Ross and Ali met at the Vale of Atholl pipe band when they were 12 years old. The boys were guided by one of the most influential pipers in the last 30 years Gordon Duncan. Gordon instilled a great passion in the guys for playing pipes with other instruments and they have gone on to play in many leading Scottish bands including Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs, Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Shooglenifty, Capercaillie. After all the years playing in different bands and line ups the guys decided to concentrate on music together.
Duncan Chisholm: "There is one word that comes to mind when listening to the incredible new album from Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton, the word is connection.
Music is all about connection, it is the passing and sharing of emotions that drives us all to create.
In this case you have two complete musical minds, connected first and foremost as lifelong friends. They are connected by the same ingenious teacher, connected in their outlook to life, their shared passion for pipes, for Scotland and Scottish music.
They are connected in their zest for travel, the inspiration they take from other cultures and in turn how they inspire all those who hear them wherever in the world that might be.
They represent the best of what their generation is bringing to the bright sparkling colourful music that emits from our shores in the 21st Century.
This album shows the best of what Ross and Ali are. They are two friends connected in their love of life, two friends who have travelled the world together, growing as people together while learning their craft to an outstanding level.
The tunes are great, the playing is fantastic and the connection between them is undeniable......a glorious album”
released August 14, 2016
Ali Hutton - Highland Pipes, Whistles, Guitar, Tenor Guitar and Harmonium
Ross Ainslie - Border Pipes, Whistles, Cittern, Banjo and Harmonium
Duncan Lyall - Double Bass, Electric Bass and Moog
Martin O’Neill - Bodhran
Gus Sicard - Pipe Band Snare Drum
Produced by Andrea Gobbi, Ali Hutton and Ross Ainslie
Engineered by Andrea Gobbi at Carrier Waves Studio
Additional recording by Ross Ainslie at Great White Studio
Mixed by Andrea Gobbi, Ali Hutton and Ross Ainslie at Cumbernauld College
Mastered by Barry Reid at La Chunky Studio
Design by Somhairle Macdonald at Schmo Towers
Kinnaris Quintet alternates wonderfully between sweet warmth and rapturous joy. They accomplish what all good folk music aims at. It's very difficult to make an instrumental album of this length not start to all sound the same, but every track on Free One is so well constructed as to be chapters of a moving story, finally deeply satisfied by the conclusion of the title track. By jolts and false starts it alludes to brokenness without drowning in it. It's full of a realism that sees the ugliness of the real world and yet chooses joy, and this to me is what it truly means to be free. gripraven