11 tracks: The Back o’ the North Wind * Strong Women Rule Us All With Their Tears * Muir And The Master Builder * Steel Man * The Rock and the Tide * Destitution Road * The Atlantic Reels * The Best o’ the Barley * Ewen and the Gold * Drive the Golden Spike / Lang Johnny Moir * The Bridal Boat.
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“This is Brian McNeill’s ground-breaking first solo album for Greentrax of 1991, after leaving The Battlefield Band. The theme is based on the persistence of Scotland’s people to migrate to all parts of the globe and looks in this instance at the lives of Scots in North America, past and present. Brian recorded the album at Peter Haig’s Pier House Studios and enlisted the aid of such stalwarts as Dick Gaughan, Neil Hay, Gary Coupland, Mike Travis, Dougie Pincock and the late Iain MacKintosh. The album received glowing reviews and has sold well, continuing to be a popular buy. This was helped greatly by Brian creating a Back O’ The North Wind stage presentation which he toured widely, including the USA. An early but standout Greentrax release.”
(Managing Director Ian Green’s Pick Of The Month album, April 2022)
Brian McNeill, a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, author and more, was the founder member of Battlefield Band.
When he left to go solo, he came straight to Greentrax and asked if he could record this album. His request was accepted with open arms and he was given a free hand to enter Pier House Studios and set to work.
The result was this quite remarkable album, tales of Scots in America, which Brian toured as a show with a visual display. It is considered by many as a real masterpiece and captures the movement of Scotland’s people ‘on the back of the North wind’ to North America.
Brian, who played a mass of instruments as usual, was accompanied by Neil Hay (bass), Dick Gaughan (backing vocals, guitars), Iain MacKintosh (backing vocals), Gary Coupland (backing vocals, keyboards, accordion, trombone), Mike Travis (drums, percussion) and Dougie Pincock (Highland bagpipe, whistles, soprano sax).
“Puts him in an unrivalled position at the top of the league…”