posted March 6th, 2012

Urstan! This toast celebrating the birth of a new child is specific to the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, which makes it a fitting title as well for the new album of Gaelic songs both new and old from Mairi Morrison & Alasdair Roberts. It's set for release on March 27th, at which point we intend to paint the world Gaelic! This is a new-old tongue for most people - so far removed from today that it seems ancient. Which it is - but Gaelic is alive, and Urstan is about the birth of new old sounds - an album comprised of mostly traditional Gaelic jams, some songs that might never have left Mairi Morrison's home-island of Lewis until these readings! With Alasdair Roberts aboard the good ship Urstan, we've got some trad Scottish tunes and a coupla 'riginals to marry the present to the past (for the future's sake!). And that's what this is all about, celebrating the rich Gaelic traditions once called by folk historian Alan Lomax, "the finest flower of Western Europe." It's 2012 - time to get that sucker bloomin' again! Mairi's Gaelic singing background melds formidably with our beloved Scottish bard, and in turn, Alasdair supports and projects the sound of the Gaels with great sympathy. Plus, with an all-star cast of Glaswegians forming the band, it's a ripper of a session that'll blow the mist off your dream of Scottish Isles - the sound of Urstan is a youthful dash through fields of tradition, ringing with contemporary rhythms (but no goddam loops, sorry). Urstan is played in the modern ensemble style, the way contempo-country would sound to American ears if it hadn't left it's bride for the raunchy legs of classic rock sometime in the last couple decades. Mairi and Alasdair will bring their Gaelic sounds and visions to venues later this year, but first Alasdair has some solo scores to settle, beginning in the UK and followed by a long trundle through Spain. Slaan aval, Alasdair! And as for you - lend your ear to a preview track from Urstan, you healthy wench! Or wretch! Whomever you may be, Urstan has a new story or two to tell to you.

3/6/12 Stereo Glasgow United Kingdom
3/8/12 Howard Assembly Room Leeds United Kingdom
3/24/12 Cafè del Teatre Lleida Spain Músiques Disperses Festival
3/26/12 Universidad de Cádiz Algeciras Spain
3/27/12 Universidad de Huelva Huelva Spain
3/28/12 Taberna Alabanda Madrid Spain
3/30/12 Centro Joaquín Roncal Zaragoza Spain Música Subterránea Festival
3/31/12 CAT de Gràcia Barcelona Spain Minifestival de Música Independent de Barcelona
4/1/12 Sanagustin Kulturgunea Azpeitia Spain
4/2/12 Sons Cicle Castellón Spain
4/9/12 TBC Isle of Jura United Kingdom

Artists in this story: Alasdair Roberts, Mairi Morrison & Alasdair Roberts