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Heidi Talbot on making The Last Star

Jon Lewis | 14:10 UK time, Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Guest blogger Heidi Talbot writes:

"I am sat in my flat in Edinburgh among half packed boxes and baby gear. Myself and John (McCusker) are moving house just before we start The Last Star tour. Very excited and very busy! The Last Star is my new record and I'm really looking forward to the tour and singing the new songs. I started recording last November while pregnant with our daughter Molly Mae. As the record progressed my belly got bigger! We had such a lovely time recording the album at Calum Malcolm's studio in North Berwick. I found myself looking around me and feeling incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such a talented bunch of singers and musicians. If someone had told me 5 years ago while I was living in New York (surrounded by boxes getting ready to move back to Ireland) that I would now be living in Scotland, with a baby girl, getting married and making a record with all these people I would've found it very hard to believe. But here I am.

Heidi Talbot

"With John producing, we started off in the studio with a core band of Ian Carr, Boo Hewerdine, Ewen Vernal and Kris Drever. The basic tracks were recorded in 4 days. Then it was the singers' turn and Karine Polwart, Eddi Reader and Kris added their vocals. Sessions with the fantastic Michael McGoldrick, Phil Cunningham, Alan Kelly and Andy Cutting (there was nobody else available!) followed and it wasn't long 'til we found ourselves in Andy Seward's studio in Yorkshire doing overdubs and starting to mix. I shouldn't really include myself in the mixing process as John and Andy did all of the work with a few comments of "yay!" and "that's lovely!" from me and some very enthusiastic kicks from Molly Mae whenever she heard Michael McGoldrick's whistle!

"As any singer will tell you, choosing songs to record can be a long and interesting process! This is the first time I've recorded some of my own material. When you're surrounded by amazing songwriters such as Boo, Karine and Tim O'Brien, trying to write something that can stand up against their songs can be pretty daunting. I started to work on the material for The Last Star while traveling with John around America and Europe on the Mark Knopfler tour two years ago. John would write melodies during sound checks, bring them back to the hotel and leave them with me to write or find traditional words for. I really enjoy the process of trawling through songbooks and finding a good story or beautiful words... I really hope you like them.

"We start the tour on September 2nd in Newcastle and finish on November 11th in Durham. I'm really looking forward to it and will hopefully meet some of you in the coming weeks. I'll keep you updated on how it's all going and how Molly Mae's first adventures into tour managing are progressing... Thanks - Heidi xxx"


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