Monthly news summary of all the happenings and up and coming events in the Scottish Traditional Music scene.
Stuart Cassells is the fine young piper who took the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall by Storm in 2005 when he won the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2006 Award. The chance to make this much-anticipated CD was part of his prize. Stuart for several years was also frontman of the much-acclaimed folk rock outfit The Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
"Stuart Cassells is making no small contribution to the world of contemporary piping. He is able to combine his traditional piping background with a real talent to entertain - a distinctive characteristic of this album."...Fred Morrison
“I met Stuart in hallowed circumstances. The Queen was trying to get us both drunk at a reception at Buckingham Palace. Now that's a good way to start sleeve notes, none of this "we met in the loo at the Marquee". Anyway he mentioned that he was a Piper, and that he's heard I had an interest in the Pipes too. Would I like to hear his CD" Sure. I'll even write some notes for you.
Well here we are then, CD on the player. Straightaway, I must say that I am one of those people who find the sound of Bagpipes exciting, invigorating and inspiring. So when the CD starts there is an emotion, energy. This recurs time after time with memories of the early Who, believe it or not. The pipes are like the open string Rickenbacker of Pete Townshend. Not much between them. There's also the lovely more traditional ballads where Stuart's pipes and his friends just make it a lovely noise to listen to. It certainly makes me want to pick up my pipes and play... Well done Stuart and long may you reign.” .....Phil Collins
This CD is also available as a download. Click here for an immediate download of "Blown Away" for £4.99 (via PayPal). On payment a link to the download will be automatically sent to your email address.
Stuart Cassells – Highland Bagpipes, Fred Morrison Border Pipes
Ross Kennedy – Guitar, Bouzouki, Vocals
Douglas Millar – Piano, Hammond Organ
Craig Strain – Bass Guitar
Paul Jennings – Drums
Martin O’Neill – Bodhran
Simon Moran – Fiddle
Lorne MacDougall – Low Whistle
Nick Hawryliw – Electric Guitar
Sandy Meldrum – Keyboard
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers:
Willie Armstrong, Steven Graham, Kevin MacDonald, Malcolm McEwan
with Ross French and Lorne MacDougall.
|Title:||this piper's fusion of raunchy technique and showmanship will always be noticed...|
|Source:||Norman Chalmers - Scotland on Sunday|
|Review:||Win the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year and you get to make a record - and this is it for the 2005 winner. But he would have made one anyway - this piper's fusion of raunchy technique and showmanship will always be noticed. There are the sleeve notes by Phil Collins, the soundtrack to the Hogwarts Yule Ball in the Harry Potter film, gigs with the Darkness and T in the Park. The album powers off with heavy rock licks under the whirling-fingered chanter and keeps up a contemporary feel throughout. Not for those who take their malt straight, this is a mixer with a guaranteed high.|
|Title:||rip-roaring energy and virtuosity|
|Review:||PIPER Stuart Cassells was the Young Scots Traditional Musician 2005, and this debut CD release is part of his prize. Here he launches into some unorthodox arrangements with the rip-roaring energy and virtuosity that won him the title, abetted by a driving band and several guests.|
|Title:||Every once in a while, one has the good fortune to stumble on a truly enjoyable album, an album that is a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Blown Away, Stuart Cassells' debut solo album, is just such an album.|
|Source:||Piper & Drummer|
|Review:||Every once in a while, one has the good fortune to stumble on a truly enjoyable album, an album that is a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Blown Away, Stuart Cassells' debut solo album, is just such an album.
This CD has something for everyone. Strathspeys, reels, and jigs form the bulk of the album, but there is also a slow air, a 4/4, and a song (Ross Kennedy singing "The Terror Time") that round things out nicely. Some tracks feature electric guitar and drum accompaniment while others let the softer bouzouki and bodhran work their magic. Whatever mood strikes him, Stuart brings a certain freshness and youthful energy to the table that pervades the whole album and lets his sterling musicality shine.
Three tracks were particularly grabbing. The first is a jig set early in the album featuring two recent compositions, Lorne MacDougall's "Kirsteen's Jig" and Don Bradford's "The Isle of Jura." Lorne's tune is one of those wonderfully lyrical melodies that would be just as much at home on a fiddle or in a session as it is here on the pipes. He contributes some clever tunes to this album and will certainly be a musician to watch in the future.
The seldom-heard 4/4 march, "The Hills of Argyll," was another favourite. The liner notes state that George McIntyre (composer of "Lucy Cassidy") made this tune while in a POW camp during the war. Stuart clearly has fun exploring this tune. He starts with a pipe solo of this beautiful melody, followed by piano and guitar solos and culminating with a mini-band rendition from the Red Hot Chili Pipers, Stuart's band.
The album closes with a moving track called "Just for Gordon," a tribute to Stuart's mentor, Gordon Duncan, to whom Blown Away is dedicated. The track gets underway with two traditional jigs accompanied by bouzouki and bodhran. Then, with funereal synthesizer accompaniment, Stuart suddenly breaks into another Lorne MacDougall composition, "Grey Daylight." Stuart's fingers glide effortlessly over the notes in this tune in a style reminiscent of the man himself. Then suddenly, the requiem is over and we are back in ceilidh mode. The set finishes on a bright note with one of Gordon's most well known tunes, "The High Drive," with a surprise or two thrown in for good measure. A fitting tribute, indeed!
It should come as no surprise that Stuart won the 2005 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year award. His debut solo album continues the well deserved momentum generated by the award. If this is the future of traditional Scottish music, then the future looks very bright....Reviewed by Matt Pantaleoni
Piper & Drummer: http://www.piperanddrummer.com
|Title:||..a piping display that makes you think you can see the sparks crackling round him|
|Source:||Scots Magazine - March 2007|
|Review:||Piper Stuart Cassells can surely lay truthful claim to be Blown Away, as can his audience, in a piping display that makes you think you can see the sparks crackling round him. No less a luminary than Phil Collins (yes that one!) introduces the Cd with enthusiastic sleeve notes as befits a Young Traditional Musician of the Year (Stuart not Phil). Stuart has played with the Vale and Scottish Power and has even done a season by invitation with the 78th Fraser Highlanders – Premier league or what? And just for good measure his band The Red Hot Chilli Pipers guest on one track. But that’s hardly a surprise when you learn that Stuart has played for Harry Potter at the Hogwarts Yule Ball, and on stage with The Darkness at events like T in the Park.Here he offers tunes by himself, Fred Morrison and ‘traditional’ with a lift and sparkle that take them outside the category of ‘just piping’. There is also a very poignant set in memory of Gordon Duncan, played with just the sort of gusto and pizzazz that the much-missed Gordon would have liked.|
|Review:||Terrific album - Terror Time nails it for me, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. And of course the final track Just for Gordon - it just keeps building. Worth the money.|
|Title:||red hot chilli pipers|
|Review:||Just seen these lads on Graham Norton, When will I be famous, I think they where fantastic wonderfull boast for Scotland.|
|Review:||I first seen the guys on 'When Will I be Famous', I think they are amazing and the cd is great. I bought it for my Mum for Mothers Day to surprise her because she thinks the Red Hot Chilli Pipers are amazing, Bravo!|
|1/2||The Paps of Jura|
|1/3||The Snuffmaid’s Welcome to Glasgow|
|1/5||The Salmon and the Clyde|
|1/6||Moran and the Bodhran|
|1/7||The Terror Time|
|1/8||The Hills of Argyll feat. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers|
|1/9||This is how the Ladies Dance|
|1/11||Just for Gordon|
|Deliver to:||United Kingdom|