Aly Bain

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Aly Bain
AlyBain-CampbeltownAug2005-2.JPG
Background information
Born (1946-05-15) 15 May 1946 (age 68)
Origin Lerwick, Shetland
Genres Folk, Traditional, Celtic, World Music
Occupations Musician
Instruments Fiddle/viola
Years active 1968–present
Labels Whirlie Records
Associated acts Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, The Boys of the Lough, Transatlantic Sessions, Ale Möller and Bruce Molsky.

Aly Bain MBE (born 15 May 1946 in Lerwick, Shetland) is a Shetland fiddler who learned his instrument from the old-time master Tom Anderson. In 1967 he was a member of the Shetland-based band Gordon Hank and the Country Ramblers, with Gordon Smith, Ian Stewart and Jack Robertson.[1] Bain is now considered one of the finest fiddlers in the Scottish tradition.

Career[edit]

In the early days of his career he formed (briefly and unofficially) part of the band The Humblebums with two other ‘unknowns’ Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey. He became nationally prominent as a founding member of The Boys of the Lough, a Scots- Irish folk group, with whom he played for over 30 years. He received several honorary doctorates in the USA.

Simultaneously, Bain pursued a solo career in collaborative and television projects with Pelicula Films Director, Mike Alexander and Producer, Douglas Eadie, working on several international television series: 'The Down home Recordings', 'The Shetland Sessions', 'Aly Meets The Cajuns', and six series of the Transatlantic Sessions - in 2010 winning the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, "Good Tradition Award". Since the early eighties Bain has regularly collaborated and recorded with prominent musicians from across the globe, including: Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris, Mark O'Connor, Jay Ungar, Mary Black, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Dan Tyminski, Rosanne Cash, James Taylor, Eddi Reader, Paul Brady, Darrell Scott, Michael Doucet, Martha Wainwright, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, John Martyn, Danny Thompson, Iris DeMent, Karen Matheson, Karan Casey, Donal Lunny, Joan Osborne, Allison Moorer, Bruce Molsky and Allan MacDonald[disambiguation needed], bringing traditional music to a constantly widening audience.

In 1993 his autobiography "Fiddler on the Loose" was published by "Mainstream". It was co-written with Alastair Clark.

Bain has received many honours for his services to music: in 1994 he was awarded the MBE for his musical accomplishments. In 1989 he received a Silver Disc from the Record Industry Association for his 'Aly Meets the Cajuns' recording. A further Silver Disc followed in 1991 for The Pearl, recorded on his own Edinburgh Record Label, Whirlie Records. He also has received five honorary Doctor of Music (DMus) degrees: Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama; Stirling University; The University of St Andrews (2003); The Open University (2005) and Edinburgh University (2009). In addition, on 27 November 2007, Bain - along with Phil Cunningham - were awarded Doctor of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University for their contributions to music and to the education and encouragement of young musicians.[2]

In 2005, together with Edinburgh’s Phil Cunningham, he won the BBC’s "Best Duo of the Year" award.

In 2006, a television programme celebrating his 60th year, documenting Aly Bain's life and works, was broadcast by the BBC.

In 2006, Bain was inducted into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

In 2012, Bain and Cunningham celebrated their 25th anniversary of touring as a fiddle and accordion duo. Bain also tours with Swedish multi-instrumentalist, Ale Möller, with whom he has recorded two albums, and with American old-time fiddler, singer, guitarist and banjo player: Bruce Molsky. As a trio the released their first joint album in 2013.

In 2009 Bain collaborated with Nicola Benedetti to create on an hour long television programme for BBC Scotland: "When Nicola Benedetti Met Aly Bain", broadcast in 2009. In 2010, together with Pelicula Films and Billy Connolly, Bain made a further hour long television programme for BBC: "Fishing for Poetry", celebrating the life and works of the Scottish Poet, Norman MacCaig.

In the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Bain was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.[3]

Discography[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

From television series[edit]

Transatlantic Sessions[edit]

With Mike Whellans[edit]

  • Aly Bain - Mike Whellans (1971)

With Willie Johnson[edit]

  • Shetland Folk Fiddle Volume 2 (1976)

With The Boys of the Lough[edit]

With Tom Anderson[edit]

With Phil Cunningham[edit]

With Ale Möller[edit]

With Tellef Kvifte, Henning Sommerro, Hanne Kjersti Yndestad and Leiv Solberg[edit]

With BT Scottish Ensemble[edit]

DVDs[edit]

  • Another Musical Interlude (2004) (with Phil Cunningham)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 3 (2007) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)
  • The Original Transatlantic Sessions: Series 1 (2008) (with Jay Ungar and various artists)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 4 (2009) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 5 (2011) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 2 (2012) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)
  • Aly Meets The Cajuns (2012) (with Dewey Balfa(Cajun musician)and various artists)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 6 (2013) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)

References[edit]

External links[edit]