Yeah I've been involved in quite a few bands over the years Dougie Maclean, Emily Smith Band, Salsa Celtica, Jarlath Henderson, Treacherous Orchestra, India Alba, Ali Hutton, Charlie Mckerron and also my own thing as well and I've been lucky enough to guest with bands/people like Capercaille, Flook, Shooglenifty, Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu, Mike Mcgoldrick, Anxo Lorenzo so I've been a lucky boy to say the least! I guess every band has played a role in my development as a musician for example Salsa Celtica opened up a world of improvising and Latin Music, India Alba was also good for improvising and learning about Indian Classical music, playing with Jarlath Henderson was great for my Border pipe playing and working out how to make tunes fit on the instrument that maybe shouldn't, Treacherous Orchestra is amazing for big arrangements and the band is full of amazing musicians and producers so its good to take in everyones skills and learn from them, My whole musical life has been spent with Ali Hutton and I've probably learnt more playing tunes with Ali when we were kids than anything else I've done, I think working on my own stuff is my favourite I really love composing and thinking about arrangements and being free to everything and anything!
I suppose my biggest risk in my musical career was to put out an album mostly of songs and I'm not a singer. I'm not sure if it paid off or not I guess it doesn't matter as long as its true to yourself and that you are 100% into it and happy with what you are doing! I'm definitely proud of the album which is called "Remembering" so thats what counts!
I would say if you've got your heart set on doing music as a full time career then to absolutely go for it and give it your all no matter what the circumstances, it's a long hard road but you can find yourself in some amazing situations and gigs that when your young you can only dream about so if you've got that dream its your duty to yourself to fulfil it and make sure it happens! I would also say to think big as it'll make you far more driven, set goals and get them done!
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