Introducing My Latest Album - Gaol

    The years roll on and the Gaelic tradition continues to renew itself. Whilst Lockdown appeared to make time stand still, for creatives across Gaeldom it has presented an opportunity for self-reflection and introspection through creativity. For Lochaber-based Rachel Walker, the fruits of the season are gathered together in Gaol, her first album in ten years.

    With a title evoking love, affection and the human bonds that bind us, the collection reflects just that – a labour of love. Spanning the centuries, the songs include apposite selections from the Gaelic tradition, such as ‘An t-Iarla Diùrach’ (‘The Earl of Jura’), informed by Rachel’s intimate knowledge of Gaelic song as well as contemporary Gaelic songwriting.

    Of the brand-new offerings, three represent collaborations with two of Gaeldom’s finest poets. ‘Caisteal Ghaoilein’ (‘Gylen Castle’), co-written with Tiree-native Flora MacPhail, marks a step forward for the songwriting partnership which brought ‘An Smeòrach’ (‘The Mavis’) to listeners, this time evoking the heroism of Clan Dougal. A contemporary anthem documenting an emotive episode in Highland history.
    Gaol - By Rachel Walker

    Track List

    1. Là Luain 5:53                                        
    2. Tìr is Sàl 2:39
    3. All For You 4:18
    4. Caisteal Ghaoilean 6:08
    5. An t-Iarla Diùrach 4:19
    6. Gun Dòchas 3:57
    7. I Never Knew 4:03
    8. A Phàidirinn a Dhùisg mo Dheòir 3:17
    9. River 4:07
    10. Cuimhneachain 3:52
    11. Thug mi Gaol Dhut, Thug mi Gràdh Dhut 7:53

    Also featured is fresh writing alongside Edinburgh-based Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, the result of two songwriting sessions held at the Scottish Poetry Library, prior to lock-down. ‘Là Luain’ is set to become a timeless classic, a heartbreaker of a ballad recorded alongside Mòd Gold Medallist James Graham. ‘Tìr is Sàl’ is a rollicking modern waulking song, evoking rural life, building on timeless imagery of land and sea.

    The album also features brand new English-language compositions, ‘All For You’ and ‘I Never Knew’, which see Rachel exploring a new, contemporary style. In all, Gaol takes listeners on a journey through the many iterations of love: romantic, familial, of language, land and lore.

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    Madainn mhath! #shepherdswarning
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    It was so special to be able to sing some of the songs from my new album with amazing friends & musicians @AaronHJones, @RoryGrindlay_ James Graham, Charlotte Printer and the brilliant @BrodickQuartet at the end of last year. It will be shown as part of @ccfest on 26th Jan.
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    Another beautiful Lochaber morning looking across to the Grey Corries, Aonach Mòr and Ben Nevis.
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    First swim of the year. ❄️💕

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