Bill Leslie | Scotland: Grace of the Wild

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Scotland: Grace of the Wild

by Bill Leslie

2013 Album of the Year! Voted top award by international radio hosts and Zone Music Reporter. Bill Leslie captures the haunting beauty of Scotland in a highly melodic instrumental compilation of 9 original and 5 traditional tunes.
Genre: New Age: Celtic New Age
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Grace of the Wild
3:13 $1.25
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2. Loch Lomond
3:10 $1.25
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3. Portree
2:50 $1.25
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4. Black Is the Color
2:57 $1.25
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5. Aberdeenshire
2:48 $1.25
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6. Dunnottar
3:46 $1.25
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7. Leaving Lochboisdale
3:52 $1.25
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8. Bridge of Lochay
2:26 $1.25
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9. Skye High
2:34 $1.25
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10. Ye Banks and Braes
2:48 $1.25
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11. Gaelic Soul
3:39 $1.25
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12. Jonathan
3:15 $1.25
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13. Flowers of Edinburgh
2:58 $1.25
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14. Across the Moor
2:38 $1.25
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Bill Leslie is an Emmy and Peabody Award winning journalist and internationally acclaimed musician and composer. His 2013 release "Scotland: Grace of the Wild" earned Album of the Year honors by international radio hosts who are tracked by Zone Music Reporter. The award was presented on May 17, 2014 in New Orleans by Windham Hill Records founder and Grammy Award winner Will Ackerman.

Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma called Leslie “one of the greats in modern Celtic music.” Bill has produced eight CDs including six albums which have hit at or near the top of the world music charts. A Midnight Clear – Christmas in Mitford achieved a number one ranking on the charts in December, 2011 and was named Best Holiday Album by international radio hosts. Leslie’s Simple Beauty album in 2010 also captured a number one spot on the monthly Zone Music charts and was named Best Acoustic Instrumental Album by voting radio hosts worldwide. Blue Ridge Reunion released in 2008 peaked at number one on the world music charts in September and was voted as the Best Acoustic Instrumental Album worldwide by international radio hosts. Bill’s first solo release, Peaceful Journey, also hit number one on the New Age Reporter world music charts in December 2004, while his Christmas in Carolina and I Am a River albums peaked at number two in the international music rankings. Christmas in Carolina album was also named 2005 "Best Holiday Album.” Bill also produced two albums with the Celtic fusion band Bragh Adair. Leslie, who plays guitar, piano and Celtic whistle was named "Best New Artist" worldwide by the NAR in 2005. Bill currently plays with the Raleigh based Celtic/Folk ensemble “Lorica.”
Bill’s orchestral composition Tall Ships was named the official song of the 2006 America Parade of Sail featuring majestic ships from around the world. Bill’s music has been performed by the North Carolina Symphony and the Tar River Philharmonic Orchestra.

Bill is also a popular story teller and author of a book featuring his father’s watercolors of Western North Carolina. His hobbies include running, photography and visiting national parks. He is an elder at Cary Presbyterian Church.

Bill is a graduate of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His roots run deep in Tar Heel soil. Bill’s North Carolina ancestry spans five generations. Bill lives in Cary, N.C. with his wife Cindy, a speech pathologist. Their children are Lauren, an elementary school teacher and Will, a recent graduate of Appalachian State University, who works for a video production company in Charlotte.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
It’s been two years since Bill Leslie released his chart-topping and award-winning "A Midnight Clear - Christmas in Mitford," but I’m very happy to say that Bill is back in top form with "Scotland: Grace of the Wild," a fourteen-track instrumental album inspired by a trip to Scotland that was a college graduation gift to Bill’s son (and percussionist), Will. It was Bill’s third trip to the land of his ancestors, but he found himself seeing the beauty of the countryside through new eyes as he photographed the landscapes in the quiet moments just before and after dawn. In addition to being named “one of the greats in modern Celtic music” by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Bill Leslie is a veteran television news journalist for CBS affiliate WRAL in Raleigh, NC, who has won more than 80 major news awards including five Emmys and two Peabody Awards. "Scotland: Grace of the Wild" includes nine original compositions and five traditional Scottish pieces arranged for piano by Bill Covington. In addition to Leslie’s guitar, Celtic whistles and keyboards, Covington is featured on piano and accordion, Jennifer Curtis on violin, Nancy Green and David Oh on cello, Will Leslie on percussion, and Melanie Wilsden on oboe. I always love when a new Bill Leslie’s CD arrives for review because it’s always such a treat for the soul as well as the ears.

"Scotland: Grace of the Wild" begins with the title track, a wistful piece that evokes visions of misty moors and rocky hillsides - perfect for a soundtrack! “Loch Lomond” is one of the traditional songs, and Bill Covington’s piano is especially elegant in this piece. “Portree” is a gentle beauty that features Leslie on guitars, whistles, and keyboards as well as Covington on piano and accordion, and the wonderfully expressive violin of Jennifer Curtis. “Black Is the Color” starts with a gorgeous piano arrangement of this traditional song, gradually adding violin, cello, and whistles - a favorite. I also love “Dunnottar,” a somewhat darker and more haunting piece that features Leslie on guitars, whistles, and keyboards. “Bridge of Lochay” is as peaceful as fog silently moving along the coast - sigh! Violin, guitar, whistles, and oboe take “Skye High” soaring into the gentle mists. “Gaelic Soul” is another standout with Leslie performing on guitar, whistles, bass and organ (I’d like to see that live!) joined by Curtis on violin and Green on cello. Delicate yet spirited, and another favorite. “Flowers of Edinburgh” is a sweet and jaunty country dance (traditional) that conjures up images of long-stemmed flowers waving gracefully in the breeze. The closing track, “Across the Moor,” is a whistle solo (with some atmospheric sounds in the background) that is cool, rather lonely, and very poignant - a lovely ending to another great album from Bill Leslie!

"Scotland: Grace of the Wild" is certain to place Bill Leslie in the front lines of the world music/Celtic/instrumental music awards again this year and I’ll be cheering him on! Very highly recommended!
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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Whenever I see Bill Leslie's name on the sender's address label, I know I'm in for a musical treat.

His latest release, deservedly nominated for Album of the Year, Best World Album, and Best Contemporary Album by Zone Music Reporter, confirms to me that he is simply one of the best acoustic guitarists in the business.

Inspired by a recent family vacation to Leslie's ancestral home of Scotland, the album features a rich mix of original and traditional songs, all brought to vibrant life by Leslie's guitars, whistles, and keyboards, as well as piano, accordion, oboe, flute, cello, violin, and percussion by a host of exceptional musicians. On many of the tracks, the other instruments are as prominent as the guitar, proving Leslie to be a generous and supportive bandleader.

The sound quality is so crisp and clear that you can hear every nuance of Leslie's picking and strumming. This further enhances the inherent beauty and serenity of Leslie's compositions and covers, which blend American country and folk with Celtic influences for a hearty, wholesome fusion that is deeply satisfying.

As both an acoustic guitarist and a composer/arranger, Leslie has a measured, confident fluidity that is neither frenzied nor vapid, making him a welcome breath of fresh air among his contemporaries.

You can't go wrong with Bill Leslie.
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