When Inverness musician, Liza Mulholland, decided to record a new CD, she drew inspiration from her maternal Lewis heritage, and the resulting album, ‘Fine ‘n’ Rosy’ – her first solo project – is very much a family affair, with sisters, brother, nieces and cousins all on Gaelic harmony duties, and her son, Roddy, playing the bagpipes.
She explained: “All of us cousins on the CD are descended from a tiny croft at No 2 Calbost, in the South Lochs area of Lewis. I love the idea that we’ve all come together to create music in this way!”
The Lewis connections don’t end there; one Gaelic song, on an otherwise self-penned album, was written by her late great uncle, Murdo MacFarlane, the Melbost Bard.
Liza added: “Murdo’s songs have been recorded by many top artistes, including Na h-Òganaich, Capercaillie, Cathy Ann MacPhee, Duncan Chisolm and the late Ishbel MacAskill, but I wanted to do our own wee family tribute to him.
“We always spent time with Murdo when we went to Lewis for our summer holidays; he was a lovely man as well as hugely influential poet and songwriter. His songs are so beautiful, powerful and poignant.”
Liza’s own songs range from reflective ballads such as ‘On The Road’ and the dreamy lullaby for her son, ‘Cadal Sàmhach’, to inditing commentaries on war and domestic abuse.
Proceeds from her track, ‘Took My Breath Away’ – telling the story of a controlling relationship developing into violence – are being donated to Women’s Aid.
Her first solo album may have been a long time coming, but over the years, Liza has played, recorded and collaborated with many diverse musicians, and plays in the Inverness-based indie-folk band, Dorec-a-belle.
As well as family, Liza has drawn on the talents of local musician friends, including Robin Abbot of The Mystic Shoes on double bass, Alasdair Taylor of Elephant Sessions on guitar and mandolin, Session A9’er Marc Clement, and fellow Feis Rois tutor, Dave Martin, on drums and percussion.
The album, ‘Fine ‘n’ Rosy’, nd is available at Amazon, iTunes, and other outlets, including Birnam CD Online Shop.