DUNCAN Chisholm is already a veteran of Inverness Hogmanay celebration, the Red Hot Highland Fling, but this year sees him make an appearance under a different guise.
Having previously headlined the Northern Meeting Park show with his own band Wolfstone, which the Kirkhill fiddler co-founded 25 years ago.
This Hogmanay sees him back on the stage as a member of the Julie Fowlis Band — with both Chisholm and the Uist singer brand new recipients of Scots Trad Awards presented at Inverness Leisure a couple of weeks ago.
"It’ll probably be a coldish night, but really good fun," he said.
"I did it a few years ago with Wolfstone and thoroughly enjoyed it. Our good friends Manran are going to be there as well, so a great night indeed."
It will also be a musical end note to a good year, which has been capped by his winning the Scots Trad Album of the Year Award for his album Live at Celtic Connections, which drew on the music of Chisholm’s three album Strathglass project, as well as sharing in Julie Fowlis’s award for Scottish Folk Band of the Year.
"It’s been a great year, musically. There was involvement in the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, which was absolutely fantastic, and some great things happening for me," he said.
However, after Hogmanay it will be a quiet January for Chisholm, who will not be making his customary appearance at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, a tradition that dates back to the first festival 21 years ago.
"I’m not going to be involved this year — the first year in a long time," he confirmed.
"I’m usually involved in four or five projects and the time is probably right to have a wee hiatus from it. The programme looks amazing, so I’ll probably go down for a few things, but it’s good to have a break from these things."
Instead he will be concentrating on preparing for his own solo tour which begins the following month.
"It’s a UK wide tour, but there will be three concerts within that with an extended line-up, and Eden Court will be one of them on February 14th.
"That’s with my usual trio of Jarlath Henderson, Matheu Watson and myself, but also with a string trio with Megan Henderson, Greg Lawson — who is the lead violinist with the SSO — and a beautiful cellist called Su-a Lee. I suppose the concerts will give a taste of Kelvingrove on a smaller scale."
After that, it will be time to start thinking about his next album.
"I still need to figure out what that’s going to sound like. It’s a very contemplative process putting a new album together," he said.
"It’s a delicate process, piecing it together, but the canvas is wide open. After the Strathglass project, I feel confident in the studio and with production and I’m very much looking forward to making what will, hopefully, be my best work to date. The Strathglass Trilogy and the live album have given me the confidence to go on the next stage and I’m definitely looking to raise the bar again."
• Duncan Chisholm appears with the Julie Fowlis Band at Inverness’s Red Hot Highland Fling on Hogmanay.