Described as “something very special” “truly great music-making” and “great stuff” by BBC Radio Scotland, Scottish folk trio Dowally release their hotly-anticipated second album, Somewhere on 20 June 2018, followed by a week long tour of major UK cities.
Dowally is the meeting point of three musicians from very different worlds. Rachel Walker plays fiddle in the Scottish folk tradition, Phil Alexander is a performer and scholar of Klezmer music, and Daniel Abrahams guitarist rooted in Edinburgh’s jazz scene.
Somewhere was recorded live at the famous Castlesound Studio in Pencaitland, home to many great Scottish artists over the past 50 years including Karine Polwart, Lau and Blue Nile.
Why Somewhere? It was driving past the signpost to the tiny highland hamlet of Dowally, somewhere on the A9, that inspired their name back in 2015. But on a more profound level, the album’s tracks could be imagined as thrilling folk music from a made-up land, perhaps a lost island somewhere between Orkney and the Baltic coast.
Dowally’s first album was a spontaneous moment in the studio, an invitation from engineer and cellist Graham Coe. The new release is a much more considered project, with finely honed compositions and arrangements which express a unique identity within Scotland’s blossoming folk scene.
Somewhere features eight original compositions, and two choice covers. For any band, arranging a Beatles song is almost a rite of passage, and in Dowally’s hands, ‘And I Love Her’ takes a dark turn, swelling to a powerful ending, with Phil’s accordion improvising a minor reel. ‘Fluorescent Banshee’ blends Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ with the tradition Scottish fiddle tune ‘The Banshee’ – an unexpected and surprisingly joyful take on a modern classic.
The album features a number of exceptional guests. Ciaran Ryan of Dallahan lends his nimble fingers on tenor banjo and fiddle, Graham Coe rejoins the party with his fierce rhythmic cello, and finally the group is joined by Dominic Blaikie, a singer of rare soulfulness.
Rachel Walker – Fiddle, Low Whistle, Vocals
Daniel Abrahams – Guitar, Double Bass, Vocals
Phil Alexander – Accordion, Piano
Artists’ website: www.dowally.com
‘Sunday Brunch’ – live: