The nomination is all the more pleasing for Barbara as she only returned to singing this year after a break of more than 20 years out to bring up her family and carve out her career as a doctor.

Her debut solo album, produced by Michael Marra, was released in the summer and coincided with a return to performing live shows this year.

Barbara, who said she is both ”delighted and honoured” to be recognised by her peers, hopes to pick up the prize at the award ceremony in Perth Concert Halls on December 3.

A founder member of Coelbeg, Barbara has seen a massive change in the music industry since they were trundling up and down the country playing at festivals and concerts during the 1970s and 1980s.

”Mind you,” she says: ”When I came back after all that time I felt as if I’d stepped into a time warp the same people were at the folk clubs and some of them were even sitting in the same seats.”

One of the finest voices in Scottish music, her album was welcomed with open arms by both reviewers and the traditional music scene itself, culminating in the nomination.

She has already appeared at several folk festivals this year and has been invited to sing at Celtic Connections in January with her own backing group, the Barbara Dymock Band, which, although she enjoys her solo performances, she prefers to perform with.

”It’s been a bit weird since I brought the album out,” she admits. ”It’s absolutely fantastic and I’m a bit gobsmacked by it all.

”When we were playing all that time ago, there wasn’t the chance to record as much because it was so expensive we were skint students at the time.

”It’s much easier now and there are so many more people out there making records and playing live so there’s more competition.”

Working with Marra was a joy, Barbara said. She first met him while caring for his brother Eddie at Roxburghe House.

She said: ”We got talking about music back then and we’ve been friends ever since. It was really great to have him produce the album he’s fantastic to work with. He’s always got a smile on his face and a good word to say nothing puts him up or down.

”It was a joint effort, but he was the producer, his word was final and he did all the mixing of the album too.”

The public can now vote for this year’s winners across 16 categories, including album of the year, composer of the year, venue of the year and singer of the year by visiting