picture of Lindsay Porteous

Lindsay Porteous

b. 1948   

Born at Myertoun, Menstrie in the Ochill Hills on 2 February 1948. A retired shepherd from Menstrie, James Geddes, showed him how to play the trump (jew’s harp) as a young boy. In the early 1960s he played jew’s harp and spoons along with his brother Nigel who played guitar and mandolin. Around 1962 he heard Jimmy Driftwood playing mouthbow and having made his own instrument he commenced his long term experimentation and development of it.

In 1968 he moved to Culross, Fife where he still lives. He has been making and collecting folk instruments from all over the world ever since. The jew’s harp remains his first instrument and he has over 200 different models from around the globe.

He was a founder member of the Causeway Folk group which helped run folk clubs around Fife for seven years before reforming as Heritage in the early 1970s. Heritage performed for over 17 years and undertook television, radio, festival and recording work. For several years he performed in partnership with well known Scottish storyteller Duncan Williamson.

Lindsay has made several solo recordings including the tape Portrait of a Scottish Jew’s Harp Player for the Greentrax label. He continues to make instruments as a hobby and develops new playing techniques while gathering knowledge of history and playing styles of the trump.

Lindsay remains the most well known trump (Jew’s harp) player from Scotland.

Photograph by Stuart Eydmann, 2009


  1. Battle of the Somme (march)

  2. Betsy's Welcome to Edinburgh

  3. Deil amang the tailors

  4. Deil amang the tailors

  5. Flogging Reel

  6. Flowers of Edinburgh

  7. Gaelic melody

  8. Gin I were whaur Gadie rins

  9. March of the King of Laois

  10. Unidentified jig

  11. Unidentified tune 1

  12. Unidentified tune 2

  13. Unidentified tune 3