Folk duo Alasdair Roberts & Mairi Morrison, release an album, Urstan, on Drag City on March 24th.
The two met at Ceol’s Craic, a Glasgow-based club devoted to promoting Gaelic arts in the city, which sees lowlanders like Roberts and exiled islanders, like Lewis native Morrison, meet.
“Urstan” is a Lewis-specific word for a celebration held at the birth of a new child – specifically, a dram of whisky. The album consists mainly of traditional Gaelic songs, with a few Scots tunes and self-penned arrangements. The duo have gathered together the likes of Stevie Jones (bass), Alastair Caplin (fiddle) and Alex Neilson (drums) as their backing band, with guest appearances from Michael John McCarthy (Zoey Van Goey), David McGuinness (Concerto Caledonia), Ross MacRae and Richard Merchant (Second Hand Marching Band), Peter Nicholson (The One Ensemble), Mike Hastings (Trembling Bells) and Gaelic song and piobaireachd authority Allan MacDonald.