Full Steam Ahead is an up-tempo folk album from the four exceptionally talented Johnson sisters GiveWay. Teenagers they may be, but they are very capable musicians with a hot line in fun folk. Fiona (17) plays fiddle, Kirsty (15) accordion, & twins Amy & Mairi (13) are on percussion & keyboard
"These ladies can really play, and play well at that. There is a maturity in their playing…" Dirty Linen.
Manomynous; Full Steam Ahead; Blue Bonnets; Riverdance; Jiggin'; Tonder; Piper And The Shrew; Monday Morning; Glencoe Beginnings; Crossing The Water; Leith Central.
The rise of GiveWay has been meteoric! In the short time since the girls chose the name GiveWay (on their way to a gig and after passing numerous Give Way road signs!) the group received a ‘Danny Award’ at Celtic Connections, Glasgow, in 2001 and immediately followed this up by winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards. A booking at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival was followed by a guest appearance at the 2002 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and later an invite to return to the Young Folk Awards to appear in an extended set as the previous years’ Award Winners.
Shortly after signing to Greentrax the girls were invited to appear on the BBC T.V. Hogmanay Live 2002 show, where they performed alongside household names such as Jackie Bird, Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham and T.V.’s Fame Academy winner David Sneddon. This was another amazing break for the four sisters and their smiles on screen clearly indicated they relished the challenge.
Fiona (fiddle & whistles), Kirsty (accordions), Amy (drums and percussion) and Mairi (keyboards and synthesiser) receive tremendous encouragement from Mum and Dad (Morag and Steve Johnson), who feel the most important thing is that the girls are having fun. Fun they certainly did have in the recording studio, where a magical rapport developed between the girls, Phil Cunningham and engineer Stuart Hamilton... due in no small measure to Phil’s infectious sense of humour and sympathetic production style. The girls were genuinely saddened when the recording and mixing sessions ended!
GiveWay are fine interpreters of Scottish music and have taken their music into fiddle and accordion clubs, through the concert hall to radio and television and now on to CD. Their choice of material for the album includes traditional tunes and original compositions by Scotland’s finest composers, including Phil Cunningham. There are also three compositions by Fiona, including the beautiful Glencoe Beginnings on which Phil Cunningham reads a poem written by Jean McLean, the girl’s Gran!
It deserves to be heard. You deserve to hear it.
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