Ian Carmichael | Ten Years On

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Folk: Celtic Folk Folk: Scottish Traditional Moods: Mood: Fun
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Ten Years On

by Ian Carmichael

An innovative and fresh 5 string banjo album drawing together Scottish , irish and American Traditional Music alongside new compositions. From Pipe tunes to Fiddle tunes and beyond.This album highlights new and creative dimensions on the 5 string
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Eliza
3:45 album only
2. Trampolinees
2:51 album only
3. Pipe Set
3:16 album only
4. Colored Aristocracy
2:41 album only
5. Fiddle Cushion
3:53 album only
6. Bothy
3:34 album only
7. Irish Reels
3:02 album only
8. Hornpipes
2:59 album only
9. Whisky
3:47 album only
10. 6/8 Marches
4:44 album only
11. Scottish Reels
3:34 album only
12. Ten Years On
3:21 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This new album brings together Ian's love of the 5 string banjo and his love of both American and his own traditional music.
From Strathspeys to Reels, Old time fiddle tunes to new compositions Ian's take on all are unique and inspiring.
His techniques bring out the natural flow of the banjo allowing it to fit effortlessly into the range of tunes here.

About Ian
Ian Carmichael’s first love of music came when he first heard the Battlefield Band and the Bothy Band in the 70s and was instantly hooked on the sound of fiddles and pipes. He duly asked to have a fiddle at school, however, was given a French horn! Needless to say after a while that instrument was handed back and a few barren years passed. That probably would have been the end of his musical journey had it not been for the film Bonnie and Clyde and the playing of Earl Scruggs on the sound track.

So the journey began…

Living in the Highlands of Scotland presented problems in finding musicians to impress on him the techniques. Luckily, Inverness did have a music shop that sold a banjo, finger picks, two books and most importantly, records by Earl Scruggs. Other records followed — those of Bill Monroe, Don Reno, Alan Shelton, Bill Keith and many more which were all subsequently worn thin.

His love of this music eventually led to America where he spent a couple of years travelling from festival to festival, meeting and playing with the great bluegrass players from his worn down record collection and generally having a great time indulging in his love of Bluegrass music.

Tugging at his soul however, was his profound love for his own traditional music. On returning to Scotland Ian was present during the vibrant Edinburgh Traditional scene of the early 90s, packed with great musicians and great sessions, allowing him to develop a style of backing for traditional music and gave rise to a short lived, but exciting band featuring Iain Macleod (The House Band, Shooglenifty) on mandolin, Simon Bradley (llan De Cubel) on fiddle, Jazz guitarist and songwriter Sandy Wright and Russel Hunter on piano.

From Edinburgh’s buzzing folk scene, the mid-90s saw Ian move to Ireland, where the same rich musical environment existed and thrived.

Ian has played many festivals both at home and abroad and is well known throughout for his backing of traditional music and playing both Bluegrass and Old time American music.

From Ian’s performing to recording, his album ‘Ten years on’ is a fresh, authentic and vibrant take on the banjo unlike any other.

The new solo album reflects some of the influences on his playing varying from American fiddle tunes, Scottish and Irish traditional tunes to my own compositions. There’s no straight Bluegrass, nor is there any backing banjo, which are both still dear to his heart .It is only now after some years of developing a style of backing traditional music that he has found that the 5-string can be equally at home on the melodies if the natural flow of the instrument is allowed to come through.

Latest Reviews
‘Ten years on’ by Ian Carmichael – “You simply have to hear this music …”
(January 11, 2015)

So there you are living in the Highlands of Scotland and you’re enthralled by the music of Earl Scruggs, not easy to find musicians with a similar dream nor to find somewhere to develop the Ten-Years-On-album-covertechniques. However, a music shop in Inverness selling banjos, finger picks, books and records by Earl Scruggs plus Bill Monroe, Don Reno, Alan Shelton and Bill Keith set the wheels, or more accurately, the strings in motion.
 The result is a unique solo album, ‘Ten years on’, from Ian Carmichael that’s imaginative, creative and distinctive. I’m also willing to be that it’s utterly unlike any other banjo album you’ve heard.
 As Ian points out: “This is a 5-string banjo album. Not a Bluegrass album.” Well, that’s cleared up any confusion.

Forsaking the Highlands for America, Ian invested a couple of years travelling through festivals, meeting and playing with some great bluegrass artists. Even so, a profound and abiding love for Scottish traditional music continued to call and through the Edinburgh traditional scene and the rich environment of Irish music, he developed a style of backing for traditional music and playing both Bluegrass and Old time American music. However: “The 5-string banjo is equally at home on melodies if the natural flow of the instrument is allowed to come through.”

So when you hear a 5-string banjo ripping jigs, reels and hornpipes, and launching into the realms of pipe and fiddle tunes it’s a fair bet Ian Carmichael will be responsible. To be honest, the sheer inventiveness on 'Ten years on' widened my expectations of the banjo. The opening tune ‘Eliza Ross’ combines Scottish and Irish reels, before Ian jumps into the vivacious self-penned ‘Trampolinees’, from there you’re treated to ‘Pipe Set’, which combines three highland pipe tunes. I can almost hear the groans as rabid traditionalists fear their sacred cows being slaughtered! The flood continues with ‘Fiddle Cushion’ incorporating influences from Scotland and America, then on to ‘Irish Reels’ and ‘Hornpipes’, which pretty much tells you what they are, and the majestic ‘6/8 Marches’ – pipe tunes presented like never before.

As it says on the album cover: “... reflects some of the influences on my playing varying from American fiddle tunes, Scottish and Irish traditional tunes to my own compositions. There’s no straight Bluegrass/Old-time, nor is there any backing banjo ...” Joining Ian Carmichael (5-string banjo) on selected tracks across the album are: Tommy Hayes (percussion) Frankie Lane (acoustic guitars, bass guitar, Dobro) Brendan O’Regan (bouzouki, dobro samples, keyboards) Paul O’Driscoll (double bass) Garry O’Brian (guitars) Paul McSherry (guitars) Gary O’Briain (keyboard) and Dermot Byrne (accordions).

I have long championed ‘different over new’ when it comes to original music, ‘Ten years on’delivers both in spades. You simply have to hear this music to appreciate exactly how much this album has to offer. Find Ian Carmichael and ‘Ten years on’ here: www.iancarmichael.net

Reviewer: Tim Carroll



to write a review

Gordon Rwan

Superb trad Celtic 5 string Banjo CD
This is a real find. 5 string banjo played in traditional Scottish/Irish style.
Beautifully rolling banjo style with a great sound and wonderful selection of tunes.
Highly recommended to everyone who likes traditional Celtic music.