Friday, 1 July 2022

On Ladhope Brig

 


Big shout out to everyone in my home town of Galashiels.
 
It's the week of the Braw lads (and Lassies!) Gathering, the first in three years because of the pandemic.
Events involving the whole community have been taking place all week. These culminate in the 'Gala Day' on Saturday (Juy 2nd) when an elected Braw Lad and Lass mount trusty steeds and lead a cavalcade of riders and horses around the streets, dales and hillsides of this proud, Scottish Borders town.
 
The Braw Lads Gathering has been held annually since 1930 and is a celebration of the town's history and traditions going way back to medieval times.
My late father Kenny McRae was a braw lad in the 1950's. He was elected to carry the Burgh flag 'worthily' and to return it 'unsullied and untarnished' when his ceremonial duties were fulfilled. 
His 2022 successors Braw Lad James Turnbull and Braw Lass Abbie Hood will be doing the same.
 
The song shared here, 'On Ladhope Brig' is a poem written by my Dad lamenting the demise of the UK textile industry, once the life blood and main source of employment in Gala, and many other towns besides. It ends on a positive note though, for, as he often told us growing up, 'the future is bright and full of possibilities'. Music is by myself.

'On Ladhope Brig' features on one of two new albums by myself scheduled for release this year. Meantime here's hoping the 2022 Braw Lads Gathering is one of the most successful yet. Safe oot and safe in. Hip hip!

Monday, 7 February 2022

New Facebook 'Music' Page for Jimi.

Jimi has just launched a new Facebook 'music' page.

The aim is to help fans and first-time visitors connect with Jimi and his various projects.

2022 is set to be a very busy year for Jimi with two, possibly even three, new music albums in the pipeline for release.

Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/Jimi-McRae-106194428653845

''As some will know my original 'artist' page disappeared quite abruptly late last year'' said Jimi.

"Tis a longish story but in essence I was on holiday with Carole in Tenerife and tried to log on, at which point 'Facebook' started behaving strangely before totally weirding out, eventually refusing me access. Apparently they thought I was a hacker or something, up to no good!''

According to Jimi matters went from bad to worse and "after a day or two of shouting down the bottomless well that is FB public relations ('hello, is there a human in there to talk to somewhere?') I just gave up and deactivated the page. 
 
''However, with a lot happening musically this year and having received some nice messages asking what happened to my 'artist' page, I have decided to reinstate it.
 
''Unfortunately all my old posts were lost when I closed it down. Not all is lost though as I still have the original pics so will upload a good few of them along with accompanying stories over the next wee while. 
 
Jimi says the new page is open to everyone on Facebook.
 
''Please feel free to join me on pictorial journeys across Highland mountain tops, Lowland dells and fells, city streets, gorgeous beaches, Border hills, misty isles and stunning sunsets. The best of Scotland really, with visits to wonderful parts of Wales, England and Ireland too. Oh aye, not forgetting music videos from current projects and some from a year or two back.''
 
 
Please feel free to check in anytime for a chat and a look around.

Slainte!

Saturday, 5 February 2022

New song and vid kicks off a busy 2022 for Jimi. At least two new music albums planned for release this year.

Jimi has released another song from his forthcoming new album releases.

Entitled 'Johnnie Armstrong' it tells the tale of the legendary Borders Chieftan who was betrayed by Scottish King James V and lured to his death at Carlenrig Kirk near Teviothead south of Hawick in the Scottish Borders.

The song was co-written by Jimi and guitarist Neil Warden and will feature on Jimi's new album, his first in eight years, to be released this Spring. This will be followed up with a second new album in the second part of 2022, with the possibility of a third release after that.

"To date we have over 15 new songs and we're still composing" said Jimi. "The first album release will be focusing on the Borders, where I grew up with tales of the landscape, people and the Border Reivers who, of course, dominated the area for hundreds of years when Scotland and England were independent states. 

"The second release, planned for early Autumn, will have similar themes but perhaps a broader historic appeal. Pipes will feature on both albums where appropriate."

Keep watching this page for up-to-date news and info as it happens.

Here's Johnnie!

Hope you enjoy.

Slainte.


 


Thursday, 21 October 2021

Wha Daur Meddle?

 

Jimi's latest music video is causing quite a stir in the town it was filmed in - Hawick in the Scottish Borders.

 

Local DJ and TD9 Radio presenter Graham Ford has invited Jimi onto his show for an interview.

 

Jimi met Graham's fellow TD9 presenter Simon Watson while filming scenes in Hawick recently. Both have since contacted Jimi to say how much they enjoyed the track and video.

 

"I watched and listened to it after Simon gave me the heids up" said Graham. "I really, really liked it and would love Jimi to be a guest on my show. It would be great to have a chat and play the track. Hopefully we can schedule an interview soon."

 

Jimi was delighted to hear from Graham and TD9 Radio.

"It's always great to get positive feedback" said Jimi. "The video is quite funny in places but I always try to be respectful. I like Hawick and the people living there. Graham and Simon at TD9 radio seem to have picked up on this."

 

Jimi chose Hawick as the setting for his take on the ancient Border Ballad - 'Wha Daur Meddle', in which the swagger and bravado of a notorious, unrepentant 16th Century outlaw Border Reiver is updated to the 21st Century.

 

"The original ballad is about one individual, little or 'wee' Jock Elliot" added Jimi. "I wanted to spread it out to include more of the old 'Reiving' surnames from both sides of the border. The nicknames of many of these characters, passed down to us through numerous contemporary written sources, are sometimes colourful and often droll.

 

"There's a gallows humour at play which really brings these individuals to life. As someone who grew up in the Borders and knows the banter well, it's very funny. It makes them seem like real people."

 

Jimi's diary is bursting with work and musical committments for the remainder of 2021 but he hopes to fix a date with Graham at TD9 Radio soon. 

"Graham said he is happy to do interviews via the phone but it would be good to be in the studio in person" added Jimi.

 

"I grew up in Galashiels and there was always a bit of rivalry between Gala and Hawick, a healthy good natured rivalry perhaps. Nowadays I find Hawick quite fascinating.

 

"As a youngster I never appreciated just how old Hawick actually was. Gala was a relatively modern town born out of the industrial revolution, yet Hawick was standing during the days of the Border Reivers and beyond. It's history stretches way, way back; to a time before England and Scotland existed. A time out of mind."

 

Jimi, writing partner Neil Warden and Gala based producer David Little of Soundstation recording studios will be busy over the winter months completing Jimi's latest music project which was inspired by the Borders region where Jimi grew up.

 

"We have 15 tracks in total to finish. I've promised the boys no more videos until the album (or albums!!) complete. After that I will probably be out and about filming again. Great fun!"

 

For more updates on Jimi's new project please keep following www.jimithepiper.co.uk

 

Slainte!



 


 

Monday, 16 August 2021

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

New 'road' movie and music score.

 

Alright friends.

Hope you're well and keeping busy.

Here's our latest musical and visual offering. Stunning score 'Forest of Life' penned by my co-writing partner Neil Warden. Download links included.

Video action is gleamed from spare footage of my summer 2020 escapades and those heady days when the speed limit in Borders towns and villages was still a massive 30 mph! lol.

Currently putting the finishing touches to my next musical piece and will be out and about filming the obligatory promotional vid this month. Maybe catch a few of you on my travels.

Best wishes and stay safe.

 

Jimi




Sunday, 27 June 2021

New song and music video - 'The Walter Scott Blues'

 Latest offering from the McRae/Walden writing partnership - a humourous and, in the end, poignant reflection on the legacy and influence of famous 19th Century author Sir Walter Scott in today's world.

Did Sir Walter really invent Scottish identity as we know it?  Was Mark Twain correct to blame Scott for causing the American Civil War? Almost 200 years after his death is the ongoing, online battle between Nationalists and Unionists in Scotland ('Nats' and 'Yoons') part of Scott's legacy?

Look out for a cameo appearance from a 20-something 'Jimi the piper' in the lead up to the final battle scenes.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the video possible. Hope you enjoy!