Monday, 6 February 2012

Piper Fred Morrison performed at Celtic Connections 2012

Scottish piper Fred Morrison performed a very enjoyable set of Scottish tunes at Celtic Connections 2012, the Late Sessions stage for the BBC Radio on Tuesday 31st January with Tim O'Brien. Morrison plays the Great Highland Bagpipes, the bellows-blown reel pipes, the Irish Uileann pipes, and the low whistle. He is one of the world's leading pipers and is a renowned composer of music for the bagpipes. His father taught him through the traditional method of canntairachd, the sung vocables used to convey pipe music before notation. "I hear that singing in my head every time I play."  He has played with Clan Alba with Dick Gaughan and also with Capercaille. He co-arrange the music for the film Rob Roy.  In 2006 he formed the Fred Morrison Band with Paul Jennings, Duncan Lyall, Douglas Miller and Innes Watson. Morrison's album Outlands was released in 2009.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Madison Violet at Celtic Connections 2012

Two Canadian girls took to the Late Sessions stage for the BBC Radio 3 show hosted by Mary Kennedy at Celtic Connections Glasgow 2012, on Tuesday 31st January after their sold out ABC gig. They sang their song The Ransom off their 2009 third album No Fool for Trying, which won the John Lennon Songwriting Award. They spoke of what a fabulous event Celtic was and how lucky we were to have it. I was impressed with the quality of their songs and their bright artistic sound.
Their 2011 follow-up album The Good in Goodbye has received major attention. 

Thursday, 2 February 2012

*Lana Del Rey - 'Born To Die' album Review

'Hollywood sex kitten siren via a very carefully grafted persona.' 

Lana Del Rey - 'Born To Die' album released Janaury 2012 review.

.. of Lolita glasses, flowered petticoat dresses, waved Rita Hayward hair and pouty red lipstick. Her image takes me back to those soft sell fifties days of high-winged Buicks, neat furniture and men in ties....
I'm all for imagery as an artist and many of the best musicians in the past (while not all!) have created art around their music - the best examples are the Beatles album covers, Dylan's freewheelin, Queen's opera, Radiohead's videos, more I am sure... 
Her music is full of cinematic strings and her distinctive caressing voice.  

Some good moments in her album Born To Die with songs such as Diet Mountain Dew, National Anthem, and her singles Video Games and Blue Jeans. Weaker moments too with the slightly soft pop of Carmen, Radio and Dark Paradise. Also in my view the production at times can be somewhat stitled and overdone.  

She shouldn't feel the need to emulate Amy Whinehouse as on Million Dollar Man. Her music works best when she has the sexy purr of Video Games and the slow husky voice she does so well. Plus there is no doubt that she has taken such a cool name! This is a good debut and I wish her well. ‘Born To Die’ is presently at No 1 worldwide. 

"Born To Die" is the major-label debut by American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey was released on January 30, 2012 through Interscope Records and Stranger Records. Del Rey's first single from the album, “Video Games” received huge interest on Youtube, now with over 40m hits, and brought about the singer's popularity. Born to Die reached No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart and became one the fastest-selling albums of the year selling 116,745 copies, the biggest first-week sales of 2012.


My blog has reached 10,000 hits this week! I’m very grateful for all who’ve come over and enjoy reading my posts. An especially big hello to those from Russia and other far away places who also love music. I hope you enjoy Scottish music too! My passion is obviously for good music. That is what motivates me with my writing and photography. It’s the music that makes me want to travel miles and to spend hours sorting and editing photos. The Music that inspires ….

I grew up in Edinburgh and now live north of Glasgow (as well as living ten years in the States) - which I hope gives me some unique perspectives. I also play piano and my children are all musicians.
I started my Blog in 2007 with a few reviews. Last year in 2011 I started to take my Music Blog more seriously.  I’ve been a serious music photographer since late 2007 and I concentrate on portraiture. While social photography interests me, my main focus is in portraits. 

I attend Celtic Connections Glasgow each January and Edinburgh Book festival in August, as my two main events.

The rest of the year my main interest is in new artists coming up.  I’m excited that Emeli Sande, who I took photos of in 2007, is releasing her first album in February. I've taken photos at Milngavie Folk club and some wonderful artists there, while 'folk music' at times needs to shake itself up?  Still tradition and heritage matter hugely too. While the past year my main focus has been my writing work for which I hope my book (or books) may be evolving… I live with dreams and hopes…

My photography site -
And many thanks to all those who've encouraged my work and believe in me (some who are not still here with me, my friends June and Helen) - my friend Carole and to my son Ross.