Together Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham have established themselves as the epitome of excellence in the world of traditional music. With their musical magic and quick-witted humour they will pull your emotional strings one moment and have you falling off the seat with laughter the next. Mike Russell has described them as "probably the best traditional musicians you are ever likely to hear”.
Widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative accordion players of the times, Phil Cunningham has taken this instrument from strength to strength, setting the standards by which many young players fix their sights today.
His compositions are covered by musicians the world over, and he continues to write and add to his prolific repertoire. The depth and beauty of his slow airs is recognised universally amongst audiences and performers alike. His orchestral suites for Symphony orchestra and Celtic instruments have received international acclaim. His most recent suite “Ceilidh” was written for and performed by acclaimed percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He teaches regularly, and is currently working to establish a traditional youth orchestra in the Highlands of Scotland.
Although Aly's musical base is in Scotland his extensive travels have led to an appreciation and mastery of many kinds of music. He has applied this knowledge to the production of several networked television series bringing traditional music to a constantly widening audience.
His teaming up, star collision, with brilliant accordionist/composer Phil Cunningham has added yet another dimension of appreciation for audiences everywhere. They have toured and recorded together since 1988 and to date they have recorded six albums, released on Aly's own record label Whirlie Records. In 2005 they were awarded Best Duo in the annual BBC Folk Awards.