Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

1986-2021: Celebrating Scotland's Music for 35 Years

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cover image for Shoormal - Migrant

12 tracks: Angel Whispers * Walking in the Mist * Bohus * Gaslight * Last of the Light * Dreamer’s Dance * Too Late * Laeverik * Migrant * Eden * Pilgrim * Between Weathers

Contemporary folk music from Shetland. The members of Shoormal - Shetland dialect for ‘where the shore meets the sea’ - are all native to Shetland and first emerged as a band at the Shetland Folk Festival in 1998.

Freda Leask, Joyce McDill and Donna Smith joined forces in 1997 to create a three-part harmony sound that has become a Shoormal trademark. Accompanied initially by Trevor Smith, an outstanding and creative guitarist, and Gregg Arthur, a versatile, skilful piano and accordion player, these five musicians maintained a fairly low profile while quietly honing their skills.

Later May Gair, well-known in Shetland traditional circles for her double bass accompaniment, joined Shoormal. Accompanying a vocal group was breaking new ground for May and her interest in jazz added a special dimension to the group.

Christopher Anderson is known for his drumming with several local bands and in particular Shetland’s folk/rock group Bongshang. His percussive style seems to captivate Shoormal’s melodies and lyrics. More recently the band added Gordon Tulloch, another very talented guitarist, further strengthening the instrumental section.

With this mix of musicians, Shoormal’s music developed to blend traditional and contemporary styles in an acoustic manner with songwriting an integral part of their work - Joyce McDill and Freda Leask are the principal songwriters of the team.

The band’s debut album Indigo Skies attracted wide interest, being nominated for the Best Newcomer category at the BBC Radio Folk on Two Awards in February 2001.

‘Shetland’s best-kept secret…’

‘Richly melodic, polished folk-pop… A mightily impressive calling card’

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