I was so busy in January recording at Gran’s House studio for Sarah Hayes solo album, also for mine and Anna’s third album and of course gigs at Celtic Connections! This did not leave any spare time to think about my Summer Isles Album. Fortunately I had scheduled one more week at home in February to finish writing. After the last meeting with Iain we had discussed that I’d probably need two more tracks to complete the album. I drove home on the 6th February, set up studio at Grandpa’s and got straight into writing two more tracks. (Photo of Grandpa’s house above)
I already had the tune Isle Ristol which I was keen to put lyrics to and as I was reading the book of poems by my relation Neil Macleod for a second time, I got really intrigued by his love interest in one of the poems ‘Tè nan Gòrm Shùilean Meallach’ (The Maid of the Lovely Blue Eyes) The poem is about the girl who rowed him and his brother from Ardmair to Isle Martin to work each day. He referred to her as Grace Darling. This will have to be sung from a male perspective so I am now on the hunt for a guest male singer on the album!
The book of poems Trowel in my Hand was written around the time of the clearances in 1842 from Badentarbet bay to Tanera. It made me think about how much I appreciate Achiltibuie as my home which inspired the second song of the week called Home. You can buy the book of poems “Trowel in my Hand” here.
I sent the new tracks to Iain and for the remainder of the week I got some photos done with local photographer Peter Haring, we discussed ideas for the cover and I also practiced the other tracks that we would start recording on the 18th February.
Thankfully Iain liked the two new songs so as it stands at the time of this blog the album tracks are A Tanera Talisman, Stone and Struggle, The Pibroch, Home, Blessing on Tanera, Red Throated Diver, Star of Hope, The Island and ‘Tè nan Gòrm Shùilean Meallach’. I may still have to write one more track depending on the total length of these tracks. That will not be easy whilst on the road with the Poozies and Anna for the next few months!
Next blog on my first 7 days in the studio. Thanks for reading this one!
This album was made possible with support from Creative Scotland