Magical album pays tribute to those tried as witches

Two of Scotland’s foremost traditional musicians and composers have joined forces for their first full album collaboration.

Heal and Harrow is a captivating and dynamic original work that pays tribute to the many Scottish women persecuted as witches in the 16th and 17th centuries.

It’s an emotive, beautifully crafted and spellbinding release from 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year – harpist and singer Rachel Newton (The Shee, The Furrow Collective, Lost Words: Spell Songs) – and award winning fiddle player Lauren MacColl (RANT, Salt House) – fusing their talents in new duo Heal & Harrow.

Rachel Newton is Glasgow-based and Lauren MacColl hails from Inverness.

Stark, spectral and stripped back yet exquisitely tender this debut duo album magically melds haunting harp and sensitive fiddle melodies with the engaging, sometimes eerie voice of Newton, singing in both English and Gaelic.

A work of dignity and emotional healing, the hypnotic music, readings and songs act as a restorative salve to the heart-breaking ‘hate crime’ stories of women hung and burnt at the stake for being ‘different’.

Nearly 3000 Scots were executed in a tidal wave of femicide after Scotland’s 1563 Witchcraft Act was introduced. Herbalists, healers and midwives could be revered for their skills one minute and condemned as witches the next.

The Heal and Harrow album will be brought to life in a new multidisciplinary touring performance (February 9-19) blending instrumental and vocal music, spoken word and political context as well as modern day parallels.

For more details on the album visit

The tour showcasing the album runs February 9-19 with performances in Inverness, Stirling, Gateshead, Liverpool, York, Oxford, King’s Place, London, Leeds and Peebles. Click HERE to find out more.