Kaela Rowan

Scottish singer songwriter Kaela Rowan sings with her own combo, The Kaela Rowan Band and Shooglenifty. Kaela sings in Scots, Gaelic and English. She loves to sing puirt à beul or mouth music.

"This album is really a homage to all the amazing ballads and ballad singers past and present. Those great singers who bring songs to life and helped awaken the young singer in me. My brother, artist and poet, Dee Sunshine, encouraged me to record the ballads I sang as a young musician in Lochaber, and from there it grew.

"Part of the story involves several journeys to Rajasthan. James Mackintosh and I were first invited to perform at Jodhpur RIFF in 2012 and have been back every year since then. Two of the tracks (Eilean Fhianain and Grioghal Cridhe) are the result of our collaboration with the amazing Rajasthani singer, Dayam Khan Manganiyar.

"Dayam sings in the Marwari language, in the traditional style of the Manganiyar community. This community comes from the deserts of western Rajasthan and have been singing epic ballads, songs of praise, love and loss for many centuries. Their traditions go deep and like any great balladeer, Dayam sings these stories with every morsel of his soul.

"I am also very excited to have Jarlath Henderson singing with me on As I Roved Out. He is another very beautiful ballad singer, and is currently receiving well-deserved acclaim for his debut solo album Hearts Broken, Heads Turned. 

"I am indebted to the uniquely talented instrumentalists who were so generous with their contributions to the album, not least my band mates James Mackintosh and Ewan MacPherson (please see below).

"No matter how often I sing these songs, they move me with their universal and timeless beauty. Sheila Stewart said, “You search and you find your soul and you put that into the singing'” I think that is what makes a good storyteller.

"And in every one of these ballads, there is a mesmerising age-old story, as relevant today as the day it was written. These songs connect us to those before us and, in some moments, it’s as though time itself doesn’t exist."

Kaela Rowan, April 2016