Hirta Songs – ROBERTS & ROBIN ROBERTSON, ALASDAIR

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Stone Tape Recordings presents the eighth studio album from Alasdair Roberts.

A collaboration with Scottish poet Robin Robertson (who provided the words that Roberts set to music), Hirta Songs is a concept album of sorts, inspired by the people, landscape, and history of the remote Scottish archipelago of St. Kilda. The seed of the record lies in Robertson’s 2007 visit to the islands which he cites as one of the most extraordinary experiences of his life. Upon returning home he wrote the long poem “Leaving St. Kilda,” but he knew that the islands weren’t finished with him and, six years later, Hirta Songs is the result of his continued engagement. Much of the album sits in familiar Alasdair Roberts territory; exquisite contemporary folksong with a traditional slant which has Alasdair’s distinctive voice and deft guitar-picking at the forefront, but the weight of Robertson’s words adds a new dimension, and the fascinating stories behind the music make for quite a journey.

Several of the album’s 10 songs are informed by Roberts’ recent explorations into Scottish Gaelic music, a natural progression from his collaboration with Gaelic singer Mairi Morrison, Urstan (Drag City, 2012). The supporting cast includes regular members of Alasdair’s live and studio ensembles Tom Crossley, Rafe Fitzpatrick, and Stevie Jones, as well as Robin Williamson (of The Incredible String Band) and acclaimed harpist Corrina Hewat.

01 – A Fall of Sleet
02 – Farewell to the Fowler
03 – Laoidh Fhionnlaigh Oig
04 – The White-Handled Knife
05 – The Plain of Spells
06 – Tuireadh nan Hiortach
07 – Leaving St. Kilda
08 – The Drum Time
09 – The Well of Youth
10 – Exodus

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