Nuala Kennedy‘s third solo record came out last month, titled Noble Stranger (Compass Records). With a deep background in traditional Irish and Scottish music, and a youthful sense of adventure and fun, she has produced a wonderful mashup of old and new on her latest release. Her playful flute and crisp vocals tumble out of the moors like a cold Scottish burn that escapes the loch and rushes to the sea. Old songs find new life as they soar above a bedrock of mandolins, guitars, vintage keys, and ethnic percussion. Noble Stranger knocks at the door of an ancient stone bothy and enters therein on a 21st century groove.
The album was recorded over the course of a week in the hills near Biggar, a little town nestled between Edinburgh and Glasgow by Kennedy, her percussionist Donald Hay, 10-string mandolinist Iain Macleod, guitarist Mike Bryan and guest vocalist AJ Roach. “The tracks were laid down live, all together, with generally sparse overdubs,” says Kennedy on the Compass press release. “The whole album is a real reflection of our live sound.”
Have a listen to these two bonus tracks, and enjoy!
LISTEN: Matt Hyland