Highland born accordionist and one of the founding members of award-winning Scottish super-group Mànran, Gary Innes has been playing Scottish traditional music for over 15 years. Gary was born and raised in the small village of Spean Bridge in the Scottish Highlands. He picked up an accordion for the first time at the age of 8 because he wanted to be more like the number one hero in his life…his Dad.
Gary released his first solo album How’s the Craic in 2005 and has since released multiple collaborative albums with Ewan Robertson (of Breabach), all-accordion band Box Club and also has three albums with his current band Mànran (www.manran.co.uk)
Having played music professionally since 2003, Gary is no stranger to the world of music and as the newly appointed BBC Radio Scotland presenter for the iconic music show, ‘Take the Floor’ he is becoming further integrated into the Scottish music scene.
The most recent success story in Gary’s expansive career has been the release of his second solo album ERA. Launched at Celtic Connections 2017, ERA has received critical acclaim with media outlets, with Tim Carroll writing, “ERA is more than one man’s reflection, it’s a view into the world of a master at work.”
ERA showcases some of the very best musicians and singers in Scottish traditional music, including Hamish Napier on Keys, Duncan Lyall on bass, Jarlath Henderson on Uilleann Pipes, Steve Byrnes on kit and fellow Mànran bandmate, Ewen Henderson on fiddle. Innes co-produced the album with guitar and piping sensation, Ali Hutton who also performed on the album.
When asked about the title ERA for his second album, Gary said, “I have called the album ERA as I feel it’s the end of a substantial chapter, or indeed era in my life. Due to my increasing musical commitments, I retired from my beloved sport of Shinty in 2014 and for the same reason finished up with the Scottish Fire and Rescue service after 15 and a half years in 2015. Last year saw the beginning of the new era with the birth of my first little niece Zara and now my second niece is on the way. I am also getting married this year so it feels like life is very much starting to move me in a different, very significant direction and I wanted to not only recognise this but also to celebrate it.”
Gary is an ex-Scottish Shinty captain and Internationalist and has won the Camanachd Cup final with his beloved team Fort William on no less than 5 occasions. Within his shinty career Gary is one of the very few people fortunate enough to hold every senior medal in the sport. Now, in his twilight years from the sport, Gary is more often seen in the commentator’s box covering the main fixtures on the shinty calendar for the BBC.