Culture

In Praise of Crows

Last year , Scottish songwriter Bob Leslie, appeared in The Orkney News with his song Tarka Skinner – about the pet otter that used to follow Bob’s relative, Stromness lighthouseman Jock Skinner, through the streets of Stromness.

Bob Leslie has a new album out called “In Praise Of Crows”.

There are ten original tracks, plus one based on Carol Ann Duffy’s prose poem “Anne Hathaway”, and Bob’s own setting of Robert Burns’ “Up in the Mornin”.

Two of the songs are based on Orkney legends: “Peerie-Fool” (a Westray tale of trows and giants), and “Bess Millie” (about a 100-year-old Stromness witch who befriended both the pirate John Gow and the writer Sir Walter Scott).

The album features Bob on vocals, electric, bass and acoustic guitars plus sample editing & mixing, Pauline Vallance on clarsach and flute, Wendy Weatherby in a cameo cello spot, and Annie Neville (via the mysteries of technology, from Australia) on accordion.

“Next Best Bed” is sung from Shakespeare’s wife’s point of view, and features Bob’s daughter, Alice, on lead vocals.

The cover is a striking original from County Antrim based artist and fellow songwriter Randall Stephen Hall.

“In Praise Of Crows” is available from Bob’s website boblesliemusic.com and via all the usual digital outlets (Spotify, iTunes etc.).

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