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04 How did Wolfstone begin?




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This article is from the Wolfstone FAQ, by Gabe Helou (gabe@mystery.com) with numerous contributions by others.

04 How did Wolfstone begin?

In 1989 Duncan Chisholm found himself recording a solo album
in his native Scottish Highlands. Until this point, although
having interests in most styles of music, Duncan had been a first-
class exponent of the traditional Scottish Highland fiddle style,
studying under the expert tutelage of the late Donald Riddle, but
here surrounded by an array of studio toys, he began to see the
means to scratch the itch which had begun to bother him for some
time. Duncan had met Stuart Eaglesham at a session in a local pub
and a short time later and ask him to join in forming a band.

Stuart`s brother Struan, working on the west coast at the time and
playing keyboards was given a similar offer. Piper Alan Wilson
blew in from Bonar Bridge to back Duncan up on the tunes and Roger
Niven from Avoch on the Black Isle provided lead guitar, soon to
be replaced by Andy Murray.

A couple of years later the songwriting talents of Orcadian
Ivan Drever completed the embryonic Wolfstone line-up who, with
sequenced drums and bass, performed their launchpad gig at the
first Highland Traditional Music Festival held in nearby Dingwall
in 1989. Playing tunes and songs the way they wanted to hear
them, the band were offered further gigs as a result of their
H.T.M.F. appearance and embarked on what was to become several
interesting years of playing the village halls up and down the
length and breadth of the Highlands and Islands.

Their teeth well and truly cut, the band were offered their
first recording contract with the Lismore/Iona record label in
Glasgow, and an opportunity to work with the legendary Silly
Wizard accordion virtuoso Phil Cunningham as producer resulted in
their first album Unleashed in 1991 The Unleashed album saw both a
musical step forward and a chance to cast aside the drum and bass
sequencer and work with a real drummer and bassist in the shape of
John Henderson and Neil Hay. Both John and Neil, very experienced
and respected session players, helped the band surge forward not
only in the studio but also in a number of live gigs promoting
Unleashed.

During the recording of Unleashed the band were offered a support
slot on the Runrig stage at Loch Lomond near Glasgow. The exposure
to and experience of playing in front of the huge audience saw the
band catapulted onto a new level of touring and playing larger
gigs and festivals, not only in the UK but increasingly now in
Europe, North America and Canada.

 

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