Previous Solo Album
Alyth’s solo album ‘People like me’, released on Navigator Records includes traditional and contemporary songs in both English and Gaelic. Songwriters such as Boo Hewerdine, Justin Currie and Jim Malcolm feature along with a ‘who’s who’ of top class musicians. ‘The Gaelic sung tracks range from an accapella ‘Mo Ghaol Oigfhear A Chuil Duinn’ to a spirited ‘The Vices Set (puirt set). The latter stands out from the pack, starting with Capercaille-esque ambience before building to galloping Celtic riffs. Alyth’s voice follows the band to every peak and valley along the way for a euphoric finale. Difficult to follow one would suspect, however, David McDade’s ‘The Beautiful Life’ is a perfect foil with its melting simplicity.
‘Suzanne Vega’s folksome tale ‘The Queen And The Soldier,’ is guided by Brian McAlpine (Session A9) at the piano, who along with Jonny Hardie (The Old Blind Dogs), make up Alyth’s team of melodic lynchpins. The list doesn’t stop there though, elsewhere you’ll find – Aidan O’Rourke, Ewen Vernal, Fraser Fifield, Gerald Peregrine and Noel Eccles.
‘Boo Hewerdine, the man with the golden pen, is responsible for ‘The Smuggler’s Prayer’ which has the whole team in sumptuous balladry mode. And Justin Currie (Del Amitri) provides the title track and one more example of Alyth’s singular talents. Her voice coaxes maximum emotion from each composition.
Those looking for a dose of unadulterated musical magic will be reaching for this album in the coming months and beyond. It certainly deserves to raise her profile, the way it will your spirits.’
Dhachaigh! Featuring LAU & Alyth
‘Dhachaigh!’ The Murdo Macfarlane Songbook was launched by An Lanntair and the Hebridean Celtic Festival. The new CD celebrates the poetry and songs of the late Lewis Bard, Murdo Macfarlane.
This joint project features singers and musicians from across Scotland, including Karen Matheson and Alasdair White and sees Alyth team up with Radio 2 Folk Award winners and good pals LAU. It also includes the specially commissioned pieces of music used in 2007’s sell out Heb Celt Festival opening concert.
The Island Tapes
The Island Tapes, on DVD and CD, records a unique experience in film and music, first performed at Celtic Connections in 2006.
Five silent films, shot in the 1920s and 30s, record life on the Scottish islands of Shetland, Harris, Skye, Orkney and St Kilda. The live score was provided by Alyth with David Allison guitar, ukulele, Allan Neave guitar and Ian Melrose guitars, whistles, ukulele and vocals.
The films are humorous, insightful and moving especially the St Kilda film which was recorded just two years before the Islanders were forced to evacuate. Check out www.kilda.org.uk for more on this community’s story.
The Island Tapes has been performed at the Edinburgh Festival, toured Germany and Estonia, featured at Tartan Week in New York and on Ellis Island. A new film was added in 2007 – ‘New Way to a New World’ follows the journey of a boat from the Broomielaw in Glasgow to Manhattan, passing the Statue of Liberty.
Visit: www.theislandtapes.com where DVD/CDs are available to order online.
Persian Knights/Celtic Dawn
‘Persian Knights/Celtic Dawn’ is the creation of Savourna Stevenson, one of Scotland’s most recognised composers and harp players. She has worked with the likes of Aly Bain, Catriona Macdonald, Fairport
Convention, Eddi Reader and June Tabor. She has written classical pieces for Quintet, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra featuring Billy Boyd as a narrator and also Children’s Classics.
At one of her many WOMAD performances she met the Chemerani’s, a family of drummers from Iran. A collaboration with them led to the release of ‘Persian Knights/Celtic Dawn’ on Cookin’ Vinyl Records.
Alyth joined the project to give voice to the words of poet Kahlil Gibran. Alyth and Savourna have since toured together as a duo, gigging some great settings by Savourna of Michael Marra, Liz Lochead’s and Les Barkers words.