Jamie rises to top with Jacobite CD

A RETIRED engineer turned opera singer has revealed his latest project - an album of Jacobite hits.

Jamie McBride, 61, is currently recording the CD at Heartbeat Studio in Midlothian. It will feature a selection of songs from the Jacobite era, ranging from The Massacre of Glencoe to Ye Jacobites by Name.

It will be the second album by the father-of-two from Bruntsfield after his debut CD, A Scottish Tenor, which included a collection of his favourite Giacomo Puccini classics, was released last Thursday.

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Mr McBride, who is originally from Prestonpans, said: "I wanted to do a Scottish CD instead of an Italian one. I have been specialising in Italian opera stuff and that's the reason I produced the Puccini CD. Then I thought, 'I've not done anything Scottish, so it's time to do something like that'."

Mr McBride hopes the new album, the name of which is being kept secret until its release, will be available to buy before the end of February at Coda on The Mound.

Mr McBride plans to have a total of 14 songs on the self-financed CD, including a few Scottish numbers which are still to be decided.

Cockenzie and Port Seton Royal British Legion Pipes and Drums are providing some of the backing music on the CD.

"I thought if I was going to do a CD like this, it would be nice to bring these people into it," added Mr McBride.

As a Shell oil engineer in the Middle East, Mr McBride spent years singing rock 'n' roll and blues to expats in the 1970s, but never had the chance to make his passion for music any more than a hobby.

He went on to buy Chic Murray's former hotel in Edinburgh's Bruntsfield Crescent in 1983, which he converted into a block of flats in 2006 and sold off the following year.

Mr McBride donated 500 copies of A Scottish Tenor to the Royal Highland Fusiliers in Penicuik to be sold and the profits given to the armed services.

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Around six years ago he travelled to Florence for a six-week opera course with the legendary tenor Franco Corelli, which affirmed his passion for opera.

Mr McBride said: "I'm hoping to come up with a strong CD and one that people can relate to.

"I have always wanted to do it and this is my time. I'm getting on a bit now!"