Liz In Conversation With Westward The Light 8th April 2023
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Join Liz on 8th April when I will be in conversation with Charlie Gray and Owen Sinclair from Westward The Light about the bands new album Flow Country.
Flow Country is the latest album from celebrated trad group Westward the Light, released on on Friday 31st March 2023. Named after the region of rolling peatland between Caithness and Sutherland in the north of Scotland, the record boasts a dynamic collection of traditional Scottish tunes, and offers a fresh take on some time-honoured material.
The quartet are well-renowned for their combined confidence and undeniable skill on fiddle, viola, piano, and guitar, and have built a name for themselves on the traditional music scene with their powerful music which is reflective of their upbringings in the rural and rugged landscapes of Scotland.
This new album is the band’s second since their inception in 2018 when, after collaborating in various contexts for years, Charlie Grey, Sally Simpson, Owen Sinclair and Joseph Peach began actively playing and writing together. Westward the Light went on to release their self-titled debut album in March 2020, entering the Official UK Folk Top 40 and receiving widespread acclaim from peers and critics alike.
Musically, Flow Country is a step up from the band’s previous work, and sees each member refine and develop their individual and shared sound. Recorded together in one room, the body of work has the quintessential soul of a live performance, with the upbeat energy fans of the genre can expect from a trad record. Listeners are taken through a range of tempos, tensions and emotions with each track, however, all under one cohesive style.
The first single from the album, Good Days, is set for release on Friday 10 March. Written by Sally Simpson, the track builds tension, gradually growing in momentum towards an upbeat and energetic finish, setting out the band’s stall for the album to come.
Other stand out tunes include title track Flow Country, composed by Joseph Peach, with beautiful melodies both moving and poignant, and C Jig, a traditional piece of music with changing tempos and moods, perfectly demonstrating the group’s precision and rigour when playing as one unit.
Westward the Light debuted their new material to a sell out audience at this year’s Celtic Connections, and will be taking it to stages across Scotland and the UK in the coming months, with dates in venues from Mull and Stornoway to Comrie and Montrose.
Joseph Peach of Westward the Light said: “Flow Country is a record on which the tune takes precedence. There are no gimmicks, there’s just straight up traditional music which we feel really captures the essence of our Scottish culture and heritage.
“We purposefully didn’t over produce the album as we wanted it to sound like we do when we perform live. It was recorded in one room with all of us playing together so, in many ways, it is just like a gig on a CD. It feels fantastic to be releasing this record after the tough couple of years we’ve faced as a band and an industry, and we cannot wait to get on the road and tour.”
Playing on Flow Country are Charlie Grey on fiddle and hardanger d’amore, Sally Simpson on fiddle and viola, Owen Sinclair on guitar and Joseph Peach on piano and harmonium.
The album was recorded at Castlesound Studios, and was mixed and mastered by Mattie Foulds.
- The Rearrangement Reel
- Flow Country
- Neil Gow’s Style
- Good Days
- The Dornoch Links
- Castle Coeffin
- C Jig
- The Braes of Rannoch
- 12 April 2023- Badentarbet Bothan, Achiltibuie
- 13 April 2023- An Lanntair, Stornoway
- 14 April 2023 – Spott Village Hall, Spott
- 1 June 2023 – Abriachan Village Hall, Abriachan
- 2 June 2023 – Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
- 3 June 2023 – Comrie Rural Hall, Comrie
- 2 September 2023 – The Old Brewery, Cromarty
- 4 September 2023 – Montrose Folk Club, Montrose
- 29 November 2023 – An Tobar, Mull
- 30 November 2023 – Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth