When she was 13 years old Siobhan (from Penicuik, near Edinburgh) made her singing debut at the Auchtermuchty Festival. She won both the children’s and women’s competitions. Siobhan Miller never arrives anywhere quietly.
Before graduating from the RSAMD with a 1st Class Honours BA, she won the 2008 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in a duo with Orcadian musician Jeana Leslie. The pair claimed more shiny statues the following year.
Recently Siobhan’s soulful and stirring renewal of traditional song has seen her voted Scots Singer of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards, not once but twice.
After two albums in partnership with Jeana (2008’s In A Bleeze and 2010’s Shadows Tall) Siobhan joined Salt House, a group with the finely matched abilities of Lauren MacColl, Ewan MacPherson and Euan Burton. Their album Lay Your Dark Low was released in 2014 (The Guardian called it “seamless”.)
But those who’ve witnessed Siobhan Miller stilling and silencing everywhere from a sold-out Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to the bar session afterwards have waited impatiently to hear that voice take centre stage on a solo album.
Flight Of Time is that album. And it takes Siobhan’s talents far beyond anything we might’ve anticipated.
Made over a period of two years, in collaboration with reputed singer-songwriter James Grant, Flight Of Time may seem far from the trad ballads Siobhan is famed for. But these 10 contemporary songs are, for her, as compelling as any ancient tale.
“I’m not turning my back on traditional music,” she explains. “For me, folk songs have the same purpose as the songs I’ve recorded on this album. It’s the storytelling element of both that I love. What that song means to you is what matters.”
Although not a consciously chosen theme, each song explores the passing of time. If I Had Known was inspired by Siobhan’s late grandmother and the importance of appreciating those we love. Drowning Out The Sorrows studies our wish to be blind to life’s difficulties. While No Butterflies reflects ideas Siobhan found in poems and artwork made by children held in the Terezin Concentration Camp.
Alongside her own compositions are several found in James Grant’s personal song stash (including Breaking The Law originally written for and about Johnny Cash), a musical setting of the Edwin Muir poem Scotland’s Winter, and two songs written by Miller family friends: Dave Goulder’s The January Man and the much-missed Davy Steele’s Long Hellos And Short Goodbyes. Siobhan’s tender performance of the latter at the 2010 Celtic Connections Scottish Songbook show was the spark that began this album.
Accompanying Siobhan are producer James Grant on guitars and vocals, Ewen Vernal on double bass, James Mackintosh on percussion, the ubiquitous Donald Shaw on piano, Rhodes & harmonium, Emily Smith and Kirsteen Miller on backing vocals, and her Salt House bandmates on viola, guitars and bass. Highlighting the scope and ambition of this album, three songs feature the cinematic sweep of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra with spectacular arrangements by Pete Whitfield.
But at the heart of it all is the remarkable voice of Siobhan Miller.
Will McCarthy Music Promotions
email@example.com / 07803 054522
“One of the first acts to reposition Scotland’s musical heritage in the context of the world music boom” (Sunday Herald)
At the heart of it all – even three groundbreaking decades after Capercaillie first performed as teenagers in their native Scottish Highlands; even as they continue the worldwide musical journey that’s taken them from the Brazilian rainforest to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, not to mention into the pop charts – lies the ancient Gaelic culture that originally inspired them.
At The Heart Of It All (Released August 12th 2013) , the band’s brand-new 30th anniversary album, revisits and reinvigorates songs sourced from the rich vein of centuries old Hebridean folksongs ,enriched by compelling contemporary arrangements, together with an array of special guests representing the cream of today’s flourishing Scottish music scene.
As Scottish music triumphantly comes of age in the 21st century, Capercaillie (Karen Matheson (vocal), Donald Shaw (Keys ), Charlie McKerron (fiddle ), Manus Lunny (guitar) , Ewen Vernal (Bass) , Michael McGoldrick (flute/pipes) are the band who’ve grown up with it and are now widely credited with a seminal role in that wider transformation.Further consolidating their stature among Celtic music’s international premier league, Capercaillie’s reputation as a thrilling live act has also only grown with the years, with At The Heart Of It All’s release marking a welcome return to the road.
Album guests include vocalists Julie Fowlis, Kathleen MacInnes, Darren MacLean, Sineag MacIntyre and Kris Drever (Lau ). Also, Irish banjo legend Gerry O’Connor, firebrand uilleann piper Jarlath Henderson,Argyllshire fiddler Aidan O’Rourke (also from Lau), Percussionist James Mackintosh and top jazz saxophonist Tommy Smith.
After their triumphant sell out shows at Scotland’s Celtic Connections and The SECC in Glasgow and a handful of shows throughout the UK Love & Money now felt the time was right to revisit a forgotten element of their past.
The Mother’s Boy was an ambitious double album which for various reasons was abandoned, with some of the songs surfacing on the classic Dogs In The Traffic.
The band have re-recorded some of these songs, which, allied to some completely new songs has resulted in their first album for 20 years..THE DEVIL’S DEBT.
Put simply; this is classic Love & Money.
Featuring the elements which they became renowned for;
Pristine production; learned from the masters the band worked with – Tom Dowd and Gary Katz..soaring vocals, guitars and strings and the impeccable lyricism of writer James Grant.
Both statuesque and guilefully catchy, this is the essence of Love And Money..2012
Available for general release on CD from 1st October 2012.
Vertical artists Karen Matheson and Capercaillie are out playing gigs in the UK over the next few months. Check out the gig feed for more information.
Welcome to the new website of Vertical Records – home of artists such as Capercaillie, Karen Matheson, James Grant, Roddy Hart and more. Check in with us for news updates, gig info, album releases and more. Parts of the website are still in development, and more content will be added over the coming months!
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