With her third studio album ‘Too Long Away’ Emily presents five traditional tracks alongside five self-penned songs, cementing her success as one of Scotland’s finest interpreters of traditional song but also as a leading songwriter in the Scottish music scene.
This album sees Emily’s writing develop and mature whilst maintaining her integrity as a traditional singer leading to her being voted Scots Singer of the Year at the 2008 Scots Trad Music Awards.
Much of the inspiration for this album comes from her move back to rural South West Scotland where she continues her use of local history and folklore as a source for her writing in tracks such as ‘Old Mortality’ and ‘The Mermaid of Galloway’. Dumfriesshire’s ever changing landscape also plays a part sparking her inspiration to create the beautiful ‘Winter Song’ and thought provoking ‘Audience of Souls’ written in a local graveyard.
Unlike previous albums, there are no instrumental tracks on Too Long Away but Emily’s accordion and piano still feature on several songs including her folk-rock take on the ballad ‘May Colven’ and upbeat version of Tony Cuff’s ‘Caledonia’.
Guest musicians include long time collaborators Jamie McClennan on fiddle, guitar and backing vocals and Duncan Lyall on double bass. There are also contributions by Luke Plumb on mandolin, Alyn Cosker on drums and Ross Milligan on guitar and banjo. ‘Come Home Pretty Bird’ is the only co-write on the album, written with David Scott during a residential songwriting retreat. It was written after a conversation between Smith and Scott about the ups and downs of life on the road. The album’s title ‘Too Long Away’ is taken from this song and sums up Emily’s feelings on returning home to Dumfriesshire.