World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Aly Bain

Aly Bain
Background information
Born (1946-05-15) 15 May 1946
Origin Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland
Genres Folk, Traditional, Celtic, World Music
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Fiddle/viola
Years active 1968–present
Labels Whirlie Records
Associated acts Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, The Boys of the Lough, Transatlantic Sessions, Ale Möller and Bruce Molsky.

Aly Bain MBE (born 15 May 1946 in Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland) is a Scottish fiddler who learned his instrument from the old-time master Tom Anderson. In 1967 he was a member of the Shetland-based band Gordon Hank and the Country Ramblers, with Gordon Smith, Ian Stewart and Jack Robertson.[1] Bain is now considered one of the finest fiddlers in the Scottish tradition.


  • Career 1
  • Discography 2
    • Solo albums 2.1
    • From television series 2.2
    • Transatlantic Sessions 2.3
    • With Mike Whellans 2.4
    • With Willie Johnson 2.5
    • With The Boys of the Lough 2.6
    • With Tom Anderson 2.7
    • With Phil Cunningham 2.8
    • With Ale Möller 2.9
    • With Tellef Kvifte, Henning Sommerro, Hanne Kjersti Yndestad and Leiv Solberg 2.10
    • With BT Scottish Ensemble 2.11
    • DVDs 2.12
  • References 3
  • External links 4


In the early days of his career he formed (briefly and unofficially) part of the band The Humblebums with two other ‘unknowns’ Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey. He became nationally prominent as a founding member of The Boys of the Lough, a Scots-Irish folk group, with whom he played for over 30 years. He received several honorary doctorates in the USA.

Simultaneously, Bain pursued a solo career in collaborative and television projects with Pelicula Films Director, Mike Alexander and Producer, Douglas Eadie, working on several international television series: 'The Down home Recordings', 'The Shetland Sessions', 'Aly Meets The Cajuns', and six series of the Transatlantic Sessions - in 2010 winning the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, "Good Tradition Award". Since the early eighties Bain has regularly collaborated and recorded with prominent musicians from across the globe, including: Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris, Mark O'Connor, Jay Ungar, Mary Black, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Dan Tyminski, Rosanne Cash, James Taylor, Eddi Reader, Paul Brady, Darrell Scott, Michael Doucet, Martha Wainwright, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, John Martyn, Danny Thompson, Iris DeMent, Karen Matheson, Karan Casey, Donal Lunny, Joan Osborne, Allison Moorer, Bruce Molsky and Allan MacDonald, bringing traditional music to a constantly widening audience.

In 1993 his autobiography "Fiddler on the Loose" was published by "Mainstream". It was co-written with Alastair Clark.

Bain has received many honours for his services to music: in 1994 he was awarded the MBE for his musical accomplishments. In 1989 he received a Silver Disc from the Record Industry Association for his 'Aly Meets the Cajuns' recording. A further Silver Disc followed in 1991 for The Pearl, recorded on his own Edinburgh Record Label, Whirlie Records. He also has received five honorary Doctor of Music (DMus) degrees: Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama; Stirling University; The University of St Andrews (2003); The Open University (2005) and Edinburgh University (2009). In addition, on 27 November 2007, Bain - along with Phil Cunningham - were awarded Doctor of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University for their contributions to music and to the education and encouragement of young musicians.[2]

In 2005, together with Edinburgh’s Phil Cunningham, he won the BBC’s "Best Duo of the Year" award.

In 2006, a television programme celebrating his 60th year, documenting Aly Bain's life and works, was broadcast by the BBC.

In 2006, Bain was inducted into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

In 2012, Bain and Cunningham celebrated their 25th anniversary of touring as a fiddle and accordion duo. Bain also tours with Swedish multi-instrumentalist, Ale Möller, with whom he has recorded two albums, and with American old-time fiddler, singer, guitarist and banjo player: Bruce Molsky. As a trio the released their first joint album in 2013.

In 2009 Bain collaborated with Nicola Benedetti to create on an hour long television programme for BBC Scotland: "When Nicola Benedetti Met Aly Bain", broadcast in 2009. In 2010, together with Pelicula Films and Billy Connolly, Bain made a further hour long television programme for BBC: "Fishing for Poetry", celebrating the life and works of the Scottish Poet, Norman MacCaig.

In the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Bain was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.[3]


Solo albums

From television series

Transatlantic Sessions

With Mike Whellans

  • Aly Bain - Mike Whellans (1971)

With Willie Johnson

  • Shetland Folk Fiddle Volume 2 (1976)

With The Boys of the Lough

  • The Boys of the Lough (1973)
  • Second Album (1973)
  • Recorded Live (1975)
  • Lochaber No More (1975)
  • The Piper’s Broken Finger (1976)
  • Good Friends-Good Music (1977)
  • Wish You Were Here (1978)
  • Re-Grouped (1980)
  • In the Tradition (1981)
  • Open Road (1983)
  • Far from Home (1986)
  • Welcoming Paddy Home (1986)
  • Farewell and Remember Me (1987)
  • Sweet Rural Shade (1988)
  • Live at The Carnegie Hall (1989)
  • The Fair Hills of Ireland (1992)
  • The Day Dawn (1994)
  • The West of Ireland (1999)

In 2009 Paidriag O'Keefe's/Con Cassidy's from In The Tradition was included in Topic Records 70 year anniversary boxed set Three Score and Ten as track fourteen on the third CD.

With Tom Anderson

  • The Silver Bow (1995) (2008)

In 2009 Soldier's Joy from The Silver Bow was also included in Three Score and Ten as track seven on the fourth CD.

With Phil Cunningham

With Ale Möller

With Tellef Kvifte, Henning Sommerro, Hanne Kjersti Yndestad and Leiv Solberg

With BT Scottish Ensemble


  • Another Musical Interlude (2004) (with Phil Cunningham)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 3 (2007) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)
  • The Original Transatlantic Sessions: Series 1 (2008) (with Jay Ungar and various artists)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 4 (2009) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 5 (2011) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 2 (2012) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)
  • Aly Meets The Cajuns (2012) (with Dewey Balfa(Cajun musician)and various artists)
  • Transatlantic Sessions Series 6 (2013) (with Jerry Douglas and various artists)


  1. ^ [2] Shetland times, 11 January 2012
  2. ^ Graduation Honorary Awards : News Headlines : Glasgow Caledonian University
  3. ^ Tait, Jim (1 February 2013). "Lifetime achievement accolade for Aly in Radio 2 folk awards".  

External links

  • Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham Official Website
  • Aly Bain Official Website
  • Aly Bain Official Website
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.