Thursday 11 July 2024

Jimi in demand for new music recordings

Jimi was back in his home recording studio this week, laying down pipe tracks for a new song composed by Scottish singer/songwriter John Taylor.

This was the fourth time this year Jimi has been called upon to record pipes on other artists' recordings. 

In January he produced tracks for an Italian tenor singer Luca Minnelli (formerly Luca Foffano) - known as 'the Voice of Venice' - for inclusion in a full orchestra arrangement of the famous big band song 'Moscow Nights'. 

In February he piped on a song for UK rock band 'The Quireboys'. (Quireboys lead singer Spike and Jimi worked together on several recordings previously and are good mates) 

March and April saw Jimi composing and recording melodies for a US rock outfit based in Austin, Texas. He was recommended to them by English born music producer Simon Tassano who toured for many years as Richard Thompson's sound man .Simon has also been responsible for many acclaimed studio projects, including Stephen Kent's critically praised album 'Oil & Water'. Jimi met Stephen and Simon and recorded Highland and Arabic pipes for the album while touring the US's western seaboard in the early 2000s.

Jimi's latest 'client' John Taylor is a well established Scottish singer songwriter currently working on his eighth studio album. John's songs have featured in Golden Globe and Emmy winning shows 'Californication', 'Necessary Roughness' and ABC's hit show 'Revenge' among others. He was also invited to play in Nashville. 

 Jimi said he enjoyed John's music and it had been an honour recording for him. There are plans for Jimi to work on another couple of John's new tracks.

With a full diary of engagements and musical commitments Jimi has a busy itinerary of performances this summer. Another Highland tour is being planned for September.

Included in the pics are shots of Jimi at a recent show in Helensburgh. The lighting and stage projections are impressive. 



Wednesday 3 July 2024

Film shoot at cliff top, coastal ruin.

Film shoot for movie project at Faste Castle, Berwickshire, SE Scotland.

The ruined remains of this medieval fortress lie on a narrow coastal plateau atop cliffs up to 45 metres (148 ft) high on every side.

The castle can only be reached by a small iron bridge over a narrow ravine.

Always exhilarating to visit, Faste Castle certainly makes a dramatic location for a 'small-pipes' session beside the Scottish sea-side!
Jimi has been asked to compose soundtrack music and also make a cameo appearance in a new independent Scottish film venture. Keep watching this website for more details.
Hope you enjoy the pics.

Sunday 16 June 2024

Jimi's successful mini Highland tour.

 Jimi has completed a mini musical tour of the Scottish Highlands - on his motorcycle.

The week-long tour, which saw Jimi play to audiences in Dufftown, Abriachan and the NW Highlands, culminated in a performance at the wedding of Tomas and Jennifer Gaine in Gairloch.

"Big congratulations to Tom and Jen for getting married" he said. "It was a special occasion in a beautiful location and a great honour to be asked to pipe at the ceremony."

Smaller, impromptu performances for friends and fans before and after the wedding allowed Jimi to debut new material live and experiment with different techniques for developing his show.

He said:"I was performing both big and small pipe sets, trying out new ideas including using my voice and generally looking at ways to expand the potential of my live-set".

He added: "It is always an honour to be invited to perform in the Highlands and sound the Piob Mhor - the big pipes or Great Highland Bagpipe as the instrument is officially known. However in recent years I've been experimenting more with poetry and song, as regular visitors to this blog will know.

"This was the first time I deliberately set out to present and perform some of these ideas live. It was very heartening and encouraging to receive such a positive reaction, especially from audiences in the Highlands - the spiritual home of Scottish bagpipe music."

Jimi was pleased with the reception to his new music and added: "A common question put to me was 'why weren't you doing this years ago?' My reply was 'No idea'! I suppose I had nothing to say via spoken words creatively in music. Perhaps I was preoccupied with my fingers doing the talking. Maybe I've only recently found my voice, literally".

Jimi hopes to be back in the Highlands for more performances later this summer. In the meantime he has a diary full of engagements to keep him busy, including a visit to Marrakesh, Morocco in mid-July.

As a footnote, Jimi was delighted to complete his 1000 mile + Highland adventure on his motorbike - a 2006 Suzuki GSF 1200 Bandit. "This was her first serious ride-out after a major winter rebuild by myself" he added. "I was happy and satisfied with her performance - she never missed a beat".

Sunday 26 May 2024

'On Ladhope Brig' - An original song dedicated to McRae's home town, Galashiels.


 Jimi has officially released a new song dedicated to his home town of Galashiels.

'On Ladhope Brig' is a song about industrial decline, the demise of the UK textile industry and the impact on communities like Galashiels - The town was once home to some of the biggest brands in international fashion manufacturing. 

Music was composed by Jimi. The words were written by his late father, Kenny. 

 Stream or download via your favourite music site here:


Tuesday 14 May 2024

Jimi joins international gathering of musicians, artists, academics and historians at second Anti-Fascist Festival of Music and Culture in Samara.



Jimi was honoured to be invited to perform at the second consecutive Anti-Fascist Festival of Music and Culture in the beautiful city of Samara on the banks of the Volga River.

Jimi participated in the inaugural festival last year. This year he was joined by artists and acts from Italy, China, Finland, Serbia, Slovenia Columbia, Montenegro and Russia at the five day festival held in the run-up to VE anniversary commemorations and celebrations on May 8/9.

Jimi and his fellow performers took the stage at over 20 different packed concert halls across the Samara region before joining together for a sell out festival finale in the city's massive ice-hockey arena, headlined by Russian singer and songwriting star 'Shaman'.

Jimi said: "The festival was all about remembering and honouring the millions of people from many countries who fought and, in many cases, gave their lives in the struggle to free Europe from the Nazis in WW2.

"It was great to be back in Samara performing for and alongside many good friends. It was also important, I think, to show solidarity with ordinary Russian people following the terrible recent terrorist attack at the live concert in Moscow. All the shows were packed out with huge appreciative audiences. It was a great privilege to be asked to play a part".

This year's festival also included a conference attended by distinguished academics and historians from many countries including Canada, the UK, Finland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Montenegro and Russia.  Jimi was very humbled to be invited to attend a special conference round table event and give a talk about his recent blogs which revealed that a monument bearing the insignia of a WW2 Nazi Waffen SS volunteer unit - men who swore an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler - was standing in Scotland. 

Jimi's talk, which included a slide-show, was very well received.

"I was quite nervous beforehand" added Jimi. "I love history, always have, but academic presentations before some of the most knowledgeable living writers on WW2 and Nazi history is another level entirely.

"Fortunately my presentation seemed to go down well. I talked about my revulsion and shame at the discovery that a Nazi monument was standing in my home country. How these men, over 500 of them in Scotland and thousands more throughout the western world, had been allowed to settle and live out their lives without fear of prosecution. I mentioned my dismay at the uncritical reaction from the UK media when it was announced that over £50,000 of UK taxpayers' money had been allocated to upgrade the site. 

"I then went on to talk about the extremely encouraging reaction to my blogs - 20,000 hits and counting, many interesting comments posted and scores of personal messages of support from people in the UK and throughout the world. I talked of my plan to launch a petition calling for the removal of all Nazi insignia at the site and the need to modify sign-posts and a notice board to include details of the crimes against humanity committed by men serving in this particular SS Division".  

Jimi told the conference how, in March of this year, a stone monument bearing the insignia of the same Nazi SS Division had been removed from a private cemetery in Ontario, Canada after a long campaign by ordinary Canadians and the North American branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies. Full story here:

"I found this news really encouraging" added Jimi. "It shows what can be achieved when a proper public campaign is mounted against the presence of these alien, Nazi objects in our landscapes.

"Slaughtering civilians in cold blood; locking women, children and whole village communities in barns before burning them alive; atrocities like these have long been linked to the men 'honoured' by these particular monuments. How can we call ourselves civilized societies if we allow abominations glorifying women and children killers to stand in our landscapes? "

 Jimi added that numerous investigations by several countries and human rights institutions over many years had proven conclusively that murderous criminal acts were carried out by men serving in this particular SS unit.

"Monuments glorifying Nazi SS veterans would never be tolerated in modern Germany" said Jimi. "Why should we accept it in countries like Canada and the UK where so many of our grandparents/close ancestors fought to defeat the Nazi scourge in Europe."

Jimi said he hoped to reach out to 'like-minded citizens' from across the UK, Canada and also the USA when he launched the campaign. More details to be published here soon.

Jimi's first blog on the SS monument in Scotland can be read here:  

The second, in response to UK media criticism of his decision to perform at music festivals in Russia can be found here:

Jimi added: "I must say for the record that, to the very best of my knowledge, neither newspaper which carried articles attacking me - the 'Scottish Sunday Times' nor the 'Scottish Daily Express'-  made any attempt to contact me for a comment before running their stories. Sad times indeed."

More pictures from the festival and Samara below -