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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Shetland Singer-Songwriter Freda Leask Is Back With Country-Tinged Track ‘Another Coat Of Black’

Shetland singer-songwriter Freda Leask is back with country-tinged track, ‘Another Coat Of Black.’ This original song was written by Freda in collaboration with the hugely talented Gina Paola Ritch, also from the Shetland Islands. It is the third original single to be released recently, bringing together Freda’s emotive and melodic song with the beautifully crafted accompaniment of Scottish award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Kris Drever.

‘Another Coat Of Black’ is a lovely acoustic country track, simply and effectively arranged with guitar interplay between Freda and Kris driven along by a rhythm section of double bass (SethTravins) and drums. (Tim Matthew - who also co-produces). Preceding singles Magdalene’ and ‘Ghost Notes’ have received airplay across Scotland, Canada, America and further afield. All three singles are available on digital platforms with official videos on YouTube. Freda Leask’s work varies from folk songs inspired by Shetland’s environment, history and rich dialect, to compositions with a more rootsie, americana style. Known for her work with Shetland’s influential harmony group ‘Shoormal,’ in the 1990's/2000's, Freda now performs as a solo artist and with a new band line-up. A keen collaborator, with a love of harmony, drawing influence from authentic country, folk music and gospel.

Freda established ‘Shoormal’ in 1997. A Shetland dialect word for 'where the shore meets the sea’ - a place of constant change. Members of ‘Shoormal’ ebbed and flowed' over the years - all were native to Shetland, but came from a variety of musical eras and influences. The band had a strong focus on vocal harmony and intricate instrumental arrangement and, within a decade, they had produced 3 albums of original material. 'Indigo Skies' (2000), on their own label, which earned them a nomination for Best Newcomer 2001 on Mike Harding's Folk on 2. Migrant (2003) and Turning Tide (2006) were released under the Scottish Folk label 'Greentrax.' Since then ‘Shoormal’ has had extensive airplay and received international recognition, touring briefly and taking part in the Folk Alliance in Austin, Texas.

In 2008 Freda co-ordinated the very successful Shetland Christmas Card/CD, promoted by Scottish-based Beacon Music. This involved many great Shetland singers and musicians in contributing to a traditional carol compilation which remains a firm seasonal favourite.

Collaborations, have included: Appalachian Fiddler, Bruce Molsky, award-winning Orcadian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kris Drever (Lau), the Shetland fiddle super-group Fiddler's Bid, fantastic Shetland guitarists Brian Nicholson, Arthur Nicholson, Norman Goudie, (Girsie) and Trevor Smith.

She has made frequent appearances with well-known Shetland singers Jenny Keldie and Sheila Henderson and has supported top-class acts like Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Roddy Woomble, Yola Carter, The Sojourners and Adam Holmes.

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