Scottish Celtic Harmonica player Donald Black is firmly established as ‘the instrument’s foremost exponent in Scottish Traditional Music’ (Scotland on Sunday 02-03-08). With his own unique style and mastery he has almost single-handedly given the harmonica a new respect and acceptance as a significant part of the Scottish Traditional Music scene. Drawing his repertoire mainly from Pipe and Gaelic material of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Donald also incorporates influences from mainstream Scotland, Ireland, the Shetland Isles and Cape Breton (Nova Scotia).
Bho m’ Chridhe (From My Heart) is Donald Black’s fifth album. Throughout the years of his recording career he has enjoyed extensive radio play and made TV appearances both at home and abroad, has played many concerts and festivals to hugely appreciative audiences in his native Scotland, as well as England, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Denmark, Russia and the U.S.A. – taking his Scottish Celtic Harmonica from Moscow to Kansas City, Chicago to Stornoway. He features strongly in the German TV harmonica documentary Imagination is Limitless and is mentioned in three books on the instrument – The Encyclopaedia of the Harmonica by Peter Krampert, Harmonicas for Dummies by Winslow Yerxa and Die Mundharmonica by Cristoph Wagner .
Donald has thus far been the only Scot to be invited to perform at S.P.A.H. (the annual convention of the Society of the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica) held in the U.S.A. He has also twice guested at the U.K. National Harmonica League annual convention held in Bristol, England.
Bho m’ Chridhe (From My Heart) showcases Donald’s unique skills with a well-chosen 16 track selection of instrumentals, incorporating original, traditional and established material from the wide Celtic music repertoire. This ranges from technically challenging Jigs, Strathspeys, Reels, Marches and Hornpipes, to west coast Waltzes and emotionally charged Slow Airs and Laments – all combining much required virtuosity with great feeling – his hallmark!
Co-produced with Ross Wilson, one of the crop of young up-and-coming Celtic musicians rapidly making a name for himself, the album features a stellar line-up of guest musicians, including: Malcolm Jones, multi-instrumentalist with legendary Scottish Celtic Rock Band Runrig; Nashville’s famous award-winning multi-instrumentalist Charlie McCoy (“the most recorded harmonica player in history”); Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore); Allan Henderson (ex-Blazin’ Fiddles); Donnie MacKenzie and Martainn Skene (from The Donald Black Band); Mario Collosimo (Cape Breton, Novia Scotia); Andrew MacPherson (Deoch An Dorus); Addie Harper Jnr. and more – all adding great texture and feeling to this excellent, well chosen collection!