13 tracks: Dance Called America * Strangers To The Pine * The Cutter * Chi Min Tir * Heart of America * An Eala Bhan * The Garden Boy * Weaver of Grass * Chi Mi’n Geamradh * Queen of The Hill * Mo Cruinneag Bhoidheach * Where The Roses * * Fields of The Young.
A live album recorded by Donnie Munro at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival in January of 2008.
Featuring The Donnie Munro Band with Sandy Brechin (accordion), Foss Paterson (string arrangements), Fraser Fifield (soprano saxophone), Allan Henderson (fiddle), The Glasgow Islay Choir and The RSAMD String Quintet.
Donnie’s previous studio album Heart of America was STMA Album Of The Year 2006. An Turas (The Journey) is a theme that Donnie, formerly singer and frontman with Scottish rock band Runrig and now solo artist, had been exploring for some time. The sense of people and of place, of the permanence of the landscape, set against the changes in the lives of the people, the language and the culture, the history, the transience of movement, migration and displacement, the ties of family, the strength of culture, the iconic symbol of sea and of great journeys - all powerful informing themes that are encapsulated in this compelling live performance.
The song Heart of America was the catalyst for the idea of the show, as it mirrored many songs and ideas that had impressed themselves upon Donnie over the years. The song emerged from a journey in 2004 across the northern states of the US, a country which, perhaps more than any other in modern times, reveals the watermarks of wave after wave of emigration to its shores.
Of particular influence was a visit to Ellis Island, New York, that most poignant of places where the imprint of the millions of emigrant peoples still hangs icily in the austere brick-lined corridors of this ‘monument’ to displacement and hope. Amidst the atmosphere of that place, with its fading signatures and scrawled messages of hope and hopelessness, of triumph and tragedy, Munro found the personal embarkation point for the journey in songs and ideas that became An Turas. An Turas is a celebration of that courage and tenacity shared by successive generations from all world communities who found themselves displaced by events usually out-with their control. The concept is particularly apposite as it heralds the arrival of 2009 Scottish Year Of Homecoming, which welcomes the return of the Scottish diaspora and recognises and celebrates the enormous contribution that they have made to worldwide developments.
‘This is a project I have long wanted to undertake and I am delighted to have been able to pull together so many great players for this special performance.’ (Donnie Munro)
‘Sheer brilliance, faultless sound, and outstanding musicianship’ (Catriona Tawse)
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