Former Runrig Front-man Releases New Studio Album

Glasgow (Scotland), UK – Donnie Munro has a new recording titled

Heart of America
, across the great divide (Greentrax
CDTRAX 291).

The album is Munro’s first in four years.
Munro, who signed to Greentrax late last year is extremely pleased to be able to
present his work on Greentrax as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary.
From his island home on Skye, the singer said, “It is realty great for me to
present this new album through a company which has played such a major part in
supporting and developing the Scottish music scene and particularly pleasing to
do so as they celebrate their 20th year in business

This is the singer’s third
studio album since his departure from Runrig in 1997 following a major European
tour and the 3 memorable farewell concerts at Stirling Castle, where over 25,000
fans came to celebrate and pay tribute to the singer and front-man’s
contribution to the band’s phenomenal rise from West Coast dance band to stadium

Munro’s prominence during that period accorded him a very special place
in Scottish life and for many, his voice became synonymous with a sense of
Scotland itself. Similarly, throughout Europe, hundreds of thousands of music
fans made that powerful association.

Since his departure from Runrig the singer
has been deeply involved in the development of his native Gaelic language and
culture through his work with Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the international centre on
Skye and also in being able to develop his own work as a singer/songwriter,
something which he felt unable to concentrate on during his Runrig days. “It
wasn’t that I wasn’t writing at that time but more that it was basically a case
of, ‘horses for courses’ and I saw my role then very much as the singer and
front-man trying always to get these themes, ideas and images across with a
passion and in a way that, at best, makes the audience and performance one and
the same This has always been the great stimulus for me of live performance,
just that it’s a really human and very privileged place to be. That has stayed
with me throughout and remains the stimulus no matter how large or how small the

Runrig played to large audiences: Hockenheim Stadium to 140,000 with Genesis, to 120,000 with
the Rolling Stones in Holland. 3 consecutive nights at Edinburgh Castle and the
magnificent ‘Night at the Loch’ Concert to 50,000 fans, on the banks of Loch

Since that time, Munro has remained a high profile performer and during the work
on his two previous solo albums, with former Runrig Producer, Chris Harley, he
brought together some of the top players in the Scottish music scene and since
then, they have formed the nucleus of his live band.

He has enjoyed many
successful shows throughout Europe as a solo artist and also performed at some
major events here in Scotland, including Aberdeen’s Millennium Celebrations with
Big Country. Glasgow’s Hogmanay 2005 with Snow Patrol, the closing ceremony of
the Special Olympics held in the City, Celtic Connections and, this year, he led
a ‘choir of millions’ in the poignant singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ live from
Edinburgh Castle, as Edinburgh’s New Year celebrations were broadcast live
throughout the world.

Munro also became a favorite of Scotland’s Tartan Army,
following his rousing performances at Hampden Stadium prior to Scotland
internationals and also at Murrayfield where he performed with Scotland’s
International Rugby team on the song ‘Down Under’ which he was commissioned to
write for the World Cup Series in Australia.

The release of the new album and
his association with Greentrax is another marker on the singer’s journey and one
which he is clearly passionate about. “Getting into the studio to record new
songs is really such a privilege and particularly where you find yourself
surrounded by so many great players I approached this album in a very direct
way, with the songs at the centre of everything and everything being performed
as live, simply and directly In addition to the guys in the band who are all
fantastic musicians, I was lucky to have some great guests come in on the
sessions and also to work on a couple of collaborations, one with my long time
friend, musician and composer, Blair Douglas on a song he had written in
celebration of the links between Skye and Prince Edward Island, and, one with
young talented guitarist Richard Macintyre from the band Stereoglo; fiddle
player Duncan Chisholm of Wolfstone also makes a welcome appearance on the
recording; along with the sensational Saxophonist, Eraser Fifield; and the great
new vocal talent, Viv Scotston.

The album has been described as broadly thematic
and centered on some of the broad themes of migration and movement emerging from
the title track, ‘
Heart of America
‘. This song was written following a journey
across the northeastern states of the US with his wife and two youngest
children, at the height of the Iraq War and an earlier visit to Ellis Island
immigrant reception centre. Munro said, “I was deeply moved by the whole idea of
migration, displacement, travel, hardship and opportunity and the very
contradictory nature of the images America has presented throughout its history
– this all tied in to themes and ideas of which many are very much a part of the
social history of my own people in the Highlands and Islands and so it all
became a part of a broad feel. As with many of my songs, some are very firmly
rooted in images and influences of childhood and the physical spaces we occupied
and shared with people whose ideas and attitudes helped form us


Heart of America

Author: World Music Central News Department

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