"Peerie" Willie Johnson
Willie’s World (Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX309, 2007)
Greentrax Recordings has released Willie’s World, an album that covers the prolific work of one of Scotland’s most beloved guitarists, the late "Peerie" Willie Johnson. The CD contains a wide range of styles, from jazz to traditional pieces, blues and more. The album consists of tracks from some of the memorable albums Willie guested on and informal recordings made mainly locally in Shetland as well as tribute pieces. Billy Kay provided many tracks from his private archive of recordings. "Peerie" Willie never made a solo album so Billy Kay’s archive is an invaluable collection, which includes many informal sessions in his home studio.
The musicians on the album, in addition to "Peerie" Willie Johnson, are Billy Kay Drew Robertson, Norman Goudie, Harris Piayfair, Jimmy Elliot, Nathan Leask, George Manson (deceased), Frankie Sinclair (deceased), Willie Hunter (deceased). Ron Mathewson, Harold Mathewson (deceased), Aly Bain and Debbie Scott. Some performers are unknown.
Although his family regarded him as a jazz musician because jazz was the music he played at home, Willie played with many of the greats in traditional music – Aly Bain, Tom Anderson, and Willie Hunter. Aly Bain said of Willie – "Once every three hundred or so years someone comes along with a talent likeWillie’s"; Martin Taylor said – "When I think of "Peerie" Wille I don ‘f think of him as a musician, but as music itself- it oozed out of his every pore".
There detailed liner notes in the CD booklet are written by Evelyn Leask, Willie’s sister, who was the driving force behind this project.
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