Maggie MacInnes

Maggie MacInnes is one of Scotland's foremost
Gaelic singers and clarsach players. She comes
from a long line of singers from the island
of Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
  Eilean Mara Spiorad Beatha – The Spirit of Life Peaceful Ground – Talamh Sìtheil Òran Na Mnà – A Woman's Song A Fàgail Mhiughalaigh – Leaving Mingulay  

The Seed Boat — Colum Sands & Maggie MacInnes

The Seedboat – Bàta an t-Sìl
Colum Sands & Maggie MacInnes

Catalogue No. SPRING RECORDS SCD1061

£12.00 (includes p&p) • Buy via Paypal

1. The Seedboat (Bàta an t-Sìl) LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file one
2. It was a' for our rightfu' King LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file two

3. The High Walls of Derry LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file three


Inspired by the fascinating story of the boat which once plied the waters between their ancestral homelands, Maggie MacInnes from Barra in the Outer Hebrides and Colum Sands from County Down have released a new CD that weaves a bi-lingual tapestry of songs old and new, reaching across the waves that divide and join their homeplaces.

It's an album which combines two considerable talents; Singer and clàrsach player, Maggie MacInnes who was led to the great well of traditional song by her mother, the legendary Flora MacNeil from Barra, has recorded five critically acclaimed solo CDs and she was voted Gaelic Singer of the Year in the BBC Scots Trad Music Awards.
Colum Sands comes from a great County Down musical clan, his own songs have been recorded and translated by many highly respected artists around the world and he is a recipient of The Living Tradition Award for Services to Folk and Traditional music.

Their collaboration has lead to this unique album after five years of preparation and research as Maggie and Colum exchanged ideas and recorded tracks when their own busy solo schedules allowed.

Described by Australian journalist, Jan Neary, as a "a voyage for the soul" the album floats on a tide of songs which rejoices in the wealth of language shared by two countries and carrying stories and emotions that are universal, from heart-breaking

What the reviewers said about The Seedboat:
David Kidman (Freelance Journalist): Soft-spoken gentle-man Colum’s one of the most captivating and genuine talents on the folk scene, and his latest inspirational and ambitious project is a lovely collaboration with acclaimed singer and clarsach player Maggie (daughter of legendary Barra singer Flora MacNeill). It ostensibly takes its cue from the story of a voyage two centuries ago on the little vessel named The Seedboat, from the Hebridean island of Barra to Newry in Co. Down, by Donald, a young man intending to buy some whiskey for his forthcoming wedding; this (ill-fated) story is recounted in a bittersweet lament composed by his left-behind bride Catriona, which here is heartrendingly sung by Maggie (with help, and some English lyrics, from Colum). The power of this song, rooted in the heritage of both Scotland and Ireland, also symbolises the continuing richness of the musical dialogue between the two nations, unashamedly rejoicing in the wealth of “shape-shifting” language they share. This piece is the catalyst for an intelligently-crafted sequence of songs and tunes that’s loosely linked by the sea and drawn both from the wellspring of tradition and Colum’s original compositions. It’s both highly imaginative and delightfully stimulating in a wonderfully homespun way, and the two performers dovetail together immaculately, working hand-in-hand like the best-fitting of gloves. Their voices and sensibilities are as naturally and well-matched as the sounding-together of English and Gaelic. The catchy lilt of Calum’s Boat gives way to one of Colum’s characteristic slices of homespun philosophy The Wave Upon The Shore (which resonates onward to and from the second, The Window Half Open, towards the end of the CD), while some typically puckish light relief is provided by Colum’s irresistible, if slightly tongue-testing I’m A Terrible Man and the vibrant little morris-tune that Colum uses as the basis for Dance Like Billy-o. The emotional temperature is high when Maggie blesses us with her peerless renditions of some wonderful old songs: the unutterably sad Dh’fhlabh Mo Nighean Chruinn Donn (My Lovely Brown-Haired Girl Has Gone) is done to a delicately spare guitar backing, while her magisterially expressive account of the emigration song The Quiet Land Of Erin comes with sympathetic clarsach decorations and the lyrical duet of The High Walls Of Derry is given an appealing lilt by Colum’s deft guitar work. One finely managed (though maybe less characteristic or expected) contribution finds Colum and Maggie sweetly duetting on Burns’ It Was A’ For Our Rightfu’ King, while Hebridean mouth-music makes its mark on the project with a sturdy waulking song in praise of Alasdair, Son Of Gallant Coll, and the disc ends in more tranquil mode with the yearning spell of The Castle Of Wild Waves. Like the whole disc, this reading is characterised not only by the performers’ soothing, intimate vocals and careful, bright-eyed musicianship, but most important, also by its sense of life and vitality and an incurable optimism of the human spirit. This entirely charming release, though impeccably presented in the most attractive of digipacks and sporting a beautiful booklet that contains full texts and translations, may well be in danger of slipping through the nets of coverage, as the promoters and radio stations always seem to have bigger fish to catch – but you mustn’t let it, for it’s a true pearl, and thus eminently treasurable. David Kidman

Irish Music magazine, January 2011: It really does my heart good to see the growing trad music ties between Gaelic Scotland and Ireland, and this new CD, The Seedboat (Báta an tSíl) from Colum Sands and Maggie MacInnes, is just one of an increasing number of shared albums between Scottish and Irish performers. Another recent example is Conamara sean nós singer Mairéad Ní Fhlatharta’s CD, Ó chaon taobh (from both sides), where she sings a song in Gàidhlig she got from the well-known Isle of Lewis singer, Christine Primrose.

Colum and Maggie themselves sum up what their CD is all about, describing it as, “A blend of songs old and new celebrating the musical bridges between Ireland and Scotland.” Both are from musical families: she’s from a long line of Gaelic singers from the small Hebredian island of Barra and learned most of her songs from her mother the highly acclaimed traditional singer, Flora MacNeil M.B.E. And Colum? “We grew up on a small farm in the townland of Ryan, near the village of Mayobridge, a few miles from the town of Newry. Our parents, Mick and Bridie, both came from families of singers, musicians and storytellers and encouraged a love of Irish culture and tradition in their seven children.” And that serves as a neat lead-in to a delightful note on Maggie’s web site that draws the two singers’ native places together, and that serves to explain the CD’s title: “The Seedboat sails from Barra shore, young Donald’s gone to Newry. And though he swears a swift return, till then she’ll miss him dearly…”

The note continues: “These lines are from a beautiful bitter-sweet love song that has inspired two musicians from either end of The Seedboat’s voyage to embark on an exciting new journey of music and song.” The song is track 3 on the album and it inspired Colum to write the song that precedes it, The Wave upon the Shore. Of The Seedboat (Báta an tSíl) and how this song in Gàidhlig inspired his song in English, he says, “The metaphor was irresistible and that little boat was very much behind the floating of this song, and indeed the inspiration of this album.”

Maggie MacInnes sings and plays the clársach. Colum sings and plays the guitar and several other instruments. The songs are in Gaelic and English and cover a wide range of themes and moods, including Colum’s hilarious I’m a Terrible Man, a song in broad Ulster Scots with lines like, Her father he let out a gulder, You talk about getting a gunk, But I duked in around by the jaw box And I dunted him one into the bunk. The recording is great fun and is a seamless weave of shared song traditions. Aidan O’Hara

The Living Tradition, January, 2011: Colum and Maggie’s new album takes as its inspiration the story of an ill-fated trip by a young Barra man, Donald who sailed from the Hebridean Island to County Down’s Newry to buy some whiskey for his forthcoming wedding to Catriona. Whilst there he meets and falls in love with a Newry girl - never to return to Barra. The song is Catriona’s lament to her lost love.

The album takes as its heart, therefore, the rich musical dialogue between Scotland and Ireland as personified by Colum’s County Down and Maggie’s Hebridean roots. It’s an ambitious piece of work; songs are rooted in the past of both locations and Gaelic lyrics sit happily alongside English translations.

The title-track is a bittersweet little song which is followed by the roguish I’m A Terrible Man (I bhi Àta) - perhaps hinting at the failings in Donald’s character from The Seedboat - which melds words and phrases from English, Gaelic, as well as Ireland and Scotland. The sea itself is a linking motif, and boats and distance feature heavily throughout. Highlights include Colum’s self-penned The Wave Upon the Shore (which depicts the sea as a force to unite rather than be feared), the fine waulking song Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda (Alasdair, Son of Gallant Coll) as well as the tranquil love song The Castle Of Wild Waves (Caisteal na Stuadhan) and the warm instrumental of Rory Dall’s Port.

Dark themes are dealt with gentle hands, such as the loss felt in the title-track and the delicately fragile Dh’fhalbh Mo Nighean Chruinn Donn (My lovely brown haired girl has gone) as well as a bright interpretation of Robert Burns’ It Was A’ For Our Rightfu’ King. Occasionally, I would have preferred a little more salty gristle added to the pot, but that’s not Colum or Maggie’s style. The Seedboat (Bàta an t-Sìl) is a quiet, sweet little album charmingly played and sung with some fine musicianship from Maggie on clàrsach and Colum on guitar, double bass, concertina and mandolin. Maggie’s soft vocals and Colum’s soothing, intimate voice are matched perfectly and the album’s potential for further collaboration is something both interesting and worth anticipating. Billy Rough

Folkworld, November, 2010: The Seedboat sails from Barra shore, young Donald’s gone to Newry, and though he swears a swift return, til then she’ll miss him dearly ... The macaronic - i.e. bi-lingual English and Gaelic - "Bata n t-Sil" (The Seedboat) is an adaption of the traditional Scots Gaelic song "Gur e mo ghille dubh dhonn". Two hundred years ago, Donald went on a shopping trip from the Hebrides to the Northern Irish coast to buy whisky for his wedding, but (un)fortunatly fell in love with a Newry girl never to return to his native shores. This was the birth of a musical meeting between Gaelic singer and harpist Maggie MacInnes from Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland (her mother is the legendary singer Flora MacNeil) and singer-songwriter Colum Sands of the musical family from Co. Down in Northern Ireland.

Colum and Maggie connect - hands across the ocean - both their homeplaces with music and song. It is a nice selection of songs. There's traditional Gaelic songs (Colum put English lyrics to some). In the story of "Dh'fhalbh mo nighean chruinn donn" it is a girl travelling to Newry to wed another. In Robert Burns' "It Was A' for Our Rightfu' King" the man leaves to fight in a foreign war. "Ard ti Cuan" (The Quiet Land of Eirean) is a well-known Gaelic ballad, sung on the Irish side of the ocean as well as on the Scottish. Here it is sung in an English version, the chorus only being in Gaelic. It's a song being in the Sands fanily repertoire for quite some time. Colum's original song "The Wave Upon the Shore" takes up the metaphor of the seedboat and travelling across the sea: the sea was the road and the boat was the way. There's also instrumental music, such as the 17th century harp piece "Rory Dall's Port".

Scots Magazine, December, 2010: The Seedboat stars Irishman Colum Sands and Barra singer Maggie MacInnes, and is called after the boat that sailed from Barra to Newry in Northern Ireland with seed potatoes. On one trip it took a swain from Barra there to buy necessaries for his wedding; he met a Newry girl and married her instead, and that’s the sad tale of the title track. Not that this is all yearning and sorrow; far from it, with a waulking song and puirt-a-beul among the tracks. Not only does the CD offer many emotions, but also four languages: English, Gaelic, Irish, and a sort of Stanley Unwin-esque mixture of English and nonsense. A.MacLean


A Fàgail Mhiughalaigh – Leaving Mingulay

A Fàgail Mhiughalaigh – Leaving Mingulay
Catalogue No. MARCD05

£12.00 (includes p&p) • Buy via Paypal

1. Beinn a' Cheathaich (The Misty Mountain) LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file one
2. Miughalaigh (Mingulay) LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file two

3. Laoidh Mhoire Mhaigdeann (Hymn to the Virgin Mary) LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file three

Released July, 2009. The music on this, Maggie's fifth solo CD, tells the story of the beautiful island of Mingulay with which Maggie has very strong family connections. Mingulay lies about 12 miles south of Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and was last inhabited in 1912. Maggie put together most of this music for a BBC documentary about the island produced by MNE Media. The material includes original songs which were part of the islands rich Oral Tradition and new music composed by Maggie. Maggie's Great Grandparents were from Mingulay and she has always had a fascination for the place. The struggle of the people to survive on such a remote windswept island in a fast changing world supported only by their strong sense of community and their faith is a powerful and moving story.

Guests on this CD include Michael McGoldrick of Capercaillie on Uilleann pipes and whistles; Brian McAlpine on keyboards and accordion (Brian also co-produced the CD); Anna Massie and Kevin MacKenzie on guitars; Finlay MacDonald on chanter and whistles; Christine Hanson on cello; Frank McGuire on percussion and Flora MacNeil (Maggie's mother) and Alison Buchanan on backing vocals.

What the reviewers said about A Fàgail Mhiughalaigh:
Most of us know of Mingulay only from "Mingulay Boat Song," covered by a range of folk musicians from the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem to (most recently as far as I know) Richard Thompson. Abandoned since 1912, Mingulay is a real place -- an island in Scotland's Outer Hebrides — but "Boat Song" is not a real folk song even if often mistaken for one. The folkish lyrics were written in 1938 by Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952). The lovely melody, however, is familiar and traditional, known in Scotland as "Lochabar" and in Ireland as "Fear a Bhata."

Maggie MacInnes, who grew up on Barra 12 miles north of Mingulay, has followed an impressive career as Scottish harp (clarsach) player, singer and composer. Leaving Mingulay (A Fàgail Mhiughalaigh) remembers the island with authentic songs and airs associated with its once-thriving rural culture. Much of the material derives from MacInnes's family, the maternal side of which has deep roots in Mingulay's soil. All of this is sung in Gaelic, with lyrics provided in the liner booklet.

Accompanied by some first-rate Scottish musicians on pipes, fiddles and other native instruments or providing harmony vocals, MacInnes offers up a dozen cuts' worth of something like musical perfection. Her strong and clear voice communicates emotions even if in a language with which few of us are conversant. Stylistically, MacInnes comes out of both the tradition and its revival. The songs are largely from genuine oral transmission, the settings from the Bothy Band-generated Celtic-music movement of recent decades, in other words a sophisticated, textured chamber-folk sound.

Every cut has something to reward a discerning ear. For reasons beyond the music (notwithstanding its excellence), though, I find one song — the title translates as "Come Home With Me to the Fairy Knoll" — particularly intriguing. The words, collected in the 19th century on Mingulay, were allegedly "heard in a fairy mound." (The melody was not preserved, and MacInnes has written her own.) I have a particular interest in songs and tunes said to have been learned from supernatural sources and in fact have something to say about them in an upcoming book. The lyrics have the elfin singer seeking to lure a child away into a happier otherworldly realm, also the theme of W.B. Yeats's famous poem "The Stolen Child."

In any event, Leaving Mingulay attests eloquently to the richness and beauty — not to mention bottomless quantity and diverse quality — of Scotland's homegrown music. MacInnes is among the best living carriers of an admirable tradition. Jerome Clark

Properganda Magazine, July 2009: Singer and clarsach player Maggie (from the Outer Hebridean island of Barra)won Best Gaelic Singer title at 2004's BBC Scottish Traditional Music Awards; in 2007 Maggie was asked to provide music for a documentary film telling the story of the island of Mingulay (a few miles south of Barra), with which she has strong family connections. The music on this elegant and lovingly-produced CD includes much of that used in the documentary plus re-arrangements and extra material. It presents a programme of Gaelic songs known to have been sung on the island (including an ancient lament, songs to accompany daily tasks, a hymn and a tender, charming Fairy Song), along with three evocative tunes composed by Maggie herself. Maggie's accompanied by several guest musicians (e.g.Michael McGoldrick, Brian McAlpine, Anna Massie, Finlay MacDonald, Marie Fielding, Frank McGuire and Christine Hanson), making this a quite magical disc.
David Kidman


Òran Na Mnà – A Woman's Song

Òran Na Mnà – A Woman's Song
Catalogue No. MARCD04

£12.00 (includes p&p) • Buy via Paypal

1. Beannachd Màthar (A Mother's Blessing) LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file one
2. Baisteadh Breith (Birth Baptism) LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file two

3. In My Arms LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file three

In 2004 the prestigious Celtic Connections Festival of Glasgow commissioned Maggie to write a 45 minute piece of music which was performed to great acclaim at the festival in 2004 and 2005. Now Maggie has further developed the piece which combines music and song in Gaelic and English and has recorded it using some of Scotland's finest musicians and singers.


Talamh Sìtheil – Peaceful Ground

Talamh Sìtheil Peaceful Ground
Catalogue No. MARCD02

£12.00 (includes p&p) • Buy via Paypal

1. Dh'èirich mi gu moch Diluain LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file one
2. Peaceful Ground LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file two

3. Dh'fhalbh mo rùn bho chionn seachdain LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file three

What the reviewers said about Talamh Sìtheil:
The Living Tradition Magazine, February, 2004: The Peaceful Ground is a faultless celebration of that rich seam of glorious Gaelic song - some in extremely contemporary settings, which may surprise some listeners. Maggie MacInnes' vocal beauty and purity so echoes that of her mother, Flora MacNeil MBE - who has shared her vast and precious knowledge of Gaeldom's most beautiful songs with her daughter. This album is the embodiment of the living tradition; rousing Hebridean waulking songs sit alongside moving Gaelic laments and timeless love songs. It all makes for a memorable listening experience, and MacInnes' voice resonates at one moment with an extraordinary emotional fragility, and at the next with passion and great strength.

MacInnes' clarsach playing flashes with prism-like precision throughout this finely-arranged recording, and she's accompanied by some first rate musicians, including Wendy Weatherby (cello), Graeme Hughes (guitars/percussion), Brian MacAlpine (keyboards), Finlay MacDonald (pipes/whistles), and Marie Fielding (fiddle). Flora MacNeil, and Maggie's sister Cairistiona provide backing vocals on three songs. Their sensitively judged contributions are fundamental to the album's sound.

You could divide the songs fairly equally between the rousing work songs and the sublime love songs/laments. Of the more upbeat songs, perhaps the most radical is 'Dh 'fhalbh mo run bho chionn seachdain', where MacInnes dips into the family archive to include a treasured recording of her late great aunt Mary Gillies of Barra. Trip hop rhythms, pipes and crunching guitars accompany three generations of this exceptional family. This is a superb song, and there are more like it! MacInnes also unearths a very beautiful 'lost' Burns song, The Ewe Bughts - such hauntingly lyrical whistle accompaniment. The album's lyrical opening song describes the sensual delights of the Isle of Mull on a spring morning.

There are shades of Moya Brennan in MacInnes' own composition, the lovely Peaceful Ground. Cairistiona is a lament of unrivalled beauty. Fhir An Leadain Thlath is sung a cappella, and I cannot help but compare MacInnes' version with her mother's on Orain Floraidh - the vocal similarities are disconcerting. Here, MacInnes publicly thanks her mother for sharing her songs with her - she's on record as saying that "they are so beautiful and a real joy to sing." Our joy in listening to them is immeasurable!
Debbie Koritsas

The Scotsman, 6th February, 2004: Singer and clarsach player Maggie MacInnes's lovely, deftly inflected Gaelic singing and gentle but evocative musical settings create a peaceful musical ground of their own, with the occasional feistier offering adding variety without disrupting the mood. She comes from a famous Barra family in Gaelic song circles, and both her mother, the great Flora MacNeil, and her sister, Cairistiona MacInnes, are heard singing with her here, as is her late great aunt Mary Gillies, in an old recording. The self-composed title track in English and a rarity by Burns in Scots are the only non-Gaelic songs. Kenny Mathieson, March, 2004: I first came across the gently lilting voice of Maggie MacInnes back in the early 80's on the album Cairistiona with George Jackson and I'm pleased to say that she reprises that particular song here (surprisingly) with the addition of understated electric guitar. The 80's were also about the time that I became aware of the Gaelic language in song. I still can't quite get to grips with it but if you take it as a texture mixed in with the music it is more than palatable, as Clannad and Capercaillie have proved on the mainstream market. OK, so lyrics aside, the album is a controlled folk-rock exercise courtesy of producer Graeme Hughes which at times crosses over into Martyn Bennett territory where the skirl of highland pipes add passion to an already evocative "Dh'fhalbh mo run bho chionn seachdain". Interestingly the vocals of Maggie joined by her mother the great Flora MacNeil on the same track conjure up images of Native Americans at a gathering. Whereas her previous recording was perhaps a little more subdued in it's arrangements, Maggie has surrounded herself with some of Scotland's finest musicians including Sean O'Rourke (saxophone), Wendy Weatherby (cello) and Brian MacAlpine on keyboards and the overall performances on this album are far more dramatic. Take for instance the waulking song "Haidh O" where the use of stick driven rhythm and crashing electric guitars create a powerful, edgy performance. Although not rocking in the true sense of the word this is an album that is refreshing without being in your face and a joy to listen to. Pete Fyfe

Songlines Magazine May, 2004: Maggie MacInnes is the daughter of revered singer Flora MacNeil (who provides some backing vocals on this album) and, along with Karen Matheson and Alyth McCormack, she's one of the finest contemporary Gaelic voices around. In this third solo album she stretches the boundaries with a range of modern interpretations of traditional Gaelic songs, plus one self-composed English-language number and one Scots song by Burns. MacInnes is at her best when the arrangements are at their simplest. 'S toil leam an Cìobair', for the most part featuring only her singing and clarsach (harp), achieves a wonderful purity and clarity. The addition of the saxophone (Sean O'Rourke) towards the end is unexpected but successful, adding a real contemporary twist. 'Thig an Smeòrach as t-Earrach' is Gaelic singing at its best, accompanied by Brian MacAlpine's lyrical piano and Wendy Weatherby's cello; the emotional power will stop you in your tracks. And MacInnes's take on Burns's 'The Ewe Bughts' includes original music by her based on a traditional air - it's a great tune. One problem is the use of electric guitar and keyboards which, despite the good arrangements, detract more than they add. But the acoustic instruments, including fiddle, pipes, whistles and guitar, are much more successful, and the album's defining sounds - MacInnes's singing and clarsach playing - are consistently excellent.
Andy Jurgis


Spiorad Beatha – The Spirit of Life

Spiorad Beatha – The Spirit of Life
Catalogue No. MARCD01

£12.00 (includes p&p) • Buy via Paypal

1. Gura Mise Tha Fo Èislean (I am full of greif) LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file one
2. Soraidh Bhuam Far Chuan Is Beannachd LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file two
(Greetings and blessings from across the ocean)

3. A' Mhaighdeann Bharrach (The Barra Maiden) LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file three

This is Maggie's second solo album recorded on her own record label "Marram" and co-produced by Graeme Hughes. Another selection of beautiful songs and instrumentals from the Scottish Gaelic tradition and featuring the talents of some very special guest musicians such as Charlie MacKerron (fiddle) of the world famous group Capercaillie; Sean O'Rourke (Saxophone & flute) formerly of the JSD Band; Brian MacAlpine (keyboards and accordion); Marie Fielding (fiddle); Keith Easdale (Scottish small pipes, bouzouki & whistles); Paul Jennings (percussion); Ali Napier (keyboards & bouzouki) and backing vocals from Flora MacNeil and the Children from The Glasgow Gaelic Primary school.

What the reviewers said about Spiorad Beatha:
Living Tradition Magazine, Summer 2001: "… it also takes a singer of unusual talent to unlock the soul and to place therein this music and these poems. And Maggie MacInnes is certainly one such performer."

Scots Magazine, September 2001: "On her second solo album Spiorad Beatha (The Spirit of Life),discerning listeners will find both traditional and modern songs which continue - and widen- the Gaelic tradition... This is by no means embellishing the music to broaden its appeal; this is bringing out its beauty, passion and majesty for all to enjoy and appreciate."

Folk Roots Magazine, July 2001: "Spiorad Beatha opens with a few iridescent phrases from Maggie's clarsach and from there on in shimmers with the kind of deep-felt emotion that has become familiar to those who have seen her live performances. It gives her chosen songs a gripping immediacy that speaks volumes about the contemporary relevance of this great tradition... Maggie's chosen approach to traditional song and, doubtlessly, with the aid and inspiration of her mother, she displays an instinctive understanding of the music's origin in the oral tradition of the Gaelic speaking islands… it is refreshing to encounter a musician who strives to communicate via the power inherent in her chosen songs and via arrangements that compliment rather than fight these beautiful melodies."

Inverness Courier, July 2001: "this haunting album which typifies the creative forces that have revitalised Gaelic music in recent years."


Eilean Mara

Eilean Mara
Catalogue No. DUNCD022

£12.00 (includes p&p) • Buy via Paypal

1. Sraid na h-Eala LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file one
2. Calum Ban LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file two

3. A Fhleasgaich Oig is Ceanalta LISTEN HERE Leaving Mingulay CD sound file three

This album was recorded in 1998 and released on the Dunkeld Record Label. It was co-produced by the well-known singer/songwriter Dougie MacLean and features some of the finest guest musicians such as Dougie himself, Gordon Duncan (bagpipes and whistles); Marie Fielding (fiddle); Ali Napier (keyboards and harmonium) Jamie MacLean (percussion); and of course backing vocals from Maggie's mum, Flora MacNeil.

What the reviewers said about Eilean Mara:
Scots Magazine, May 1999:
"Maggie has a rich and moving voice of haunting intensity,which elegantly fronts the imaginative backings... A must for any self-respecting fan of trad Gaelic songs... love and respect for traditional Gaelic music which shines through this album like a beacon."

AFIM Magazine (Association of Independent Music), June 1999: "There is nothing quite like the sound of stunning Gaelic vocals and clarsach(harp) - all coming from one of the brightest singers of traditional Gaelic music in Scotland. The album received recognition as first finalist in the 1998 Crossroad Music Awards in the Celtic music category. Eilean Mara is bound to gather a ground swell of support as Maggie's Gaelic music goes out to the world."

Pete Fyfe (Fyfe on Folk), Dec 1998: "Maggie relies on the beauty of an unaffected pure vocal inherited from her mother Flora MacNeil. Unaccompanied or with sympathetic backing from Dougie MacLean and various musicians the album will hold the listener transfixed for the elegance of the performance."

John O'Reagan (Broadcaster and Freelance Journalist): "Maggie MacInnes is one of the great names of Gaelic singing and Eilean Mara is long awaited. From her days touring with Ossian and playing with bands including Eclipse First her place among the leading Scots Gaelic voices has been assured... Eilean Mara is a potent showcase for Maggie MacInnes' talents and is a welcome sight."

Eilean Mara
Spiorad Beatha – The Spirit of Life
Peaceful Ground – Talamh Sìtheil
Òran Na Mnà – A Woman's Song
A Fàgail Mhiughalaigh – Leaving Mingulay



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August 2014
Lorient Interceltic Festival
2nd - 6th August, 2014
Maggie MacInnes & Anna Massie

July 2014
Hebridean Celtic Festival
An Lanntair, Stornoway, Lewis, 19th July,
2014 • Maggie MacInnes Trio

January 2013
Celtic Connections Festival
Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow, 26th January,
2013, Maggie MacInnes presents the life
and songs of Flora MacNeil with special
guests including The Boys of the Lough,
Anne Lorne Gillies, Arthur Cormack,
Peadar O' Riada, the Cùilaoidh Choir
and others...

March 2013
St Patrick's Weekend Cultural Concert
Monday 18 • Colum Sands and Maggie MacInnes
with Willie Drennan, Jarleth Henderson
and many more! Starting 3pm
Ann Street, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone

February 2012
Maggie MacInnes Trio
Celtic Connections Festival
Wednesday 01

Maggie will be taking part in various events
at this traditional music school
from Wednesday 15 - Sunday 19
Sciol Cheoil an Earraigh
Dingle Peninsula
Co.Kerry, Ireland

March 2012

Maggie MacInnes
with Anna Massie
Cinema Teatro Nuovo
VARESE, Near Milan, Italy
Friday 9th, 21h
Contact: Geomusic
+39 035 732005

Maggie MacInnes
with Anna Massie
Turin Folk Club
Turin, Italy
Saturday 10th

Maggie MacInnes
Wednesday 21
Edinburgh Folk Club
The Pleasance Cabaret Bar

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Thursday 29 • 8pm
Ballymena Arts Festival,
The Briad Arts Centre,
Ballymena, N. Ireland

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Friday 30 • 8.30pm
Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club
Coast Road, Cushendall.
Tickets 028 21771331

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Saturday 31
CCA, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

August 2012

Maggie MacInnes
accompanied by Brian McAlpine
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Friday, 17th August • 6.45pm start
Barra and Beyond: Songs from the Western Isles
AMC @ St. Brides, Edinburgh
Book tickets here

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Monday 20th August • 3pm
Farnham Arms Hotel  
The All Ireland Fleadh
Co Cavan
Please note this is an afternoon concert starting at 3pm website

October 2012

Maggie will be performing at the
Scoil Seamus Ennis Festival
called The Return to Fingal
in Ballyboughal, near Dublin.
27th & 28th October, 2012

December 2012
Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame
Dinner Dance, Alexandra Hotel, Fort William
7th December • 7.30pm.
Maggie will be performing along with her
mother, Flora MacNeil, who was inducted
into the Hall of Fame in 2005.


November 2011
The Carrying Stream Festival, Edinburgh
Thursday 10, 8pm

September 2011
The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Wednesday 7
Irvine Folk Club

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Friday 9
Girvan Folk Club

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Saturday 10

June 2011
Maggie is the special guest singer
at the Ayrshire Gaelic Forum Ceilidh
Tuesday 14, Burns Conference Centre
Kay Park, Kilmarnock • 7.30pm
Tel: 01294 5545565


January 2010
Thursday 21 • Celtic Connections Festival
St Andrews in the Square, Glasgow
Tel: 0141 353 8000

March 2010
Thursday 18 • Live at the Star
St Andrews in the Square, Glasgow
Tel: 0141 563 045
Maggie will be appearing with her Trio.

Friday 19 • Universal Hall, Findhorn
Tel: 01309 691170
Maggie will be appearing with her Trio.

April 2010
Tuesday 13 • Edinburgh International
Harp Festival. Tel: 0131 652 0585
Maggie will be appearing with her Trio.

Friday 30, 7.30pm • Fiddlers' Fling
Craigie Village Hall, Craigie,
Nr. Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Tickets at the door or phone 01655 889511
Maggie will be appearing as a guest of the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra

May 2010
Saturday 8, 7.30pm • Burgh Hall, Dunoon
Tickets £12 Adults, concessions £10, Schoolchildren FREE
Contact 01301 703504 or email:
For more info:
An evening of Gaelic and Scots Song with Emily Smith

June 2010
The Seedboat with Colum Sands
I will be performing The Seedboat -
a show with Irish singer/songwriter,
Colum Sands.

Sunday 13 • 9pm start
Rouskey Community Centre
Rouskey, County Tyrone
Tickets: 07847 459428

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Saturday 19 • The Ceilidh Place
Ullapool. Tel: 01854 612103

July 2010
Maggie MacInnes Trio
Friday 9 • Stonehaven Folk Festival

Maggie MacInnes — solo
Sunday 11 • Stonehaven Folk Festival

August 2010
The Seedboat with Colum Sands
16, 17 & 18 • 8pm start
The Acoustic Music Centre,
Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Thursday 19
Recital Rooms, City Halls, Glasgow

September 2010
The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Thursday 2 • 8pm start
Bagenal’s Castle, Newry & Mourne
Museum, Newry

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Friday 3rd • 8pm start
Farmleigh House Long Mile Road,
Dublin 12

The Seedboat with Colum Sands
Sunday 5 • 8pm start
The Folk Gallery Newcastle, Co.Down

Solution Graphics

Maggie's CDs can be bought on
Recordings page via PayPal

Click here to be taken to
the Recordings page


John Barrow
Stoneyport Associates
Suite 10, 130 Leith Walk
Edinburgh, EH6 5DT
Email Contact
m: +44(0)7968-131737 (jb: 24hr ansa)


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Great North Road
Muir of Ord
Ross Shire

Tel: 01463 871422

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Tel: 01236 827550

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Tel: 020 8676 5100

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