My life in lockdown: Withered Hand talks painting, parenting and a new live album

Withered Hand, aka Dan Willson, is a cult figure on Edinburgh’s music scene and beyond.

One of the most brilliant lyricists in indie rock today, the multi-talented troubadour is frequently compared to Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Conor Oberst and the

late great Daniel Johnston.

Dan has released two critically-acclaimed albums – Good News (2009) and New Gods (2014) – as well as several lo-fi EPs.

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In the latest in our exclusive series – with more famous names to come – the Evening News caught up with Dan to find out how he is coping under lockdown.

Withered Hand, aka Dan Willson, is one of the most acclaimed artists on the Edinburgh music scene.Withered Hand, aka Dan Willson, is one of the most acclaimed artists on the Edinburgh music scene.
Withered Hand, aka Dan Willson, is one of the most acclaimed artists on the Edinburgh music scene. | JPIMedia
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What is the best thing about lockdown?

Being reminded of what is really important and questioning whether my habits and ways of reacting to fear were serving me well.

What is the worst?

Knowing that many other people are also experiencing suffering, fear and loss.

Have you been more creative during lockdown?

Have I been more creative during lockdown? Yes, on good days! There are a couple of new songs in the locker, and I have done a couple of live internet shows from home which were unexpectedly fun, and finally I have been working on sifting through old recordings and getting a Withered Hand live album together. Inspiring to see people connecting with their creativity in so many ways at this time, from painting to parenting and cooking to gardening.

What’s your exercise routine?

Ha, well luckily I had started to wake up and exercise before the lockdown happened so I am in the habit of running. Most mornings I can be found trudging up and down the Union Canal towpath trying not to fall in. I feel grateful to be able to run in such a beautiful city. It's been life-changing having a daily practice.

What's the first thing you plan to do when the restrictions are lifted?

That's a good question. Hug a friend or neighbour!

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