Wednesday, 23 July 2014

New album review in 'froots' magazine..

Interesting and perhaps unintentionally positive review Jimi's new album 'Last King of Pictland in the world & folk music magazine froots. The reviewer sets out to slam Jimi, but actually complimented him without even knowing it. P.S. Spinal Tap is one of Jimi's favourite movies..

'A million skirling bagpipes, thrash drums, sledgehammer bass, even monkish chanting as well as dear old thermin. Bonkers OTT arrangements. A bagpiping Spinal Tap. Ideal Glasgow Saturday night fighting music. Martyn Bennett must be turning in his grave' - froots (May 2014)

Monday, 30 June 2014

Jimi's new album massive success at Bannockburn 'Live' Festival..

Jimi's new album 'Last King of Pictland' has been given a huge boost after being chosen as the soundtrack for live re-enactments of the Battle of Bannockburn..

Organisers of the Bannockburn 'Live' two day festival near Stirling asked Jimi if they could play the album in it's entirety before and after shows in which several hundred re-enactors re-created battle scenes to commemorate the 700th anniversary of King Robert Bruce's famous victory over the English.

Verity Blanchard, of Unique Events, said Jimi's music was perfect for the occasion. "It's a fantastic inspiring album. I've always enjoyed Jimi's music, particularly his debut album 'Pipedreams'. However 'Last King of Pictland' reaches another level entirely. When Jimi said ok I knew we'd found our soundtrack".

Over 20,000 people attended the Bannockburn Live festival, which also featured live music, storytelling, pipe bands, food and drink as well as six re-enactments of the battle, staged near the place where the two day battle began 700 years ago. 

Ms Blanchard said many people had inquired about the album after hearing Jimi's music in the build to shows. "We also received a large number of emails inquiries. Every one is referred to Jimi's web-site www.jimithepiper.co.uk."


Bannockburn 'Live' has been voted a huge success by organisers, visitors and the local community. Jimi said he was deeply honoured to have had his music featured.


Monday, 16 June 2014

                        Jimi in Battle of Bannockburn mural..

Jimi is honoured to appear in a special painting by a renounced Scottish artist commemorating the 700th anniversary of Scotland's famous victory at the Battle of Bannockburn.
He is pictured beside a portrait of himself in a giant graphic mural by Chris Rutterford.. The epic painting hangs in the Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh's Royal Mile and provides the background to a fortnight of interactive theatre celebrating the 700th anniversary of the battle.
The acclaimed show features storytellers, historians, re-enactors and offers plenty family fun.. Artist Chris will be painting live during shows adding portraits of audience members to the mural.
 Jimi is proud to have been placed in the front of the Scottish ranks, alongside pals Keith O' Conner and  Scottish rugby star Norrie Rowan., in King Robert's personal bodyguard no less! 
'An audience with Bannockburn' runs from 12 - 27 June. Admittance is £6 (£4 for children and concessions) Great show. Audience ranges from six to 75 and everybody loves it.. There are plans for Chris's mural to go on permanent display in the new Bannockburn visitors centre, near Stirling when shows in Edinburgh end ..

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

CEAD MILL FAILTE!



                                   
Hello and a very warm welcome to the web-site/blog of Scottish piper Jimi McRae aka Jimi the Piper.

Jimi needs no introduction to many, but just in case you're new around town, a quick resume of his musical career to date seems in order.. Jimi has been playing the pipes for well over 30 years, since the age of 10.
He spent his formative years on the Scottish pipe band scene but first really came to prominence during the financial recession of the early 1990s after losing his job. Rather than taking his place beside many others in the unemployment queue, Jimi decided to try his hand at busking, or street performing, to make ends meat. Initial successes, though encouraging, were cruelly tempered by a harrowing road accident which left him temporarily crippled with serious injuries.
Undaunted, Jimi was soon back piping, and his perseverance began to pay off with invitations to play at events and ceilidths across Scotland. This was the period when Jimi earned the nick-name 'Jimi the Piper'.... Members of 'An Clann', Scotland's top fight display team, with whom Jimi performed for a while, were first to coin this 'nom de plumb'. It's pretty much stuck since!
In 1999 Jimi released his debut album 'Pipedreams', featuring a mix of original compositions and traditional tunes, and a range of pipes including Highland, Lowland and electronic. The album received a positive reaction, including several good reviews. Spurned on by this and good sales, Jimi teamed up with Offbeat Scotland record producer Iain McKinna for his next release 'Earthdance' in 2001, a much more complex affair featuring a bevvy of Scottish musical talent and joint original compositions by Jimi and Iain. Once again, the release was extremely well received. Jimi and Iain formed a band to promote the music. Tours of the west coast of America, Germany, France and Scotland followed.
Over the next few years the band became a popular attraction on the UK music festival circuit. They headlined the ceilidth tent at Scotland's biggest music festival 'T-In-The-Park three years in a row, received regular invitations to perform at English folk festivals, and also appeared in the prestigious Spiegel Tent during the Edinburgh International Festival. In early 2005 the band were invited over to China to perform at a week long festival celebrating Chinese New Year in Beijing. This was soon followed by the release of the album 'Kick Out The Ghosts'. By 2006, however, the usual internal 'musical differences' were taking a toll and the band decided to call it a day.
Jimi immediately commenced work on his next project - an album documenting the rich piping tradition of Clan MacRae. Clan society members in Scotland and the USA had approached Jimi with the idea following hugely popular appearances by him at the Clan MacRae international gatherings in 2000 and 2005. This project called 'Global Gathering -Ceol Cloinn Mhic Rath (music of the Clan MacRae) was released in 2009. Global Gathering featured a range of pipes (Highland, Lowland, Arabic and electronic) and a mix of original Jimi compositions plus traditional tunes relating to the clan. Several guest musicians including Nigel Richards on Cittern, Crispin Caunter on didgeridoo and Eric Clark on 'heavy' drums also took part in recording sessions. The critical and public response to Global Gathering was, yet again, excellent.



Around this time, Jimi resumed a musical partnership with old friend, Nigerian born African percussionist Sam Okoo. Jimi and Sam first met and played together at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1998. In 2002 they performed together in an award winning Festival production of 'Go Go - The Boy With Magic Feet' in the city's Royal Botanic Gardens. By 2009, Jimi felt the time was right to release their debut album, appropriately entitled 'Scottish Pipes & African Drums'.




The album featured many well known Scottish and Irish pipe tunes, and was recorded with multi-pipe harmonies by Jimi in a style reminiscent of pipe bands. However, there was a twist - the entire drum corps was Sam and he was playing the African djembe! Quirky and good fun, 'Scottish Pipes & African Drums' proved to be a winning formula. In early 2010, Jimi, with Sam, returned to Beijing to perform at Chinese New Year celebrations. Trips to Holland, Greece and Sweden followed and 2011/12 saw the pair invited to perform at official functions hosted by the Scottish Parliament THREE times - firstly at a reception for famous Scots singer Annie Lennox, followed by an appearance in the official Parliament reopening parade in the summer, and finally at a reception for African dignitaries in Edinburgh Castle.

The year 2012 also saw Jimi's album 'Global Gathering' reach the top of a German music album chart . This followed screenings and airplay on a national German TV station of music videos produced by Jimi. These featured footage gleamed from his extensive travels around Scotland as a piper, motorcyclict and hill walker.. In November 2012 he was invited over to Berlin to appear on several live TV shows.

 2013 began with Jimi commencing work on a new solo album project. He also teamed up with 'Spike', lead singer with UK rock band 'The Quireboys' to record  an album of Frankie Millar songs.. A charity single from this (a version of Frankie's classic 'Bottle of Whisky') featuring the Scottish rugby team on backing vocals has been released. The album is due out in the latter half of 2014.  Video footage of Spike, Jimi and the rest of the Quireboys performing 'Bottle of Whisky'  live in Glasgow can be viewed in this site's 'News' section.

Early 2014 heralded the release of Jimi's sixth studio album 'Last King of Pictland', an imaginative and creative project, recorded at studios in Scotland and Portland, Oregon, USA, which blended bagpipes with many different genres. Praised by fans and critics alike (see reviews in earlier posts here) 'Last King of Pictland' featured six original compositions and three 'wildy creative' traditional arrangements. Influences include heavy metal, progressive rock, traditional Scottish, Greek and Irish and more all combined with a modern edge.

Some reviews so far: - 'Dark and mystical.. Every song brilliant' Mar Tina M Erks (Germany)

                                - 'Nine outstanding tracks. My favourite changes with every listen' John Wilmott

Three promotional music videos for the album have already been released by Jimi. More will be produced this summer. To date these videos have had over 30,000 hits on You Tube and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ForkyJim

More background info on 'Last King of Pictland' and also a superb graphic music video by Edinburgh artist
Eric Clark for the track 'Luna Z-Rod' which Eric and Jimi co-wrote can be found here: http://lastkingofpictland.com/


Jimi continues to remain busy and in demand on the live front. So far in 2014 he has performed in Rome, Amsterdam and various venues around Scotland. A return trip to Amsterdam is planned for July along with shows in Ibiza at the end of August. German TV producers are also keen for him to return to Berlin. Watch this space for more details..










Thursday, 1 May 2014

ANOTHER COOL REVIEW OF NEW ALBUM..

MUSICSCOTLAND.COM - Review of 'Last King of Pictland' (April 2014)


A sixth studio album by Scottish piper Jimi McRae, with his unique creative flair blending traditional bagpipes with many different genres.
This album comprises six original compositions and three traditional arrangements, Jimi remains respectful of traditions but continues to pushes the boundaries of the instrument.
The CD featues a variety of styles including heavy metal, progressive rock, traditional Greek, Scottish and Irish and more all combined with a modern edge.
Jimi McRae (aka Jimi The Piper) is based in the Edinburgh area and he started playing bapipes at the tender age of 10. Three decades on Jim continues to bring his music to audiences and has toured Europe, North America and Asia with dynamic live shows. Solo, with a band, or simply 'jammin' with pals, a Jimi performance is never to be missed..
Musicians on this album are: Jimi McRae (highland, lowland, border, arabic and electronic pipes, keyboard, chanting), Rob Wrong (lead guitar), Eric Clark (drums, guitar), Crispin Caunter (didgeridoo), David Little (drums, percussion), Dave Haswell (percussion), Rod Christie (guitar/bass), Simon Hay (bass).
Last word to music critic John Wilmott: "I really enjoyed this album. An immensely enjoyable listening experience. Plenty rocking bagpipe music here, kicking off with 'Na Criochan' and title track 'Last King of Pictland'. There is also some surprisingly absorbing reflection on ancient mythology that allows Jimi to take the bagpipes in barrier breaking directions. Nine outstanding tracks. My favourite changes with every listen." John Wilmott, CelticWays.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Jimi pipes on very special Scottish 'Hip-hop' single.

Jimi is piping on a special Scottish 'rap' single due to be released early summer.
The song - 'Hip for the Scots'- was written by a team of internationally
renowned music makers/producers and Scots poet/singer song writer Sinclair Mclay.

Jimi was asked to lay down pipes by Sinclair, who is a big fan of Jimi's music.
 "Jimi's new material is simply stunning" said Sinclair. "I showed some of his video footage to
my producer friends and they were completely blown away. They've also been seriously
impressed with what he's come up with in the studio. We now have a big natural pipe sound
and it's all thanks to Jimi".

Jimi recorded pipes in Scotland and 'drop-boxed' tracks across to Grand Fromage Productions
in Northern Italy where the song is being mixed.

"The guys provided a midi/electronic pipe melody as a guide to what they wanted pipe wise" said Jimi.
"The track has a really strong theme and hook. One bit is incredibly fast so it was quite challenging
 but we got there."

Jimi added: "This is the first time I've ever piped on a rap song. The guys at Grand Fromage productions are
 big names in the modern dance music world. Working with them has been great."

Jimi recorded his pipes at David Little's soundstation studio in Galashiels, where he recently completed
work on his critically acclaimed new album 'Last King of Pictland'..

To hear/see the music and vids which so impressed writers and producers at Grand Fromage productions check out this link :http://lastkingofpictland.com/

Some reviews for the new album are available to read below..
'Hip for the Scots' will be released early summer. Some people are predicting a hit! Watch this space for
more details.




Friday, 21 March 2014

Nationwide distribution secured for Jimi's new album

A deal has been struck to distribute Jimi's new album 'wholesale' across the UK.. 
This means 'Last King of Pictland' will be available to buy in your local music store plus many other retailers across the land.
Scottish music distribution company Highlander Music and wholesale supply giants Booksource
have teamed up to handle UK distribution..
This follows excellent reviews for the new album and  also strong sales from this web-site and on-line music
stores.
Jane Blackley from Highlander Music said she was delighted to add 'Last King of Pictland' to their sales catalogue.
"Jimi's last album 'Global Gathering' has sold well and his music is popular with many of our clients" she said.
"The artwork for 'Last King of Pictland' is excellent, very eye-catching in fact. All in  a great looking product with an excellent and very original soundtrack".
'Last King of Pictland' is now available to buy at any music retailer in the UK. Just ask for 'Last King of Pictland' by Jimi McRae, available through Highlander Music and Book Source, catalogue number JM003.
All of Jimi's tracks, old and new, are available to download or stream online. Preview new stuff here by visiting the site 'shop' and clicking on the lastkingofpictland.com link..  Older releases can be checked out in 'Videos'..
Some interesting reviews of new album posted below..