Aly Bain is Scotland’s supreme traditional style fiddler. His playing is unique – driving, impassioned and pure – with vibrant, unmistakable tone that has earned him a following of ardent fans throughout the world. Born in Lerwick, Shetland in 1946 Aly began playing the fiddle at the age of eleven. In his early twenties, Aly headed to mainland Scotland. His dramatic playing, with great tone and technical ability brought early recognition as an outstanding musician of the folk music revival, and almost overnight, raised the level of expectation for music lovers throughout the country.
Phil Cunningham by Alastair Clark: Superb, innovative instrumentalist, with not simply the fastest fingers in the West but some of the most sensitive ones, too! The man who, in Scotland at least, made the accordion respectable again and also plays fine keyboard and whistle;composer, whose range extends from heart-tugging slow airs to vibrant tunes for a string of successful theatrical productions and to full-scale concert suites, where bagpipes, bodhrans and bouzoukis meet up with sometimes bemused classical orchestras in a whirlpool of rampant, exuberant sound; powerhouse behind two innovative and hugely influential bands, Silly Wizard and Relativity; television and radio presenter, producer and director, involved in some of the seminal programmes that have enabled Scottish music to walk tall; record producer, responsible for many must-have albums; unfailingly affable, world-travelling ambassador for traditional music; humorist, whose breezy banter can have a 2000-seat hall falling about in the aisles; unfailingly patient, inspiring and witty musical partner of the great Shetland fiddler, Aly Bain; winner of countless music awards, including a writer’s Grammy and, with Bonnie Raitt, multiple gold, silver and platinum albums; teacher, who not only helps young people but was on one occasion called in to give David Essex a singing lesson; Doctor of the University of Stirling, Member of the Order of the British Empire… where the hell do you start with Phil Cunningham?