Kevin McKidd has turned to music in an effort to help raise funds for the charity Save the Children. The "Grey's Anatomy" and former "Rome" star teamed up with several friends to record "The Speyside Sessions," which the 38-year-old describes as "a love letter to Scotland."
"My best friend growing up, Jamie Reid, and I thought up the idea while I was back home," the Scottish native recently told The Huffington Post. "I realized that while I was becoming an actor, I had all of these friends of mine who were becoming great folk musicians. Jamie and I decided to hire a house for about a week, go up there and record. We sent out emails to everybody and ask them to send us their list of their 10 favorite Scottish folk songs. From there, Jamie and I came up with a final list. That was it!"
He adds: "We went to the house, and it was this amazing, magical week. We were all cooking food, and living together and making music together. It's a community album — it's certainly not my album. I play guitar on all of the songs, but I only sing the lead vocal on four of the songs."
All proceeds from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children, which works to support children in the developing world and offer relief during natural disasters.
"The album sounds totally unique and we're honoured that Kevin has chosen to do this for Save the Children," Douglas Hamilton, head of Scotland at Save the Children, told the UKPA. "What's fantastic is that it was entirely Kevin's own idea and we know that it hasn't been easy to organise. It's not just the album but everything else he's done over the past few years for the charity, raising huge amounts of money, as well as our profile — and it's brilliant to have him here in Scotland."
Many of the songs featured, which include titles like "Now Westlin Winds," "Both Sides the Tweed," "Charlie is My Darlin'," and "The Water is Wide," were sung to McKidd as a child by his grandfather.
"He was renowned for being a great singer of old, Scottish folk songs," he said. "He'd sing all of these songs to me when I was a boy, and I always vowed that before he passed away, I was going to record them or document what he did. He passed away before I got the chance to do that, so that was a real regret of mine."
To pick up a copy of the album, jump here. You can hear McKidd singing the song "These are my Mountains" below.