Album Of The Week – Rory Matheson and Graham Rorie ‘We Have Won The Land’

Written by on April 10, 2022

Glasgow-based folk musicians Rory Matheson and Graham Rorie’s trad album, We Have Won The Land, is a rousing and uplifting collection, inspired by Highland crofters and their historic victory.

Rory’s local area is Assynt in Sutherland in the north-west Scottish Highlands, where the bold buy-out of 21,000 acres of land by the Assynt Crofters’ Trust from a Swedish land speculator was achieved in 1993.

The triumphant album is the first collaborative release from the two men.

Rory, who has toured throughout Europe, the US and Australia, is a founding member of Glasgow band TRIP and also tours with fiddle-led quartet Fara.

He said: “The crofters’ buyout is a really powerful story and an important part of Highland history that I was very inspired by. We Have Won The Land is the first time Graham and I had composed together and we had such a great time putting the album together.”

Orcadian Graham is a founding member of the three-time MG Alba Scots Trad Music award nominated band Gnoss and has toured extensively with the group.

“This was an album born out of lockdown – normally we are both away touring and writing with other bands, so the fact we had the time and space to write and record together has been very special, especially for such an interesting theme,” said Graham.

Rory (piano and keyboards) and Graham (fiddle, mandolin and tenor guitar) are joined by an impressive team of musicians on the album including Anna Massie on guitar, Charlie Stewart on bass, Craig Baxter on bodhrán, Fraser Stone on drums and percussion, Kristan Harvey on fiddle, Tiernan Courell on flutes and whistles and James Graham on vocals.

The record, which features all newly composed instrumental tracks and two songs with new arrangements of traditional material, was recorded and mixed by Gus Stirrat at Solas Sound in Glasgow and mastered by Nick Cooke in Bristol.

We Have Won The Land will be available to stream on all major platforms and purchase on CD or via download from Friday 22nd April.

Rory Matheson and Graham Rorie

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