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Drever McCusker Woomble

Drever McCusker Woomble
Before the Ruin

Three big names in Scottish folk and rock released their first album as a trio in September, with the help of a grant from the Scottish Arts Council’s Creative Development and Recording fund.

Drever McCusker Woomble

Kris Drever, John McCusker and Roddy Woomble are each well-known in their own right, as solo artists and composers, and in other bands.  Their paths have crossed in various ways over the past few years through a number of projects including working with Kate Rusby and on Kris's and Roddy's solo albums, and the starting point for the new trio was a mutual respect for one another's work.


Roddy Woomble, lead singer of Idlewild for the last 10 years, views the new three-man project as a natural onward step from his acclaimed 2006 solo debut, My Secret Is My Silence. 'Being in the same band for that long, you get used to writing songs in that context,' he says.

Drever McCusker Woomble; Courtesy: Navigator Records 'The solo record was the first time I’d really pushed myself in other directions, and that's given me the confidence to take it further: Kris and John each have such a different take on things like melody and lyrics, but we're all working equally on the songs together, so the whole thing feels totally new.'


Orcadian singer-guitarist Kris Drever emerged from the ferment of the late-90's Edinburgh session scene as a member of bands including Fine Friday and Session A9, and has become an increasingly sought-after accompanist, working with artists including Eddi Reader and Julie Fowlis.

A guitarist of eclectic talent and a singularly eloquent interpreter of traditional and contemporary songs, he released Black Water (Reveal Records) in October 2006, which went on to win the Horizon prize for best newcomer at the following year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  Drever is a founder member of folk trio Lau, alongside fiddler Aidan O'Rourke and accordionist Martin Green.


John McCusker was born in the same Bellshill hospital as most of Teenage Fanclub and Sheena Easton, and formed his first band, Parcel O'Rogues, at the age of fifteen.  Two years later he joined top Scottish folk act the Battlefield Band, remaining with them until 2001. 

Drever McCusker Woomble; Courtesy: Navigator Records

During this time he also began a twelve-year musical partnership with celebrated Yorkshire folk-singer Kate Rusby.  John has a number of film and TV soundtrack credits to his name, including Billy Connolly's World Tour of New Zealand.  He has recently recorded on Mark Knopfler's and Paul Weller's latest albums, and is currently producing the forthcoming debut solo release by Radiohead drummer Philip Selway.  John will shortly be releasing an album of Under One Sky, a work funded through the Scottish Arts Council's Commissioning fund.  He will also take Under One Sky around Scotland with a Tune Up tour from 25 November - 8 December 2008.

Read John McCusker's blog

Before the Ruin

Before the Ruin (released on 15 September 2008 on Navigator Records) was written over the course of six or seven afternoons in John McCusker's Edinburgh living-room, demo-ed on a laptop, then transferred to the studio with judiciously minimal embellishment.  'It was amazingly quick,' says Drever.  'We had a target number of songs we wanted to record, and we really didn’t discard many.  A lot of them have stayed quite stripped-down, keeping that rawness.'

Before The Ruin album cover; Courtesy: Navigator Records Funded by the Scottish Arts Council through its Recording fund, the album features an array of guests from both the folk and rock spheres, including Radiohead drummer Philip Selway, Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake (vocals) and Francis MacDonald (drums), Capercaillie's Donald Shaw (keyboards), Michael McGoldrick (flute/whistles) and Ewen Vernal (bass), plus Irish singer Heidi Talbot.

A UK tour follows the release of the album, including the following Scottish venues, with support from Heidi Talbot and Boo Hewerdine:

Tuesday 30 September 2008 Tolbooth, Stirling
Friday 3 October 2008 Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow
Saturday 4 October 2008 Coda, Edinburgh
Sunday 5 October 2008 The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
Thursday 5 February 2008 The Ironworks, Inverness

For more information visit Navigator Records' website.



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