Bodega
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Bodega

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"BODEGA"

This is Bodega's debut album and it's excellent! This exciting and fiendishly gifted young Scottish band got together early in 2005 after meeting as students at Plockton, and within a matter of a few months they'd won the coveted BBC2 Young Folk Award. Listen to this album (produced by Jack Evans) if you've never seen them perform live, and you'll understand exactly why they wowed the judges!

The band is blessed with the fine and exceptionally clear vocals of Norrie MacIver, who strikes the right balance of English and Gaelic song. The traditional instrumental skills of the entire band are superb – there's barely a traditional instrument not heard here, and they even throw in the pulsing beat of the djembe for added impact. The music buzzes with youthful energy and a lively, rhythmic, very lyrical drive. I'm totally smitten with Compositions, a gorgeous set of original tunes with stunning harp, guitar and fiddle motifs – I'd like to hear much more of the band's original work on future albums.

There's a wonderfully characterful version of Crooked Jack, and the instrumental covers are all spot on, including spirited interpretations of Brose and Butter, The Badger Set, Aird Ranters, Punch in the Dark and more. I like the way these musicians clearly thrive on giving each other space to ‘show off' their outstanding instrumental skills right through the recording – there are masses of listening detail here.

Bodega's approach is bold and energetic, and their musicianship is quite honestly superb – the band deserves to go far; this album injects much-needed life into the Scottish traditional scene, and Bodega really deserve to achieve the sort of success enjoyed by the likes of vocal/instrumental bands like Back of the Moon, Malinky and Capercaillie.

If their debut album sounds this good, who knows what Bodega might be capable of producing in future?

Debbie Koritsas - The Living Tradition Magazine


"Bodega"

"Bodega won the BBC2 Young Folk Award for 2005 and I can't imagine the voting was close; this is the most exciting band to come out of Scotland's West Coast and Islands since young Capercaillie, whom Bodega evoke in sets such as "Aird Ranters" and "The Devil." They also draw comparisons to Old Blind Dogs because of their use of African percussion, but forget about direct analogies as one of the great joys of this debut album is the uniqueness with which various styles are explored and mixed. For instance, they cover Dylan's "Wagon Wheel" as if it was honky tonk Celtic, and on the "Clueless" set they take apart two modern bagpipe compositions in ways that would make a postmodernist proud. And then there's "Horo hu-o Mo Nigh'n Donn," a waulking tune done over as smooth jazz in which June Naylor makes her harp sound like vibes. The level of mutual understanding is impressive for a band not yet two. Piper Gillian Chalmers is especially simpatico with fiddler Ross Couper, while Naylor works well off of Tia Files's guitar and bass. If there is a star in such a tight ensemble cast, it's singer/ accordionist/guitarist Norrie MacIver. This young man has a serious set of lungs and he's not afraid to air them. He covers old Gaelic songs with grace and power, and brings English material such as "Greenland" into the 21st century dancehall. Bodega is all over the musical map, but they know how to read it and take listeners on an original voyage." Weir, Rob - Sing Out


"Cropredy 2006"

"But soon the crowd had swelled to witness Bodega, a five-piece aged between 17 and 19 who hail from various remote climes of Scotland. Geoff Hughes said of them in overly dramatic terms: "When you see young talent like this, you know the future of folk music is in good hands". And granted, they were fantastically good.

Perhaps Scotland's answer to Nickel Creek, Bodega are sickeningly proficient in their playing of busy Gaelic music and have a confident and good natured manner on stage. " Barnaby Smith - www.musicomh.com


Discography

BODEGA, (2006), Greentrax Recordings Ltd

Track Listings

1. 9/8's
2. Crooked Jack
3. Smeorach Chlann Domhnaill
4. Devil
5. Wagon Wheel
6. Badger Set
7. Oran Chaluim Sgaire
8. Compositions
9. Aird Ranters
10. Horo hu-o Mo Nigh'n Donn
11. Greenland
12. Clueless

Photos

Bio

Contact:
North America, robyn@woodenshipproductions.com
Europe, davie.gardner@btinternet.com

Bodega are; Gillian Chalmers (Fraserburgh), Ross Couper (Shetland), Tia Files (Oban), Norrie MacIver (Isle of Lewis) and June Naylor (Isle of Skye). Bodega is a young, five piece band from all over Scotland. The band was formed in March 2005 while all five members were attending The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music. Bodega were the winners of BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2005/06 and went on to release their self titled debut album with Greentrax Records, Bodega. Since then, the band have played at Cambridge Folk Festival, Heb Celt Festival and the Fairport Convention in Jan 2006. The band have also played in France in 2006, and have just ended 2007 with an extremely busy summer touring in Europe and the United States, including Kaustinen Festival (Finland), Folkest (Italy) and Celtic Classic (Pennsylvania, U.S) After a successful year the band are now working on new material for their next album which will be out before the summer of 2008.

Gillian Chalmers is a 19-year-old piper, fiddler and whistle player from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire and was one of the original students to be accepted at The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music when it was opened in 2000. Gillian has competed in the solo piping circuit since she was 9, and has won competitions including - The Northern Meeting, Carnoustie Scottish Junior Championship, Nairn Young Piper of the Year. Gillian has gigged all over Scotland, Ireland (with NYPB), France, Italy, Canada and more recently America with Bodega. As well as being a member of Bodega, Gillian also plays with Catriona Watt, BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year. She is currently in her third year at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama studying for a BA (Scottish Music- Piping).

Norrie MacIver, 20, comes from Carloway in the Isle of Lewis. He is known for his Gaelic Singing but also plays the accordion, guitar and djembe. Norrie has toured scotland as part of different bands whilst at the music school and is currently a member of the new, all male gaelic singing group, Na Seoid. Norrie has recorded backing vocals for artists such as Skippinish and Julie Fowlis and has performed at celtic connections as part of the Master and Apprentice series. He has appeared on both Gaeic TV and Radio and has won singing competitions such as Seo Seinn in Stornoway. Norrie is currently studying for a BA in Scottish Music at the RSAMD.

Ross, who hails from an incredibly musical family, began playing the fiddle at the age of 8. Initially tutored by Bernadette Porter at Brae High School, Ross no doubt also gained significantly from the fact that his mother Margaret Scollay was, and still is, a prominent fiddle tutor in a number of Shetland schools. Over and above playing the fiddle, Ross is also a highly proficient guitarist.
In 2003 he won the title of Young Traditional Fiddler of the Year and came second in the open section of the Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year. Soon afterwards he left Shetland to take up a place at the 'National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music' at Plockton. Inevitably this was a challenging and rewarding experience for Ross and one that very much expanded not only his talents but also his musical horizons. The following year this was further enhanced when he gained a place to study traditional and folk music at Newcastle University, where one of his tutors was fellow Shetland musician Catriona Macdonald.

Tia Files,18, from Oban focuses on guitar and bass guitar in Bodega. She started playing the chanter when she was four years old which later led to a full size set of bagpipes at the age of six. By the age of eight she had experience and success with both fiddle and bagpipe competitions including the National Mod. Curious to learn different styles of music, she auditioned and was accepted to the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland for Children when only ten. When twelve she successfully auditioned to the N.C.E.T.M It was here she first heard folk music and in her second year changed her first choice instrument (bagpipes) to guitar. Being at the music school led her to taking part in many concerts home and abroad including Donald Shaw`s Harvest and Celtic Colours in Canada. After Plockton, Tia moved to Glasgow to study Instrument making.

June Naylor plays the clarsach and piano and is from from Uig, Isle of Skye. June is a highly sought after soloist musician and is now attending 3rd year at Strathclyde University, studying the BA Applied Music Course.