Roddy Woomble

Singer Roddy Woomble achieved recognition in the late '90s/early 2000s as the frontman for Scottish rock band Idlewild, which released a handful of albums before Woomble chose to explore his options as a solo artist. Born in 1976 in Scotland, Woomble traveled extensively as a child, living in France and the United States before settling in Edinburgh to study photography. It was in Edinburgh that he met the other future members of Idlewild, who formed in 1995. The band released five albums while shifting from a grungy, punk-rooted sound to folk-influenced rock. Building on that change, Woomble decided to take time out from the band to explore his love of traditional Scottish folk and concentrate on solo material, which led to the release of his debut, My Secret Is My Silence, in July 2006. Among the collaborators on the album were Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones, vocalist Kate Rusby, and Woomble's wife, bassist Ailidh Lennon of Sons and Daughters.

My Secret Is My Silence topped the U.K. folk charts, encouraging Woomble to return to the folk genre after the 2007 release of Idlewild's fifth album, Make Another World. This time, he partnered with two other folksingers, Kris Drever and John McCusker, both of whom shared equal billing with Woomble on 2008's Before the Ruin. Continuing his musical juggling act, Woomble switched his attention back to Idlewild, who had lost their contract with Sanctuary Records after the label was absorbed by Universal Music Group. Forced to move ahead as an independent band, they completed their next album, Post Electric Blues, and released it via the Idlewild website in June 2009. An "official" version of the album followed in December, courtesy of a new relationship with the indie label Cooking Vinyl. One month later, Woomble began writing songs for his second solo album, retaining the folksy flavor of My Secret Is My Silence while exploring a more electric sound. The resulting record, The Impossible Song & Other Songs, appeared in early 2011. ~ Kenyon Hopkin & Andrew Leahey

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