“From the moment this album opens with the utterly infectious hooks of ‘Took My Breath Away’ you’re held in its grasp. From there on every single song pulls at your feelings, moves your heart and touches your soul, an experience leaving you bound up in her music. The tunes are a joyous delight.” FolkWords, 23rd September 2016
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Born and brought up in Inverness, Liza has been involved in folk music for many years. Although classically trained in piano, her family background of a big Glasgow-Irish clan of musicians and singers on her father’s side, and the Gaelic song tradition of her mother’s Isle of Lewis heritage, inevitably meant a strong pull towards the folk scene.
After graduating from Glasgow University, Liza played in some of the city’s piano bars, toured Britain, Ireland and France in the early 1990s with folk/country band, CirMhor – including supporting American comedian, the late Bill Hicks, on his British tour -and went on to work with many diverse musicians.
Playing with the Deaf Heights Cajun Aces, fiddler Bruce MacGregor, Gaelic singers Fiona MacKenzie and Brian O hEadhra, cellist Christine Hanson, the Peyote Family, Davy Cowan And The Stormchasers, Andy Gunn’s blues band and others, she has also played on many albums, and her tunes and songs have been recorded by Bruce MacGregor and own indie-folk band, Dorec-a-belle.
On her first solo album of original songs and tunes, Fine ‘n’ Rosy, Liza brings together some top players, including cousin, Rua Macmillan, winner of Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Of the Year 2009, Alasdair Taylor of the Folk Award-winning band, The Elephant Sessions, Dave Martin of The Big Fat Electric Ceilidh and Robin Abbot of The Mystic Shoes.
This intimate album comprises reflective ballads and uptempo songs with catchy choruses, complemented by rollicking, rootsy, trad-style tunes and dreamy instrumentals. All are self-penned except the Gaelic classic, Mi Le M’ Uilinn, composed by her late, great uncle, Murdo MacFarlane, the Melbost Bard.
Subjects such as domestic abuse and the Iraq war are tackled with unflinching emotional power: Took My Breath Away, tells of a controlling relationship that degenerates into coercion and violence (this song was previously released as a download single with all proceeds going to Inverness Women’s Aid), whilst How Many More Willie McBrides? – written during the height of the war on Iraq and one of ten winning songs in the International Songs For Change Competition – takes its inspiration from Eric Bogle’s No Man’s Land and asks, in this year of the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, and as we witness ever-greater horrors in Syria, when will humanity end war and slaughter, and learn to live in peaceful co-existence.
Elsewhere Liza takes her inspiration from nature, her son, her love of the Isle of Colonsay and her many adventures in music.
Having tutored at numerous Feisean, Liza is a regular tutor with Feis Rois’s YMI programme and Artsplay Highland’s early years music project. In 2001, with husband Bruce MacGregor, she co-founded and managed the Trad Folk Award-winning Blazin’ In Beauly fiddle school, and later went on together to set up Bogbain Farm function and music venue near Inverness, establishing folk sessions, concerts, gigs, an accordion museum and their Northern Roots Festival.
An Lanntair Arts Centre, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis.
Cabarfeidh Bagpipe Supplies And Traditional Music Shop, Victorian Market, Inverness