Hebridean home inspires new record

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The seafaring tradition of Lewis men joining the merchant navy has inspired songs on a new CD by songwriter Graham Maciver.

Graham and his band Bensider, named after his childhood home of Benside, are set to release Blue Star Line later this month.

The CD is named after the shipping company that Graham’s father, Calum ‘Creek’ Maciver, sailed with in the 1950s and 60s. The title song, along with Bang Bang are tributes to Calum and his life on the waves.

My Island Home is a nostalgic look back at Graham leaving Lewis in 1989 and how much he loves returning there to appreciate it now.

Blue Star Line will be launched at 7.30pm on June 16 at the Hug & Pint, Glasgow.

Graham said: ‘Joining the merchant navy seemed to be a natural progression for Lewis men of my father’s generation. They wanted to see the world.

‘Blue Star Line means so much to me. Through my song writing, I can reconnect with my father honouring his memory with my recollections of the warmth and love he showed to me and my family in the short time we had him.

‘I can’t help incorporating my upbringing into my songs and this album is no exception. My Island Home is an open love letter to the Isle of Lewis and how much I miss her.

‘Many of the songs were written at my kitchen table, some while I cycled and walked in the fresh air. Our music is hard to categorise and is influenced by many genres, but is probably best described as acoustic, swingy folk with a dark edge.’