Scottish folk musician Alan Roberts has died in Glasgow at the age of 54. Born of William and the late Margaret Roberts in Bridge of Allan on December 18, 1946, Alan grew up in Callander, Perthshire, with his four brothers and five sisters, before moving alone to London at the age of 16 to work for British Rail. At 18 he returned to Scotland to study sociology and psychology at Glasgow University, (eventually leaving without a degree, apparently due to the earliness of his German classes).

Alan then developed an interest in traditional music. He took up the guitar and banjo and immersed himself in Glasgow's vibrant folk music scene.

After university he worked as a long-distance truck driver, before quitting to concentrate on his musical career. From 1974 to 1977, Alan lived in Germany with his wife Annegret and toured the club and festival circuits of Europe as a solo artist, although he never recorded or released any material from this period, save some live recordings on various compilation records. He earned a name for himself for his skilful guitar playing, performing material as diverse as Borders ballads and Appalachian banjo tunes.

In 1977 Alan teamed up with Dougie MacLean to tour extensively throughout Europe. Their two LPs together (Caledonia [Plant Life, 1978] and CRM [Plant Life, 1979], also featuring the late Alex Campbell) highlight his distinctive guitar fingerpicking style.

Alan abandoned his music career in 1980, returning to Callander to raise a family. He founded a business importing Furstenberg lager, of which he had grown so fond during his time in Germany. Latterly, he and his wife had returned to Glasgow and Alan was again working as a long-distance truck driver. Although no longer professionally involved in the music business, Alan still played the guitar every day for his own amusement. He played his last concert in July 1999 at the 13th Note Cafe, Glasgow, after a break of some 20 years. He is survived by his wife Annegret and three grown-up children, Jennifer, Alasdair, and Catriona.

Alan Roberts, folk musician; born December 18, 1946, died August 13, 2001.