Monday, 29 July 2019

Rhona MacKay: Music of the Harp

Rhona MacKay: Sings & Plays the Music of the Harp
(Lismore LILP 5130, 1984)

01 Buain a Choirce/Domhnall an Dannsair/Glenlivit
02 Cro Cheann T-Saile (Seaforth Lullaby)
03 Waly, Waly
04 Gealach nan Eilean (Island Moon)
05 Jamie
06 Bi Falbh o'n Uinneig (Go Away from the Window)
07 Do Dh'Eirinn Cha'n Innis Mi Ah-Ainm (For Ireland I Will Not Ter Her Name)
08 Cearcall a Chuain (Ocean's Cycle)
09 Gruagach Og an Fhuilt Bhain (My Fair Young Love)/Fr John MacMillan's Farewell to Barra/72nd Highlander's Farewell to Aberdeen
10 Gradh Geal Mo Chridh (Eriskay Love Lilt)
11 Mais an Taobh Tuath (The Beauty of the North)/Peat Fire Flame
12 Dean Cadalan Samhach (Lullaby)/Tha mi Sgith (Fairy Love Song)
13 Alasdair a Gleanna Garradh (Alastair of Glengarry)

Like many Glaswegians, Rhona MacKay's family were involved with Gaelic culture from the Highlands and Islands. As well as playing with the Scottish National Orchestra, she was a member of the folk group The Whistlebinkies.


Thursday, 25 July 2019

The Vikings (1965)

The Vikings: Orkney Goes Dancing (Phoenix Recordings, 1965)

Published by Phoenix Recordings and recorded in the Phoenix Cinema in Kirkwall, Orkney. The band's line-up was Allan Anderson (accordion), Jim Anderson (accordion, piano), Robin Bain (bass), Hugh Inkster (Stroh violin), Brian Fidlay (guitar) and Linay Linklater (drums). According to the sleeve notes, the band were known all over the mainland of Orkney. Fiddler Hugh Inkster was recorded a few times and pops up on some interesting albums later on, from the Orkney Strathspey and Reel Society (recorded in 1976) to School of Scottish Studies recordings and a Smithsonian Folkways album of 1979.

01 Roxburgh Castle/Wind That Shakes the Barley/Inver Lasses
02 The Balintore Fisherman/The Royal Scots Polka
03 Bonnie Dundee/Jackson's Jig/Kenmuir's On an Awa
04 Meeting of the Waters/Gledaruel Highlanders


Songs of Scotland (EP, 1981)

Various Artists: Songs of Scotland (EP, SRTS 81 CUS 1091, 1981)

01 Craven: The Rose of Allandale
02 Killiecrankie: Killiecrankie
03 Elizabeth: Sons o' the Soil
04 Elizabeth: Dark Lochnagar

This was a fundraiser for the Dundee branch of the Scottish Nationalist Party, featuring "Elizabeth" (singer Elizabeth Barry, backed by Tom Berry), "Craven" (Arthur and Ian Dryden on vocals and guitars) and "Killiecrankie" (Tom Berry on bass, guitar, piano, synthesiser and vocals, with George Boag on vocals and guitar).


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Ron Gonnella: Fireside Fiddle Chats 3

Fiddle Chats 3a: A Gordon for Me (William Marshall)

1) Miss Admiral Graham
2) The Marquis of Huntly’s Snuffmill/Lady Loiusa Gordon/Charles of Pettyvaich
3) Lady Niven Lumsden of Auchindoir/The Earl of Fife/Lowe’s Hornpipe
4) Lament for Sir Harry Niven Lumsden of Auchindoir
5) Mr Morison of Bognie/Miss Stewart’s Jig of Bombay
6) Miss Ann Cameron of Balvenie/Mrs Stewart’s Strathspey of Inverogie
7) Mrs James McInness/Lochrynach
8) Mrs Maj L Stewart of Java/Mrs Maj L Stewart of Java

Fiddle Chats 3b: Playing Second Fiddle

1) Jamie Lyall (Peter Milne)
2) Mrs Campbell of Saddell (air)/Mrs Campbell of Saddell (jig) (Robert Mackintosh)
3) Miss Barstow/Miss Robertson (Robert Mackintosh)
4) Miss Rose/Mrs Oswald of Auchincruive (Robert Mackintosh)
5) Miss Mary Lee’s Delight (Abraham Mackintosh)/Miss Marianne Oliphant of Rossie (Robert Mackintosh)/The Hon Mrs Maule (Robert Mackintosh)
6) The Flooers o’ the Forest
7) Miss Agnes Louden (Robert Lowe)/Rachel Rae (John Lowe)
8) The Prince of Wales (Joseph Lowe)/Sauteuse (Joseph Lowe)
9) Dandy Dismount (Joseph Lowe)/Sir David Davidson of Cantray (John Lowe)

This is the third of Ron Gonnella's Scottish Fireside Fiddle Chats, this time on the subjects of William Marshall, and a handful of other Scots composers (the Lowe family, Peter Milne, and Abraham and Robert Mackintosh).


Monday, 28 May 2018

Ron Gonnella: Fireside Fiddle Chats 2

Fiddle Chats 2a: James Scott Skinner

1) Mrs Will/Sandy Grant of Battan
2) The Bonnie Lass o’ Bon Accord
3) The Queen’s Welcome to Invercauld
4) Sarona
5) The Fallen Chief
6) Death and Dr Hornbook
7) Donald MacPherson’s Lament
8) Sandy’s Goat/MacLeod and MacLay
9) Highland Cradle Song

Fiddle Chats 2b: Have You the Gaelic? (Cpt Simon Fraser of Knock)

1) The Fall of Foyers
2) The Rebel/Belladrum House/The Favourite Dram
3) Sitting In the Stern of a Boat
4) The General Gathering 1745
5) Prince Charles’s Last View of Scotland
6) Gudewife Admit the Wanderer
7) Lament for Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch
8) Angus Fraser/Three Sheeps Shanks
9) The Northern Meeting/The Sprightly Minnikin

The second Fireside Fiddle Chats from Ron Gonnella, this time exploring the music of James Scott Skinner, and on the other side, the music collected by Simon Fraser.

Ron Gonnella: Fireside Fiddle Chats 1

Fiddle Chats 1a: Robert Burns

1) There Was a Lad That was Born in Kyle
2) My Love She's But a Lassie Yet
3) I Am My Mammie's Ae Bairn/Killiecrankie
4) Afton Water
5) Comin' Thro' the Rye/Corn Rigs
6) Ay Waukin O
7) Green Grow the Rashes o/Willie Brew’d a Peck o’ Maut
8) My Wife’s a Winsome Wee Thing/O Kenmure’s On and Away, Willie
9) Awa’ wi’ Yer Witchcraft o’ Beauty’s Alarms/Last May a Braw Wooer
10) O Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast
11) Guid Nicht and Joy Be Wi’ Ye A’

Fiddle Chats 1b: The Gow Family

1) Come Ye By Athole?
2) Atholl Volunteers
3) Coilsfield House
4) Miss Stewart of Grandtully/The Fairy Dance
5) Farewell to Whisky
6) Miss Graham of Inchbraikie/Lady Charlotte Campbell
7) Caller Herring
8) Miss Sally Hunter of Thurston/Miss Margaret Brown
9) Miss Lucy Johnston’s Compliments to Niel Gow

In the mid-1980s, Scots fiddler Ron Gonnella issued a series of cassettes on various aspects of fiddle music. I know of three of these, the first of which featured music associated with the poet Robert Burns, as well as music from the Gow family on the other side. Gonnella was a master fiddler, and these rare recordings are a joy. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Ron Gonnella: National Scotland (1985)

01 Loch Lomond 1
02 Loch Lomond 2
03 Miss Margaret Brown's Favourite/Lady Charlotte Murray
04 Flowers of Edinburgh
05 The White Cockade
06 The Yellow Haired Laddie
07 Will Ye No Come Back Again
08 Lady Madelina Sinclair/De'il Amang the Tailors
09 Major Graham of Inchbraikie
10 Corgarff Castle/Whistle O'er the Lave O't

An unusual solo recording by Gonnella, this was part of an LP which formed one of a large library of recordings by Chappell aimed at radio and television producers. So if, for example, a shot required a pipe band, a gaelic singer or a solo fiddler as background music, you would have a selection of recordings and snippets to choose from. The first track, "Loch Lomond" is played as an air, and then there is a 30-second "jingle" version of it.

The Ron Gonnella segment of this album is worth listening to, not least because it is completely solo (he usually used piano accompanists, and sometimes a bassist too).