Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

1986-2022: Celebrating Scotland's Music for 36 years

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cover image for Gary West - The Islay Ball

12 tracks: Fleshmarket Close / The Yellow Haired Tinker / The Mas * Dixon’s Highland Laddie / Rangers’ Frolic * Chi Mi’n Geamhradh * Willie Angus Macdonald Of Melness / Cleveland Height * Wendy’s Favourite / The Half-Coupit Yowe / The Coupit * The Plummeting Piper / Douglasfield / The Streaker * Kilworth Hills * Scarce O’ Tatties / The Gold Ring * A Camilo Jorge * Saligo Bay / Cabar Feidh / The Islay Ball / Broadford Ba * The Hag At The Churn / The Lark In The Morning * Last Waltz At The Islay Ball.

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Gary West - The Islay Ball

From Pitlochry in Perthshire, Gary West learned his piping with the much-acclaimed Vale Of Atholl Pipe Band, with whom he played for eighteen years, winning both the Scottish and European Championships.

In the late 1980s, Gary began to play a prominent role in the folk music scene, joining Ceolbeg in 1988, and was a founder member of the Scottish ‘supergroup’ Clan Alba in 1991, playing alongside such luminaries as Dick Gaughan and Brian McNeill.

On this, his first solo album, Gary plays the Highland bagpipe, Scottish smallpipes and various whistles, and is accompanied by such talents as Wendy Stewart (harps), Kath Campbell (piano, cello), Colin Campbell (fiddle), David Milligan (piano), Carlos Arredondo (vocals, guitar) and Tony McManus (bouzouki and guitar). One track features the ceilidh band Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut (Gary, Colin Matheson, Marcos Watt and Stan Wilson).

Gary’s playing of both the Highland pipes and Scottish smallpipes has received much critical acclaim. He is also a very fine composer and his compositions have been admired. The tunes here are a mixture of Gary’s own compositions, that of other composers and several traditional items. Tony McManus produced the album.

Gary has played in major festivals throughout Europe and North America, including Celtic Connections (Scotland), Lorient (France) and Tonder (Denmark). His performances have been heard in some of the finest venues in Europe, such as the Old Opera House in Frankfurt and the Albert Hall in London.

Gary’s great talent is fully recognised by other musicians, and he has been invited to session on albums by such international artists as Connie Dover, Talitha Mackenzie, Kathy Matthea, Andy M Stewart, Wolfstone and more.

“Strong dramatic piping…”
(The Scotsman)

“Gary brings a fire and a freshness… Gary’s lament for two brothers, Drumchorrie is an instant classic, achingly poignant, yet full of dignity…”
(The Living Tradition)

“The cutting edge of Gary’s forceful piping…”
(The Guardian)

“Gary West mixes fluency with firepower - exhilarating stuff…”
(The Scotsman)

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