Whistlebinkies 4 (Claddagh CC43)

Long Play record released.

Side One: The Low Country Jig/The Lads o’ Dunse/Woo’ed an Married an’ A’/I Hae a Wife o’ My Ain/Follow Her O’er the Border; Sir John Fenwick; An Cota Ruadh (The Redcoat)/Reel of Bogie/The Fiddler (D Macleod)/Miss Victoria Ross/Bellany’s Brush (Stuart Eydmann)/Mairin Ni Dhubhain (Stuart Eydmann)/The Straits of Corfu (Eddie McGuire)/Pipe Major Calum Campbell (PM Angus MacDonald); Ailein Duinn (Brown-haired Alan); MacDonald of the Isles
Side Two: Highland River (Eddie McGuire)/The Rubic Cube (Roddy MacDonald); Gwerz An Ene Reiz/Person Plouergat/An Dro; Dr Hugh Alexander Low of Tiree (Hugh Campbell)/Father John MacMillan of Barra (Norman MacDonald); For A’ That and A’ That (Burns);

Peter Anderson (Scottish side drum), Mick Broderick (bodhran, vocals) Stuart Eydmann (fiddle, concertinas), Mark Hayward (fiddle), Eddie McGuire (flute), , Judith Peacock (clarsach, vocals), Rab Wallace (lowland pipes, Scottish small pipes)

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Reviewed in Folk Roots 38 (vol.8 No.2) by Colin Irwin.

Reviewed by Alastair Clark in The Scotsman 12 April 1986.

Reviewed by Jim Gilchrist in Common Stock :  The Journal of the Lowland and Border Piper’s Society Vol. 3 No. 1 August 1986 pp 10-11:

“Another bizarre cover painting by John Bellany immediately marks this as a Whistlebinkies record. And this, their fourth, is without doubt their best yet – with crisp recording and a generally lighter and more nimble feel than any of its excellent enough predecessors.

Overall a satisfying mixture of music from Highland and Lowland cultures, and with tunes traditional and modern, the LP loups off at a skelping pace with the Low Country Jig, the first of an energetic and keenly played set of Lowland jigs, followed by the air Sir John Fenwick (also widely known as Mary Scott, the Flower of Yarrow). It’s fair to say that, while pioneering the context… it is good, therefore, to see the band now exploring some of the repertoire which must have been played on the Lowland instrument. An observation, rather than a criticism, is that the presence of clarsach in these arrangements still inclines the general effect towards the Highland Line.

Small pipes – a set in Eb made for Rab Wallace by Jimmy Anderson – make their first appearance on a Whistlebinkies album, used in a lusty version of Burn’s For A’ That, making a delicately effective contribution to the ethereal accompaniment which surrounds Judith Peacock’s beautiful singing of Ailein Duinn (Brown-Haired Alan).

Getting away from the vulgar cauld-wind pipes tub-thumping, on the part of this reviewer, there is a smartly played selection of traditional Highland pipe strathspeys which leads into some fine new fiddle and pipe tunes written by members of the group and others, including Eddie McGuire’s reel The Straits of Corfu, which ranges over some distinctly modern sounding and highly effective harmonies on bass concertina and fiddle. Another recently written set is the hypnotically rhythmic pairing of McGuire’s Highland River with R.S. MacDonald’s The Rubic Cube.

From another era entirely, and in heroic style, is the magnificent clan march, MacDonald of the Isles, which may have been played as far back as 1411 at the battle of Harlaw; while from another culture, albeit still a Celtic one, is a group of Breton tunes, including a stately paced march and a set of an dro dances, fiddle and piccolo adding perky “biniou” overtones to the latter. Like many Breton tunes, this is music which appears to have discovered the secret of perpetual motion. All of the music on this record should keep your turntable spinning, if perhaps not perpetually, for some considerable time to come.”