Kenneth I MacKenzie album released

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Piper, multi-instrumentalist and composer Kenneth I MacKenzie released Glendrian, his Scottish traditional music album yesterday, February 11, 2022.

The album’s title track is played on Highland pipes and takes its name from a depopulated settlement in Ardnamurchan – a peninsula in Lochaber and area with family connections for Kenny.

Elsewhere, slow low whistle tunes pay tribute to some of the names and faces of the Highlands and Islands, including Lexie a’chook, named after Lexie McNiven, daughter of ‘Norman the cook’ from Isle of Berneray on North Uist, and Marie MacKenzie’s Welcome to Caberfeidh, which was composed by Kenny for his wife Marie after her first visit to his family house in Sanna.

The vast majority of tunes on Glendrian were composed by Kenny, and the album boasts a stellar bill of Scottish folk talent, with Kenny’s whistle, Highland pipes, digital chanter and harmonica and Will Marshall’s piano and accordion accompanied by Marie Fielding on fiddle, Tom Oakes on guitar and flute and Rory Grindlay on drums.

Kenneth I MacKenzie in the studio

The album also features a specially composed tune for the legendary Gaelic singer and TV personality Alasdair Gillies MBE, penned by Kenny after Alasdair received his MBE in 2018. The tune has become popular with pipers, pipe bands and other trad session players in recent years. Recorded here for the first time, it features harmonica maestro Donald Black, Kenny on digital chanter and the man himself on guest vocals urging listeners to ‘take the floor’.

With his musical roots in pipe bands, Kenny has been involved in Scottish traditional music since the age of 14. He has graced stages including The Barrowland Ballroom, supporting The Waterboys, and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, where he played Irish composer Shaun Davy’s masterpiece The Pilgrim with the City of Glasgow Pipes and Drums and the Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Iain Sutherland.

Kenny MacKenzie said: “I’ve spent the last few years composing the tunes featured on this album. To my delight, many of them seemed to resonate with trad music fans and fellow musicians online over lockdown and it spurred me on to record this collection of material – my first album in almost 20 years.

Glendrian is available from www.caberfeidhmusic.co.uk.

Track listing

  1. Slow Air (Lexie “a’chook”)
  2. 2/4 Marches (Alastair T Fisher’s Farewell to Ardnamurchan / John and Maureen MacKenzie of Port Charlotte)
  3. Waltzes (Rhona’s Waltz / The Kings’ Waltz)
  4. Jigs (Kenny’s Ceilidh / Karen’s Jig / No Signal at Sanna / The Sanna Barber / Cion a’ Bhuntata (Scarce o’ Tatties)
  5. 6/8 Marches (Norman McNiven’s March / Jean and Ian MacKenzie
  6. Air (Sunset on Sunart)
  7. Hornpipes (Graham Milne of Hillhead / Alexandra’s Dance / Dr M J Leonard’s Farewell to Kilmarnock Road / Dr Lesley F Milne / Moira MacDiarmid of Ormsaigbeg)
  8. Slow Air (Marie MacKenzie’s Welcome to Caberfeidh)
  9. Reels (Granny Bheag’s Pancakes / Rona MacKillop’s Reel / The Road to Cheesebay / Heather Mullet’s Wee Reel / Katie Milne’s Graduation / Welcome Rosie Morton / Dougie’s Dunny / Agony in Arbroath)
  10. Waltz (Philip Santus’s Trip to Tob)
  11. Lament (Glendrian)
  12. 4/4 March (Alasdair Gillies MBE)