Monday, June 18, 2012

from Scotland: Alistair Ogilvy: Leaves Sae Green

Alistair Ogilvy knows how to seek out a good story, and how to tell one well through word and music, too. Missing a loved one, unrequited love, travels and journeys in search of love, alongside darker themes ranging from deceit to murder turn up in the music he chooses for his debut album Leaves Sae Green.

That title comes from a phrase in a traditional song, of which there are a good few among the eleven tracks. These are songs from the well of Scottish tradition -- Ogilvy was born in Strathblane near the Campsie Hills and is based now in Glasgow. If you’re alistair ogilvy scotlandfamiliar with Irish or North American folk tradition, though, you’ll meet characters and hear turns of phrase in these songs which have traveled back and forth across waters and communities.

Notable tracks

Bonnie Ship the Diamond is a lively tale of Greenland whale fishers and their homecomings, while Wars o’ Germanie treats of partings and leaving loved ones behind

So does, in a different way, Girl from the North Country. Ogilvy does his own bit of helping song to travel, with this on, as it was written by Bob Dylan. In Ogilvy’s hands it stands naturally among songs from the tradition.

As tradition goes, it also seems natural to include a Robert Burns piece, and Ogilvy has a good time combing two of them, in Crowdie/Wantonness.

Earl Richard is a complex story of murder, with Ogilvy well handling the thread of the story.

The Kirkwall Light is is a quiet piece born of the winter time in that northern place in Orkney, and is a song which Ogilvy wrote himself.

Leaves Sae Green proves a strong debut from a gifted musician and story teller. If the buzz around the film Disney/Pixar film Brave has you thinking about Scotland, Leaves Sae Green could prove a fine entry point to Scotland’s music.

Here, Ogilvy sings a version of Loch Lomond that might be a bit different than the ones you've often heard

You may also wish to see
from Scotland: Emily Smith: Traiveller's Joy
tuning up for Burns Night: Jim Malcolm
from Scotland: The Boy and the Bunnet

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