Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

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

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cover image for Gabe McVarish - Eclection

12 tracks: March, Strathspey and Reel * New Jigs and Reels * All The Capers * Mrs Jean Campbell BSc * Uilleann Set * Highland Jigs * Button Box Reels * Waltzes * Tommy Peoples Set * Polkas * Donegal Highlands and Reels * Gordon Duncan Tribute.

Debut solo album from the fiddler, originally from California but influenced by Cape Breton and Irish styles. Gabe plays with Gaelic group Dàimh, and is steeped in the Scottish Gaelic traditions, particularly those of the West Highlands where he currently lives.

Gabe McVarish hails from northern California, where he learned his first traditional tunes on the fiddle. Having twice won the US Junior National Scottish Fiddle Championship by the age of seventeen, he travelled to his ancestral homeland of the Scottish Highlands, where he spent a year studying music under the tutelage of fiddler and tradition bearer Angus Grant Snr.

After a couple of years travelling, busking and playing in Irish and Scottish pubs from Amsterdam to San Francisco, Gabe settled in the Highlands. Having the opportunity to meet and play tunes with the wealth of great musicians in the area, Gabe was soon performing full-time locally and internationally.

He has played and recorded with a rich diversity of bands including Cliar, Croabh Rua, Corner House, The Black Rose Ceilidh Band, Fiddlers Five, Dannsa, Phamie Gow and Ewan Robertson. The formation of Dàimh in 1998 was a milestone - these like-minded Lochaber musicians are now hailed as a ‘Gaelic super-group’, having released four albums, toured extensively and appeared on national TV and radio.

After a three-winter sojourn in Glasgow, Gabe graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a BA in Scottish Music. Subsequent years have seen Gabe greatly expand his skills, working as a session musician in studios from Ardgour to Edinburgh and London’s Maida Vale. His versatility as a tutor has seen him highly sought after, having taught at festivals and higher education establishments including the University of Limerick. He also teaches regularly in Lochaber.

This album is a culmination of fiddle styles and repertoire from every side of the Atlantic and the Irish Sea - Gabe’s love of the traditional music of the Celtic diaspora shines throughout, and the music includes a tribute to the late, great piper Gordon Duncan.

With Ross Martin (guitar), Martin O’Neill (bodhran), Iain MacDonald (flute), Eamonn Doorley (bouzouki), Mac Morin of Cape Breton (piano), Jarlath Henderson (uilleann pipes), Luke Daniels (button accordion) Ewan MacPherson (guitars), John Sommerville (piano accordion), Duncan Lyall (bass) and Angus MacKenzie (whistle, Border pipes).

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