We have another ticket giveaway today for an unmissable event, we have a pair of tickets to see Alasdair Roberts and Mairi Morrison on Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at the Slaughtered Lamb, London.
March 2012 will see the release of the Urstan album on CD/LP through the Drag City label (read our interview here). “Urstan” is a collection of Gaelic and Scots/English songs recorded by Alasdair Roberts and Mairi Morrison, a Glasgow-based Gaelic singer from the Isle of Lewis, with guest musicians including Trembling Bells’ Alex Neilson.
Mairi Morrison comes from Bragar on the Isle of Lewis, one of the furthermost parts of the Scottish Gaidhealtachd – almost as far west as one can go in Scotland before reaching North America. Of all the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland, Lewis is culturally one of the richest. Mairi now lives in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, but she carries the Lewis tradition in her heart and her voice. Alasdair Roberts is a non-Gaelic speaking Lowlander, a folk singer and writer of songs with a growing interest in the Gaelic culture tradition of his homeland. Ceol’s Craic, a Glasgow-based club devoted to promoting Gaelic arts in the city, brought Mairi and Alasdair together to make Urstan, which takes its title from a Lewis-specific word for a celebration held at the birth of a new child – a dram of whisky, basically. Most of the tracks are traditional Gaelic songs, with a few Scots songs and self-written tracks too, all played in new, forward-facing arrangements by an ensemble including Stevie Jones (bass), Alastair Caplin (fiddle) and Alex Neilson (drums). Urstan features guest appearances from such Glasgow music scene luminaries as Michael John McCarthy (Zoey Van Goey), David McGuinness (Concerto Caledonia), Ross MacRae and Richard Merchant (Second Hand Marching Band), Peter Nicholson (The One Ensemble), Mike Hastings (Trembling Bells) and Gaelic song and piobaireachd authority Allan MacDonald.
The combined efforts of these talented young singers and musicians transcend the density of explication here – this is no po-faced unearthing of dusty old songs! Rather, Urstan presents a spirited and innovative musical re-imaging of a number of classic traditional Gaelic and Scottish numbers and one original tune each from Mairi and Ali. There’s fastidious notes included in both Gaelic and English, but the compulsive rhythms and moods conjured by the band will leave you little time to read while the music plays – Urstan is a physically absorbing experience, filled to abundance with color and the love of life.
Closing date: Tuesday 22nd May @ 10:00am
To enter email us: alex [at] folkradio.co.uk with ‘Urstan’ in the subject heading along with your name. The email must reach us before the closing date (above).