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MP3 Eilean Mor - 35 Degrees South

Hypnotic and thrilling traditional and original songs and fiddle tunes from the Scottish Gaelic tradition, uprooted to Australia during the highland clearences.

12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk, WORLD: Celtic

EILEAN MOR is a Celtic World Music group, based in Australia, offering a haunting and thrilling mix of original and traditional songs and tunes. The band is singer/songwriter Ruth Lee Martin, guitarist Bill Grose, Jon Jones on percussion, Bill Williams double bass and Chris Stone fiddle. The band''s musical focus is on original songs from the pen of singer Ruth Lee Martin and traditional songs and tunes from the Scots Gaelic tradition - interpreted with roots, jazz, world, and hypnotic-minimalist musical leanings. Mouth music (puirt-a-beul), waulking songs, rowing songs, laments and hot fiddle tunes are all part of the repertoire. Also in the repertoire are rare songs written in the Gaelic language in Australia during the 19th century by exiles forced to leave their homes during the highland clearances. Drawing on the Scottish Gaelic tradition the band has its own unique Australian flavour.

Australian band ''Eilean Mor'' has just completed a
successful tour of the Scottish Highlands and Islands
culminating in performances at the Isle of Skye
Festival, Feis an Eilean. Highlights of the tour included interviews and airplay
of their debut CD ''35 Degrees South'' on BBC Radio
Scotland and BBC Radio Nan Gaidheal, with sell-out concerts in the
Scottish highlands, on the Isles of Islay and Skye, and in Edinburgh - a total of
12 concerts in all. The audience and media response
has been overwhelming particularly to the band bringing the
Australian-Gaelic songs written in Australia in the
1800s back to Scotland. A special highlight of the tour was a
concert at the Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye - Sabhal Mor Ostaig -
with internationally renowned traditional singer
Christine Primrose - who met Eilean Mor in Australia in
November 2005. This concert at the Ske Festival was a great success and
consisted of Gaelic songs and duets, original
material by Ruth Lee Martin, and sultry fiddle tunes from the bow of fiddler Chris Stone. Christine enjoys
collaborating with Eilean Mor, whose musicianship
and feel for this music has received wide acclaim in Scotland. Eilean Mor has been
invited back to Scotland again next year and plans are
already underway for a 2007 tour.

Well-known traditional Scottish singer Sheena
Wellington had this to say in her review of the
Ullapool concert in the north of Scotland:
"Heard an Australian band called Eilean Mor at the
Ceilidh Place. An eclectic mix of jazz bass, lyrical
guitar, fiddle that has a touch of Klezmer and a fair
bit of Grappelli and a fine singer who brings a bluesy
edge to Gaelic and Scots song and her own self penned
numbers. I had no idea there was so much of a Gaelic
tradition in Oz though I suppose common sense should
have told me that it had its fair share of cleared
Gaels. Highlights for me were a beautiful Australian
Gaelic elegy written by a 19th century immigrant and a
jazzy version of Charlie is My Darling. Don''t know the
exact dates of their gigs but look out for this very
entertaining and informative crew."

"Can''t believe that this bunch of Aussies have such a
great Highland sound. Eilean Mòr will always be
welcome on Eilean an Cheò (Skye)". Andy Mitchell,
Cullin FM, Skye, Scotland.

RUTH LEE MARTIN is a Scottish born Australian singer/songwriter of original and traditional songs and tunes with roots in the Scottish tradition. Ruth has a passion for all things Gaelic and sings songs of the Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland in Scots Gaelic. Energetic mouth music and waulking songs mix with slow, lyrical love songs and songs of longing. Her songs and tunes have a strong contemporary flavour reflecting her diverse musical influences, while still retaining a sense of the Scottish tradition.

BILL GROSE has been backing Irish and Scottish singers and tune-players in Australia on guitar for many years. His first release in this field was 1994’s ‘Fiddling Around’ with Australian-Scottish fiddler Catherine Fraser. After ten years in Darwin absorbing tropical music in Australia’s steamy north, playing with Papua New Guinea-fusion band ''Drum Drum'' and collaborating with Balinese musicians, Bill moved to Canberra, returning to the mainstream of Celtic music in Australia.

JON JONES is a successful touring and recording artist. He has recorded and toured in the USA, Canada and Europe with Eric Bogle. Festivals at which he has performed include the World Music Percussion Festival, the Port Fairy Folk Festival, and the Maleny Folk Festival, to name a few. His passion for traditional pipe-band music brought him to Scotland with the Queensland Irish Pipe Band and he has played supports for Bo Diddley, Red Gum and Goanna.

CHRIS STONE is one of Australia’s most promising young fiddlers, with roots in the Scottish fiddle tradition. He is currently studying violin at the Australian National University School of Music. His musical interests are wide-ranging, including classical, jazz and folk. Chris has an enduring passion for music based in the Scottish tradition and has attended Scottish violin masterclasses in the USA during 2001-2. In 1997, Chris was awarded the Chris Whent Youth Award for excellence in traditional music. He has toured with internationally recognised traditional musicians of his generation, including Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese and Catherine Fraser. Chris performs with the ANU Symphony Orchestra and the ANU Chamber Orchestra.

BILL WILLIAMS is a young jazz bass student studying upright bass with Eric Ajaye at the Australian National University. Bill is a diverse performer who is in great demand in a wide variety of musical contexts, including jazz, blues and folk groups. He has performed in many bands across many musical styles including folk, jazz, rockabilly, blues and avant-garde. He has performed in many parts of Australia including Southern Queensland, Northern NSW, NSW South Coast, and Victoria. He plays several gigs weekly across the ACT/Southern NSW region and has performed at the National Folk Festival, the Sydney Opera House, the Australian Blues Festival, the National Press Club and the National Celtic Festival.

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