Monthly news summary of all the happenings and up and coming events in the Scottish Traditional Music scene.
A weaver by trade and song-writer and poet by calling, Robert Tannahill of Paisley was born 3rd June 1774 and died 17th May 1810. He was an avid self-educator and recognised man of letters, founding the Paisley Burns Club in 1805 and developing one of the early Trades Libraries in Renfrewshire, despite his modest means. Over 100 songs, of a quality that compares with Robert Burns, constitute his great legacy. Volume 1 brings together such songs as The Braes of Balquhidder, Flower o Dunblane, and O are you sleeping Maggie and superb traditional singers Jim Reid, Emily Smith, John Morran, Ross Kennedy, Wendy Weatherby, Gillian McDonald and John Croall.
Since the centenary edition of his works and festivities in Paisley in 1874, which drew crowds of 15,000 to celebrate his life and art, Robert Tannahill has been sadly neglected. It was with this in mind that Dr Fred Freeman, producer & musical director of the internationally acclaimed THE COMPLETE SONGS OF ROBERT BURNS (12 vols, 1996-2003), decided to record THE COMPLETE SONGS OF ROBERT TANNAHILL for Brechin All Records. The box set of 5 CDs will be complete by 2010 to mark, appropriately, the bicentenary year of the poet’s death.
As with the Burns songs, this is much more than an academic exercise. It is contemporary Scottish folk music, featuring the most outstanding folk musicians of our time and drawing upon Tannahill’s extensive background in Scottish as well as Irish traditional music. In this connection, various Irish, British and European musicians will join their Scottish counterparts in the project in accordance with what would obviously have been Robert Tannahill’s wishes.
Ian Anderson: Ian is a multi-instrumentalist and singer with the Jedburgh band, “Fiddler’s Leap”, fine exponents of the Scottish Borders musical tradition.
John Croall: John has been on the scene for many years. He is one of the two lead singers, alongside Rod Paterson, in “Jock Tamson’s Bairns”, one of the pioneering groups in the contemporary Scottish folk movement.
Fred Freeman: The producer / musical director of “The Complete Songs of Robert Burns” and numerous other folk CDs: a 4 volume Borders series, a tribute album to Hamish Henderson, and several solo albums, including Gordeanna McCulloch, Ian Bruce and Jim Reid.
Ross Kennedy: Ex “Tannahill Weavers” singer and guitarist, Ross played for years in “Iron Horse” and in a duo with the Argyll fiddler Archie McAllister. He currently fronts the band “Canterach”. His performance is, characteristically, thoughtful and passionate.
Gillian McDonald: Gillian is the lead singer in a duo with her husband, Frank McLaughlin. From the Black Isle, Gillian has an unusual presence in her singing, bridging an interesting stylistic gap between Gaelic and Scots Lowland traditions.
John Morran: John is the lead singer and cittern player with “Deaf Shepherd”. In recent years he has concentrated on generating interest in the unique culture of East Ayrshire through his haunting singing and innovative musical arrangements.
Jim Reid: Quite simply a walking tradition, Jim is the velvet voice of Angus. After the release of his most recent album, “Yont the Tay”, he was the recipient of the BBC’s Trad Award ‘Best Singer of The Year 2005’.
Emily Smith: Emily is one of the finest young singers to emerge in recent years, winning the BBC ‘Young Musician of the Year 2002’. She spends much of her time on tour with the “Emily Smith Band”.
Wendy Weatherby: A freelance singer and cellist, Wendy is in constant demand as a studio musician, equally at home in folk, jazz or classical idioms. As a singer, it is fair to affirm that many of her outstanding performances are unlikely to be surpassed.
Chris Agnew (acoustic bass) - Burach, Dougie MacLean Band
Sandy Brechin (accordion) - Burach, The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience, The Sandy Brechin Band, duo with Ewan Wilkinson, ex Seelyhoo
Marc Duff (whistles, recorder, bodhran) - ex cappercaillie
Corrina Hewat (harp) - Bachue, The Unusual Suspects
Aaron Jones (cittern) - Old Blind Dogs, duo with Claire Mann, ex Craobh Rua, ex Seelyhoo
Anna Massie (mandolin, guitar) - Anna Massie Band
Alasdair MacLeod (congas) - Heeligo Leerie
Frank McLaughlin (guitar) - Mick West Band, duo with Gillian McDonald
John Morran (guitar) - Deaf Shepherd
Rod Paul (mandolin) - ex Iron Horse
Mike Vass (fiddle) - duo with Ali Vass
About Robert Tannahill
The sixth of nine children, Robert Tannahill was born on 3 June 1774 at Castle Street, Paisley. His father was a silk weaver and the family moved to a thatched cottage at 11 Queen Street in Paisley (where the Paisley Tannahill Club still meet). Tannahill received a basic education but
|1/1||Fly We To some Desert Isle (Emily Smith)|
|1/2||Hey Donald, How Donald (Wendy Weatherby)|
|1/3||Rob Roryson’s Bannet (Gillian McDonald)|
|1/4||The Braes o Balquhidder (John Croall)|
|1/5||The Five Friends (Jim Reid)|
|1/6||Coggie Thou Heals Me (Ross Kennedy)|
|1/7||Meg O The Glen & The Lassie O Merrie Eighteen ( John Croall)|
|1/8||When John And I Were Married (Gillian McDonald)|
|1/9||Jessie, The Flow’r O Dunblane (Ross Kennedy)|
|1/10||O Are Ye Sleeping Maggie (Jim Reid)|
|1/11||Barrochan Jean (John Morran)|
|1/12||Och Hey! Johnnie Lad (Emily Smith)|
|1/13||The Dear Highland Laddie (Gillian McDonald)|
|1/14||Yon Burn Side (Ian Anderson)|
|1/15||With Waefu’ Heart (Wendy Weatherby)|
|1/16||I’ll Hie Me To The Shieling Hill (Ross Kennedy)|
|1/17||Molly My Dear (Ross Kennedy)|
|1/18||Eild (Fred Freeman)|
|1/19||I’ll Lay Me On The Wintry Lea (Emily Smith)|
|Deliver to:||United Kingdom|