Alasdair Roberts is a Scottish musician, born in Germany, who was raised near Callander and has been based in Glasgow since 1995. He is primarily a songwriter/composer, singer and acoustic fingerstyle guitarist as well as an interpreter/arranger of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond.
In 1996 Alasdair released his first 7” single on Will Oldham’s Palace Records imprint under the name Appendix Out (a name which he abandoned in around 2001 in favour of his own name); since then he as gone on to produce several full-length albums of music, primarily working with Drag City Records of Chicago.
Releases such as No Earthly Man (2005), Too Long In This Condition (2010) and, in collaboration with Lewis-born Gaelic singer Mairi Morrison, Urstan (2012) focus on Alasdair’s traditional song and ballad repertoire, while albums such as Farewell Sorrow (2003), The Amber Gatherers (2006) and A Wonder Working Stone (2013) focus on his self-written material.
His most recent Drag City release was 2015’s Alasdair Roberts LP/CD; early 2017 will see the release of a new Drag City album, Pangs, recorded with bassist Stevie Jones and drummer Alex Neilson. A tireless gigging musician, Alasdair has toured extensively throughout Scotland, the rest of the UK, Ireland, continental Europe, north America and Australia, both alone and with various bands and collaborators. He will be touring with Alex and Stevie in early 2017 to promote the new Drag City release Pangs.
Over the years, Alasdair has collaborated with a wide variety of fellow musicians as well as with other artists, including poet Robin Robertson (on Hirta Songs, an album about the archipelago of St Kilda), puppeteer Shane Connolly (on a revival of the Scottish folk play ‘Galoshins’) and film-makers Luke Fowler (on the soundtrack to his film All Divided Selves about the Glaswegian ‘anti-psychiatrist’ RD Laing) and Nick Higgins (on the soundtrack to his film Hidden Gifts about the South Uist artist Angus McPhee).
Alasdair produced the 2015 album Janus by the Californian singer-songwriter Matt Kivel. Summer 2016 sees the release on Clay Pipe Music of Plaint of Lapwing, an LP recorded in collaboration with the Sheffield-based musician and artist James Green.
In 2013 Alasdair became a member of the Scottish/English folk group The Furrow Collective, along with Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Emily Portman. The Furrow Collective has released one album, 2014’s At Our Next Meeting. October 2016 will see the release of the group’s second album. The Furrow Collective was nominated in the 2015 and 2016 BBC Radio Two Folk Awards; Alasdair was nominated as Scots Singer of the Year in the 2013 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.
Press quotes for Alasdair Roberts LP/CD by Alasdair Roberts (Drag City, 2015):
‘A calm, precise and very beautiful record… another display of excellence from an artist in consummate control of his art.’ – Uncut (9/10)
‘His dextrous guitar accompaniments are a constant delight, his tunes seep into the brain like a warm sun on a winter’s day, his mournful voice nags your attention, his songs intrigue, mystify and entrance and his arrangements constantly surprise.’ – fRoots
‘Alasdair Roberts might be quietly escalating towards Scottish national treasure status.’ – Mojo (4 stars)
‘His twisting melodies and cryptic imagery remain a delight… by turns droll, pungent and lovely.’ – The Observer
‘An understated gem… kept me engaged until the final note.’ – The Sun (5 stars)
‘A set of superbly written and wonderfully arranged songs that speak to the heart, while always providing stories that shimmer with humanity’ – Record Collector (4 stars)
‘An earthly and worldly – yet almost unearthly and otherworldly – magic, of a very special kind.’ – Folk Radio UK
|15/03/2017||Warwick Arts Centre (with Trio)||COVENTRY|
|16/03/2017||The Courtyard (with Trio)||HEREFORD|
|18/03/2017||B-Bar (with Trio)||PLYMOUTH|
|24/03/2017||Bodmin Folk Club||BODMIN|
|25/06/2017||Leigh Folk Festival||LEIGH ON SEA|
|19/08/2017||Green Man Festival (with Trio)||WALES|