In with the new and back with the old…that could be the banner over a series of musical events in late June which mark the return of a revised version of the 90’s Lewis group, New Tradition.
And this includes the launch of the band’s new CD, ‘Hebridean Sky’ released on Friday June 1st.
New Tradition was formed by Iain MacIver and John Murray in 1993 having been invited to perform on the STV Gaelic Country Music show, Tuath Cheòl.
As a result of the popularity of the show the duo secured a recording contract with Klub records and released their first CD, ‘Ar Cànain ‘s ar Ceòl’ in 1995.
Following the demise of the show after three series, New Tradition became less active and eventually disbanded by the end of the 90’s.
Iain and John continued to perform together as part of the covers band ‘Crazy Lemon’ along with drummer Philip Murray. They disbanded in 2013.
Iain and John were invited to regroup again in 2015 for a one-off appearance for Ceòl ‘s Craic at the CCA in Glasgow as part of a Gaelic Americana night.
They put together a new line-up for this event with Lynsey MacRitchie-MacKenzie on fiddle and piano, Coinneach MacLeod on drums and Ross MacKenzie on banjo and guitar.
The CCA performance led to further appearances at events in Lewis and Harris and a couple of live radio broadcasts.
The band decided if they were to continue they would have to record some new music. This resulted in the band’s new CD, ‘Hebridean Sky’ which is released on June 1st.
“We felt we would like to record some English songs to enable us to reach a wider audience,” they say.
The album was recorded over 12 months by Paul Matheson at Stramash studio in Stornoway. Studio time was kindly donated by Stramash and the band are hugely indebted to Paul for his expertise and guidance throughout the project.
“Paul also steered us the way of Pete Maher (www.petemaher.com/) who did an excellent job with the mastering.
“The recording wasn’t without its problems as several band members, as well as Paul had work commitments off the island and it wasn’t always easy to get everyone together at the same time.”
The ten track album includes seven English songs and three Gaelic titles.
Several of the songs are written by Iain and John whilst two are collaborations with Lewis writer Donald S Murray.
Guest musicians on the album are Dave Young, drums; Anna Murray, whistle; and Richard Nelson, pedal steel guitar.
New Tradition will be appearing in concert at the CCA, Sauchiehall St, Glasgow on Saturday 16th June. Supporting them will be Mischa MacPherson and musicians from Sgoil Ghàìdhlig Ghlaschu.
The following weekend sees the band launch the CD on home soil with a concert in Carloway Community Centre on Friday 22nd June and Tarbert Community Centre on Saturday 23rd June.