AFTER a 10 year stay in Cailfornia where he found himself on a list alongside the likes of Tom Waits and Jim Croce as one of San Diego’s finest songwriters, Aberdeenshire singer Colin Clyne is bringing it all back home.
Originally from Stonehaven, Clyne has returned to Scotland to pick up his career in his home country from his new base in Aberdeen.
A self-proclaimed late starter who only began playing live at the age of 30 and only began playing guitar at the age of 24 after recovering from an injury in his teens, Clyne won the title of Best Acoustic Act at the San Diego Music Awards in both 2011 and 2012. Past winner include internationally successful artists Jason Mraz and Jewel.
He also joined Waits and Croce on NBC San Diego’s list of the area’s top songwriters — despite the disadvantage of a Scottish accent.
"When I first started playing out there, nobody understood what I was saying, but they liked it anyway," he said.
Though he was "doing pretty well" in America, where he was becoming well known, Clyne and his wife decided to move back to Scotland when they had a baby and now finds himself in the position of having to restart his musical career almost from scratch.
"I usually came back once a year and the places I played were busy, but it was usually with people I know," he said.
"Since I’ve come back and after winning the awards, people have got more interested. Jim Gellatly has played a couple of songs on his radio show and I appeared at the Belladrum Festival, but basically I’m treating it like I’m starting again."
Clyne, whose career has taken in both the famous Hollywood Viper Room and Stonehaven’s 2012 Hogmanay Party, where he opened for the Red Hot Chilli Pipers in front of an audience of 6000, has summed up his trans-Atlantic existence in the title of his debut album Doricana.
It was recorded and produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer Alan Sanderson, who has worked with the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Ryan Adams and Burt Bacharach.
After meeting Clyne in California, Sanderson has been advising and helping the Scot with his music career and recorded the album with the help of top session musician Dennis Caplinger who has worked with Johnny Cash and Eric Clapton, among others.
"I like Americana music, but I have a Scottish accent and some of the songs are stories set in the North-East: one of them is about going to see Aberdeen Football Club," Clyne said, explaining the album title.
"I joke about starting my own musical genre, but as an independent artist you just hope to attract people’s attention and hope they cotton to what you are doing."
A second album will be released next year.
• Colin Clyne appears at The Malt Mill, Aberdeen, this evening and on Sunday from 10pm at The Market Bar, Church Street, Inverness.