Shoormal is a Shetland group fuse native tongue and story with bluesy late-night ballads, with jazz under-tows, and with folk-pop melody. Migrant is a CD of songs highlighting the group's strengths in songwriting, in composing and on the guitar and keyboards. Brilliant!
"Elegant, moody and powerful". The Scots Magazine.
Angel Whispers; Walking In The Mist; Bohus; Gaslight; Last Of The Light; Dreamer's Dance; Too Late; Laeverik; Migrant; Eden; Pilgrim; Between Weathers.
The members of Shoorma, Shetland dialect for 'where the shore meets the sea, are all native to Shetland and first emerged as a band at the Shetland Folk Festival in 1998. Freda Leask, Joyce McDill and Donna Smith joined forces in 1997 to create a three-part-harmony-sound that has become a Shoormal trademark. Accompanied, initially, by Trevor Smith, an outstanding and creative guitarist, and Gregg Arthur, a versatile, skilful piano and accordion player, these five musicians maintained a fairly low profile while quietly honing their skills. Later May Gair, well-known in Shetland traditional circles for her double bass accompaniment, joined Shoormal.
Accompanying a vocal group was breaking new ground for May and her interest in jazz added a special dimension to the group, Christopher Anderson is known for his drumming with several local bands and in particular Shetland's folk/rock band Bongshang. His percussive style seems to captivate Shoormal's melodies and lyrics. More recently the band added Gordon Tulloch, another very talented guitarist, further strengthening the instrumental section. lan McQueen of the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, commented on Gregg and Gordon - "Guitar playing to die for".
With this mix of musicians, Shoormal's music developed to blend traditional and contemporary styles in an acoustic manner with songwriting an integral part of their work- Joyce McDill and Freda Leask are the principal songwriters of the team, although Donna Smith also writes, with Trevor Smith contributing at the composition stage, with rhythm, style and melody.
The Band's debut album Indigo Skies was released in 2000 on their own label and immediately attracted wide interest, being nominated for the Best Newcomer category at the BBC Radio Folk on Two Awards in February 2001. One reviewer wrote "Richly melodic, polished folk-pop... A mightily impressive calling card" while another said "Velvety harmonic web of undeniable beauty".
In February, 2002, lan Green saw Shoormal at a Shetland Showcase Concert In Edinburgh and discussions on recording their next album for Greentrax were completed quickly. The Band started recording the new album late in 2002 and worked tirelessly until August, 2003, to get it just right. It was engineered brilliantly by Jonathan Pitch, Gregg Arthur and Trevor Smith. lan Green and the mastering engineer, Peter Haigh of Pier House Studios, were mightily impressed when the mixes arrived in Edinburgh - strong, new songs, powerful vocal performances and exacting detail given to the arrangements. Instruments are interchanged to create atmosphere and mood of the material but never detract from the vocals. This is very much a team act!
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