Enjoy a few past articles!
Celebrating a year of Substack posts
Before we move on from Dumfries, where Robert Burns spent his last years, to visit (next week) his farm up the river at Ellisland, I’d like to celebrate a whole year of weekly articles here on Substack! These have been based on 14 years of music & walking tours co-led by myself and Dorothy (of Stirling), with context drawn from 24 years of my music columns for Scottish Life magazine.
Below are links to a small selection of articles that are more than 3 months old and have been archived for the benefit of paid subscribers — I’ve removed the paywall for these this month, for the enjoyment of new readers and free subscribers!
For starters, you’re welcome to read my intro to the articles that are based on our music & walking tours, and the intro to my book compiling my Scottish Life columns, entitled MusicScapes of Scotland: Vignettes from Prehistory to Pandemic.
Though I wrote a great deal about historic and contemporary Scottish bands in my book and Scottish Life, I have enjoyed adding to those profiles with some new interviews and articles here on Substack. One is about a favorite band of mine, Breabach, which toured the US this year for the first time in their 18 years as a band. Another is a guest post by my son Neil Pearlman’s (call me biased, it’s okay!) about the making of his beautiful solo piano album, Refractions, which is based on old Gaelic song melodies, and has become a hit on Scottish Gaelic radio.
Out of a number of articles tracing the historical context of the music, you might enjoy the 3000-year overview of Scottish music based Scotland’s Music, which was published as a book (now going into its 3d edition), broadcast twice as long-running radio program series on BBC Scotland, and represented on a CD on Linn Records.
Visits to Scotland — stories, photos, music
Many of these Monday posts feature photos, stories and music from our music & walking tours. One of my favorite spots to visit has been Glencoe, with its dramatic mountains, history and music. Here’s one of my photos from a hike up the Devil’s Staircase.
Currently, we’re in the middle of exploring the south of Scotland, followed by tours of the Outer Hebrides and the far northern mainland and islands, but looking back to archived articles, I loved our visits to loads of other places, including Glenfinnan, the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, and more. Here’s a link to photos, stories and music from the capital of the Highlands, Inverness. That’s where I took the photo below at around 11pm on a summer’s night, from one of the bridges over the River Ness.
Finally, for now, one more link for you, an article about our memorable visits to the charming towns of Dunkeld & Birnam — the huge trees, river walks, the cathedral, a pipe-making workshop, a slew of great musicians, and musical personalities such as Fiona Ritchie of The Thistle & Shamrock, as well as tales about the Duke of Atholl of Blair Castle and the great 18th century fiddler Neil Gow, both of whom are also featured in their own articles in this series.
I hope you enjoy these past articles this month — for a complete list you are welcome to visit this link. You always have 3 months to catch up to new posts here for free, but at some point, if you decide to get access to all the past articles (while supporting my work), you’re invited to consider a paid subscription — always a much appreciated vote of confidence!