Archie Fisher - Windward Away

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(July 2008) 19 tracks: Borderlands * Ontario Dust * Bonnie Border Lass * Windward Away * Surge of The Sea * River & The Road * Shepherd on the Hill * Every Man's Heart * Ride Through The Rainbow * Speak Your Name * Before Eternity * Final Trawl * The Winter it is Past * Silver Coin * Star of Belle Isle * Ashfields & Brine * Eire Lingers * Cuillins of Home * Joy of My Heart.

Archie is a charismatic performer with a warm voice and wonderful guitar style. He has been the presenter of BBC Radio Scotland's Travelling Folk for many years, and is a household name in Scotland.

Twenty years between albums may seem like a casual way to go about a recording career but that is the time lapse since Archie Fisher last made a studio recording, his Canadian session with Garnet Rogers - Sunsets I've Galloped Into - back in 1988. Greentrax subsequently licensed that recording (CDTRAX020) and more recently their Off The Map live album (CDTRAX270), both from Garnet's Snowgoose Songs label.

It is not as if Archie went into musical hibernation. During this time he was still writing, touring and performing as well as presenting BBC Radio Scotland's flagship Travelling Folk programme.

This release is a Tale of Two Sessions and two colourful labels: Greentrax in the UK and Europe, and Red House in North America. The first element is Windward Away, started back in 1998 when he met up with the late Bob Feldman of the American label Red House Records in St Paul's, Minnesota, while touring with John Renbourn. Red House had also leased the Sunsets I've Galloped Into album and Bob then signed Archie for a new recording.

This session of songs had a protracted birth and never seemed complete and it took a piece of musical archaeology from Neil Ross at REL Records in Edinburgh to complete the picture. While moving studio he came across a safety copy of an album that Archie had recorded while he was working with the revived pairing of Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy in the 1970s. This had never seen the light of day and Archie had recorded several of the tracks on his later albums. The accompanying note from Neil Ross asked “Is this the missing master?” and so it was christened.

Consequently this recording spans twenty eight years of Archie's writing and singing career. There's a pride of place theme in the newest phase of songs with Borderlands, Ontario Dust and Bonnie Border Lass and seasonal progressions in the Graham Miles classic Shepherd on the Hill and his own Speak Your Name. Archie's family Hebridean connections shine through with a translation of the Gaelic An Ataireachd Ard (The Surge of the Sea), Cuillins Of Home and Joy Of My Heart.

"Exquisitely articulate, intimate vocals" (Norman Chalmers)

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