A TALENTED musician is flying the flag for East Lothian at a national awards ceremony this weekend.

George Duff, of Haddington, is one of four finalists in the Scots Singer of the Year category at the Scots Trad Music Awards.

A winner will be crowned on Saturday in Perth, with George, 63, hoping that his debut solo album could help him win the award.

He said: “In a way, you are a winner to be nominated.

“Nobody knows who wins until the night and it will be broadcast live on Saturday on BBC Alba.”

The musician is no stranger to being involved in creating albums.

However, after being involved in a number of groups, he decided to take the plunge and put together his own album.

He said: “I’ve been playing with a bunch of guys for a number of years. They are friends who also play professionally with bigger bands and I play with a fiddle player called John Martin of The Tannahill Weavers.

“They are doing their 50th anniversary tour and there is also Kevin Macleod, who plays with The Occasionals.

“Basically they pressurised me into doing the solo album.”

The Collier Laddie, named after George’s time spent working as an engineer in the Lothians coalfield, features 16 tracks.

George, who worked as a senior technical officer at the University of Edinburgh for 18 years before retiring in 2008, said: “There are five or so songs pertaining to mining in some sense and there are Burns songs and a few contemporary songs as well.”

The album, which was released in the summer, has attracted widespread praise and a number of positive reviews.

Over the course of 15 days, George and his friends put together The Collier Laddie, with recording taking place at Urban Fox Records in Musselburgh.

George’s passion for music dates back to when he was a teenager and spent time listening to musicians in Sandy Bell’s bar in Edinburgh.

The early taste of music fuelled his passion and he has gone on to play a variety of instruments, including guitar, mandolin and bouzouki.

He intends to carry on performing at clubs and festivals, with plans to appear at next year’s Celtic Connections alongside Kevin Macleod, John Martin and Mike Katz.

George, of Haddington’s Burnside, is up against Iona Fyfe, Hannah Rarity and Christine Kydd at the awards.

He is not the only musician from East Lothian hoping to come home with an award, though.

Preston Lodge Novice B Pipe Band are one of four bands in the running for the Scottish Pipe Band of the Year award.