Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast No 23 – Scottish harp music feature

Play Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast No 23 – Scottish Harp Music feature

I’ve put together a podcast featuring Scottish harp music. This really is a fertile ground for us in Scotland with lots of musicians creating exciting new music. The selection of harpists for this podcast demonstrates experience, youth and virtuosity.

The first CD I play is Catriona McKay’s Starfish. Catriona is an amazing musician who also performs with Fiddlers’ Bid and Chris Stout. She also plays lots of collaborations with musicians from other fields. My favourite collaboration was as part of our Distil project where she worked with electronic musician Alasdair MacDonald. Catriona was not scared to try new ideas and in this piece she played the harp with an electric fan! Brilliant!

Next up we have Ailie Robertson. Ailie just released her debut CD First Things First in June of this year. I first met Ailie a couple of years ago in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award. She was in the finals of this years Award and I was startled by her musicial progression from the semi-finals to the finals. She was good at the semis but she was fantastic in the finals. Her musicianship and arrangements were standout and they’ve made it onto this CD.

Alison Kinnaird is one of the pioneers of the clarsach. Her The Harper’s Land CD is noted as a major release and a force in bringing the Scottish harp to where it is today. In this track she plays the gut string harp – a very different sound from the wire strung harps on the rest of the podcast. Alison is also very famous for her Glass art and exhibits across the world.

Our next item is an interview with Corrina Hewat to talk about her new CD Harp I Do. The interview is very interesting and Corrina talks about her early years and the special contribution that Christine Martin made to the start of her career. Corrina and I both played in Seannachie over the years. When I left in 1991 Corrina took over from me and when we reformed the band in the late 1990’s for a tour of Germany (don’t mention the pigs) and Holland – Corrina and I rejoined. There were lots of hilarious moments in the German tour (apart from the pigs – only funny now!) including a night off in Laufin, a village on the Wine Strasse. We both had far far too much red wine to drink (Dave Milligan and Elspeth Cowie didn’t join in) and the morning after was dreadful. I remember having to stop the car because Corrina was so hung over she couldn’t stop crying! (You can tell I’m a man).

To finish up this podcast I play a track from Savourna Stevenson. Savourna (like Alison Kinnaird) is a trail blazer and her work in the 90s left some very special records. I really enjoy this Tweed Journey CD not only for her harp playing but the all round musicianship. When you hear this track you will not miss the brilliant playing throughout.

2 Responses

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for another great Footstompin podcast.

    Just a quick note to say thanks for adding Join Martin to your Blogroll and to let you know the news that the Join Martin Blog will be coming live from Edinburgh (in other words, I’ll be writing it from a hotel close to the Royal Mile) for ten days starting this coming Monday.

    To celebrate, the blog will have a “Scottish theme” to it for ten days. I’ll be talking about my attempts to learn Scottish Gaelic (I realise I don’t have to learn the language to live in Scotland but I want to learn the language), talking about languages in general, updating the reviews sections at long last and talking about Scotland, Scottish music and the importance of languages in music.

    All readers of the blog are welcome and I already have some readers from Edinburgh but I’d love to have more people from Scotland read the blog and get involved in the language learning challenge.

    I’m 27 next month. Until July this year I had never been to Scotland. Now I’m coming back within two months of my last trip and I want to live in Scotland. Even though I couldn’t be more English if I tried and I’ll probably look like a tourist simply because I’ll more than likely be wearing the Edinburgh T-Shirt I bought on Princes Street last time I visited, I am pretty confident I’ll get the same wonderful, warm welcome I got from the people of Edinburgh last time I visited.

    Best wishes to everyone and please do have a look at the blog at: and let me know what you think.


    Marty Drury.

  2. I’ve been listening to the Footstompin’ podcast for almost a year now, though I tend to catch up several episodes at a time. I visited Scotland for the first time (it was my first-ever international trip) and fell completely in love with the people and land. I’m talking completely head-over-heels smitten. So Footstompin’ allows me to live vicariously immersed in such a beautiful culture. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    Becca (from Texas)

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