Orcadian musician, Ivan Drever has been singing, playing and writing since his early teens in his native Orkney. Now based in Orkney he continues to play live and record new music. Recently he has issued a collection of his instrumental numbers from across his career as well as a live solo album and video recorded at Falkirk Folk Club.
Much of his back catalogue is now being made available as digital downloads and limited-edition compact disks such as “Isles Ne’er Forgotten” and “Tradition”. His lyric song-writing, extensive traditional repertoire and virtuoso guitar playing have been part of the Scottish music scene for over 30 years and he continues to produce new material and perform live.
A live recording was made at the Orkney Folk Festival in 2016 when Ivan was invited to get together a group of musicians to perform at “The Gathering”, an annual event. This recording has now been released on Ivan’s Orcadian Recordings label. The album features the Kirkwall City Pipe band, The Orkney Song Shop singers and a host of Orcadian musicians of note, including Andy Cant, Stewart Shearer, Iain Tait, Billy Peace, Graham Peace and Dylan Pepper.
“It was a great honour for me to go back to a place I still regard as home and to perform with the cream of Orcadian musicians and some very good friends. We had a wonderful time”.
There are also guest appearances by Hazel and Jennifer Wrigley and Colin J Nicholson. In January 2017 the exercise was repeated with a sell-out concert at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections. The album (and others) is available via Ivan’s website at ivandrever.co.uk and at Ivan’s live performances.
Recordings were completed in March 2016 for Ivan’s studio album, “Revisited II” which was also released in 2016. The album features contributions by Leatherat’s fiddle player, Jono Watts and Iolair Sound Studios’, Stuart Shearer on guitars.
He has recorded a host of albums both solo and with other performers. Revisited (The Wolfstone Songs) was released in 2015 and covers songs and tunes originally recorded when Ivan was the frontman with acclaimed Scottish band Wolfstone. Ranging from the Bothy Ballad “Sleepy Toon” through to live favourites such as “Close It Down”, the tracks feature just Ivan and his guitar. Like Revisited II, the album was recorded in at Bainbridge studios in Edinburgh. Produced by Ivan, it was engineered, mixed and mastered by David Chisholm.
Having worked with the Knowe O’Deil and as a solo artist, Ivan joined Wolfstone in 1990, their work saw them perform worldwide. Ivan’s songs and tunes have been recorded by an impressive list of artists. Ivan composed the songs and music and performed for the Californian Dance Based Company “Celtic Fusion” which saw him working for the early part of 2001 in the States, touring with the Company throughout March on the East coast of the U.S.A.
He has also performed with the Ivan Drever Band who produced a self-titled 5 track EP for Nutshell Records. Ivan’s career has been long and fruitful as his extensive back catalogue and current projects confirm. “What You Hear” is an album of songs featuring just Ivan’s guitar and voice and was released in 2014. He used these songs as the core of his live shows during that year. Ivan released Volume 1 of “Music from The Vaults” a compilation of various recordings from over a decade in 2013. The thirteen tracks featured guest appearances by Charlie McKerron; his son, Kris Drever and Jim Hunter alongside live tracks, out-takes and never before heard tracks by the band Clueless (with pipers Gordon Duncan and Ross Ainslie).
He recorded “Keep on Keeping On” in Easter Ross in June of 2012. The album features 12 self-penned songs and was released on Ivan’s own Orcadian recordings label. The 2011 album, “Bless the Wind” (also recorded in Easter Ross) featured former Wolfstone band mate, Andy Murray on electric guitar as well as Paul Eastham, keyboard player with Coast. It was released on September 1st 2011. His 2010 album, “Notes from an Island”, on Attic records, was a reflection on his Orcadian heritage.
Ivan’s live set features songs chosen from all his albums alongside several as yet unreleased new songs. Now resident in Norway, Ivan regularly plays live. He has recently toured England, Scotland, Denmark and Norway, the USA and Russia with plenty more dates in the pipeline for the future!