Freeland Barbour has a new solo CD released in October 2021. Titled 'An t-Eilean Àrd - The High Island' it is available both as a download and as a CD. It's on the Macmeanmna label, catalogue no. SKYECD61, and is a mixture of well-loved Gaelic and Highland material as well as some of Freeland's own compositions. It's mainly Freeland playing rather a lot of instruments but also features 6 tracks with Occasionals' fiddlers Alison Smith (4), Iain Fraser (1), and one previously unreleased track with the late Ian Hardie.
Mairi Campbell has been inducted into The Scottish Music Hall of Fame, and joins Freeland Barbour, Gus Millar, and Neil MacMillan who are there as members of The Wallochmor Ceilidh Band, and Malcolm Jones who is there as a member of Runrig. Freeland recently received an award to recognise his contribution to Scottish traditional music from The National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs. Both Gus Millar and Neil MacMillan have received this award previously so the band are extremely proud to now have three recipients of this and they join famous names such as Jimmy Shand, Bobby Macleod, and Ian Powrie. The band have also in the past been shortlisted on various occasions and in various categories for the Trad Awards, as have Mairi Campbell and Freeland Barbour. In addition Mairi has received a number of Trad awards as a soloist, teacher, songwriter., and composer.
Malcolm and his band colleagues in Runrig said farewell to an amazing 40-year career with two sellout nights at The King's Park below Stirling Castle in August 2018. Tears were flowing and emotions ran high and Runrig may be no more in terms of live performance but there's a silver lining for The Occasionals in that Mr. Jones might now be free for more gigs than has been the case in the past!
'The Music and the Land - The Concert' has been released by Greentrax (CDTRAX392) and features recordings from the 2 book launch concerts at The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh (Oct. 2015) and The Fruitmarket, Glasgow (January 2016). See below for details of the book 'The Music and the Land - The music of Freeland Barbour'
The CD includes tracks by The Occasionals as a full band and in different combinations and tracks from the special guests Phil Cunningham, Martin Carthy, Ross Ainslie, Gary West, Jane Gardner, Simon Thoumire, Billy Kay, Janet Barbour, and Cailean Maclean. The CD captures the warmth and excitement of 2 special occasions and, in the words of author James Robertson, 'a book launch like no other.'
BOOK/SAMPLER CD/PIPING BOOK
Freeland Barbour's book of collected music illustrated with some stunning photography, 'The Music and The Land', published by Birlinn, was launched with a sell-out concert and dance at The Queen's Hall in Edinburgh on Saturday 10th October 2015. This event was repeated as the Glasgow launch of the book at Celtic Connections on Jan. 19th 2016 at The Old Fruitmarket. The full band (Freeland Barbour, Mairi Campbell, Kevin Macleod, Neil MacMillan, Gus Millar, Alison Smith) were joined by concert guests Martin Carthy, Phil Cunningham, Ross Ainslie and Billy Kay for what proved to be quite a special night. In addition to the book there is a 14-track sampler CD available FREE with each copy of the book purchased, and a separate piping book, 'The Music and The Land - The Piping Section', available as well, with 65 tunes from the main collection set for the highland bagpipes. (Purchase from www.freelandbarbour.co.uk).
The Coronavirus epidemic has of course brought to an end all gigs for musicians for the foreseeable future and no one knows when normal life will resume.