Real Estate was released in 1988.

1981 - 1986

  • Dougie returned to live in Perthshire and consolidated his solo work at home, on the continent and in North America - later widening his horizons with tours in Australia and New Zealand. In 1983, with his wife, artist Jennifer MacLean, he launched his own record label, Dunkeld Records, with the very successful album Craigie Dhu (1981) This included the first recording of Caledonia on Dunkeld Records.. With numerous recording projects in view, Dougie set up his own recording studio. The albums Fiddle (1984) and Singing Land (1986) followed.

1979-1980

  • Dougie MacLean spent six months playing with respected Scottish band Silly Wizard, touring with them in the USA, Holland and Germany.
  • Dougie teamed up with Edinburgh guitarist Donald MacDougall. This duo became a popular draw in Canada and England as well as in Dougie's now familiar European venues. During this time his first solo album, Snaigow, was  recorded.

1954-1978

  • Wanting to concentrate on his own music, Dougie left the Tannahills and teamed up with fellow Scot, Alan Roberts. They toured Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France, and played all of the major European festivals. Together they made an album, Caledonia (1978), which sold well and was met with critical acclaim, as well as an album with Alex Campbell called C.R.M.
  • Joined the Tannahill Weavers and toured extensively in the UK and Europe playing fiddle, mandolin and sharing vocals. Are Ye Sleeping Maggie? was recorded while MacLean was with the group.
  • Born in Perthshire, Scotland in 1954, Dougie MacLean grew up in the countryside where his father was a gardener. He was surrounded by his families love of music - his mother played melodeon, his father fiddle.