Composer, producer and performer Phil Coulter was the reigning king of contemporary Celtic music, becoming the best-selling Irish artist of his generation. Born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1942, Coulter began his career while studying music at Belfast's Queens University, writing the Capitol Showband's 1963 hit "Foolin' Time" and later penning the ensemble's 1965 Eurovision Song Contest entry "Walking the Streets in the Rain." Other notable compositions of the era include Twinkle's 1964 smash "Terry" and Them's oft-covered garage-rock classic "I Can Only Give You Everything." Still, Coulter enjoyed his greatest success as a writer after teaming up with collaborator Bill Martin; together they authored some of the biggest pop hits of the period, including Sandie Shaw's Eurovision-winning "Puppet on a String" and Cliff Richard's "Congratulations." Despite his pop success, he remained drawn to the Irish folk of his youth, working with acts including the Dubliners, Planxty and the Furey Brothers while concurrently writing a series of hits for the Bay City Rollers. After his partnership with Martin ended during the late '70s, Coulter turned increasingly to performing, and in 1983 issued his solo debut Classic Tranquility; its meditative, lushly-orchestrated renditions of traditional Celtic favorites immediately scored with Irish audiences, and on the strength of subsequent efforts including 1984's Sea of Tranquility and 1985's Phil Coulter's Ireland, he emerged as the country's best-selling artist. Later material including 1990's Words and Music, 1993's Recollections and 2000's Highland Cathedral introduced Coulter to a growing international audience as well. The intimate Songs I Love So Well was issued on Shanachie in early 2001.
HIGHLAND CATHEDRAL BY PHIL COULTER
Pop songwriter and Irish instrumentalist Phil Coulter melds the traditional and contemporary on his American debut, Highland Cathedral. Filled mostly with light, airy piano tinkling, this music soothes with simple melodies while recalling the Celtic tradition. Soft uilleann pipes and whistles swoop in and out of Coulter's piano, and his occasional use of harp, violin, accordion, and cello add a new dimension (albeit unexciting yet interesting) to the music. Coulter is also unafraid of the synthesizer, which on such songs as the title track, "Tranquility," and "If These Stones Could Speak," creates a lush, timeless feel akin to the music of Enya and one that works well. In fact, Aoife (pronounced "ee-fah"), a protégé of Maire Brennan, Enya's sister, contributes a crystal soprano to select tracks and these songs are definite highlights. Not for the listener looking to push listening boundaries, but rather for those plainly in love with pleasant New Age Celtic music, Highland Cathedral well satisfies.
Phil Coulter warmly welcomes you to once again experience the gentle elegance of his piano playing. SCOTTISH TRANQUILITY features Coulter with orchestral enhancement presenting some of the most beloved traditional favorites of Scotland. Songs include "Annie Laurie,' "Skye Boat Song," "Auld Lang Syne" and "The Rowan Tree" in beautifully soothing renditions.
1 Annie Laurie
2 Flower Of Scotland
3 Rowan Tree
4 Ye Banks And Braes
6 Eriskay Love Lilt/Westering H
7 Will Ye No Come Back Again
8 Loch Lomond
9 Amazing Grace
10 The Skye Boat Song
11 Song For The Mira
12 Red Red Rose/Bonny Mary Of Argyll
13 I Belong To Glasgow
14 Dark Island
15 Auld Lang Syne
16 No Awa' Tae Bide Awa'/Scotland The Brave