2015 goings on

Hi folks,

its been a hectic year so far, but there’s lots of new, exciting things now gathering momentum which I hope you’ll be able to see/hear soon.

At the start of the year I was lucky enough to be involved in Ross Ainslie’s New Voices Commission for Celtic Connections. It was his first delve into song writing, and I loved getting a chance to perform his songs and tunes with a great cast of musicians. In he took us all to Dunning for a week, to the wonderful TPot Studios where we recorded the whole lot……and had a LOT of fun! You can get a copy on Ross’ website. In a spare few minutes I recorded this video with Ali Hutton behind the studio

Talking of Ali Hutton, that’s another new project I have slowly been working on this year. We have teamed up with Andrea Gobbi (Laki Mera), Patsy Reid and Innes Watson to work on some new material. We are still at the stages of coming up with our own sound, but we have a few solid tracks now, and I am really excited to see it progressing. They are great musicians to work with!

For the last couple of months, Jenn Butterworth and I have been working with Keir Long at Carrier Waves in Glasgow to begin planning our first duo album. We have been recording ideas, and have arranged a lot of new music already so we’re hoping to have an album completed by Christmas. Jenn and I have had some nice gigs recently at Newton Stewart Traditional Music Festival and Mull of Kintyre, and we’re really looking forward to a weekend of playing in Colonsay in a couple of weeks time.

As for The Shee, we have been working on a big plan for out ten year anniversary next year. I can’t believe we’ve been a band for that long! We can’t say too much about it just now, but the project will be launched at Celtic Connections 2016 and I’ll let you all know as soon as I’m allowed!

Last week I had the pleasure of playing the Queen’s Hall at Edinburgh Fringe with Dougie Maclean’s ‘The Maclean Project.’ The audience almost had me in tears with their amazing singing and Dougie has some beautiful new songs which I really enjoyed getting to play.

I’ve been working on my next batch of new tunes and songs, and am planning to pop a couple of videos of them up soon for you to check out. The song with Ali above is one of my favourite John Hiatt songs which I learned as a teenager.

Next up for me is a few Bluegrass gigs with Glasgow based The Daddy Naggins and Feis Na Mara with The Shee, as well as getting back to teaching at Glasgow Fiddle Workshop and planning my next mandolin workshop in Glasgow. I ran my first one in June and had a lovely turn out. If you’re interested you can check out my workshops and teaching page for more info.

Over and out!

LB

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November’s nippy (and a little deal).

Hello!

I am sat in my flat in Glasgow having just had a brain storm over new material with John Lowrie for a gig he is putting on in February with myself, Jack Smedley and Chris Waite.  It is for a monthly event at Bar Bloc called Stretched that challenges a musician to team up with a few others from the Glasgow scene for a brand new line-up/gig. I’m really looking forward to it.

It has been a busy month, with a lovely Shee tour put on by the wonderful Ketih Melvillle in Germnay, teaching all over the place, working with The Gordon Duncan Experience and then heading to Perthshire Amber for a gig with The MacLean Project. And what a fantastic festival it was. I could only make the last three days of the then day extravaganza of gigs and sessions, but I enjoyed them so much that I am already planning on heading back there next year! On my first night I had a lovely tune with Charlie MacKerron and Marc Clement which had left me with half of a brilliant Indian melody stuck in my head. I must get round to learning the next bit. Friday brought a day of rehearsals and sound-checks for the second MacLean Project gig at Perth Concert Hall. I feel really lucky to get a chance to work with Dougie a band of such talented musicians. Perthshire Amber is put on by Jenny and Dougie MacLean, their family and a big team of helpers and volunteers and is one of the friendliest I have been to. Thanks for having me!

Next up I am getting my teeth into arranging a piece of music for The Gordon Duncan Experience and getting some practise (and dress shopping!) in ready for playing at this year’s Scots Trad Awards with The Shee.

The frosty weather and darker nights have got me feeling a little bit festive, and having just booked my train tickets home for Christmas all I need is a glass of mulled wine to warm me up. And talking of Christmas………(I know, its too early)…….you can get the hard copy of ‘Breathe’ with a christmassy 20% off from now until Christmas day if you buy it from here and use the promotion code ‘lungs.’

That’s all for now folks. Thanks for reading!

LB x

The MacLean Project by Rob McDougall
The MacLean Project by Rob McDougall