Live Review – Transatlantic Sessions 2019 @ Celtic Connections

The iconic Transatlantic Sessions has a long history of connecting artists from both sides of the pond in an evening of collaboration and mutual appreciation for traditional music. Those who have taken part in the show in the past have included Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Julie Fowlis, The Secret Sisters, Sarah Jaroz, Aoife O’Donovan, Eddi Reader and Alison Krauss. This year’s show saw guests Gretchen Peters, Cara Dillon, Molly Tuttle, Paul McKenna and Tim O’Brien grace the legendary stage. Continue reading “Live Review – Transatlantic Sessions 2019 @ Celtic Connections”

E.P. Review: Iona Fyfe – Dark Turn Of Mind

Talented young Aberdeenshire singer Iona Fyfe released her debut album Away From My Window last year to great acclaim and recently won the MG Alba Scots Singer of the Year award. She begins 2019 by releasing a new E.P. ‘Dark Turn Of Mind’, named after the Gillian Welch song which features on the release. Having been raised in the north-east folk tradition of Doric songs, Fyfe uses this EP to expand her recording repertoire and sing songs in English – including modern folk songs and Appalachian ballads. Continue reading “E.P. Review: Iona Fyfe – Dark Turn Of Mind”

Album Review: Karine Polwart – Laws of Motion

Following a project as powerful and successful as Wind Resistance might have been daunting to some, but the success of that work seems instead to have given Karine Polwart continued confidence and freedom to fully realise her artistic vision. On this new album ‘Laws of Motion’ she confronts the modern world and its destructive forces with an unflinching eye. In the music and the message there is much quiet empathy to admire. Continue reading “Album Review: Karine Polwart – Laws of Motion”

Album Review – Martha L. Healy – Keep The Flame Alight

With the nights starting to draw in and the clocks soon to go back we all could do with some warmth on the stereo to help us coorie doon for winter (as we say in Scotland). Step forward Scottish singer-songwriter Martha L. Healy and her engaging new album ‘Keep The Flame Alight’, which is the perfect soundtrack to whisky-tinged evenings in front of glowing fires. Continue reading “Album Review – Martha L. Healy – Keep The Flame Alight”

Album Review: Iona Fyfe – Away From My Window

Iona Fyfe is from Huntly in the North East of Scotland and has been performing folk music since she was a young child. Her debut album Away From My Window is a mix of traditional folk songs, interpretations of modern Scottish songwriters, as well as self-penned work and showcases her stunning vocal talent throughout. Still only twenty years old, Iona has been balancing full time study with her music commitments and was recently awarded the Alasdair Gray Bursary which helped to fund this project. Continue reading “Album Review: Iona Fyfe – Away From My Window”

Album Review: Hannah Read – Way Out I’ll Wander

Scottish musician Hannah Read now lives in Brooklyn but on her new album Way Out I’ll Wander she keeps her sounds intimate and rootsy rather than reflecting the bright lights of the city. Listening to her music you feel like you’re walking in the gloaming, along a moorland path somewhere far from civilisation. The simple black and white cover conveys the stark beauty of the folk music contained within this album. Continue reading “Album Review: Hannah Read – Way Out I’ll Wander”

Album Review : Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy – A Pocket Of Wind Resistance

On the cover of A Pocket of Wind Resistance Karine Polwart’s profile merges with images of the natural world: birds, trees, leaves seem to be a part of her just like brain, blood and bone. Together with Pippa Murphy’s spellbinding soundscapes she has produced a hymn to motherhood, nature, life and death. A companion piece to her one woman theatre show Wind Resistance, to call this work an ‘album’ barely scratches the surface of the ambition of its songs, stories, poetry and politics. This is a piece of compelling conceptual art.  Continue reading “Album Review : Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy – A Pocket Of Wind Resistance”

Album Review: The Just Joans – You Might Be Smiling Now…

It’s shite being Scottish, especially in winter when it’s dark by four o’clock, the streets freeze over and everyone is in a worse mood than usual. Thankfully we have the new album from The Just Joans, the self proclaimed ‘laziest band in Scotland’, to brighten up the dreich days and nichts. Modern life might be rubbish but You Might Be Smiling Now… finds glitter in the gutters of Glasgow.  Continue reading “Album Review: The Just Joans – You Might Be Smiling Now…”

Album Review: JULIE FOWLIS – ALTERUM 

Nothing screams ‘Scottish folk singer’ more than appearing on your album cover wearing a dead pheasant on your head. It is a striking image, classic portrait in style, looking like it would be at home on the walls of any Scottish castle. Julie Fowlis, internationally known for singing the theme song from Pixar’s Brave, is the most famous Gaelic singer to emerge from Scotland in the last few years. This album may be called Alterum, suggesting change, but make no mistake this is still a collection of deeply traditional music. There are songs sung in English and two feature American star Mary Chapin Carpenter, but the album does not take her too far away from her roots. The combination of Gaelic songs, folk music and even spoken word makes this an engaging and enjoyable listen.  Continue reading “Album Review: JULIE FOWLIS – ALTERUM “

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