Monday 3rd August 2015
In the year that one of Gaelic’s most accomplished singers, Màiri MacInnes from South Uist, released her first album for over 10 years, audiences at Blas 2015 will be delighted to welcome her return to the Highland stage on the opening weekend of the festival.
More than a decade on from her last solo album, the much-admired ‘Orosay’, Màiri released her long awaited album ‘Gràs’ (Grace) earlier this year. Resonating with deeply felt emotion, it tells the story of the past 10 years in beautiful, haunting but ultimately uplifting phrases.
The Màiri MacInnes Band will be appearing at Roy Bridge on Friday September 4 along with Fèis Lochabair Ceilidh Trail. The following evening they will be out west when they appear in Plockton along with the legendary Dick Gaughan. Then on the Sunday September 6, they will join a stellar cast including the redoubtable Inverness Gaelic Choir in the Celtic Praise event.
The beauty and purity of her voice has made Màiri compelling listening for everyone interested in Gaelic music. She has also become a regular fixture on Gaelic television and radio, her songs and personality entertaining in equal measure.
One of the best description’s of Màiri’s talent is that her love for her first language Gaelic is “instinctive and enduring; her desire to share the beauty of her mother tongue a theme throughout her career”. In 1982 she became one of the youngest winners of the Gold Medal at the Royal National Mod. This historic win occurred on her first attempt and was followed the next year by further triumph at the Pan-Celtic Festival in Killarney, Ireland.
Prior to releasing her first album, Mairi recorded and performed with Runrig. Her debut ‘Causeway’ was released in 1989 to widespread acclaim. Her growing profile led to her being approached by Gaelic dance group Mouth Music and tours to the United States and Canada.
Arguably Màiri’s most famous work is ‘This Feeling Inside’ (‘Is Gàidheal Mi’). It was translated into both Gaelic and Welsh to be recorded with the Llangwm Male Voice Choir on their album Ysbyrd Y Gael. She performed with the choir and the BBC Welsh Philharmonic Orchestra in St David’s Hall Cardiff for a special St Valentine’s Day broadcast for BBC television and radio. It was recorded once more with the Glasgow Gaelic Choir for the Gaelic Women – ‘Ar Cànan ’s Ar Ceòl’ album. The song was named by Robbie Shepherd as his Song of the Year for BBC Radio Scotland’s Reel Blend.
Established 11 years ago as a result of The Highland Council’s desire to create a festival that would match the vitality of Cape Breton’s Celtic Colours, the Blas festival is now an international event showcasing Highland culture and its continuing success has been welcomed by the Scottish Government and Highland Council.
Blas 2015 will take place at venues across the Highlands and Argyll between 4 and 12 September.
Tickets for all Blas events can be bought online, or by phone, with details on the festival’s websitewhere further information is available on the full programme of events.