Saturday, 12 December 2009

Various Artists: I Was Born In Glasgow (1991)

Various Artists: I Was Born In Glasgow (Gallus Records GAL 102, 1991)

This was a one-off album put together by Ewan McVicar using the money he won in a song competition. It features a handful of singers from Glasgow including:

Iain Mackintosh, banjo player, concertina player and singer. He originally played in groups such as The Islanders and The Skerries, but is better known for his subsequent solo career.

Ian Davison was one of the young people who attended Norman Buchan's Ballads Club in Rutherglen Academy (other members included Gordeanna MacCulloch, Ann Neilson and Adam McNaughtan), and later formed a group, The Ian Davison Folk Four.

Hamish Imlach, a giant figure in Scottish folk singing.

Alan Tall, an actor and musician who provided vocals, saxophone, keyboards and percussion.

This album has not, to my knowledge, been re-released, but it is hoped that Ewan will consider it one day.

01 Iain Mackintosh: I Wish I Was In Glasgow (Billy Connolly)
02 Ewan McVicar & Alan Tall: Tam the Bam (Ewan McVicar)
03 Iain Mackintosh & Ewan McVicar: The Glasgow I Used to Know (Adam McNaughtan)
04 Ewan McVicar: Caves In the Canyons (Ian Davison)
05 Iain Mackintosh: Farewell to Glasgow (Jim McLean)
06 Ewan McVicar: Nancy Whisky (Ewan McVicar)
07 Ewan McVicar: I Belong to Glasgow (Will Fyffe)
08 Ewan McVicar & Alan Tall: Bus 33-Glasgow Rain (Ewan McVicar)
09 Hamish Imlach: Cod Liver Oil and the Orange Juice (Carl MacDougall)
10 Ian Davison: Doon In the Wee Room (McLughlin)
11 Ewan McVicar & Alan Tall: Dannie Lannie & his Heavy China (Ewan McVicar)
12 Hamish Imlach: Twelve and a Tanner (McKenzie/Fyffe)
13 Ewan McVicar: Barroom Mountaineers (trad)
14 Ian Davison: Going Home to Glasgow (Ian Davison)


Other albums featuring Iain Mackintosh:

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Bobby MacLeod: Maestro MacLeod (1977)

Bobby MacLeod: Maestro MacLeod (Emerald Gem GES 1171, 1977)

As the sleeve notes say, Bobby MacLeod is one of the all-time greats of the Scottish accordion. Originally from the island of Mull, MacLeod's recording career started in the early 1950s on 78rpm sides, and continued for decades afterwards. In this recording, rather like another here (Simply Solo), he is playing away from his usual band, except here he's accompanied by Wullie Thom on drums. The concept was formed as they jammed at Bobby's Hotel in Tobermory in 1976.

01 Hiram and Calum: Hi-O-Hiram/Calum Bheg
02 Piper's Delight: Millbank Cottage/The Edinburgh Volunteers
03 New Hebridean Waltz: Malcolm Ferguson
04 Two-Step: The Dancing Dustman
05 Polka: Happy Hours
06 Jiggery: Dan the Cobbler/The Maid On the Green/Jimmy McHugh
07 Reelography: Colonel Rodney/The General Election/The Byres Road
08 Waltz Musette: Bourrasque
09 March, Strathspey & Reel: Captain Carswell/Lady Macbeth/John Morrison of Assynt House
10 Pride of Erin Waltz: The Homes of Donegal/A Mother's Love/The Glens of Antrim/The County of Armagh
11 Hornpipery: The Kingston/The Golden Eagle/Off to California
12 Melodeonisticks: Les Triolets


Other albums featuring Bobby MacLeod:

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Norman Stewart: The North Highland Tradition

Norman Stewart: The North Highland Tradition (Tigh na Teud, n.d.)

Norman Stewart is from Easter Ross, and a forester by profession. He was surrounded by Gaelic music and song as a child, and when he was in Edinburgh he frequented Sandy Bell's Bar in the company of Hamish Henderson and other highly influential people. Norman met and later married Janice Clark (later of the group Highland Tradition) at a North-East ceilidh and the partnership produced one record, called Iolair. I don't know of any of his recordings being released on CD. This recording is from a cassette, but there is no date given at all.

01 Pride of Coll (Iain MacDonald)
02 Fear a'Bhata
03 Coshieville (Stuart MacGregor)
04 John of Lorne (NeilMunro)
05 As I Went to Inverness-shire
06 Kenneth J MacLeod (Donald Macleod)/Lyndhurst (Jack Smith)/The Conundrum (Peter R MacLeod)
07 The Men of Knoydart (Hamish Henderson)
08 'S Fhada leam an Oidhche Gheamhraidh (Murchadh MacPharlain a Mealabost)
09 Macallum's Lament
10 My Donald (Owen Hand)
11 A Ribhinn Og Bheil Cuimhn' Agad?
12 The North Highlands (trad/Norman Stewart)


Other albums featuring Norman Stewart:

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Jacobites (1981)

The Jacobites (Ptarmigan Records PT 001, 1981)

The Jacobites centred around the late Dave Davidson from Tayport. This incarnation featured Dave on lead vocals, guitar and Brian Lochrie from Perth on vocals, guitar and banjo. This was the first recording as The Jacobites. The cover photographs see the duo in front of The Unicorn frigate in Dundee's docks.

01 Ye Jacobites
02 The Lifeboat Mona (Peggy Seeger)
03 The Gallowa' Hills
04 Dainty Davie
05 Bonnie Glenshee
06 Island Spinning Song
07 A Man's a Man
08 The Balaena
09 Bonnie Brown Maid
10 Roving Journeyman
11 Jamie Raeburn
12 Bonnie Dundee
13 Loch Lomond
14 Scots Wha Hae

Front and back covers included.

Other albums featuring The Jacobites:
Dundee Folk (1977) (as Dingly Dell)

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Arthur Scott Robertson, Scotland's Champion Fiddler

Arthur Scott Robertson, Scotland's Champion Fiddler
Arthur Scott Robertson (1911-2000), from Shetland, won the Scottish Fiddle Championship competition of 1969, and I think this album followed on shortly from that. I don't have the original album any more, but I found this cassette copy recently, and thought it was worth preserving.

1) Clan McCol/Monymusk/The Rejected Suitor
2) The Dean Brig of Edinburgh/Bank's Hornpipe
3) The Braes of Castle Grant/Struan Robertson
4) Mrs Helen N Robertson/Lady Anne Hope/Sullom Voe
5) Vagaland
6) Shetland Polka/Bob Bisset of Glenlyon/Ian and Isobel of Balnearn
7) Farewell to Gartly/The Beeswing Hornpipe
8) Leaving Glenurquart/The Devil in the Kitchen/The High Road to Linton
9) The Marquis of Huntly's Snuffmill/Dr Keith/Dr Neil Cadenhead
10) The Burning of the Piper's Hut/Lady Margaret Stewart
11) The Lightfoot Hornpipe/Castles in the Air/The Trumpet Hornpipe
12) Kinrara/The Second Star Hornpipe


Other albums featuring Arthur Scott Robertson:

A Better Class of Folk (1975)

Various Artists: A Better Class of Folk (Lismore Recordings LILP 5022, 1975)

This was released on the back of a 1974 Scottish Television series of the same name, featuring a handful of Scots folk performers led by Irish playwright and singer Dominic Behan. Mike Whellans was briefly in the original Boys of the Lough line-up after recording and touring as a duet with Aly Bain. Allan Barty from Dundee played fiddle and mandolin and had featured in many folk groups since the 1960s. Later he had a radio programme in Germany. Iain Mackintosh first recorded with The Islanders in 1965, and subsequently went on to a successful solo career, alongside celebrated collaborations with Hamish Imlach and Brian McNeill. Billy Davidson from Shotts toured in the 70s and released an album in 1976, On the Road (Lismore LILP5039). The ensemble was joined by Margaret Henery, who played bass guitar.

01 Ensemble-If You Want to See the General (trad)
02 Billy Davidson-Shores of Sutherland (Jim MacLean)
03 Mike Whellans-The Wars o' Germany (trad)
04 Allan Barty-Aunque Me Des (trad)
05 Iain Mackintosh-The Glasgow I Used to Know (Jim MacLean)
06 Dominic Behan-Liverpool Lou (Behan)
07 Billy Davidson-The Scottish Sabbath (Jim MacLean)
08 Mike Whellans-The Ballad of Sam Stone (John Prine)
09 Allan Barty-Sunshine Hornpipe/Humours of Glendart (trad)
10 Iain Mackintosh-The Ballad of Joe Hill (Woody Guthrie)
11 Dominic Behan-Spanish Lady (trad)
12 Ensemble-The Good Ship Reuben Jones (Woody Guthrie)


Other albums featuring Allan Barty:

Other albums featuring Iain Mackintosh:

Friday, 20 November 2009

Arthur Scott Robertson, Champion's Choice (n.d.)

Arthur Scott Robertson, Champion's Choice (Spectrum Records FLP 5020, n.d.)

Like many fiddlers from Shetland, Arthur Scott Robertson (1911-2000)
loved Scottish fiddle music, and it was in this genre that he won the Scottish Fiddle Championship competition of 1969. His first recording shorty afterwards was Scotland's Champion Fiddler, and was followed by this one. Robertson was also a prolific composer, publishing his Musical Reflections in five volumes in the 1980s.

01 The Bonnie Lass o' Bon Accord/Tulchan Lodge/The Burn o' Forgue
02 Mrs Maj Stewart of Java/25 KOSB's Farewell to Meerut/Jenny Dang the Weaver
03 Captain Campbell/Mrs MacPherson of Inveran
04 Scott Skinner's Compliments to Dr Donald/Sandy Cameron/Gavin McMillan
05 Lament for Sir Harry Lumsden/The Fiddler's Cramp [h]
06 Mull of the High Mountains/Whistle O'er the Lave O't/The Flowers of Edinburgh
07 The College Hornpipe/The Rocket Hornpipe/Adrian Stuart
08 The Blackthorn Stick/The Rollicking Irishman/The Irish Washerwoman
09 Rose Wood/Leaving Lismore/74th's Farewell to Edinburgh
10 The Rakes of Kildare/Robbie's Wedding/Tom O' Browland
11 Morag of Dunvegan/Mrs Charles Sutherland/Charles Sutherland
12 The Mason's Apron
13 Fyvie Castle/Johnny Cope
14 JO Forbes of Corse/The Champion Hornpipe
15 Farewell to Huntly/Blair Drummond/Marquis of Tullibardine


Other albums featuring Arthur Scott Robertson:

Monday, 16 November 2009

Norman Kennedy (1968)

Norman Kennedy, Scots Songs and Ballads (Topic Records 12T 178, 1968)

Norman Kennedy from Aberdeen had several influences in his young life as a singer. As a boy he lived in the same street as Jeannie Robertson and her mother Maria, and near another giant of traveller singing stock, Davy Stewart. Annual holdiays on Barra gave him a grounding in Gaelic culture and song. If you're interested in traditional folksong, this album is a must.

01 The Merchant's Son
02 Corachree
03 The Forester
04 The Jolly Beggar
05 Kismul's Galley
06 The Guise o' Tough
07 Talk re Bothies
08 Drumdelgie
09 Night Visiting Song
10 Wi My Rovin Eye
11 I Wish, I Wish
12 The Auld Beggar Man
13 Puirt-a-beul
14 The Bonnie Highland Soldier
15 Johnny My Man


Other albums featuring Norman Kennedy:

Monday, 9 November 2009

Contraband ( 1974)

Contraband (Transatlantic TRA 278, 1974)

This is quite a rare record, but it's wonderful, and as far as I know, it hasn't been released on CD. Folk-rock band Contraband from Glasgow only recorded this one LP, but its members made quite a mark on the folk scene. The vocalist, Mae McKenna (sister of Hugh McKenna of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band), has recorded several CDs and has done some film work as well. John Martin (fiddle), George Jackson (mandolin, accordion, guitar, fiddle, banjo) and Billy Jackson (bass guitar, cello, double bass, vocal) went on to form the highly acclaimed folk group Ossian. The other members were Peter Cairney (electric guitar) and Alec Baird (drums - later played with The Jags).

01 Rattlin' Roarin' Willie
02 The Black Rogue/Sir Philip McHugh/ Alice Cooper's Favourite
03 Lady for Today (Rosemary Hardin)
04 The Devil's Fiddle (John Martin)
05 On the Road (Billy Jackson)
06 The Spanish Cloak/Pea-Pod McGinley/The Youngest Daughter
07 Alec's Interlude
08 Stainforth Blues (John Martin/Peter Cairney)
09 Come Up Smiling (Richard Digence)
10 The Banks of Claudy
11 Edward Sayers' Brass Band (Richard Digence)


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Dundee Folk (1977)

Dundee Folk (Better Bacon Records PIG1, 1977)

This LP was part of the 1978 Dundee Students' Charities Campaign, and featured local groups, or artists who were in Dundee at the time. Singing on the record were:

Aileen Carr, a very fine traditional singer from Perthshire. Aileen went on to perform solo and in groups, including stints in Ceolbeg and Palaver. Her solo album, Green Yarrow, is available from Greentrax Records.

Dingly Dell, who were Dave Davidson (guitar, vocals), and Chic Batchelor (guitar and mandolin), who played together as Top Flight. They became Dingly Dell when Jan Caldon (tin whistle) joined. They took their name from the Lindisfarne album. Later, Dave Davidson formed The Jacobites and recorded several albums. Dave unfortunately died in a car crash aged 46 in 1992.

Haigh-Barrie-Weir, who sang the songs of Lindsay Barrie from Glenrothes. Others in the group were Julie Haigh from Chester and Barrie Weir from Kirkcaldy.

Fair Game, who were a close-harmony a capella group singing English folk carols. Debbie LeSurf was the sister of Cathy LeSurf of the English group Fiddlers Dram. The other singers were Linda Clark and Nina Wilson.

Chris Davies, a Welsh singer/songwriter.

01 Aileen Carr-Grat for Gruel
02 Dingly Dell-Balena
03 Haigh-Barrie-Weir-Rainbow Hill (Barrie)
04 Fair Game-Boars Head Carol
05 Dingly Dell-The Tailor
06 Haigh-Barrie-Weir-From the Armchair (Barrie)
07 Fair Game-Agincourt
08 Fair Game-Coventry Carol
09 Dingly Dell-Banks of the Roses
10 Aileen Carr-Corrachree
11 Chris Davies-Judith (Davies)
12 Haigh-Barrie-Weir-Cool for You (Barrie)
13 Aileen Carr-T Stands for Thomas


Sunday, 1 November 2009

Alex Campbell: Chansons (1958)

Alex Campbell: Chansons Populaires des Etats-Unis (UniDisc 25119S, 1958)

Not Scottish material, but a Scottish artist. An early 10" LP from Scotland's original folksinger Alex Campbell, singing American folksongs, as he did many times through his career. The scans are not very good, as I only have a copy of the original cover.

01 Old Time Religion
02 No More Cane On the Brazis
03 East Virginia Blues
04 Battle Ship of Maine
05 John Henry
06 Freight Train
07 Foggy Mountain Top
08 Pretty Polly


Saturday, 31 October 2009

Chapter Four: Hanging Around Stirling (1981)

Chapter Four: Hanging Around Stirling (Bridge Records BRJ 001, 1981)

Chapter Four were from Stirling, and consisted of Peter Davie (concertina, accordion, keyboards), Bill Paterson (guitar), Robin Duncan (mandolin, whistle, guitar), Tommy Quinn (bodhran, mouthorgan) and Ian Scott (banjo, guitar, mandolin). They formed in the mid-1970s at the long-running folk club at Stirling's Golden Lion Hotel.

This is a good example of a local folk group venturing into a self-published recording. There is a good selection of songs, presented well, with three instrumental sets as well. I don't know how many copies of this LP were pressed, but it's fairly rare now; I've seen copies for sale for over £50.

01 Row Bullies Row
02 Freedom Come-All-Ye (Hamish Henderson)
03 Corn Rigs-Drunken Piper-Miss Forbes Farewell to Banff
04 Three Score and Ten (Ewan MacColl)
05 93rds Farewell to Edinburgh-Laird o'Drumblair-Lass o'Patie'sMill
06 Three Nights and a Sunday (Matt McGinn)
07 No Use for Him (Eric Bogle)
08 All For Me Grog
09 Captain Byng-The Ballydesmond Polka
10 Band o' Shearers
11 No Man's Land (Eric Bogle)


Tom Anderson: Scottish Violin Music (1963)

Tom Anderson: Scottish Violin Music - Volume 2 (Waverley Records, ZLP 2015, 1963)

Tom Anderson is the main reason why Shetland music is known and played around the world. It's not just the tireless collecting and publishing of the traditional fiddle music of his native islands, but through his composing, performances and teaching (two of his young students were Aly Bain and Catriona MacDonald). He also had a long, if erratic, recording career, and there are dozens of albums which feature his music.

As well as Shetland fiddling, Tom Anderson was a great lover of the Scottish style of fiddling, and he recorded a few favourite Scots tunes as well. He is accompanied on this record, as he was throughout his performing life, by guitarist "Peerie" Willie Johnson.

01 The Hen's March
02 Oliver Jack/Willafjord
03 Smith of Couster's Fancy/The Grocer's Reel
04 The Peerie Hoose Ahint the Burn/The Merry Boys of Greenland/MacDonald's Reel
05 Norwick Wedding/Hillswick Wedding/A Road to Houll
06 Boys of Bluehill/Londonderry Hornpipe
07 Captain Gillan's Reel/Bob Johnson's Reel
08 Barclay's Hornpipe/The Meteor
09 Mavis Grind/Peter's Peerie Boat
10 Kail and Knockit Corn/Caper Fey/Pottinger's Reel
11 Wm Moffat's Strathspey & Reel
12 Sister Jean/Midnight Polka
13 A Liverpool Hornpipe/Harvest Home Hornpipe
14 Annie's Welcome Home/The Four Posted Bed
15 Jack Is Alive/Clettonroe


Other albums featuring Tom Anderson:

Allan Barty: Barty's Bow (1980)

Allan Barty: Barty's Bow (Kettle Records KOP4, 1980)

A celebrated Dundee mandolinist and fiddler, Allan Barty was in some ways a Scottish Dave Swarbrick, but he didn't reach the same level of success. Barty was a prominent member of the Dundee folk scene. Allan's first group was Barty's Bow, formed in Dundee in 1966, after which played in a number of Tayside groups, such as The Inn Folk, and appeared on television and radio, and toured with acts such as Tommy Makem & Liam Clancy. In 1971 he was considered as a replacement fiddler in The JSD Band after Chuck Fleming left. He recorded this single solo LP:, and was rumoured to have moved to Germany and presented a folk radio programme. He had appeared on more than forty records by the late seventies.

This, as far as I know is his only solo recording, and it's a beauty. It's all instrumental, with fiddle just winning out over mandolin, although many tracks are double-tracked with both. He is helped out on the album by Archie Fisher, Brian Miller and Robin Morton, and it was produced by Artie Tresize.

01 Pet of the Pipers/Dan the Cobbler/The Maid On the Green
02 Hen's March Tae the Middens/The Four Poster Bed
03 Sleepy Bairns
04 Flowers of Edinburgh/Bottom of the Punch Bowl/Petronella
05 The Showman's Fancy/Humours of California/The Galway Hornpipe
06 The Balkan Hills/Campbell's Farewell to Redcastle/Barren Rocks of Aden
07 The March Hare
08 Madame Bonaparte
09 College Hornpipe/Victoria Hornpipe/The Kinks Hornpipe
10 The Blackthorn Stick/Humours of Glenart/The Drunken Parson
11 Marfield Greys
12 Liberton Polka/Mason's Apron


Other albums featuring Allan Barty:

Friday, 30 October 2009

Alba (1977)

Alba (Rubber Records RUB 021, 1977)

This excellent but short-lived band was the mid-70s idea of Sean O'Rourke, ex-JSD Band (vocals, bazouki, flute, whistle), who got together with ex-Tannahill Weaver Mike Ward (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals). Mike introduced singer Tony Cuffe (guitar, lyre, whistle, lead vocals), and later they found young piper Alan Macleod playing at a gig. They tried to take direction from some of the big Irish groups of the time, the Bothy Band and Planxty.

They recorded just this album, but they weren't playing full time. Sean O'Rourke had gone back to art school in Glasgow, while Mike Ward planned to qualify in classical guitar. Alan Macleod was still at piping school, and Tony had just finished teacher training. Before long, the band had simply moved on to individual projects. Tony Cuffe joined Jock Tamson's Bairns and then Ossian. He later moved to Boston where he performed solo and with Windbags, and did some teaching as well. Sadly with the turn of the century Tony contracted cancer, dying in December 2001. He is sadly missed and fondly remembered.

01 Glen Rinnes/The Jig of Slurs
02 The Overgate
03 Kings Favourite
04 Van Dieman's Land
05 The Mermaid's Song/John Murray of Lochee/Pipe Major George Allen
06 The Blacksmith's Reel/The Star of Munster
07 Fear Ah Bhata
08 Drummond Castle/Paddy's Leather Breeches
09 Captain Ward
10 The Garten Mother's Lullaby
11 The Geese In the Bog/Dr McInnes' Fancy


Sunday, 25 October 2009

All Folk Together (c.1969)

All Folk Together (Talisman STAL 5013, c.1969)

This is simply a compilation of artists on the Waverley label, part of EMI. There's no date, but it must have been released about 1969 or 1970.

01 The Islanders: Four Strong Winds
02 The Livingstones: Travelling Through the Rain
03 The Ian McCalman Folk Group: Sally, Free & Easy
04 Anne Byrne: Fiona and Shane
05 The Lowland Folk Four: The Tailor's Breeches
06 Eddie & Finbar Furey: Star of Munster
07 The Lowland Folk Four: The Jute Mill Song
08 The Ian McCalman Folk Group: Santiano
09 Eddie & Finbar Furey: Pretty Saro
10 The Islanders: Golden River
11 Anne Byrne: Come By the Hills
12 The Livingstones: Johnny Cope


Other albums featuring The Islanders:

Other albums featuring The Livingstones:

The Islanders: Patterns of Folk (1971)

The Islanders: Patterns of Folk (Waverley SZLP 2124, 1971)

By the time of this, their third LP, Noel Eadie had joined the group in place of Pete Furnish. Jim and Nancy Craig and Eddie Pollard made up the foursome. Eadie, who plays mandolin and sings, was soon afterwards to come to prominence as a member of Gaelic folk group Na h-Oganich.

Patterns of Folk was also the title of a television series starring The Islanders, of which STV broadcast seven programmes.

01 If I Had a Hammer (Hays-Pate Seeger)
02 Before I Met You (Seitz-Lewis-Rader)
03 Jeelie-Piece Song (Adam McNaughton)
04 Song for a Winter's Night (Lightfoot)
05 I Can't Help But Wonder (Where I'm Bound) (Paxton)
06 I Never Will Marry (Ed McCurdy)
07 Wild Rover (trad)
08 The Orange and the Green (Jim McLean)
09 Children of the Mist (Moir-Craig)
10 Farewell to Fiunary (N McLean)
11 Rivers of Texas (Carlyle)
12 Song of the City (J Craig)
13 The Strangest Dream (Ed McCurdy)
14 Wild Colonial Boy (trad)


Other albums featuring The Islanders:

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Memories of Angus Fitchet (1988) Radio broadcast

Memories of Angus Fitchet (BBC Radio Scotland, 1988)

Robbie Shepherd presents a remembrance of the late Angus Fitchet shortly after his death in May 1988, broadcast on Radio Scotland. Shepherd plays some of Fitchet's music and reminisces with three of his colleagues, Bobby Crowe, Jimmy Blue and Jack Cooper.

Angus Fitchet (1910-1988) was a fiddler from Dundee, who had along career playing the music he loved. After the second world war he joined Jimmy Shand's band, and later started his own. There was aperiod when he gave up the band and toured as a solo fiddler on shows with Will Starr (accordionist) and Robert Wilson (singer). Fitchet was loved and respected by his fellow musicians as a performer, as well as a composer. One of his compositions was played on this radio show, Lament for Will Starr, and shows his calibre as a composer, and his understanding of the idiom.

01 Kate Dalrymple (partial)
02 Petronella (partial)
03 The Dying Year (JD Michie)/The Autocrat
04 The Dunoon Barndance/Glen Caladh Castle
05 Lament for Will Starr (Fitchet)/The Young King (Skinner)
06 Sunset on the St Lawrence


The Livingstones I Presume (1969)

The Livingstones I Presume (Waverley SZLP 2113, 1969)

The second of their two albums, The Livingstones I Presume was released in 1968. By then, Frank McKay had left, and the group was a trio: David McCabe, John Dempsey and Ken McKay. There is a certain maturity about their arrangements and harmonies on this record, compared to their first; listen to the first few seconds of the opening track, Leonard Cohen's Suzanne. Another difference is that the songs of John Dempsey are given prominence, five out of twelve songs are his.

01 Suzanne (Cohen)
02 Johnny Cope (trad)
03 Far Too Far (John Dempsey)
04 Rough Justice (John Dempsey)
05 Travelling Through the Rain (John Dempsey)
06 Westering Home (H Roberton)
07 Admiral Benbow (trad)
08 Time I Was On My Way (John Dempsey)
09 Bonnie George Campbell (trad)
10 The Jolly Roger (John Dempsey)
11 Flo'ers o' the Forest (trad)
12 The Man from Cyandra (trad)


Other albums featuring The Livingstones:

Knowe o' Deil: The Viking's Bride (1987)

Knowe o' Deil: The Viking's Bride (Attic Records ATT 015, 1987)

By the time of this - their third - recording, Knowe o' Deil were a duo consisting of Ivan Drever (vocals, cittern, mandola, guitar, whistle and synthesiser) and Ian Cooper (guitar, bass, synthesiser). However, there is a dedication on the sleeve for "the past ten members of the Knowe o' Deil". Their first release was Orcadia, followed by Orkney Anthem. After The Viking's Bride, Ian "went on to other things," while Ivan teamed up with Dick Clarke from Skye.

Drever, from Orkney, is well known as a member of Wolfstone, and has frequently toured and recorded with collaborators such as fiddler Duncan Chisholm, Stuart Eaglesham and Wayne Mackenzie.

The Viking's Bride LP is a mixture of self-penned and traditional songs and tunes, the original compositions coming from both Drever and Cooper.

01 Mrs Wylie's Door (Ian Cooper)
02 Selkie o' Suleskerry (trad)
03 Holm Band Tune (trad)/Mrs Anne Barbour (Ivan Drever)
04 Sir Olaf (trad)/Swaapan for Aasks (Ivan Drever)
05 Green Fields of Orkney (J Cumming)/Scapa Flow (J Johnstone)
06 15 Jars o' Rhubarb Jam Rag (Ivan Drever)
07 The Children of Alba (Ivan Drever)
08 Dominic McGowan (trad)/The Ship In Full Sail (trad)
09 Mrs Violet Eunson (D Eunson)
10 The Sea King (trad/B Cornwall)/Duncan's Favourite (Ivan Drever)
11 Song for Isa (Ivan Drever)
12 The Viking's Bride (trad/Drever)/Hindenberg Line (J Rendall)


Other posts featuring Ivan Drever:
Ivan Drever and Dick Clarke: October Bridge (1988)

Hector MacAndrew: Scots Fiddle (1975)

Hector MacAndrew: Scots Fiddle (Scottish Records 33 SR 138, 1975)

For those of us who can appreciate this style of Scottish fiddle music, this is a joy. Hector MacAndrew, one of the leading exponents of his day, playing at his peak and captured on record. The usual composers are represented: Skinner, Marshall, Milne, Fraser, as well as one of the greats from the piping world, G S MacLennan (possibly best known for his Jig o'Slurs). This label published a number of solo fiddling LPs, which I'll get round to digitising in time.

01 Leaving Glen Urquhart/South of the Grampians/John MacNeil's Reel
02 Lady Charlotte Campbell (slow strathspey & reel)
03 Farewell to Drumblair/The Lodge of Glentanner/The £10 Fiddle
04 Hard Is My Fate/Goodwife Admit the Wanderer
05 The Auld Brig o' Don
06 Mrs Hamilton of Pencaitland/Miss Graham of Inchbraikie/North of the Grampians/The Haggis
07 Cluny Castle/Johnnie Steele/Pretty Peggy
08 Pipe Major John Stewart/Lady Madeline Sinclair/Alex C MacGregor
09 The Shakkins o' the Pokie/Mrs Forbes Leith
10 Berryden Cottage/The Countess of Crawford/The Marchioness of Huntly/The Marquis of Huntly
11 My Heart Is Broke Since Thy Departure/Round With a Health to Glorious Wellington
12 Afton Water
13 Huntly Lodge/Ballindalloch Castle/The Duchess of Manchester/Mrs George Robertson
14 Braes of Castle Grant/The Miller o' Drone/The Mason's Apron


Other Hector MacAndrew recordings:

Friday, 23 October 2009

Danny Kyle: Ah'll Get Ye! (1975)

Danny Kyle: Ah'll Get Ye! (Pan-Audio PA005, 1975)

Danny Kyle is a giant name in the Scottish folk scene. He never achieved great popularity as a recording artist, but was a celebrated stalwart of folk clubs and festivals. He was an early influence on Billy Connolly. This is a live album, recorded at three gigs in the Spring of 1975. He is joined on some tracks by his occasional band The Vindscreen Vipers Skiffle Group (Danny Kyle (vocals, teachest bass), Mike Whellans (washboard, drums), Tich Frier (vocals, guitar), Bill Nolan (vocals, guitar) and Malcom "Malky" McCormick (vocals, banjo), and on other tracks by Benny Gallacher (vocals, banjo, guitar), Graham Lyle (vocals, dobro, electric guitar, mandolin) and Allan Hornell (bass guitar).

01 Jean Harlow (H Ledbetter)
02 Jokes
03 Hobo's Lullaby (G Reeves)
04 The Ugliest Man In Glasgow (Danny Kyle)
05 The Titanic (H Ledbetter)
06 Intro to Joe Hill
07 Joe Hill (E Robinson)
08 Katie Harts (John Murphy)
09 Jesse James (trad)
10 Mill Lassies (Danny Kyle)
11 Glasgow Fareweel (Danny Kyle)


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

New Voices from Scotland (1965)

New Voices from Scotland (Topic 12T133, 1965)

Another first class album from Topic, New Voices from Scotland featured the talents of one group and two solo singers.

Gordeanna McCulloch was one of the lucky students of Rutherglen Academy, and a member of the Ballads club there, run by folksong enthusiast, collector and late MP Norman Buchan. Other members included Ray and Archie Fisher, Fraser Bruce, Ewan McVicar, Bobby Campbell, Josh McRae and so on. Later she joined a class of young singers under Ewan MacColl in London. Gordeanna also had an early spell singing with The Clydesiders, and more recently she has been involved with Palaver and Glasgow's Euridice Choir. Other than her solo career, she is celebrated for being part of the Glasgow group The Clutha, who recorded four albums over the years.

The Exiles were also from Glasgow, and consisted of Bobby Campbell, Gordon McCulloch and Enoch Kent. Campbell was another of the young singers influenced by Norman Buchan's Ballads Club, and like Gordeanna, he attended Ewan MacColl's singing group in London. All three founded The Glasgow Folk-song Club. They released an LP in 1966 on Topic, Freedom Come All Ye (Topic 12T143).

Norman Kennedy, from Aberdeen, hasn't recorded an awful lot over time, but what we have is first class. Two of his early influences were the great Jeannie Robertson - who lived across the road from him in Aberdeen - and Davy Stewart. One of his highlights, in my opinion, is the 1968 LP Scots Songs and Ballads (Topic 12T 178). He moved to the United States in the mid-1960s

01 The Exiles-Soldier's Joy
02 Gordeanna McCulloch-Birnie Bouzle
03 Gordeanna McCulloch- h-Dowie Dens o' Yarrow
04 The Exiles-Tae the Beggin'
05 Norman Kennedy-Sleepytoon
06 Norman Kennedy-Peurt a Beul
07 Norman Kennedy-The Haughs o'Cromdale
08 Gordeanna McCulloch-The Lichtbob's Lassie
09 Gordeanna McCulloch--Will Ye Gang, Love
10 Norman Kennedy-My Son David
11 The Exiles-The Toon o' Kelso
12 The Exiles-Fiddle Tunes


Bobby MacLeod: Simply Solo (1988)

Bobby MacLeod: Simply Solo (Mull Recordings MR1010, 1988)

I know nothing about this recording. I was given it on cassette many years ago, but there was no information about date or label on it. Bobby MacLeod was an accordionist from the island of Mull, and had a long and successful playing and recording career. Some of his compositions are widely known, perhaps the best example being "Charlie Hunter". This recording is as stated: Bobby MacLeod playing completely solo.

Update: I managed to find the original recording on prerecorded cassette, so I have updated the scans to include the original artwork.

01 The Pap of Glencoe/Soondachan MacPhee/Sandy Cameron's Reel
02 Snow In Summer/June Clover
03 Caisteil a Ghlinne/Theid mi G'adAmharg/Crodh Gun Aighean
04 Haste to the Wedding/Tenpenny Bit/Donald Chisholm
05 The Queen Mary Waltz
06 The Highland Wedding/Lady Dorothea Stewart-Murray's Wedding March
07 Musette-Birds at Dawn
08 Alan C Beaton/John MacFadyen of Melfort/The 71st Highlanders
09 O Till Mo Leannan/Crodh Chailean
10 Arthur's Seat/The Banks/Eugene Stratton/The Golden Eagle
11 Mull of the Cool High Bens/My Mother
12 The Braes of Castle Grant/The Brig o Perth/Ca'the Ewes/Major Manson
13 Valse Bleue


Other albums featuring Bobby MacLeod:

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Pibroch MacKenzie: The Mull Fiddler (1969)

Pibroch MacKenzie: The Mull Fiddler (Waverley ZLP 2115, 1969)

Alex "Pibroch" MacKenzie played with accordionist Bobby MacLeod, and like MacLeod was from the island of Mull. He recorded at least two solo LPs, and appeared as a guest on many more. This is the only solo album I have, but I will prepare a compilation of bits and pieces of his recordings at a later date. Unfortunately, I know very little about Pibroch MacKenzie, and it would appear that not much is known generally. I'll be happy to be proved wrong.

01 Kirkhill/Dovecote Park/Cock o'the North
02 Tom Bain's Lum/74th's Farewell to Edinburgh
03 All the Airts
04 Blackthorn Stick/Rakes of Kildare/Donnybrook/Father O'Flynn
05 Londonderry Air
06 Conundrum/PM Willie Maclean/Skye Crofters
07 Miss Monaghan/Teetotaller's
08 Atholl & Breadalbane Gathering/Rhodesian regiment
09 Lord Lovat's Lament/The Lovat Scouts
10 Tribute to the Queen
11 Stool of Repentance/Washer Woman
12 Cradle Song
13 Harvest Home/Boys of Bluehill
14 Red, Red Rose/I Lo'e Nae a Laddie/Nut Brown Maiden


Hector MacAndrew: Scottish Fiddle Music (1963)

Hector MacAndrew: Scottish Fiddle Music (1963)

Hector MacAndrew (1903-1980) was from Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, and was one of the leading Scottish fiddlers of his day who had been taught both by his father and his grandfather (his granfather was taught by a pupil of the great late 18th century fiddler Niel Gow).

MacAndrew himself taught fiddle, and some of his students went on to be recognised as fiddlers of the first rank themselves; they include Florence Burns, Douglas Lawrence, and Gregor Borland. In 1974 MacAndrew taught Yehudi Menuhin at Blair Castle, in a tv programme about Scottish fiddling.

This school of Scottish fiddling is precise, musically polished and stylised, but there is room for expression as well.

01 Sir William Wallace/Tulchan Lodge/The Burn o' Forgue
02 Mrs Jamieson's Favourite
03 Mrs Major Stewart of Java/Madam Frederick/Earl Gray./The Waverley Ball
04 Auld Robin Gray
05 J.O. Forbes of Corse/Mar Castle/Miss Laura Andrew/The Hawk
06 Bonnie Glenfarg
07 Lament for the Death of his Second Wife/Craigellachie Brig/The Fairy Dance
08 Rose Acre
09 Bovaglie's Plaid/Athole Highlanders' March to Loch Katrine/Marquis of Huntly's Farewell/Tullibardine
10 Chapel Keithack
11 Captain Campbell/David Davidson of Cantray
12 The Glories of the Star/The Trumpet Hornpipe


Other Hector MacAndrew recordings: