Highland musician Liam Ross hopes for hometown glory for debut album as Hearts & Faces & Abandoned Places is nominated in the Trad Album of the Year category of this year’s prestigious Scots Trad Music Awards
Get a digital copy of the Inverness Courier delivered straight to your mobile or tablet every week
An Easter Ross musician has been left stunned after his debut album made it to the longlist of one of Scotland’s most prestigious music prizes this week.
Hearts & Faces & Abandoned Places has been nominated in the Trad Album of the Year category of this year’s prestigious Scots Trad Music Awards.
Its creator, Liam Ross, previously described the moody album as a love letter to his home town of Invergordon, featuring local voices and even locally-gathered sound effects.
Influenced by the likes of Mark Knopfler, Fleetwood Mac and Runrig, as well as being delighted with his nomination on a personal level he hopes it will give the town – which he previously called “such a good place, with a good past” – a boost as well.
He was alerted to his nomination by an email and said: “I could see everyone else that was longlisted and there were some pretty big names. It’s a bit of good news.
“It’s great to be recognised and it felt surreal – I am not used to anything like this.”
The album’s atmospheric tracks incorporate local voices while closing track, Darklands, features sounds gathered on a visit to the town’s underground Inchindown Oil Tanks which provided a bomb-proof store for the wartime Royal Navy base in Invergordon and boasts the world’s longest reverb.
On Facebook the 25-year-old guitarist, who works as a freelance music tutor, admitted the high profile nomination had left him “gobsmacked”.
It sees him listed alongside the likes of long-standing, world-renowned folk musicians Ewen Henderson and Hamish Napier as well as well-known Highland four-piece Tide Lines and modern folk phenomenon Peat and Diesel, who hail from Stornoway on Lewis.
His eyes “filled with tears” as he read the news, he admitted.
Progressing further in the competition now depends entirely on public votes and Mr Ross would be delighted for people to give him their backing.
He said his album had taken a lot of hard work and effort and added: “I am hoping that people will take the time to vote the album through and get some local support as well.
“It is all about Invergordon, so it would be nice to get it on the map and get a bit positivity for the town.”
To see and hear all the award nominees and to vote for Mr Ross go to https://bit.ly/3dlEAsx