The Celtic Music Radio Album of the Week commencing Saturday 20 September is the new CD from Ewan McLennan called ‘Stories Still Untold’.
Celtic Music Radio’s Ross Macfadyen talks to Ewan McLennan about his music and his new album.
Writing on his website, Ewan says: “I thought that with the release of my latest album, it was worth writing a few words on the songs and the recording process that went into it.
Probably more than either of the two previous albums I’ve released this one – the 3rd, ‘Stories Still Untold’ – came together gradually over quite a stretch of time. Some of the songs that have ended up on it are favourites of mine I’ve been singing for years, tweaked or even overhauled for this. Some of them are traditional songs that I’ve long loved but have never dared sing before. And some of them are songs I’ve written or dug-up and arranged over the last couple of years.
This time around, I went with a quite different approach from the last two albums. In the case of the last two albums I’d worked away on an album-length set of songs until I felt they were ready to record. This time around I came to the recording process with a whole bunch of songs, probably twenty or so (self-penned and traditional), and then decided at the end which ones were best and which ones worked best together. I’ve felt this gave me a bit more room for maneuver. It gave what I did a bit more freedom, a bit more flow and I’ve been able to distil the album down only to songs that really worked.
The recording process itself also happened slightly differently from before. Although still on Fellside Records, this new album wasn’t recorded at their studio as before but instead at the studio of renowned folky producer and musician Mattie Foulds in Scotland. I worked with Mattie for a couple of weeks putting the whole thing together and had a really good time doing it.
Once again I had the priviledge to work with an incredible bunch of musicians, although all different this time around. Beth Porter is playing cello, Lauren MacColl viola, Inge Thomson accordion, Ross Ainslie whistle and Siobhan Miller harmonies. Having all these people contribute to the album gave it a really nice breadth in terms of the instrumentation, although it’s scattered quite sparsley throughout.”
Ewan McLennan has come to be known as a guitarist at the very forefront of his generation; a troubadour, balladeer and storyteller cut in the old style; a singer that can move audiences with his passion and pathos; and a songwriter for whom social justice is still a burning issue.
From a BBC Horizon Award for his debut album to his recent performances on the acclaimed Transatlantic Sessions, recent years have been marked by numerous awards and accolades for his music.
Ewan McLennan’s new album, ‘Stories Still Untold’, is already attracting critical acclaim and is sure to further cement him as “one of the bright lights on the folk scene today.”
Celtic Music Radio Album of the Week, Saturday 20 September 12 noon, 12 midnight and Monday 22 September 7.00pm and Catch Up anytime.