This album represents much of my own background, upbringing and musical experiences over the last few years. It also repreents the sound that people have come to expect from our concerts over recent times - the backbone duo of myself and my husband, Eamon Doorley, with lyrical highland fiddler Duncan Chisholm, driving guitarist Tony Byrne from Dublin plus the rhythmic beats of Martin O'Neill's bodhran playing. I am very pleased to welcome some long term friends and extraordinary musicians to the album too - Phil Cunningham, Mary Smith, Eddi Reader, Allan MacDonald, Jerry Douglas, Sharon Shannon and Ewen Vernal, plus of course our own family members Tom Doorley and Michelle Fowlis.
So here we are !
Since being presented with her award as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year 2008 by KT Tunstall, the Daily Telegraph's prediction that "Fowlis could be the first Scottish Gaelic crossover star in the making" has seemed increasingly prescient.
Indeed Julie Fowlis is no stranger to awards and distinctions, winning Gaelic Singer Of The Year & Album Of The Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2007 and nominated for the third year in a row as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year (the first ever Scottish Gaelic singer to win this prestigious award when given the title in 2008). Her single 'Blackbird' was also playlisted on BBC Radio 2, the first Scottish Gaelic artist to be playlisted in such a manner. She was also the first Scottish Gaelic artist to appear on the legendary show 'Later…with Jools Holland” in 2007.
She is perhaps most proud of her award as Scotland's Gaelic Ambassador - "Tosgaire na Gàidhlig", bestowed by the Scottish Parliament in 2008, the first person to ever receive this honour.
Since the release of her award-winning album 'cuilidh' in 2007 Julie has spent much time developing her own sound with a top-class touring band including husband Éamon Doorley, Dublin's Tony Byrne, Highlander Duncan Chisholm and bodhrán champion Martin O'Neill. This formidable line-up has become synonymous with emotive, expressive and high energy live shows.
Still finding time for collaborations with other musicians, Julie has recently worked with artists as diverse as Bill Whelan, John McCusker, Eddi Reader, Jayme Stone, and Salsa Celtica. She recently worked with Bill Whelan (Riverdance, Timedance) to produce a new piece of music, the World Premiere of which was on St Patrick's Day in Belfast 2009. As part of the internationally acclaimed Transatlantic Sessions 4 series, she has also been honoured to sing with James Taylor, Martha Wainwright, Stuart Duncan, Ronan Browne, Allan MacDonald, Liam O' Maonlai (Hothouse Flowers), Maireád Ní Mhaónaigh (Altan), Mike McGoldrick, Phil Cunningham, Tim O'Brien and Karen Matheson (Capercaillie).
In addition to having one of the busiest music touring schedules in Scotland, Julie has now delved into the world of broadcasting, presenting her very own show 'Fowlis and Folk' on BBC Radio Scotland for the second year running and also presenting regularly for television on Scotland's new Gaelic digital channel, BBC ALBA.
In the last year Julie has also worked on two other acclaimed recordings – the 'dual' project – an exploration of musical connections between Gaelic Scotland and Ireland with her husband Éamon Doorley, Irish songstress Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Lochaber's Ross Martin, and 'Under One Sky', John McCusker's ambitious crossover project featuring the likes of John Tams, Iain MacDonald, Graham Coxon (Blur) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub).
Julie is currently also studying for a Masters degree through Scotland's only Gaelic College 'Sabhal Mòr Ostaig' in 'Material Culture and the Environment', exploring in depth the culture and social history of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, in it's European context.
For Julie is a passionate torchbearer for the culture of her native Western Isles. And, coupled with her extraordinary talent, it is this quiet determination to celebrate the music of the Outer Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland on its own terms that ensures that Scots Gaelic music is reaching a wider audience than ever before.
Julie Fowlis - Uam ( From Me )
The title of this album "Uam" means "from me" in English. The idea of passing a song, a tune or a story from one person to another is a common one throughout Gaelic Scotland, and I often feel being given a song is like being given a gift. One you can use and enjoy yourself, but one which ultimately must be passed on to someone else. The song is always more important than the singer and must be passed on to survive.