“In traditional music, with its myriad, deceptively demanding metrical nuances, bass players
with the finesse to lift and enhance - rather than weigh down and deaden - a tune or song are
rare and highly prized: hence Duncan Lyall… is a very busy man”
Sue Wilson, Sunday Herald
Duncan is the bass player for English folk singer Kate Rusby and Scottish folk supergroup
Regular invitations to work with an array of world renowned musicians have seen career
highlights which include performing and recording with film composer Craig Armstrong,
touring the UK with Mary Chapin Carpenter, conductor/arranger Vince Mendoza and
legendary drummer Peter Erskine, performing with Guy Garvey at the Radio 2 Folk
Awards, recording with Paul Weller, touring the UK with Idlewild frontman Roddy
Woomble, and performing and recording with bluegrass stars Ron Block (Alison Krauss &
Union Station), Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still) and Sarah Jarosz.
As "the bassist of choice for Scotland’s new folk generation”, Duncan has also performed and
recorded with an illustrious list of folk & traditional musicians and groups including:
Julie Fowlis, Eddi Reader, Phil Cunningham, Cathy Jordan, Donald Shaw, Lori
Watson, John Doyle, John McCusker, Mike McGoldrick, Blazin Fiddles, Bella
Hardy, Rachel Sermanni, Kris Drever, Adam Holmes, Nae Regrets Orchestra
(Martyn Bennett), Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson, Emily Smith, Jenna Reid,
Damien O’Kane, Fred Morrison, Unusual Suspects, John Goldie.
In huge demand as a producer and session musician, Duncan has featured on over 70 albums,
while his production work includes Treacherous Orchestra, The Shee, Lori Watson,
Breabach, Ross Ainslie, Jarlath Henderson, Box Club and Maeve MacKinnon.
In 2014 Duncan recorded on the soundtrack for What We Did on Our Holiday with Scottish
producer Jim Sutherland and featured in a number of scenes alongside actors Billy
Connelly, David Tennent and Rosamund Pike.
Celtic Connections 2012 saw Duncan's first major foray into composition with Infinite
Reflections, performed as part of the festival’s New Voices series. An album recording of this
piece was released in January 2013 to critical acclaim under his own label, Red Deer
Records. He subsequently went on to tour this album around the UK with 9 piece band.
***** “engrossing instrumental sequence from ubiquitous folk bassist Duncan Lyall”
Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman
“…clearly the product of a wide and profound musical intelligence… this is progressive
contemporary music at its best… passages of tranquil beauty, arresting ambience and soaring
dynamic interest. All is so finely calibrated and perfectly composed for cinematic soundscape
and concert music” Kevin T.Ward, The Living Tradition
“This is contemporary Scottish folk music of the first order, resplendent in a big band sound”
Neil King, Fatea