Albannach (Greentrax CDTRAX288)

New CD launched.

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Reviews of Albannach

“…they continue to make records with a dependable dignity. No frivolity here. No madcap experiments. No brash excesses. What you get is the ususal poise and integrity. …wonderful playing that fuels the fire that makes this recording such an overwhelming delight” Penguin Eggs “…cream-of-the-crop players on the Scottish traditional music scene, with this latest offering , the Whistlebinkies establish the point in emphatic style. …this is as classy a collection as you will hear…played by some of the true masters.” Maverick “The whole album has class written all over it… Another beauty from this highly professional group.” Scottish Memories “A fine production from a fine assembly of musicians.” Scots Magazine “…played in an affectionate and understated way, keenly avoiding both flash and syrup. …just makes you want to stand up, shoulders back, and salute something!” Taplas “…the thinking man’s celidh band…” Inverness Courier “The result is a professional, crisp, clear well-balanced sound without domination of any instrument and is a joy to hear. …consummate class.” The Folk Mag “Schottische Musik, kompetent und authetisch aufgenommen auf höchstem musikalischem Niveau!” Folkmagazin “I am highly enthusiastic about Albannach and happily give it five stars.” Common Stock

The Whistlebinkies 5 (Claddagh CC50)

Long play album released.

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Side One: Auntie Cairistion (Iain MacPherson)/The Stool of Repentance/Cailleach Dudain; A Mhairead Og (Young Margaret)/Dominic McGowan (Duncan Johnstone); The Motley Crew (Stuart Finlayson)/The Black Maria (Eddie McGuire)/ Barlinnie Highlander (Rab Wallace); Jock O’ Hazledean; The Foxhunter’s Jig/ Rattlin’ Roarin’ Willie/Athol Highlanders
Side Two: John Roy Stuart/The Marquis of Tweedale’s Reel/Miss Margaret Graham of Gartmore’s Favourite/The Feetwashing; The Fiddler’s Farewell (Eddie McGuire); The Winter Is Past; The Boys of Ballinahinch/Matt Molloy’s/The Humours of Tulla/An Ancient Clan March/ Maidin Domhnaight (On Sunday Morning); Rolling Home to Caledonia; The Dogs Among the Bushes

Peter Anderson (Scottish side drum, sticks, vocals), Mick Broderick (bodhran, vocals), Stuart Eydmann (fiddle, concertina), Mark Hayward (fiddle), Eddie McGuire (flute, alto flute, piccolo), Rab Wallace (lowland pipes, Scottish small pipes) with Mary Ann Kennedy (clarsach, vocals) and Jo Miller (fiddle, vocals)

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.”

Whistlebinkies 3 (Claddagh CC34)

Long play record released.

wb3Side One: The Lewis Jig/Duncan MacKillop/Granny Macleod; The Twa Corbies; The Ladies’ Hornpipe/Lowe’s(Marshall)/Duncan Johnstone (Donald Macleod); Nathaniel Gow’s Lament for the Death of his Brother (Nathaniel Gow)/Glenlivet/The Three Peaks of South Uist (John Scott); Ane Ground; The Sheepwife
Side Two: Clean Pease Strae/The Keel Row/The Bowmore Reel (or Miss Girdle)/The Whistlebinkies’ Reel (Rab Wallace)/Devonshire Terrace (Rab Wallace); There’ll Never Be Peace Until Jamie Comes Hame; The Hare in the Corn/The Road to Lisdoonvarna/Ar Eirinn ni Neosfainn Ce Hi (For ireland I’ll Not Tell Her Name)/The Killarney Boys of Pleasure/ Jackie Coleman’s Reel/Farewell to Erin; Macbeth (Eddie McGuire)

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Peter Anderson (Scottish side drum), Mick Broderick (bodhran, vocals) Stuart Eydmann (fiddle, concertinas), Mark Hayward (fiddle), Eddie McGuire (flute), , Rhona MacKay (clarsach), Rab Wallace (lowland pipes). Photo by Douglas Corrance at Hill House, Helensburgh, March 21, 1982

Whistlebinkies 2 (Claddagh CC31)

Long play record released.

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Side One: The Linen Cap/Ghlass Ault/The Killearn Reel/Waukin’ o’ the Fauld/The Weaving Reel (McGuire); The Bonnie Moorhen; Duncan Johnstone’s Strathspey (Rab Wallace)/John Mac Kechnie/Mrs MacPherson of Inveran (G S MacLennan); The Marquis of Huntly’s Strathspey (Marshall)/Sir Ronald MacDonald’s Reel/The Penny Wedding (Nath Gow); Phiutharag ‘sa Phiuthar (Sister, Oh Sister); Andrew Wallace (Rab Wallace)/Broderick’s Bodhran (Rab Wallace)
Side Two: Great Is the Cause of My Sorrow; John MacDonald of Glencoe (William Lawrie)/Mrs MacDonald of Dunach (William Lawrie); Gealach nan Eilean (Island Moon); The Fossil Grove (Bob Nelson)/Sir John Henderson (Niel Gow)/Miss Hannah’s Jig (Marshall)/The Sailor’s Wife; Freedom Come All Ye (Hamish Henderson)

Eddie McGuire (flute), Rab Wallace (lowland pipes), Rhona MacKay (clarsach, vocals), Mick Broderick (drums and vocals) Bob Nelson (fiddle) and Peter Anderson (Scottish side drum)

Reviewed in the Scotsman in September 1980 Alastair Clark. Reviewed in Melody Maker 18 October 1980 by David Etheridge who said “Following their highly acclaimed first album, this outing shows a wealth of excellencein the Whistlebinkies approach to the traditional idiom. Combining bothoriginal and traditional material with a skillful approach to arrangement, the whole excercise is a convincing example of what can and should be done in this field.”

The album was No 1 in the Melody Maker folk music chart on 18 October 1980 and No 2 on 8 November 1980.

Are you still my true love? : David Essex

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Recorded single and long play album track Are you still my true love? with David Essex for Mercury. Released 1979 as B side to 20 Flights Up and on LP Imperial Wizard. Imperial Wizard reached number 12 in UK album charts for 1979. Photo: the group with David Essex recording the song in Advision Studios, London, on 15th December 1978. (L-R: Rhona MacKay, Eddie McGuire, Douglas Lawrence, David Essex, Rab Wallace, Mick Broderick, Peter Anderson). David Essex website

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