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Order my debut EP now!

Release date:

22nd March 2024

Ri Taobh a' Chuain EP cover.png

Press release by Innes and Campbell Communications


Emerging traditional Scottish musician Robert John MacInnes is set to release his stunning debut EP Ri Taobh a’ Chuain, on Friday 22 March 2024.


With each of the record’s five tracks interwoven with themes of maritime beauty, coastal tales and the allure of inland lochs, this musical collection reflects Robert’s deep connection to Scotland's coastal landscapes, having been brought up in the loch side area of Kishorn in Wester Ross. In compositions where the central focus shifts from the call of the seas, the narrative unfolds alongside waters or coastlines, highlighting the significance of these natural elements in Robert's storytelling.


Artfully interpreted through the now Skye-based musician’s soulful vocals and skillful piano playing, Ri Taobh a’ Chuain, which is Gaelic for By the Sea, includes a selection of Robert's favourite Scottish songs, fueled by a desire to share the country’s musical heritage with audiences far and wide.


The opening track of the EP, O 'S Toil 'S Gur Ro - Thoil Leam, is one of the first Robert learned while studying at The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton, and sets the tone for the record as a whole. Offering listeners a glimpse into his musical origins, the track is a tribute to Robert’s mentors, Wilma Kennedy, Rachel Walker and Dougie Pincock, as well as the school itself.


Also on the record, Robert's rendition of Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond perfectly showcases his ability to infuse new life into a beloved classic. Departing from the familiar upbeat arrangement so often associated with Runrig, Robert opts for a stripped-back interpretation that places emphasis on the song's poignant narrative. By delving into the true story behind the lyrics — a farewell conversation between two soldiers during the Jacobite era — Robert offers listeners a fresh perspective on this iconic piece.


Robert John MacInnes said: “Each track on Ri Taobh a’ Chuain holds a special connection to the sea, coast and inland lochs, reflecting both the stories of the composers and the landscapes that have shaped my musical career. After a transformative year in 2023, filled with musical endeavours and personal growth, I felt compelled to release Ri Taobh a’ Chuain as a testament to my journey and a celebration of Scotland's vibrant musical traditions. This EP is a labour of love, and I'm thrilled to finally share it with the world."


Beyond his musical achievements and accolades at prestigious competitions such as BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year and The Royal National Mòd, Robert’s involvement in radio broadcasting, TV presenting and media mentoring underscores his growing presence in the Scottish media landscape.


As a radio presenter at Radio Skye since 2016, Robert hosts the acclaimed traditional music show Friday Night Trad, which was awarded the silver medal in the Specialist Music Show of the Year category at the Community Radio Awards 2023, showcasing the latest releases and cementing his reputation as a respected figure in the Scottish music industry.


Ri Taobh a’ Chuain was recorded at the Wee Studio on the Isle of Lewis, where Robert was joined by Keith Morrison who mixed the record and provided the guitar backing for multiple tracks.


The EP will be available to pre-order from Friday 1 March, will be available to download and purchase in physical form from Friday 22 March, and will be available to stream on all major platforms from Friday 1 April.

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