Long time no see/hear/read eh? Uni is now finished and the sun has been out! Anyway, these are some of my favourite albums i have acquired since the beginning of the year. Go and get them, they're affa good.
Iain MacFarlane - Gallop to Callop
I picked this wee beauty up at Celtic Connections at the album Launch at St Andrews in the Square. It was an absolute steal! Two badges for £10 and a free CD! The Album is full of classic, contemporary and self penned tunes and features a lot well known characters from the Scottish folk scene including Hamish Napier, James Lindsay and Ewan Robertson as well as every Henderson you can think of. Tracks to listen out for are Seamas Alec's, The Mill in the Glen and The Gallop to Callop.
Gnoss - Gnoss
This is the debut recording from Glasgow based Orcadian duo Gnoss (Graham Rorie and Aidan Moodie) that was premiered at Celtic Connections in January. This recording brings together a collection of classic tunes and favoured songs as well as some of their own firey compositions to create a fine balance of both new and old. The duo are joined by Gregor Kincaid (Bodhran) and Connor Sinclair (Whistle and Mandolin) for the recording and for many gigs to form the Gnoss Big Band. Just in case you were wondering how they managed to play all those instruments at once...
Tracks to listen out for include Crantit Park, Rumley Point (which includes a rather funky rendition of Brenda Stubbert's Rannie MacLellan) and Aidan's fine version of Waterbound.
Jarlath Henderson - Hearts Broken Heads Turned
Aww yeah Jarlath Henderson. The Uilleann piper? he can sing? AYE!! I can safely assure that you will not hear anything else like Hearts Broken and Heads Turned this year. I promise you that. Having made the long-list of the Scottish Album of the Year award this record is definitely well thought of throughout the Scottish music industry. This album brings together traditional songs with new arrangements and electric programming to create a true piece of music mastery. Jarlath is joined by some of Scotland's most innovative contemporary traditional instrumentalists (Innes Watson, Hamish Napier and Duncan Lyall) as well as the marvellous Andrea Gobbi on the programming side. I would also highly recommend having a look for the "The making of" video on the web as it is a fabulous insight into how this project was created. Tracks to listen out for are Courting is a Pleasure (Just bloody listen to it), The Slighted Lover and Young Edmund in the Lowlands Low.
Rant - Reverie
I've had this album playing non-stop since it appeared on Spotify a few days ago, it's so good! Reverie is the second album to come from chamber folk quartet Rant. This group have certainly mastered the art of their instrument creating imaginative and entrancing arrangements of tunes using just the fiddle. The group who feature some of the most respected fiddle players throughout the land (Jenna & Bethany Reid, Lauren MacColl and Sarah-Jane Summers) undertook a lengthy tour travelling the length and breadth of the country to promote the new release as well as a wee gander over to Norway. Tracks to listen out for include Strathbogie Toast (there are just so many questions about this set title) Wha'll Dance Wi' Wattie? and Fire Away!
A few more recordings that i've been enjoying at the moment are Haven by Jenna Moynihan fae across the pond and The Halton Quartet - Based on True Events