Monday, 4 June 2012

Kevin McKidd: Speyside Sessions interview

'Brave' star Kevin McKidd launches new charity album for Save the Children
He is the star of one of America’s most loved TV dramas and is about to appear in the biggest Scottish movie of the year.

But Grey’s Anatomy and Brave star Kevin McKidd is also heading for the music charts – and is taking half of his home town with him.

The Elgin-born actor is about to release his first album of Scottish folk songs, which he recorded with an army of local musicians from the area over a series of sessions and parties at a house in Moray at Hogmanay.

Kevin launches The Speyside Sessions later this month, with proceeds going to his favourite charity, Save the Children.

He wanted to pay tribute to the music his grandfather Geordie treated him to as a child.

Kevin said: “I am delighted to get the chance to finally bring this album out, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years.

“A lot of it comes from my grandfather Geordie Runcie, who used to sing the bothy ballads to me as a boy.

“He was always the most popular man in the pub and would sing all the old songs to make everybody laugh and cry.

“He had an amazing voice and I always wanted to record him doing a song, but he died before I could get the chance, so it’s always been niggling that I missed the opportunity.

“A couple of years ago, I was back home with my best pal from Elgin, Jamie Reid, and we were talking about music and how there were so many talented local singers and musicians.

“We were thinking how great it would be to do a record with everybody in one house working on some of the great old songs.

“So we finally decided to do it at New Year when everyone would be home. And it worked out better than we could have imagined.

“It was great fun, we were laughing all the time.”

Kevin is best known for his on-screen work in Scottish films such as Trainspotting and Small Faces, plus US TV hit Rome and five years of huge medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.

But throughout his career he has been a huge music fan.

Fans got their first glimpse of his vocal talents last year when he took lead vocals on songs including Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars for a special musical episode of the series.

That coincided with the 38-year-old father of two becoming an active fund-raiser for Save the Children.

He launched Twitter drives, along with his fan club to help raise cash for the African drought appeal.

And he also competed in the Royal Marine-modelled obstacle course race Tough Mudder last summer.

Kevin and his pals managed to bring the music and the charity side of things together for The Speyside Sessions recording – and he called in every local favour he could think of.

Friend Angus Robertson MP, the SNP Leader at Westminster, helped with cooking, as well as recruiting musicians and doing vocals himself.

Trainspotting’s Ewan McGregor did the voice-over for a behind-the-scenes “teaser” video clip of the project.

And ex-Small Faces co-star Iain Robertson acted as photographer and promoter, in between rehearsals for his own acting work in Angels at The Traverse Theatre.

He also helped recruit Del Amitri founding member Bryan Tolland, who contributed guitar skills and gear.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s son, Nick, and James Reid produced the album, while adding to the celebrity mix was pop soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae.

She dropped by for a few beers with Scots guitarist John McCallum, also a pal of Kevin’s.

Kevin said: “There were some real old biddies there who were saying it was one of the best ever Hogmanay parties in the last 50 years.

“This was never to be about me front and centre doing the whole thing, it’s more about the community I am from. But the most important thing is that it’s all for Save the Children.”

Douglas Hamilton, Save the Children’s head of Scotland, said: “We are extremely grateful for the work Kevin does for us.”

With The Speyside Sessions out on June 15 and his new movie Brave, the Pixar epic about Scotland, enjoying its première just a fortnight later, it’s fair to say that it’s going to be a busy summer for actor and director Kevin.

He has just been back in Scotland to promote the movie, following a whisky ad photo shoot in Hong Kong with Annie Leibovitz.

Kevin hopes he can help promote folk music around the world in the same way Brave is set to promote the countryside and culture of Scotland.

But he says he isn’t a one-man tourist board just yet. He added: “What’s great about Scottish folk music is that it’s a niche market, but hopefully I’ll be able to get people listening to this that wouldn’t normally. 

On Brave, Kevin – who plays father and son, Lord and Young MacGuffin – said: “I hope it does really well and brings Scotland to people’s attention.”

Source: Daily Record 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails