From: The House Concert European Hub (& Acoustic Music Club Network) [mail_at_houseconcerthub_dot_ning_dot_com]

Sent: 25 March 2012 22:29

Subject: test ally


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Red Hook Rapids are Ally MacLeod & Donald Forbes they will be supporting Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart Glasgow Rio Cafe April 4, Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club April 5 and Inverness Bogbain Farm May 19. Red Hook Rapids will release their first official album in May of this year too so exciting times for the Highland Duo.

Ally's first solo radio hit album Astor Place, which features Donald, and was produced and mentored by Martin Stephenson of The Dantees fame, reached 16 in the Euro Free Form Broadcasters Chart, made the top 20 in the FAR world wide Free Form Broadcasters chart, is still in the top 20 of The French Americana Chart, has achieved airplay (and sales) across all territories including BBC Radio Ulster, Radio Wales and of coarse BBC Radio Scotland where doyen Scottish broadcaster Iain Anderson has strapped himself to their mast from the moment the CD landed with the crew of the Hesperus, Scotlands favourite song based radio show.

The joy of music and singing began early for Ally MacLeod, if her charge on popular success started late . She grew up in the Scottish Highlands in a home whose walls reverberated to the sounds of both traditional Scottish reels and jigs and the comforting twang of Chet Atkin's guitar.

Guitar, piano and trumpet lessons spattered her childhood but the love of theatre took her into acting, writing and directing in her 20's and 30's on both sides of the Atlantic, including a four year stint in New York working, mainly, in experimental theatre. She ran her own theatre company, Roadrunner Theatre, on her return to Scotland at the turn of the century and it was during this time her songwriting became more than just a hobby and began to dominate a greater part of her life.

A happenstance meeting with singer songwriter, and now music producer, Martin Stephenson unveiled a back catalogue of close to 50 songs and it was in the spring of 2010 that they began working together on a choice 12 that now make up Ally's first album, Astor Place.

Drawing on her experiences of living abroad, travelling the world, love, nature and the elements, the dozen songs span a decade of writing, the title track having been written the day after her fortuitous meeting with Martin.

"Martin is someone who is inspired and inspiring and I, literally, feed off his positivity and deep spiritual nature. I'm blessed to have met him."

Ally teamed up with fellow musician Donald Forbes, from Inverness, in the summer of 2010 and they now perform under the name Red Hook Rapids. Over the past year they have supported such musical luminaries as Christine Collister, Michael Weston King, the Lush Rollers and, most recently, Martin Stephenson at the Jazz Caf? in London.

"We're thrilled to be supporting Stacey and Mark. Their music is infectiously joyous and we can't wait to see them play live. They're torch bearers for a generation that could so easily have turned their backs on the country thaaang but they've embraced it wholeheartedly and immersed their lives in that authentic Americana sound we love so much".

If you looking for that whole hearted authenticity, and your living in Scotland, you could do much worse than look out for Red Hook Rapids over the coming year on tour with Mark and Stacey, + some Highland dates with Austin based Jeremy Steding worth looking out for too , with more venues across Scotland adding dates and at this years Belladrum Festival in August.  

Rob Ellen.

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