Tune Up Podcast
Summary: The Tune Up podcast series consists of short, entertaining, personal tour diary reportage from the Scottish Arts Council\'s Tune Up tours. The Tune Up podcast series accompanies the Tune Up tours. Shortly after every tour a short podcast episode will be available to anyone who wishes to subscribe (for free). Each episode has been recorded and presented by the artists themselves, contains excerpts of music recorded at some of the gigs and photographs taken on tour.
Guitarist Graeme Stephen joins with some of the most creative and in-demand players on the UK folk and jazz scenes for this Tune Up tour. Born in Aberdeen and based in Edinburgh, Stephen is a sensitive and inventive player, influenced by the pre-bop guitar style of Charlie Christian as well as contemporary masters like Bill Frisell. He has won a number of awards including the Jazz Services Promoters Choice Award. In 2008 he was chosen for the Serious/PRS Take 5 initiative. Stephen currently performs with his own Trio, as well the free-improvisation outfit Newt, and is a regular guest with the eclectic Fraser Fifield band. His Sextet was selected for the Jazz Services Promoters' Choice Award 2006 and played at the London Jazz Festival and the Manchester Jazz Festival. It has since expanded to a Septet with the addition of London based cellist Ben Davis of Mercury Music Prize nominees Basquiat Strings. They are joined by saxophonist Phil Bancroft, violinist Chris Stout, Brazillian bassist Mario Caribe and Scottish Jazz Drummer of the Year Stuart Ritchie. Alto saxophonist Martin Kershaw joins the group on the dates between 25th and 27th of March and Fraser Fifield takes over on soprano saxophone and Bulgarian kaval from 1st to the 7th of March.
Both Breabach and Le Vent Du Nord incorporate classic instruments and take a fresh approach to traditional and contemporary folk music. Expect innovation in this not to be missed cross-cultural collaboration.
Two of the most exciting Scottish bands of recent years feature on the third Tune Up Tour 2009. The headlining act for the tour, Frightened Rabbit have been making waves globally over the last two years with memorable tours of the US and further afield. Joining them on the Dundee, Inverness and Stirling dates will be Chemikal Underground’s Phantom Band, whose Checkmate Savage album from earlier this year was met with critical acclaim. We chatted to Scott Hutchison, founder, songwriter, vocalist and lead guitarist with Frightened Rabbit; and Phantom Band’s vocalist, Rick Anthony about the tour which kicks off on Friday 27 November in Fort William. Other acts who will be in support on different dates of the tour are The Moth and The Mirror and As Tall As Lions. For more information and to book tickets for all tour dates visit tuneup.org.uk Frightened Rabbit Tour dates Fri 27th Nov, Frightened Rabbit with The Moth and The Mirror, B.A. Club, Fort WilliamSat 28th Nov, Frightened Rabbit with Phantom Band, Tolbooth, StirlingSun 29th Nov, Frightened Rabbit with Phantom Band, Ironworks, InvernessTue 01st Dec, Frightened Rabbit with As Tall As Lions, Moshulu, AberdeenWed 02nd Dec, Frightened Rabbit with Phantom Band, Fat Sams, DundeeTue 22nd Dec, Frightened Rabbit with The Moth and The Mirror, ABC, Glasgow Fri 27th Nov, with The Moth and The Mirror, B.A. Club, Fort William Sat 28th Nov, with Phantom Band, Tolbooth, Stirling Sun 29th Nov, with Phantom Band, Ironworks, Inverness Tue 01st Dec, with As Tall As Lions, Moshulu, Aberdeen Wed 02nd Dec, with Phantom Band, Fat Sams, Dundee Tue 22nd Dec, with The Moth and The Mirror, ABC, Glasgow tuneup.org.uk
Inner Octaves will feature specially commissioned chamber concertos by Indian composer Shirish Korde, whose music is an authentic presentation of his thorough Indian, Western classical and jazz training. Edinburgh based music therapy pioneer Nigel Osborne, one of the UK¹s finest composers, will also contribute with his masterful, modernist assimilation of non Western influences, notably Indian. The programme is completed by the music of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Oscar winner Tan Dun and the father of minimalism Terry Riley, who has studied Indian music tirelessly since the 1960s. Based around groundbreaking new concerti by these most compelling composers, Inner Octaves also features world renowned Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth, as well as tabla, string quartet, percussion and double bass. The makeup of the ensemble and concept of the programme will represent an outstanding opportunity for audiences across Scotand to experience daring yet immediate repertoire, performed by musicians of the highest calibre representing three continents. 'Startling virtuosity' The Scotsman 'Instrumental mastery' The Herald PERFORMERS: Award winning classical guitarist Simon Thacker, Carnatic violin virtuoso Jyotsna Srikanth, Birmingham based tabla master Sarvar Sabri, Scotland's leading string quartet the Edinburgh Quartet, Brazilian bass dynamo Mario Caribé and renowned multi-percussionist Iain Sandilands.
In 2005 Collins was due to take to the road with Tune Up when he had two life-threatening strokes. After an incredible recovery, during which he heroically battled the physical after-effects hindering his movement and speech he returned to the studio and finished the album he was working on, 'Home Again'. Within two years, he took to the stage again, having painstakingly relearned the lyrics to his songs. And in the last year alone, he has recorded six new songs due out in 2010, alongside winning the prestigious Ivor Novello Inspiration award. We are thrilled to welcome him back to his long post-poned Tune Up tour. Collins will tour alongside Glasgow party stalwarts 1990's, who have recorded both their albums with producer Bernard Butler in Collins' studio. Despite both sets of musicians long-standing mutual appreciation of each other this is the first time they have played together. Travelling to some far flung and beautiful reaches of the country, such as Orkney and Thurso, this tour will also call in at Helmsdale; a homecoming of sorts for Collins, who spent many weeks in this magical place during his recovery. The Low Miffs, featuring Malcolm Ross, formerly of Josef K, Aztec Camera and Orange Juice, will also appear in Glasgow.
One of the finest up and coming Scottish Jazz musicians and composers takes to the road with Tune Up for his first ever nationwide tour - playing his own compositions with David Dunsmuir on guitar, Ross Hamilton on bass and a host of special guest appearances. Jazz musician Alyn Cosker has emerged as a regular on the Scottish jazz scene, known to most as the drummer with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and for his performances alongside numerous international jazz greats. Most recently, he stepped in to replace Paolo Vinaccia to great acclaim on a couple of dates on the Tune Up tour that featured Tommy Smith and Arild Anderson. So impressed was Tommy Smith, that he has agreed to guest on Alyn's own Tune Up tour this May. Cosker is also coming to light as a talented composer and this, his first nationwide tour, will co-incide with his debut album release, showcasing the Alyn Cosker Trio comprising electric guitarist David Dunsmuir and Ross Hamilton on bass. Special guest will also include Tommy Smith (tnr sax), Jason Rebello (pno), Paul Towndrow (alto/sop sax), Ryan Quigley (trumpet) & Maureen McMullan (vox). "This has been my first real outlet for composition, and it will be mainly my own stuff. There are a lot of styles going on within the trio, and I wanted to challenge myself." Alyn Cosker
This is a rare opportunity to see one of Scotland's folk super-groups featuring a phenomonal line-up of Charlie McKerron (Capercaillie), Adam Sutherland (Peatbog Faeries), Gordon Gunn, Kevin Henderson, Brian MacAlpine and Tim Egey... Named Session A9 because all of the artists originate from points along this road and in a fitting tribute to their heritage, alongside a real desire to bring the music home, the tour will follow the route of the A9 road, targeting less-established venues and town halls. A perfect example of Tune Up's pledge to take high quality music off the beaten track. One of Scotland's foremost traditional/fiddle groups, Session A9 will play from their second album Bottlenecks and Armbreakers - presenting original compositions from the band themselves alongside a couple of stunning compositions from the late Gordon Duncan and tunes from new talent emerging from Scotland. Live shows have earned the Session A9 musicians the title "Scotland's Supergroup" so be sure not to miss them as they tour the CD for the first time in June, hitting up a host of venues from their hometowns up and down the A9 usually neglected on traditional touring networks.
Yet another inspired Tune Up collaboration, this tour will place Scottish-based flautist and singer Nuala Kennedy alongside the French flamenco-jazz group Azulejos. Featuring brand new material composed by Kennedy and Phillipe Guidat of Azulejos and tracks from Azulejos' new album La Fontaine Des Vignes on which Kennedy provides guest vocals, this is a rare opportunity for Scotland to witness the colourful, passionate and energetic music performed by international flamenco and world-jazz stars and one of the leading lights of the traditional music scene.
The very highly regarded US Appalachian Old Time band, the Stairwell Sisters hit the UK for their first full Scottish tour after a remarkable performance with Celtic Connections last year. With a knack for infusing the old music with intoxicating energy and soul, the Stairwell Sisters will play from new release Get Off Your Money and accompanying the music will be a unique step-dancing/clogging collaboration between Evie Landen and Scottish step-dancer JOHN SIKORSKI of the Scottish Step Dance Co. San Francisco's all-gal urban old-time teardown, THE STAIRWELL SISTERS have amassed a rowdy repertoire of timeless tunes plus a solid standing of smart, original material that is winning praise on a international level as counter-culturalists of every generation enjoy their energetic musicianship, tight vocal arrangements and red-hot buckdancing. In the Spring of 2008 they released their third CD, Get Off Your Money, produced by Austin's Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks, Waybacks). The Stairwell Sisters have come quite far since founding members Lisa Berman and Sue Sandlin began practicing vocal harmonies in a stairwell at work. Their third release showcases the all-female string band's authentic old-time sound with the band's present-day interpretations and original compositions. The five member band arranges traditional fiddle tunes and old-time standbys by running music through the "Sister Mill". In this way, songs take on new energies and identities. Thus, songs depicting timeless themes such as working class struggles, love, and loss regain their relevancy Line Up: Stephanie Prausnitz (fiddle/vocals), Evie Ladin (banjo/clogging/vocals), Lisa Berman (dobro/vocals). Martha Hawthorne (bass/vocals) and Sue Sandlin (guitar/tiple/vocals)
Another classically original Tune Up collaboration as one of the finest Scottish-based jazz musicians and composers Julian Arguelles teams up with the internationally renowned jazz guitarist John Abercrombie. Expect seven new compositions written by Arguelles alongside state-of-the-art improvisation delivered by four very powerful players and international jazz stars.
It all started with a session. In August 2007, Betse Ellis and Tim Matthew sat behind the Famous Spiegeltent during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, trading Scottish and American fiddle tunes when Betse said to Tim "we ought to do this more often". These concerts will feature both traditional Scottish music and its American counterparts, and American music that influences current day Scottish musicians (and vice versa). Named for a traditional fiddle tune and song, "Across the Sea" celebrates an interchange of musical ideas from the past and present, but rather than examine this migrated music from an analytical or musicological perspective, it will be done via a live-performance and concert format that will bring the well-catalogued historical travel to life. The tour features some of the finest musicians from all over the world. From Scotland, Kris Drever (Traditional Instrumentalist of the Year - 2008), from Ireland Eamonn Coyne (Salsa Celtica) and from the US Betse Ellis, Caleb Klauder & Sammy Lind.
A collaborative tour bringing together two major names from the nu-folk field; James Yorkston from Scotland and rising star Lisa Knapp from England. Featuring work from new albums by each artist and with accompanying musicians drawn from the bands of both artists, this is their first Scottish tour. "A couple of my favourite aspects of being a working musician are visiting interesting places and collaborating with other musicians. Tune-Up allows for both - a great prospect. I've worked with Lisa Knapp before, but only on one-off events; the thought of playing with her and her band throughout a tour is something I look forward to. Musically, I expect this tour to be one of the highlights of an already busy looking year." James Yorkston
De Rosa's strengths lie in their ability to fashion unforgettable melodies from unconventional song structures; Martin Henry's contemplative, vivid lyrics - often referencing local areas from his native Lanarkshire – tend to linger in the memory long after the music has faded, which, given the scarcity of genuinely affecting music nowadays, ought to elevate De Rosa to the ranks of Scotland's finest songwriters. Following the critical acclaim heaped on their debut Mend (one of MOJO's Albums of 2006), and the drafting in of an additional member, the band set about perfecting their unique blend of urban, parochial folk and angular, twisted guitar lines, enhanced considerably this time round with layers of keyboards and electronica.
Norway's leading Hardanger fiddler Nils Økland and Scottish harpist Catriona Mackay perform ancient and contemporary interpretations of traditional folk from Norway and the northern reaches of Scotland. Catriona McKay and Nils Økland have established themselves as two of the leading lights of the contemporary folk scene in the UK and Scandinavia. They are vital links between ancient musical traditions and the future; using the language of their heritage to create new sound worlds. There is also a deep historical resonance to this collaboration as the links between Norway and the northernmost edges of Scotland date back many centuries, with Shetland and Orkney under the jurisdiction of Norway until the late 15th Century. The language, people, place names and the music still have roots that reveal Norse influences.
As one of Scotland's most respected ensembles and foremost chamber group, the Hebrides Ensemble present On The Brink: a beautiful and powerful programme of music written in Nazi concentration camps that celebrates the flowering of the human spirit in the most inhumane of circumstances. On The Brink is a programme of music written between 1939 and 1941 that includes work by major composers Gordon Klein and Hans Krasa written when they were both held in the Theresienstadt Camp in Nazi Germany. Hans Krasa was eventually sent off to Auschwitz, from which he never returned. The Second World War also almost ended Bela Bartok's career; he wrote his String quartet No 6 just before fleeing Hungary for the US. PROGRAMME Kaddish: The Jewish Prayer for the Dead Gideon Klein: String Trio Hans Krasa: Passacaglia and Fugue Bela Bartok: String Quartet No. 6