Mountains E.P. - Digital Download

by Al Shields

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  1. 1 Johanna 03:39
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  2. 2 Mountains 02:58
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  3. 3 Kick Your Feet Up 03:24
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  4. 4 Bluebird 02:51
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  5. 5 Boatload Of Worry 04:10
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  6. 6 Way Back When 03:44
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Photo Credit: BeardInLeith

Guys, what can I say??? 

I'm absolutely humbled at the turnout and response at  my Mountains E.P. Launch at Sneaky Pete's in Edinburgh last night, and I would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who made it out to the show, and picked up a copy of 'Mountains'. 

I also want to say thank you to the following people: 

Matt Norris (Matt Norris & The Moon) 
Julia Hoare (Jules and the Blue Garnets) 
Kat Healy (The Kat Healy Music Club) 

Thank you for joining me on stage and for helping to make the night special, and thank you to Lewis Rumney and John McIntosh for the awesome support sets. 

Onwards and upwards! 

Photo credit: beardinleith


I've seen a few things on-line the past few days regarding the now-very-tired subject of big companies like Spotify, iTunes etc ripping off artists, and I wanna stick my oar in. 


The average guy on the street doesn't necessarily realise that if you buy a song on iTunes or Amazon, or stream a song on Spotify, the artist makes pennies from the stream/sale. Sometimes they don't even make that. If you stream a song of mine on Spotify, I WILL EARN LESS THAN ONE PENNY in most cases. 

Yes, it sucks for independent artists that these buying methods have become the norm, but I refuse to complain about it . It's not all black and white, and there are many, many arguments to be had on the subject, but it comes down to the fact that, for many, convenience is king, and I've seen artists berate listeners for choosing these methods. That's bullshit. 


I earn JACK-SHIT from iTunes, Amazon or Spotify or all the other ones that are out there, but I CHOOSE to make my music available there. Why? Because it only costs me about £35 to make an album available worldwide via these avenues, but if I refuse to allow the listener to use their preferred method of hearing my music, I risk losing them as a listener completely. 

I recently went self-employed as a musician (no other day-job here, folks) and almost every day I learn a new lesson about how hard it can be to earn a living in this game. When my new EP comes out, obviously I'd much prefer that you buy it from my website or Bandcamp via PayPal, so that money comes straight to me, but if you want to buy it on iTunes for the convenience, or stream it on Spotify without buying it at all, PLEASE DO SO! Don't let anyone judge you. I would rather that than have you not listen at all. 



'Mountains' E.P. Available 18/4/16 

Hello friends, 

You can probably tell by the title of this post (and by that picture up there), that it's time to share the details of my new E.P. 'Mountains'. 

If all goes to plan, the E.P. should hit worldwide via iTunes, Spotify etc, on Monday, April 18th. Of course, you can support me directly by buying CD's and downloads directly from my website from that date too. 

Oh, and I'll also be hosting a launch at Edinburgh's Sneaky Pete's on Tuesday, April 19th!

Keep an eye on my social media feeds for full details on tickets etc. 


I'll be playing a few live shows in the coming weeks, too. Check 'em out: 

Friday, March 4th - Glad Cafe, Glasgow w/ The Jokers 
Saturday, March 12th - Bluebird Cafe, Edinburgh w/ Christina Martin 
Saturday, March 19th - Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh w/Scocha 
Wednesday, April 13th - Hug & Pint, Glasgow w/ Ashton Lane 

Please visit the Tour Page on my website for all ticketing info. 


The Lonesome Traveller by Jarrod Dickenson. 

I was lucky enough to play a couple of shows with Jarrod last month. After the last show we did the old CD trade, and I've had this on heavy rotation ever since. A seriously talented songwriter, and a great guy to boot. Check him out, and thank me later! 

See you all in April! 



I know, I know!

Okay, diary entries shouldn't really be 5 months apart, but unfortunately that's how long it took from me deciding to record a new E.P. to actually getting the thing recorded. I will freely admit to having shocking planning skills.

In all honesty, it has been a learning experience. When I recorded 'Slow Burner', the songs were all a couple of years old and I knew them inside-out, but this time around I actually had to write new songs after making the decision to record, as well as finishing off half-written material for the E.P.

But we're nearing the finish line!
The office. I have the best job ever!

Over the last two days I recorded six songs at The Depot Studios in Edinburgh, under the watchful eye and guiding hand of my good friend Craig Ross. We went back to basics, with guitar, vocals, and a sprinkling of harmonica and the odd backing vocal for good measure. It's how I prefer to do things, and will bring you something slightly different and stripped back from my previous recorded offering.
Craig Ross doing the slidey-fader, pushy-button stuff. 

Mastering, artwork, final tracklist, and many other bits and bobs that go along with releasing new music are all yet to be dealt with, and I'll aim to keep you updated, but this is the final stretch. I'm looking forward to sharing some music with you!

Much love,



Yesterday I wrote two songs. Well, technically I wrote one song, and finished another that I started about a year ago.

On Thursday morning I decided to play around on the cheap Fender acoustic I bought for busking last summer, and as I was noodling around, songs came out!

There are a couple of reasons this is important. 

1. I haven't had the music 'bug' for around 2 years. Prolonged writer's block and lack of motivation or inspiration resulted in me more or less putting music on the back burner for a long time. Two new songs isn't exactly opening the floodgates, but today I made plans to write, and writing happened. That's a major step forward from where I've been at musically the last couple years.

2. Most importantly, these two songs, along with a couple more that I haven't yet recorded (and one more I plan to get finished very soon) , mean I'm looking at recording again, so the decision has been made today that  a new E.P. is officially on the way in the coming months. To keep things ticking over quick, I'm planning to keep these recordings stripped back with minimal instrumentation (we'll see how that works out!).

As things progress, I'll do my best to document as much as I can via my facebook and twitter pages, but I'll be keeping a diary right here on my much neglected blog. Keep an eye out :)