Foot Stompin’ 4th February 2010 Newsletter

Breabach - the Desperate Battle of the Birds

Breabach - the Desperate Battle of the Birds

Listen to the latest Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast

On Sunday we celebrated the 10th BBC Radio Scotland Young Tradition Award. The very first winner was Gillian Frame back in 2001 and with her band Back of the Moon she made this great album Fortune’s Road. We’re offering it to you for £3.99! 60% OFF normal price. This offer is valid for One Week Only! Radio producer Steve Dieterich said of the album “Received this new album yesterday, and have already been through it 3 times! WOW!! I listen to 10+ new albums a week an “Fortune’s Road” got my attention right away. Very appealing.” http://bit.ly/cEp8ml

1. New Releases – includes Breabach, Stringjammer, Ronald Anderson Band
2. Legendary Scottish Bands: Ossian
3. The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musican 2010 – The results
4. Snippets – Dick Gaughan Lifetime Achievement, Barbara Dickson, Valentine’s Cards
5. Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast – includes Breabach
6. Reviews – includes Alasdair Fraser and Jim Reid
7. Best Sellers: includes The Chair, Blair Douglas
8. Foot Stompin’ Scotch Whisky – Campbelltown Whisky
9. Discussion forum
10. Testimonials
11. Foot Stompin’ on Facebook and Twitter

1. New Releases (remember if you’ve bought from us before you get our loyalty 10% discount off everything)

A GREAT BAND!! The Desperate Battle Of The Birds – Breabach: Breabach with their dual bagpipes, fiddle, whistles  guitar and song are one of the most inventive and diverse bands to have emerged from the Scottish folk scene in recent years. From their foot-stomping reels to their heart-warming songs, there can be no doubt why this acclaimed quartet have become a household name for many in the folk and roots music scene. Their second CD underlines their award-winning credentials with superb individual and ensemble playing coupled with skilful arrangements. What a fab CD! The album title comes from a legendary pibroch of the same name, Scotland’s oldest form of pipe music. £11.70 (£12.99 for first time customers)
http://bit.ly/aJ7FrR

WAY OOT WEST!! A Far Away Place: Folk ‘n’ Roll:  High energy exuberant acoustic music from the Isle of Lewis in a folk-rock style played by three young and very talented musicians. Fiddle, guitar and even djembe blast out tunes and songs that you can’t help but dance to. £11.25 (£12.50 for first time customers)
http://bit.ly/cqI4a7

HI THE ROAD!! Long Road Home (EP) – Stringjammer: An interesting six track EP of attractive yet quirky songs featuring ex Shooglenifty bassist Conrad Ivitsky on lead vocals. Not afraid of mixing up styles and genres, the band fuse Latin rhythms, with occasional twists of the Blues, but always staying close to the origin of their Scottish roots, working together toform a unique and refreshingly heady blend of tunes and songs. Conrad Ivitsky – vocals and strings;  Diane de Carabus – song, guitar; Jenny Gardner – fiddle; Pete Garnett – melodica; Willy Molleson – percussion; Mike Molleson – percussion, vocal. £5.39 (£5.99 for first time customers)
http://bit.ly/b6qaDe

HIGHLAND REFLECTIONS!! Ma Sgaoil – Bi Beo: A second CD from the Gaelic band forging unique styles to self-penned folk/pop/rock songs. The songs are a reflection of island and Highland life, from dancing to the beauty of love, nature, the elements and the harshness of isolation and abandonment. Many songs carry a messages of love, youthful joy and reflections of childhood memories of growing up in the Hebrides £11.25 (£12.50 for first time customers)
http://bit.ly/9fly5D

WATER MUSIC!! Scapa Flow – Ronald Anderson Band: A great mix of dance tunes, mostly from Orkney & Shetland and all played with style and confidence by Ronald and his excellent band of fine musicians. Ronald Anderson (accordion), Erika Shearer (fiddle), Colin Wilson (drums), Margaret Scollay (piano), and Jim Halcrow (2nd accordion). Great variation and tempo. £11.25 (£12.50 for first time customers)
http://bit.ly/aboVyr

Remember you can also buy from Foot Stompin’ by phone – +44 (0)131 441 3135. We take all credit cards. If you like a friendly voice at the end of your phone we’re here!

2. Legendary Scottish Bands: Ossian

Groundbreaking band Ossian were one of Scotland’s best folk groups ever. They were a unique and very special band.  Their instruments included harp, fiddle, smallpipes, whistles, cittern, mandolin, guitar, piano, bodhran, vocals. Ossian -named after the legendary 3rd century Celtic Bard and folk hero, was formed in 1976 and fast became a popular focus for a whole generation of up and coming traditional musicians.
Mae McKenna (sister of Hugh McKenna of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band) was introduced to a band formed by Billy Jackson, George Jackson and John Martin who at that time called themselves Contraband The band recorded one album on the Transatlantic label in 1974 but when shortly after Mae left to start a solo career Contraband disbanded in the Spring of 1975. Within a couple of years, Billy, George and John had joined forces with guitarist/singer Billy Ross to become Ossian. They recorded two famous albums Ossian (1977) and St Kilda Wedding (1978). More changes when Billy Ross left for a solo career but singer/guitarst Tony Cuffe stepped  and the band took on their most distinctive sound to date. Ossian went on to record some very fine albums and achieve wide international acclaim. To celebrate 20 years since the group was formed, a memorable Ossian reunion took place at Celtic Connections in 1996 and featured the line-up Billy Jackson, George Jackson, Billy Ross, John Martin, Tony Cuffe and Iain MacDonald. Tony Cuffe died in 2001 and George Jackson in July 1998.
Billy Jackson continues a hugely sucessful solo career both as a composer and performer. John Martin went on to join Easy Club and latterly is enjoying international acclaim playing fiddle with the Tannahill Weavers.

Ossian’s CDs are fast becoming hard to find. Check out the two albums available at Foot Stompin’:
Ossian (first album from 1977) £11.69 (£12.99 for first time customers) http://bit.ly/dCgoCl
The Carrying Stream (1997) £11.69 (£12.99 for first time customers) http://bit.ly/a3Wrgn

3. The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musican 2010 – The Results

Six of Scotland’s finest young musicians battled it out on Sunday 31st January in the grand final of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician Of The Year awards 2010 at Glasgow’s City Halls. Presented by Mary Ann Kennedy and broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland as part of the Celtic Connections festival, the winner was announced as Daniel Thorpe from Inverurie who won the coveted title with fiddling performance.

Daniel was delighted with his musical accolade: “I am absolutely delighted and surprised. I’m still coming to terms with winning, I’ve got a permanent smile on my face and I think it’ll be there for the next three weeks!”

Read more about it… http://bit.ly/cbYILD

If you are in the UK you can listen to the finals concert: http://bit.ly/dnlChP
Watch video of the finals concert: http://bit.ly/aj4e6v

4. Snippets
Once in a lifetime!
Congratulations to Scots singer Dick Gaughan who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ceremony on Monday evening. Well deserved!
http://bit.ly/cCA8kU

Another successful festival!
For the third year running,attendances at Celtic Connections Festival topped 100,000 with gross ticket sales reaching over £1 million.
http://bit.ly/cWjGdS

Barbara Dickson Signs to Greentrax
We hear that Barbara Dickson OBE, the Dunfermline-born singer and actress has signed a contract for the Greentrax label and will record a new album for release in the autumn….
http://bit.ly/dukPji

Great Photos!
Take a look at the pictyures taken by photographer Louis de Carlo of the Young Trads Birthday Bash at Celtic Connections Festival.
http://bit.ly/dtL2Ge

Alistair Hulett RIP
A talented singer, songwriter and internationalist, Alistair sadly passed away on 28th January.
http://bit.ly/8Z1l13

Valentine Cards
Don’t forget to buy a Valentine’s Day card! Make your loved one feel even more special with a Foot Stompin’ card in Scots or Gaelic. £2.25 (£2.50 for first time customers)
http://bit.ly/bJ9bp3

Fancy learning some Gaelic song?
Glasgow fiddle workshop has started a Gaelic Song class, which runs every Monday night from 7.30 – 9.30 at Stow College. If you are a learner of the language, songs can be a great way of learning new vocabulary, increasing your proficiency in pronunciation and your confidence in using the language.
http://bit.ly/bj0E8e

Breabach and Le Vent du Nord
Still a few chances to catch these two great bands on their current Scottish tour ..check where you can see them here
http://bit.ly/dgUpYQ

Hands up for Young Trad Ambassadors
A motion presented to the Scottish Parliament states that “the Parliament recognises the worth of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition’s finalists for musical excellence, as ambassadors for their nation’s culture and heritage and contributors to the wellbeing, both economic and social, of Scotland…” Excellent!
http://bit.ly/bKvVNv

5. Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast
Here’s our February 2010 Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast. This podcast features all new releases. We start with the new CD from Breabach -  The Desperate Battle Of The Birds which is followed by Mairearad and Anna. Next is Conrad Ivitsky’s Stringjammer and then Ma Sgaoil (Unleashed) by Bi Beo. Then it’s Scapa Flow by Ronald Anderson Band and we finish off the programme with Folk ‘n’ Reel. http://bit.ly/oWIhn

6. Reviews

CD: Cora: Skalder Customer Review 5 Stars
This debut CD is amazing, some fantastic compositions played beautifully. A nice variety of tunes,I find it very difficult to choose a favourite but would say listen out for Esson’s Croft…Elaine
http://bit.ly/dk38i7

CD: I Saw the Wild Geese Flee -Jim Reid. Customer Review 5 stars
One of my all time favorite CDs (I wore out my original cassette!) to sing along with…….NY Scot
http://bit.ly/cENAeR

CD: Portrait of a Fiddler – Alasdair Fraser. Customer Review 5 stars
Sweet, sweet music..What a player!…. Erin MacRae
http://bit.ly/9yyA9N
7. Best Sellers

CD: Huinka – The Chair: What a fab band! The 8-strong ‘The Chair’ from Scotland’s Orkney Islands set the floor alight with their superb brand of high energy “stomp” music.
http://bit.ly/acJedh

CD: Maidean Dubh’ an Donais (The Black Stick of the Devil): Dr Angus MacDonald is one of the famous piping MacDonald brothers of Glenuig and this CD comes 19 years after his acclaimed album A’ Sireadh Spòrs. It is great!
http://bit.ly/4nYz8s

CD: Mairearad & Anna. The girls are both excellent and inventive players and this their debut as a duo is a demonstration of their abundant talents.
http://bit.ly/7ssxPC

CD: Air Chall :Lost. Rachel Walker. This is the third release from the talented Gaelic singer and again one is struck by the beauty of her voice.
http://bit.ly/5wm91U

Book: Manran (Blair Douglas):  The first published collection of Blair’s compositions has so many of his brilliant tunes.
http://bit.ly/5IqRQD

CD: A Shirt Of Silk Or Snow: Wendy Weatherby’s album of songs and cello is proving very popular.. and quite rightly so, it’s lovely!
http://bit.ly/9PFgK8

8. Foot Stompin’ Scotch Whisky

With our partners Masters of Malt we’ve got two more fabulous whiskies for you to peruse. We’re going to feature Campbeltown. Campbeltown whiskies are a curious mix. Characteristics include a defined dryness with a pungency, smoke and a solid salinity. Imagine a cross between the Lowlands and the Western Highlands with a pinch of salt thrown in for good measure.

There was a time when Campbeltown was the most prolific of all of Scotland’s whisky regions. Around a century ago there were as many as twenty-eight distilleries in the geographically smallest of Scottish appellations. Today there are but three: the newly founded Mitchell’s Glengyle, though it will be a few more years ‘til any Glengyle single malt whisky is bottled, Glen Scotia and Springbank, a distillery which produces three very different whiskies using different levels of peat and still combination. Campbeltown sits on the Mull of Kintyre peninsula protruding from the western coast, ‘mist rolling in from the sea’. It is the proximity to the coast that gives the whisky its salty tang. Campbeltown single malts are often superb aperitifs.

Springbank 10 Year Old: The 10 year old from the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown, a mixture of both bourbon and sherry matured whisky. The peat is present and quite pungent with an earthen rootiness. Notes of exotic fruits and a hint of salinity. £28.95 http://bit.ly/9TMpZz

Longrow 100 Proof: A 10 year old from the Springbank distillery, matured in bourbon casks before bottling at 100 proof, or 57% abv to you or I. The nose is of good body with a spirity sweetness and there are notes of marmalade and orange peel, hints of cut flowers and a vague iodine note. £40.95 http://bit.ly/c0lNvQ

9. Foot Stompin’ Discussion Forum
Our forum is a busy place! Feel free to join in.
Celtic Connections Highlights on BBC Two (Sunday)
http://bit.ly/bnemEe

Gaelic concert for Haiti
http://bit.ly/9JgtBa

10. Testimonials

Wow! what speedy service!  the CDs arrived with today’s post.  Many thanks…..Kirsten

..You guys deserve any customer service awards going – you’re certainly doing it right…Many thanks again. AlyFinlayson

11 . Foot Stompin’ on Facebook and Twitter

Follow Foot Stompin’ on Facebook and Twitter and we’ll send you daily Scottish music updates
Foot Stompin’ has a presence on the social networking site Facebook. Come and pay us a visit! http://bit.ly/5VSQRg

If Twitter is more your scene you can visit us here http://bit.ly/7GkifS

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We need more young folks!

Foot Stompin Scottish Music

Foot Stompin' Scottish Music

When I look at the business of Scottish trad/folk music I often worry. I do this because a lot of the non-performance industry (by this I mean record company owners, publishers etc not musicians) are run by folks in their 60s and older. From a www.footstompin.com point of view many of our suppliers are in this age range. They produce a lot of very valuable music and books which are in danger of getting lost if they stop. Maybe their interest is fueled due to their age and experience but at the same time they are keeping the tradition alive and available. (I am aware that trad music is not necessarily big bucks business but important non the less.)

We need to encourage more of our young people to get involved in this side of the business. How do we do this or should we rely on them to show an interest? I would love to see more folks taking up the mantel of publishing music. Highland Music Trust, Hardie Press and Kerr’s have done wonderful jobs in publishing with their vast array of books but there are still lots of collections out there. The record industry also needs people to get involved. Also more websites promoting Scottish music trying to make viable business’s. New technologies are appearing all the time and we need to move with them and young people are the best at that.

In the end you cannot force people to do things but the time is coming when we are going to need a new generation to get involved and I suppose that is now. Let’s do it!

Achieving goals for musicians

I’ve had these thoughts for a while after reading the book Big Bucks by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. While this (great) book is about making lots of money it totally corresponds to young musicians and how to make a career in music. I wish I had heard something like this when I was starting out. Of course I might have not done anything with the information but it would have been nice to have heard it anyway.

Basically the book takes 3 ideas as the way to progress.

1. Don’t get into the business of music unless you love playing/teaching music more than anything else in the world.

2. You need to want to make a career (ie make money) more than anything else. This sounds like a contradiction to the first point but what the first point does is give you focus while getting on with the job getting gigs etc. You need this original love of music to keep you going through the hard times trying to get gigs etc – stay the course.

3. Decide your goals. You have to plan your career, work out where you want to be in say – 10 years and then act on it. The metaphor the book uses is like standing at the bottom of the cliff face with no toe holds but as you study the cliff you start to see edges that will give you a lift up. The further you climb the more toe holds (ie options) that come apparent.

An example for a band could be that in 10 years you would like to be performing the major concert halls in the UK. How would you achieve this? Well you might decide that the best way would be to play floor spots at UK folk clubs for 6 months, then move on to your own folk club gigs bringing out a CD. You would market this through various chanels including live gigs, youtube, myspace, facebook etc building up a following and an interest. You would use this interest to get more gigs, festivals, media interest and when you need better contacts and larger gigs you get an agent to help you take the band to the next level and other countries. After another couple of years of working hard with a new CD you think you are ready to move to mid-size concert halls like Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall. In order to do this you might have to change to a new  agent who works more in this sector. You might also decide that this is the time to release a CD on a major label with great distribution and marketing capabilities. You might also want to release a DVD at this stage. Again working hard with a large mailing list and following with major label finance this might be time get on a decent support tour with a famous band. This momentum can bring you larger audiences allowing you to finally achieve your goal of playing the major concert venues in UK and around the world.

Of course this is a simplified version of a plan but when though out properly and discussed as a band with everyone pulling their weight it can bring cohesion and together to a lineup. Again none of this is easy and the caveat I would add is that if it doesn’t work at least you’ve tried. I always think you can have no regrets if you’ve given something a go.

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