Griais is the Gaelic name for the village, Gress, where I grew up - very happy days surrounded by lots of music all the time - it seemed like the perfect name for my album as it's at the root of all the music I make..............
Reviews for Griais
Living Tradition Magazine issue 92
"Griais ....I find it a delightfully invigorating experience, ........... so keen is her grasp of the idiom of traditional Gaelic song. Standout tracks include Gillie’s affectionate portrait of the beautiful beach at Tràigh Ghriais ........, the heartbreaking Laighinn Leat........ , the lilting, eerily evocative closer Kitty Alice ......., and the tremulous emotional waltzery of Peacocks And Pearls. Gillie’s delicate treatment of the late Iain MacArtair’s moving dedication to his wife Do M’ Cheile is absolutely sublime, while in contrast she also delivers deftly-rendered variants on popular waulking songs, and the Broyges Tantz medley takes a raw klezmer melody as a springboard for a pair of courtship songs. Lovingly packaged too, this is a record that deserves widest coverage."
The Sunday Herald
"... Gillie Mackenzie strikes out on her own with this beautifully recorded album showcasing her own songwriting in both English and Gaelic and her ability to make songs from the Gaelic tradition come alive........Mackenzie seems almost still to be breathing Lewis air, even when coupling Gaelic and klezmer music on the Broyges Tantz set...... these are songs of work, love, loss and family and ........ it would be easy to imagine this (Tràigh Ghriais) and her gorgeous Laighinn Leat passing into the Gaelic tradition."
fRoots: “…striking original compositions of her own, in both Gaelic and English…..composed and performed with a sweet pathos all the more powerful for its understatement with Gillie’s vocal conveying intimacy and emotional fragility”
Folk Music Reviews
" Gillie Mackenzie has created a marvellous solo debut that not only exemplifies the appeal of Gaelic music, but broadens that appeal. There are contemporary twists to traditional forms, dazzling vocal and instrumental performances, and song-writing that captures the very soul of the Hebrides."
"A bright and skilled collection...Mackenzie is an able songwriter too, as evident in her beautifully mournful Laighinn Leat and the soft aching nostalgia of Traigh Ghriais...........a sweet, heartfelt and accomplished piece of work with a keen ear for tradition"
These are some of the lovely reviews for my first solo album, Griais, recorded mainly at Mattie Fould's studio in the Borders and partly at Richard Werner's B&B studio in Edinburgh. Griais is produced by Ewan MacPherson (who also plays guitar and loads of other instruments on the album), and features Alasdair White (fiddle & whistle), Mhairi Hall (piano), James Mackintosh (percussion), Ailig Hunter (bass) and Amy Geddes (viola). Each and every one of them is absolutely fantastic at what they do - I've been really lucky.
You can purchase Griais at my paypal page or at one of my gigs.