Monday, 27 December 2010

Scotch Measure (1985)





Scotch Measure (1985)

01 Ythanside
02 For A' That
03 The Brewer Laddie
04 Wild Rovin'
05 The Bonnie Lad That Handles the Plough
06 The Swallow
07 The Laird o' the Dainty Dounby
08 The Calton Weaver
09 The Handweaver and The Factory Maid
10 The Twa Magicians

Scotch Measure were Jim Barnes (guitar, cittern, vocals), Sylvia Barnes (vocals, dulcimer, guitar) and Andy Lavery (keyboards, vocals), and the group were based around Sylvia's voice. She and her husband Jim had been in Glasgow group Tinkler Maidgie, then Kentigern, before a tour of duty with The Battlefield Band.

Unavailable

Scotia's Hardy Sons (1994)





Scotia's Hardy Sons (1994)

01 Heiland Shinty
02 John McNeill/Merry Blacksmith/Mason's Apron
03 The Battle's O'er
04 Stronsay Teabag/Greenbank Hornpipe
05 Willie's Gone to Melville Castle
06 Solway Air
07 Caledonia
08 Peat Fire Flame/Fit o' the Walk/Leith Central/Rickshaw Bridge
09 Scotia's Hardy Sons
10 Skye Boat Song
11 Pumpkin's Fancy/Jenny Dang the Weaver/Easy Club Reel
12 Auld Lang Syne

Scotia's Hardy Sons were Tich Frier (vocals, guitar), Andy Ramage (vocals, guitar, bass), David Vernon (accordion, electric guitar, vocals) and Peter Wood (bagpipes, keyboards, percussion, vocals). Frier and Ramage first came to prominence in the 1970s as part of harmony singing trio Bitter Withy, and later as New Alliance with Isla St Clair. Tich has followed a solo career since, while Andy has appeared in many combinations and groups, including Harness and Cairdeas. As far as I know, this was their only recording.

Unavailable

Other posts featuring Andy Ramage:
Harness: One for the Road (1987)

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Seannachie: Take Note! (1988)




Seannachie: Take Note! (1988)

01 Twa Corbies/Cairnscarrow/Salisbury Crags
02 MacLean of Pennycross/Lady Madalina Sinclair/Gillan's Reel/The Brolum
03 Fine Flowers in the Valley
04 Airthrey Castle/Da Sixereen/Mickie Ainsworth/Gordon's Favourite/Millbrae
05 Jeannie Cameron
06 Gin Ye Kiss My Wife, I'll Tell the Minister
07 Johnny Cope
08 Mhairi Bhan Og/The Bride's Reel/Andy Renwick's Ferret/Trip to Windsor

By Seannachie's second album Take Note, the only original member was John Borland (bouzouki). Newer members Simon Thoumire (concertina, keyboards, whistles), Donald Gorman (fiddle), Elspeth Cowie (vocals, bodhran) and Derek Harkins (guitar) combined with Borland to release this record, which has a different feel to the first (Within the Fire): gone are the Irish instrumentals, to be replaced with a staunchly Scottish repertoire, and the interplay between Thoumire's concertina and Gorman's fiddle produces a unique sound.

Unavailable

Other posts featuring Seannachie:
Seannachie: Within the Fire (1986)

Seannachie: Within the Fire (1986)





Seannachie: Within the Fire (1986)

01 Mormond Braes
02 The Old Copperplate/The Harsh February
03 Crazy Man Michael
04 Julia Delaney/Cooley's Reel
05 Flowers o' the Forest
06 The Sound of Jura
07 Annachie Gordon
08 Turpin Hero/The Old Reel/Aida's Place/The Otter's Den
09 Though I Live Not Where I Love
10 The Midnight Reel/Raddigan's/McMahon's
11 Boys of Bedlam/Dougie's Rant

Seannachie had a long performing career and were one of those bands whose line-up was practically in constant change. Formed in the early 1980s by John Borland (bouzouki, cittern), Alex Yellowlees (fiddle), Martin McGarrity (flute, whistle, bodhran, vocals) and Gordon Irvine (guitar, mandolin, harmonium, whistle). They recorded their first album, Within the Fire in 1986, by which time the band consisted of Borland, Yellowlees, Jonathan Simmons (flute, whistles, bodhran), Penny Johnston (vocals) and Derek Harkins (guitar, tambourine). Two more albums followed, along with more personnel changes and European tours.

Doonload

Other posts featuring Seannachie:
Seannachie: Take Note! (1988)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Blackeyed Biddy: Guid Niebours (c1984)





Blackeyed Biddy: Guid Niebours (c1984)

01 Blackeyed Biddy/Fasten the Leg in Her/The Kinnegad Slashers
02 The Rowan Tree/Yellow's On the Broom (McNaughtan)
03 Misty Covered Mountains/Skyman's Jig/Sally Gardens
04 Earl o' March's Daughter (McClelland)
05 Workin' Chap
06 Lord Inchiquin
07 Johnny Jump Up
08 Dunphies/The Rights of Man/Pretty Maggie Morrissey
09 Dixie Darlin' (A P Carter)

This was Blackeyed Biddy's first album and featured Lionel McClelland (whistle, guitar, double bass, vocals), Billy Henderson (vocals, guitar, mandola) and Kris Koren (mandolin, mandola, vocals, banjo, guitar, bodhran), with "Nick" playing fiddle on one track. There is no date anywhere on the sleeve or record, but I estimate it at mid-1980s.

Unavailable

Other posts featuring Blackeyed Biddy:
Blackeyed Biddy: High Spirits (1990)

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Various Artists: The Streets of Glasgow (1973)





Various Artists: The Streets of Glasgow (1973)

01 The Clutha: Dance Tune Medley
02 Terry Dick: Football Song Medley
03 Flora MacNeill: MacDonald's First Visit to Glasgow
04 Geordie McIntyre: The Sports o' Glasgow Green
05 Freddy Anderson: Let Glasgow Flourish
06 John Eaglesham: The Collier's Eight Hour Day
07 Gordeanna McCulloch: The Weekend Song
08 Geordie McIntyre: O'Reilly and the Big MacNeill
09 Gordeanna McCulloch & The Clutha: Bottling Songs
10 Gordeanna McCulloch: The Bleacher Lassie o' Kelvinhaugh
11 Geordie McIntyre: Three Nights and a Sunday Double Time
12 Barmulloch Primary School: Children's Street and Playground Songs
13 Mick Broderick: The Ballad of the Q4
14 Geordie McIntyre: The Works Outing
15 The Clutha: March Tune Medley

A marvellous collection of songs and tunes relating to Glasgow, sung and played by The Clutha, Geordie McIntyre, John Eaglesham, Mick Broderick, Gordeanna McCulloch and Flora MacNeill.

Unavailable

Friday, 17 December 2010

Ian Walker and Setanta: Crossing the Borderlines (1992)





Setanta and Ian Walker: Crossing the Borderlines (1992)

01 Three Kerry Polkas
02 Whatever You Think
03 Sliabh Gallion Braes
04 Ring Around the Moon
05 Ponte Isabella/The Man of the House/The Bucks of Oranmore
06 The Healing Touch
07 Remember Solferino
08 The Soldier's Return
09 The Merry Blacksmith/Miss Susan Cooper/Willafjord
10 Saint Paul's Song
11 An Comhra Donn/The Galtee Rangers/The Foxhunters
12 The Anchor Line

Setanta had a few line-ups; this one featured core members Jack Bethel (hammer dulcimer, concertina, xylophone), Colin McAllister (vocals, bodhran, percussion) and David Munro (Uillean pipes, fiddle, vocals), with Mike Berry (fiddle),  and Hunter McConnell (guitar, vocals). Munro, Bethel and McAllister played sessions in Glasgow and Lanarkshire in the early 1970s and were part of scratch-band Not the Full Shillin'. Setanta were also born out of sessions in the mid-1970s, They recorded two albums, Setanta (1988) and this one in 1992. Reflecting the Glasgow session scene, most of the tunes that Setanta played were in fact Irish.


Unavailable

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Jimmy MacFarlane: The Happy Whistler (2010)

Jimmy MacFarlane was the fiddler in the Jim MacLeod Band, who were extraordinarily prolific in their recorded output. Their act, which they performed live in venues such as Dunblane Hydro and also on radio and television programmes, consisted of a mix of Scottish Country Dancing and lounge-bar crooning from Mr MacLeod himself.

As well as fiddle, Jimmy played vibes and penny whistle, and it is his whistling featured on many of the Jim MacLeod records. Unfortunately no available records exist of one of Scotland's forgotten whistlers.

Donald Davidson: Banchory Moothie (2010)





Donald Davidson: Banchory Moothie (2010)

Donald Davidson (1910-1987) was born in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, but soon moved to the Deeside town of Banchory. After hearing Scottish music such as the Wyper Brothers on his father's gramophone, he took up the mouth organ at an early age, joining his siblings in a musical background. In his late teens Donald was playing for the radio in Aberdeen, and came to the attention of a representative of Beltona Records. In 1929 and again in 1931 he travelled to London to record a number of tracks which were released on Beltona, and which spreads his reputation further. This lead to advertising deals; Hohner used Davidson's name to promote their instruments. A final recording session took place in 1939 (which included some duets with Willie Kemp), and while Donald kept playing and being interested in music, it was never a full-time occupation. Davidson died in Aberdeen in 1987.

London, October 1929:
1. Moneymusk/Deil Amang the Tailors
2. Invercauld March/Marchioness of Huntly
3. Rose Amang the Heather/Kafoozulum
4. Stirling Castle; Soldier’s Joy
5. 79th’s Farewell to Gibraltar
6. The Highland Wedding
7. The Smith’s a Gallant Fireman/The Drummer
8. The Marquis of Huntley’s Highland Fling/Mason’s Apron
9. Atholl Highlanders

London, August 1931:
10.Cock o’ the North/Bonnie Dundee/Come Under My Plaidie
11.The Orange and the Blue/The Lad wi’ the Plaidie
12.The Lass o’Gowrie/My Love is But a Lassie Yet/Duncan Gray
13.Lancers: The Deil’s Awa Wi th’Exiseman/The Cumberland Reel/John Grumlie

London, November 1939:
14.Frisky Lambs/Dobbin’s New Shoes
15.Alpine Waltz
16.The Blackthorn Stick
17. Sir Roger de Coverley/Haste to the Wedding


Doonload

Other collections of Scottish 78rpm records:
William Hannah: Scottish Melodeon 78s
Jimmy Shand: First Recording Session, London 1933
Will Powrie: Scottish Melodeon 78s


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Harness: Two for the Road (1987)





Harness: Two for the Road (1987)

01 Dashing White Sergeant/Rose Tree/The Piper o' Dundee
02 The Fields of Athenrye
03 Donald McLean's Farewell to Oban/Sprig of Ivy
04 The Loch Maree Islands
05 Leaving Barra/Soraid Leis An Aite/Farewell to Fiunary/Mo Rebhinn Choibhnehl
06 Lochaber Gathering/Tam Bain's Lum
07 The Green Fields of France
08 John Carmichael's Farewell/Ian Powrie's Farewell to Scotland
09 Carrickfergus
10 The Skyline of Skye

Harness were Andy Ramage, a singer of Scottish songs who was a member of the well-regarded harmony group Bitter Withy, and button accordionist Neil Mathieson, helped out by Alastair Currie on piano accordion and Richard Hughes on drums. As far as I know, this was their only recording.

Unavailable

Other posts featuring Andy Ramage:
Scotia's Hardy Sons (1994)

Bracken: Introducing Bracken (1979)





Bracken: Introducing Bracken (1979)

01 The Bonnie Lass of Fyffie
02 Irish Washer Woman/Connaughtman's Ramble/Charlie the Prayermaster
03 Peigi Gordon
04 La Russe/Pat Donald
05 MacPherson's Lament
06 The Bonnie Woods of Stirkoke/The Crusader's March/The Yellow Corn
07 Twa Recruiting Sergeants
08 Come By the Hills
09 Streets of London
10 Four Strong Winds
11 Gaelic Medley
12 Bonnie Dundee
13 Turn Out the Light
14 Lovat Scouts March/Bratach Bana
15 Shores of Americay

There is very little information on the sleeve of this recording, and I don't know much about this duo. Bracken were Ian Macintosh and Morris Macleod. At least one played guitar, and one played banjo and mandolin; both sang. Macleod may have gone on to play with Thurso-based band Whisky (www.whisky-band.co.uk).

Unavailable

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Wally Dugs: The Road to Dundee (1987)







The Wally Dugs: The Road to Dundee (1987)

01 The Road to Dundee
02 Freedom Come All Ye
03 Don't Say, Oh No!
04 Doon In the Wee Room
05 Mandy
06 Bonnie Glenshee
07 Jock o' Hazeldean
08 Skyscraper Weans
09 The Dream of Tommy Bouche
10 Wally Dug Tunes
11 The Man With the Golden Hair
12 Drumchapel Mist

The Wally Dugs were Pat Finnegan (guitar, banjo, vocals), George Getty (guitar, mandolin, whistle, bagpipe, vocals) and Neil McLeod (guitar, vocals) and were from Dundee. Apart from that, I know nothing about the group. They were extant in 1976/77 and I imagine they were a popular pub band in the area.

Unavailable

Kontraband: North Star (1983)







Kontraband: North Star (1983)

01 Swallow's Nest/Dirty Linen/Drowsy Maggie
02 Hills of Caithness
03 Mickey Ainsworth/The North Star
04 Dundee Homeward Bound
05 Magdalene Green
06 Pittenweem Jo
07 Tae the Beggin'
08 I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow
09 The Brown/Eyed Maiden/Father O'Flynn/The Black Pirate
10 Farewell to Ireland/Muirsheen Durkin/Billy Cheatham
11 Rowin Foula Doon

Rod Sinclair (banjo, guitar, vocals), from St Andrews, was the lead vocalist of this Scottish-Danish folk group, based in Denmark. The other members were Danes Borge Solkaer (bass, guitar, recorder, mandolin, vocals), Jole Norgaard (cittern, mandolin, guitar, bodhran, vocal) and Filt Kristensen (fiddle, mandolin, cittern, tambourine, Moog, vocals). As far as I know, this was their only album, released in 1983.

Unavailable

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ron Gonnella: The Gow Collections (1973)





Ron Gonnella: The Gow Collections (1973)

01 General Robertson of Lawers/Miss Stewart of Grandtully/Dunkeld Steeple
02 The Mill, Mill O/A Favourite Quickstep
03 Auld Robin Gray
04 Niel Gow's Lament for his Second Wife/Lady Charlotte Campbell/kincaldrum's Reel
05 Wishaw's Delight/Drummond Castle/The Earl of Morton's Jig
06 Niel Gow's Farewell to Whisky
07 Col Hamilton of Pencatland/Col H F Campbell/Miss Grace Hay's Delight
08 Lady Cunningham of Livingstone/Perthshire Volunteers/Mr Sharp's Favourite
09 Roslin Castle/Garthlands/Lord Mauchline's Reel
10 Bothwell Castle
11 Mrs Hamilton of Pencaitland/The Duchess of Hamilton/Mrs Stirling of Keir
12 The Bonniest Lass in a' the Warld/Mrs Adye/Miss Gibson
13 Miss Sally Hunter of Thurston/Dumfries House/Miss Johnston of Hilton's Fancy
14 The Caledonian Hunt's Delight/The Caledonian Hunt/Mrs Hay of Yester's Reel

After his 1966 debut solo record, it took another seven years for this second Ron Gonnella solo album, but it was well worth the wait. Here we have Gonnella playing the music he loved while at the top of his game. The music is mostly from the eighteenth century, all published in various collections from the Gow family: patriarch Niel Gow, famous fiddler in his day; his sons Nathanial - who took on his father's mantle - William and Andrew.

Doonload

Other posts featuring Ron Gonnella:
Ron Gonnella: Scottish Violin Music (1966)
Ron Gonnella: Fiddler's Fancy (1975) 
Ron Gonnella: Fiddle Gems (1976)
Various Artists: Fiddle Miscellany 3 (2010)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Robin Hall: The Ballad of Johnny Ramensky (1959)



Robin Hall: The Ballad of Johnny Ramensky (1959)

01 The Ballad of Johnny Ramensky (Norman Buchan)
02 The Day We Went to Rothesay O (trade)

Robin Hall featured in the folk revival of the late 1950s in London. Originally from Edinburgh, he was one of a number of Scottish exiles in the capital. He combined with another Scot, Jimmie Macgregor and together they became the most successful folksingers in the country for many years.

Johnny Ramensky was a safecracker who spent more time behind bars than in freedom. His persona was as someone who could escape from any jail - he certainly did escape a few times, but the fact that he spent a total of forty-odd years in prison does not indicate a Houdini-type character!

Doonload

Fiddlers Three Plus Two Vol 2 (c1988)





Fiddlers Three Plus Two Vol 2 (c1988)


01 Flowers of Edinburgh/Bonnie Banchory/Roll Her On the Hill/Old Bog Hole
02 Light and Airy/Merry Girls of Dublin/The Fairies Dwelling/Jack Walsh
03 Inveran/Inspector Donald Campbell
04 Lasses Trust In Providence/Da Bressay Light/Road to Holigarth/Sleep Soond Ida Moarnin/Lay Dee At Dee
05 Sarona/The Buck o' the Cabrach/The Gladstone Reel
06 Airdie Lasses/Miss Sally Hunter/Lady Nellie Wemyss/Miss Grace Hay
07 Lord MacDonald's Reel/Over the Isles to America/The Sheepwife
08 Eight Men of Moidart/Banks of Clyde/Stourers Hornpipe/Polwart On the Green
09 Mr Michie/Kirrie Kebbuck/The Auld Wheel
10 Firth House Hornpipe/Shamrock Hornpipe/Lighfoot Hornpipe
11 He Mhairi Ho Mhairi/An T-Altan Dubh/Am Bata Rannach/Balaich An Iasgaich
12 Lord Rosslyn's Fancy/Drummond Castle/Jeanie's Blue Eeen/The Scottish Horse
13 Kelly's Reel/Jackie Colemans' Reel/Shehan's Reel/One of the Boys
14 Archie McKinley/Isabelle MacLean/The Lady in the Bottle

A second collection of tunes from Bob Christie, Gavin McIntyre and Hector McLeod, I estimate this one came out in about 1988.

Unavailable

Other posts featuring Fiddler Three Plus Two:
Fiddlers Three Plus Two (c1986)

Fiddlers Three Plus Two (c1986)




Fiddlers Three Plus Two (c1986)

01 Isle of Skye/McLaughlin's Scotch Measure/Scottish Legacy/Dean Brig
02 Hamilton House/Charlie Hunter/Pibroch of Bonnie Strathearn/Green Shades of Gask
03 Loch of the Rising Mist/Scarce o' Tatties/The Brown Haired Maid
04 Echoes of Oban/Cutty Sark
05 Sarah
06 Mrs MacLeod of Raasay/The Fairy Dance/The Mason's Apron/Soldier's Joy/Inver Lasses/Tail Toddle/Sandy Duff/The Kilt Is My Delight/The Drummer
07 Thistle Hornpipe/Vendome Hornpipe/The Landlubber
08 The Auld Alliance/Reginald MacDonald/Donald Blue/Dancing Feet
09 Gardebylatten
10 Camirsaveen/The Idle Road/Thady You Gander/Welcome to Cork
11 Major Graham of Inchbrakie/Ladlady of Inver Inn/Lady Charlotte Murray/Farewell to Whisky
12 Off to California/The Kildare Fancy/Morning Fair
13 Fitful Head/Galley Watch/Jack Lock the Prison Door/Da Forefit o' da Ship
14 Frank Thomson/Campbelltown Kiltie's Ball/The Wind That Shakes the Barley

The three fiddlers are Bob Christie, Gavin McIntyre and Hector McLeod, about whom I know nothing. The "Plus Two" are Lex Keith on accordion and Bill Hendry on piano. Keith seems to have been the musical director on this album, and he still performs with his band in Scottish Country Dance circles. This is a lively collection of tunes with a strong fiddle leading sound.


Unavailable

Other posts featuring Fiddlers Three Plus Two:

Other posts featuring Bob Christie:
Various Artists: Fiddle Miscellany 2 (2010)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Jimmy MacBeath: Come A' Ye Tramps and Hawkers (1960)




Jimmy MacBeath: Come A' Ye Tramps and Hawkers (1960)

01 Come A' Ye Tramps and Hawkers
02 Nickie Tams
03 The Moss o' Burreldales
04 The Gallant Forty-Twa

Jimmy MacBeath was one of the legendary itinerant singers discovered by Alan Lomax, Hamish Henderson, Kenneth Goldstein and other collectors in the 1950s. His vast repertoire of songs delighted them, and subsequent audiences at folk clubs and festivals. Although this record has quite a few crackles and pops (it is fifty years old after all), the majesty of Jimmy's singing shines through.

Unavailable

Ron Gonnella: Fiddler's Fancy (1975)




Ron Gonnella: Fiddler's Fancy (1975)

01 The Bonnie Lass o' Bon Accord
02 Donald MacPherson's Lament/Mrs Will/Sandy Grant o' Battangorm
03 Miss Gordon of Park/Miss Hannah's Jig
04 Chapel Keithack/Mrs James McInnes, Edinburgh/Lochrynach
05 The Cradle Song
06 Dumbarton Castle/Hoo Dinna Ye Play Mair?
07 Corgarff Castle/Death and Dr Hornbrook
08 The Music o' Spey/Mr Michie/Mr John Smith, Alford
09 Lady Niven Lumsden of Achindoir/The Earl of Fife/Lowe's Hornpipe
10 Mr Morison og Bognie/Miss Stewart's Jog - of Bombay/Maj L Stewart's Reel - of Java
11 Rosacre/Forbes Morrison/Davie Work
12 Sir Harry Niven Lumsden of Achindoir
13 Sandy's Goat/MacLeod and Mackay
14 The Weeping Birches of Kilmorack/Glen Cottage/Gibson's Whiskey

Another great collection of tunes from Ron Gonnella, whose fiddling here is at its finest.


Other posts featuring Ron Gonnella:

Silly Wizard: Take the High Road (1980)





Silly Wizard: Take the High Road (1980)

01 Take the High Road
02 Donald McGillavry/O'Neill's Cavalry March

A real oddity this. Silly Wizard, one of Scotland's folk supergroups of the 1970s and 80s, recorded a version of the theme tune to a Scottish soap opera called "Take the High Road". A must for collectors, but not essential listening. The B-side of this single is a track taken from their 1979 album So Many Partings.

Unavailable

Ron Gonnella: Fiddle Gems (1976)





Ron Gonnella: Fiddle Gems (1976)

01 Well May My True Love Arrive/Glenmorriston/Northern Racecourse
02 Rbel War Song/Belladrum House/The Favourite Dram
03 Well May Charlie Wear the Crown/Northern Meeting/Sprightly Minikin
04 Sitting In the Stern of a Boat
05 The Beauty of the North/Stranger in Place of the Worthies/Inauspicious Wedding Day
06 Good Wife, Admit the Wanderer/The Maid That Made the Bed to Me
07 The Fall of Foyers/The North Side of the Grampians/In Dispraise of Whisky
08 Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch/The Expert Dancer/The Merry Making
09 Huntly's Wedding Medley/General Gathering 1745/The Shepherdess/My Ain, Kind Deary
10 Hymn to the Saviour
11 My Wife Is Forever Storming At Me/The Hawthorn Tree of Cawdor/Come Lads, Now Be Ready
12 Caledonia's Wail for Niel Gow/Angus Fraser's Strathspey/Three Sheep's Shanks

This was one of the first Ron Gonnella albums I heard in the 1970s, and I realised I was listening to a very fine fiddler indeed. Originally from Dundee, Gonnella lived and taught for many years in the small Perthshire town of Crieff. Until he married - late in his life - he would sit in his small flat and listen to his precious record collection and practise the fiddle tunes for his next recording. Top Scottish fiddlers such as Duncan Wood and Gregor Borland have told me of their admiration for his skills and techniques, and I think of him as a fiddler's fiddler.


Other posts featuring Ron Gonella:

Monday, 22 November 2010

Various Artists: Sandy Bell's Ceilidh (1979)





Various Artists: Sandy Bell's Ceilidh (1979)

01 Bell's Big Ceilidh Band: An Comhra Donn/The Galway Hornpipe/The Strand
02 The McCalmans: John Barleycorn
03 Aly Bain: Fort Charlotte/Calum Donaldson
04 Chorda: The Lea Rig
05 Dick Gaughan: The Cruel Brother
06 Bell's Chorus: Lowlands Away
07 Liz & Maggie Cruikshank: Sandy Bell's Man
08 The McCalmans: Kirsteen
09 Aly Bain: Crossing the Minch
10 Chorda: Johnny Sangster
11 Dick Gaughan: Sleepytoon
12 Bell's Chorus: Doon In  the Wee Room
13 Bell's Big Ceilidh Band: The Lilting Fisherman/Lough Gowna/Sweet Biddy Daly

Sandy Bell's is the name given to a pub in Edinburgh which has been a centre of folk music since the late 1940s. Until recently its official name was The Forest Hills Bar, but it was known by all in the know simply as Sandy Bell's (Sandy Bell never actually existed, but that's beside the point). Many singers and musicians spent time in the bar, which was also a favourite stop-off for touring folk musicians in Edinburgh for a concert. This album dates from 1979 and has a cross-section of some Bell's regulars: Dick Gaughan, Aly Bain, The McCalmans to name a few. Also on the album is the band Chorda - who later metamorphosed into Jock Tamson's Bairns.

Unavailable

Other posts featuring Chorda:
Various Artists: Folk Philosophy (1971) (As Chorda Cleich)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ivan Drever and Dick Clarke: October Bridge (1988)





Ivan Drever and Dick Clarke: October Bridge (1988)

01 Col HIDB Grant's Farewell to the Final Instalment/The Austrian Ladies
02 The Foaming Sea/Nancy
03 Dick Head's Delight/The Three Midwives
04 Mrs Macdonald's Lament
05 The Minister's Dog/The Bells of St Luis
06 Seona Dunsmuir
07 Song for Yesterday
08 The Stronsay Waltz/The Marino Waltz
09 Day of the Drover/The Eavesdropper
10 Lorne Leader
11 The Old Mountian Road/The Haggis/The Blashie Night

After Knowe o' Deil's final album in 1987, Ivan Drever's partner Ian Cooper changed direction and "went on to do other things". Ivan Drever (vocals, cittern, guitar, whistle, mandola) soon teamed up with Dick Clarke (guitar, vocal, harmonica, keyboards, bodhran) from Skye, who had recently returned to Scotland after working down south as an actor and session musician. He joined the Easter Ross folk group Black Donald, and established a violin-selling business which trades to this day.

Unavailable

Other posts featuring Ivan Drever:
Knowe o' Deil: The Viking's Bride (1987)

Jean Redpath & Alastair Hardie: The Scottish Fiddle, The Music & Songs (1985)





Jean Redpath & Alastair Hardie: The Scottish Fiddle, The Music & Songs (1985)

01 The Cradle Song
02 Niel Gow's Lamentation for Abercairney
03 The Lowlands of Holland
04 Through the Wood, Laddie
05 Nathaniel Gow's Lament for the Death of His Brother/Willie Duncan/Mrs Dundas of Arniston
06 The Birks of Aberfeldy
07 I'm A' Doun for Lack o' Johnnie
08 Caledonia's Wail for Niel Gow/Niel Gow's Style/The Heiress
09 A Wee Bird Cam' To Oor Ha' Door
10 Highland Harry
11 The Flower o' the Quern
12 Niel Gow's Lament for the Death of his Second Wife

A collaboration between one of Scotland's international ambassadors of folksong and a well-respected musician from a line of fiddle players dating back to the eighteenth century. Jean Redpath and Alastair Hardie bring us an album of fiddle music and songs related to fiddle music, with American cellist Abby Newton adding an authentic bass sound - it was common in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries for fiddlers to be accompanied by a cello; the LP cover shows a painting of Niel Gow playing with his brother Donald on cello.

Unavailable

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Ray & Archie Fisher: Far Over the Forth (1961)





Ray & Archie Fisher: Far Over the Forth (1961)

01 The Night Visiting Song
02 Far Over the Forth
03 The Twa Corbies
04 Kilbogie

An early release by brother and sister act Ray and Archie Fisher from Glasgow. Both went on to become hugely influential as solo singers.

Unavailable

The Lowland Folk Four: Eh'll Tell the Boaby (1967)




The Lowland Folk Four: Eh'll Tell the Boaby (Waverley, 1967)

01 The Pear Tree
02 The Balaena
03 The Battle of Harlaw
04 Kilgannon Mountain
05 The Jute Mill Song
06 Cauld Kail In Aberdeen
07 Children's Street Songs
08 The Standard of the Braes o' Mar
09 When I Was New But Sweet Sixteen
10 The Spinner's Wedding
11 Mingulay Boat Song
12 The Seasons
13 The Tailor's Breeches

This group were stalwarts of the Dundee folk scene of the 1960s and 70s. Led by Stuart Brown, supplemented by his wife Anne and his brother Ramsay, with occasional fourth members through the years (the fiddler/mandolinist Allan Barty was one of the regular "fourth members"). The group recorded three LPs that I know about: this one from 1967, Time to be Singing Again from 1984, and This Is Lowland Folk from 1988. I think there may have been a CD, but I can't remember off-hand. They also featured on a compilation record from 1986, Coorse and Fine, a collection of Dundee songs released to coincide with Nigel Gatherer's book Songs and Ballads of Dundee.

Unavailable

Other posts featuring The Lowland Folk:
Various Artists: All Folk Together (c.1969)
Lowland Folk: Newport Braes (1985)

Lowland Folk: Newport Braes (1985)




Lowland Folk: Newport Braes (1985)

Lowland Folk - also known as The Lowland Folk Four - formed in the 1960s in their native Dundee. The Fifie was a steam boat which took people from Dundee to Fife and back before the construction of the Tay Road Bridge; the song was written by renowned Dundee singer Sheena Wellington. Folk singer Watt Nicol also wrote a song in praise of the much-loved ferry. Also featured on the record is occasional Lowland Folk member Allan Barty.

01 Queuin' At the Fifie Pier (Newport Braes)
02 Eh'll Tell the Boaby etc (Street Song Medley)

Unavailable

Other posts featuring Lowland Folk:
Various Artists: All Folk Together (c.1969)

Other posts featuring Allan Barty:
Allan Barty: Barty's Bow (1980)