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Roderick "Roddy" Woomble (born 13 August 1976) is a Scottish singer, songwriter and writer. He is best known as the lead vocalist of indie rock band Idlewild, with whom he has recorded six studio albums. In 2006, Woomble released his debut solo album, My Secret is My Silence, and released two subsequent albums, The Impossible Song & Other Songs and Listen to Keep, in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
In 2007, Woomble curated a collaborative studio album between Scottish writers and musicians, entitled Ballads of the Book, and recorded a collaborative album with folk musicians Kris Drever and John McCusker in 2008, called Before the Ruin.
Named after the quiet meeting place in Anne of Green Gables, Idlewild was formed in 1995 by Woomble, Rod Jones, Colin Newton and Phil Scanlon. The band were initially known for their energetic live shows and punk-tinged albums, however, their sound has changed to a sweeping, melodic rock sound over time.
In 2006, Woomble worked with several musicians including Kate Rusby, his wife Ailidh Lennon, songwriter Karine Polwart (to whom he presented the Horizon Award at the BBC Folk Awards 2005, and with whom he performed at Celtic Connections) and Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones on his debut solo album My Secret is My Silence, produced by John McCusker. The album was released in July 2006, and Woomble toured the United Kingdom in support of the album's release. My Secret is My Silence reached number one in the UK Folk Charts, and a year later, on 10 July 2007, My Secret is My Silence was released in the US on 7-10 Music.
Woomble's follow-up album, Before the Ruin, written and recorded with Kris Drever and John McCusker, was released on 15 September 2008 through Navigator Records.
In January 2010, Woomble began writing a new solo album: "I've started work on writing songs for a new solo album. I hadn't planned on doing another, but people seemed to want one, and if you haven't planned on doing something, it's often the best time to do it."
In March 2011, Woomble released his second solo album, The Impossible Song & Other Songs.
In August 2012, Woomble noted:
I've started booking a tour for March 2013 too, to co-incide with the new LP. I actually think it#ll be out in before then - in Jan or Feb - it's almost all mixed so just all the finishing touches to do, artwork etc. and to sort out all the necessary distribution. Like the last one it'll be out on my own little label, and this time people will be able to buy it direct from me via this website for a time, but more info on that one in due course."
Collaborations with other artists:
In 2002, Woomble worked with the Reindeer Section on Son of Evil Reindeer, providing lead vocals on the ballad "Who Told You". He also collaborated with Kate Rusby for her 2005 album The Girl Who Couldn't Fly which was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2006 BBC Folk Awards, singing backing vocals on the songs "Wandering Soul", "Fare Thee Well", and "No Names"; the latter of which was nominated for 'Song of the Year'.
Woomble also appears on Kris Drever's acclaimed album, Black Water, and is set to appear on John McCusker's project Under One Sky.
Woomble wrote a weekly column for The Sunday Herald, and in November 2008, began writing a monthly column 'Woomble's Way' for UK hillwalking magazine, TGO. Regarding his writing, Woomble states: "I'd do more if I could, but it's as hard for freelance writers as it is for musicians. I enjoy writing almost as much as I enjoy reading."
Woomble moved around significantly during his childhood, living in the United Kingdom and France when young, before moving to the United States. He then moved back to Scotland and at nineteen began a degree in photography. Living in Edinburgh, he met Colin Newton and Rod Jones, both future members of Idlewild. He moved back to the United States after the success of Idlewild's Top Ten album, The Remote Part, and lived in New York City for some time, developing a love for America while nurturing his pride in Scotland.
In late 2005, Woomble married Ailidh Lennon, who played bass for the Glaswegian punk-folk band, Sons and Daughters, a group that have supported Idlewild on several occasions. The couple currently live on the Isle of Mull and now have a child, named Uist Lennon-Woomble. Lennon and Dave Gow from the band also played alongside Woomble when he toured his solo album.