A Kirkcaldy singer-songwriter has won a competition which will see him travel all the way to Texas to perform.
Martin McGroarty was one of the winners of the prestigious Texas Scots Talent Competition 2015 after impressing the judges with one of his own compositions.
Fife Council employee Martin is now preparing to jet off to the USA in May to perform at North America’s biggest Scottish festival.
The Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games runs over May 8, 9 and 10 in Dallas and attracts crowds of up to 50,000 people.
It was Martin’s own song, ‘My Angel’, which was enjoyed so much by the judges that they offered him a place at the festival.
Martin is originally from Coatbridge but has now lived and worked in Kirkcaldy for 25 years, where he is a lead officer in Fife Council’s planning department. He deals with planning matters in the Wemyss villages as well as in Glenrothes, St Andrews and the East Neuk.
...to get this recognition and the chance to play in America is just amazingMartin McGroarty
Though a relative latecomer to performing live regularly, he first began playing in bands in the mid-’80s, including a collaboration involving Gerard Love, who went on to form Teenage Fanclub.
It was at the start of the noughties that Martin began performing in pubs around Fife, also working with East Neuk stalwarts The Myles Brothers.
After taking another break due to family commitments, it was only a recently as last November that Martin started gigging again, with spots in pubs in Fife and in Coatbridge and Airdrie.
As well as the solo acoustic work, Martin has recently started collaborating with Andrew C. Ferguson, a talented writer and spoken word performer, and is and is joined regularly on stage by his sister Anne Marie Croal, an accomplished vocalist and songwriter in her own right.
He says he takes his influences from acts such as Neil Finn, Love and Money, The Silencers, Neil Young, and many others.
“I’m blown away by this fantastic news,” Martin said.
“I’ve only recently started playing guitar and singing again after taking a break from music for family reasons, so to get this recognition and the chance to play in America is just amazing.
“I’ve had great support from the staff and regulars at Weavers Pub and the St Clair Tavern in Kirkcaldy, for which I’d like to thank them all very much.”
Before heading over to Arlington, Texas, where he will perform on May 9, Martin will be playing Weavers in Kirkcaldy on Saturday, April 11.
You can check out Martin atwww.reverbnation.com/martinmcgroarty