CELTIC Connections, which begins on Thursday, January 19, is a shining jewel in the mid-winter darkness, not just for bringing big international names to Glasgow but also for introducing audiences to new talent.

Ayrshire trio Quick were one of the winners of last year’s Danny Kyle Open Stage Awards on the strength of their first live appearance, and it’s perfectly clear why.

Composed of guitarist Alex Hynes, mandolinist Willem Mckie and vocalist Emily Barr, Quick make that rarest of things: Music of such breath-halting grace that it demands your attention, whether you thought you were a fan of traditional music or not. Invited back to play Celtic Connections with American bluegrass troupe Special Consensus later this month, they will also launch their debut release, the five-track This I Know EP, with a gig at Glasgow’s Old Hairdressers in February.

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Released on Holy Smokes Records, the EP is an unarguable, spine-buzzing delight, Hynes’s and McKie’s intricate textures weaving around the kind of male-female harmonies that make you wonder at the capacity of the human voice for making beauty.

If that sounds like hyperbole it won’t be long before you can judge for yourself.

Quick support Special Consensus at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, on Monday, January 30, 8pm, £14. Telephone: 0141 353 8000.

With support from The Mermaids and Mark McGowan, Quick launch their This I Know EP at The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow, on Saturday, February 25, 7.30pm, £7.

facebook.com/Quick2016

holysmokesrecords.co.uk