When Barley Reaches Shore

Alastair Savage

When Barley Reaches Shore is Alastair Savage’s fifth solo album. It continues his output of classic Scots fiddle repertoire by Niel Gow and James Scott Skinner included on his previous release Alone Wth History in 2016, whilst at the same time adding the music of William Marshall, another great fiddle composer of the 18th century, to the collection.


Following the purely unaccompanied fiddle sound of his last recording, this album adds to his work with Euan Drysdale on guitar and piano alongside Iain Crawford on double bass, the trio having performed together on Alastair’s earliest 3 albums.


Tracks include Skinner’s beautifully haunting airs Hector The Hero and The Music O’ Spey alongside many of Gow’s famous strathspeys, jigs and reels celebrating the composer’s Perthshire roots such as Highland Whisky, the Marquis Of Tullibardine and Dunkeld Hermitage. Marshall’s Chapel Keithack is one of Scottish fiddle history’s most famous melodies and forms the centre piece of the Marshall tribute.


As well as the music of the great 18th and 19th century fiddle composers, Alastair includes many of his own compositions as well. On this album the Islay Wedding Music Part 1 features melodies commissioned by friends for a wedding on Islay in 2013 and Part 2 includes tunes written by Alastair for his own wedding in 2016 on the same island. His other composition is The Soldier’s Prayer which is a deeply poignant dedication to the British soldiers lost recently in conflicts overseas.


Listen to some excerpts from the album here, or you can order a copy here.

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