The idea for this week’s show has been evolving since seeing Brìghde Chaimbeul (pictured above – there’s actually two Chaimbeul’s in the show) performing at Sidmouth Folkweek with Innes White. It’s a high-spirited mix of folk music featuring a strong Scottish contingent as well as music from across the British Isles.
Folk Show Playlist
The Bothy Band – Fionnghuala
This is from The Both Bands 1975 album ‘Old Hag You Have Killed Me’, an album that’s regarded by many as benchmark album for it’s forward thinking treatment of traditional Celtic music. As well as featuring Donal Lunny (of Planxty who feature in the show) on bouzouki and Paddy Kennan (who also features later in the show with Tommy O’Sullivan) on uilleann pipes, a young Kevin Burke also features on fiddle. In Irish mythology, Fionnghuala was the daughter of Lir.
The Woods Band – As I Roved Out
From their self-titled 1975 album, the band features Terry and Gay Woods who also featured on Steeleye Span‘s debut album Hark! The Village. It’s a brilliant folk-rock album that I still find myself drawn back to time and again.
Five Hand Reel – The Beef-Can Close
Another folk-rock number with Dick Gaughan’s unforgettable vocals. This is from their third album Earl O’Moray (1978)
Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra – Not Safe With A Razor Set
From Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra‘s new live album D’rect from The Shire.The fiddle bow shredding of James Gavin made this a perfect follow-on to the fast paced The Beef-Can Close. The album features James Gavin, Dominic Henderson & Tommie Black-Roff of TEYR and is due for release on 6th November
Jay Ungar & Aly Bain – You Low Down Dirty Dog
From the first of two tracks from Series 1 of The Transatlantic Sessions. This was from Vol. 1.
Aly Bain – Scotland (featuring Martyn Bennett)
From Series 1, Vol 2 of The Transatlantic Sessions. I’ve been wanting to include this track for a while and this show just seemed perfect for it. It’s one of my favourites as it features a young Martyn Bennett on pipes.
Kim Lowings and The Greenwood – The Cuckoo
From Wild & Wicked Youth, another new album that we’ve just recently reviewed here. Mike summed up his thoughts in the final sentence of his review: “Lowings has been steadily climbing the folk league table since her Drifting Point EP debut back in 2011. Welcome to the first division.”
Paddy Keenan And Tommy O’Sullivan – Reels
A set of reels from master piper Paddy Keenan who Donal Lunny referred to as the Jimi Hendrix of uilleann pipes. He’s joined by Tommy O’Sullivan on guitar who also sang on the album. The reels are Collier’s/The Woman Of The House. It’s from the album The Long Grazing Acre (2003).
Michael Raven & Joan Mills – Death And The Lady
The title track of Michael and Joan’s album Death and the Lady which was originally released as a run of 250 vinyl copies in 1972 on the Folk Heritage Label (FHR047). Sunbeam Records re-issued it on CD a couple of years ago. You can read more about it here.
Lauren MacColl – Lady Isabella / An Da-Shealladh
This is taken from Lauren’s new album The Seer, which is out now. It was a Feis Rois commission – a new suite of music written by Lauren based on the life and prophecies of “our most renowned Highland prophet – The Brahan Seer (Coinneach Odhar).” The Black Isle fiddler premiered the piece at Celtic Connections festival in January and launches the album at Blas Festival in the Highlands this September.
The music – both instrumental and song – highlights a selection of the seer’s prophecies and several characters involved in his life during the 17th Century, and ultimately his death at Chanonry Point on the Black Isle. A stellar Highland cast play Lauren’s music alongside her – Megan Henderson (fiddle, piano, vocals), Rachel Newton (vocals, clarsach, viola), Mairearad Green (accordion, border pipes), Anna Massie (guitar, mandolin) and James Mackintosh (percussion).
Martyn Bennett – Blackbird
From the late Martyn Bennett’s album Grit (2003), which was released again in 2015 by Real World as part of their Gold series. It’s on this album that Scots traditional singer Sheila Stewart sang (Moving on Song) and the Bard of Dundee, Michael Marra was the voice of ‘Liberation’.
Brighde Chaimbeul & Innes White – Wee Donald
It’s thanks to Brighde (the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winner 2016) that the seed for this show was planted (main image) while I was sat watching her perform with Innes White at Sidmouth Folkweek last month. She was kind enough to send this tune to me for the show. Keep up with her here: https://www.brichaimbeul.com
Shooglenifty – Scraping The Barrel
Fishclaw – The King’s Barrow
This is from Fishclaw‘s debut album Swift. As you can hear on this track, the album shows off all aspects of the music Fishclaw have nurtured and crafted at their renowned live shows. Imaginative beats, haunting viola, soaring whistle, effect tweaked acoustic guitar, beefy double bass, melodic accordion and layered synths all combine to create music that, whilst folk at its core, isn’t afraid to move into whatever realm the band chooses at any given moment. Check them out here: http://www.fishclaw.uk
Lisa Knapp – Blacksmith
Again, I bumped into Lisa and husband/fiddle player/producer Gerry Diver at Sidmouth recently. Whilst chatting I we chatted about Gerry’s album ‘Diversions‘ (2003) – it’s on this album that I first heard Lisa Knapp. So it’s that version you hear here. It would later feature on Lisa’s 2006 album ‘Wild and Undaunted’ as Blacksmith (Youth remix). Both albums received a lot of airplay on Folk Radio UK when we ran our 24-hour radio stream.
Kim Carnie – Tàladh Dhòmhnaill Ghuirm
Another brilliant new offering, this time from Kim Carnie who has written for Folk Radio UK in the past and she’s currently a children’s TV Presenter on BBC Scotland’s De a-Nis?
The 23-year-old Gaelic singer was raised in Oban, surrounded by the great Ceilidh culture of the West Coast of Scotland. At a young age, Kim was drawn towards the Gaelic tradition – rich in song, poetry and storytelling – grasping any opportunity in which someone would share with her what they knew. Since then, Kim has studied at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music and was a Finalist in BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017. She graduated in the summer of 2016 with a First Class Degree in Scots Law, 2017 sees her turning towards her voice, and the release of ‘In Her Company/ Na Cuideachd‘. This particular song is a Traditional Gaelic waulking song; a lullaby for Donald of Sleat, an uplifting lullaby which mentions a boat that can be seen off the coast of Skye.
Find out more here: https://www.kimcarnie.com
Gwyneth Glyn – Cwlwm
Cwlwm is Tro, the new album from Writer, poet and musician Gwyneth Glyn which is due for release on the 29 September 2017. Tro is a passionate journey that draws on Gwyneth’s rooted influence and recent experiences, it’s a collection of songs that trace a journey back to roots – from Cardiff, where she lived for five years, to her native environment in Eifionydd, North Wales; her heart’s journey from darkness to light, a and a soul’s journey from a distant, foreign desert to the fruitful greenness of the place where it belongs. We’ll be featuring more on the album soon. The album features, amongst others, Dylan Fowler who also produced the album. More here: http://gwynethglyn.com
Jenna Moynihan & Mairi Chaimbeul – Steaph’s Red Shoes
From One Two, featuring American folk fiddler Jenna Moynihan and hailing from the Isle of Skye and based in Boston, Mass., harpist Màiri Chaimbeul. Steaph’s Red Shoes is a Chaimbeul original, paired here with O Gur Duine Truagh Mi (O What a Wretched Soul I Am). We reviewed the album here.
The Bothy Band – The Kesh Jig/Give Us a Drink of Water/The Flower of the Flock/Famous Ballymote
Another Bothy Band track, this time from 1975: The First Album which featured fiddler Tommy Peoples.
Planxty – ‘P’ Stands For Paddy, I Suppose
And finally, a Planxty favourite from Cold Blow and the Rainy Night (1974). Johnny Moynihan was the newest member of the band as Donal Lunny left the band (to later join The Bothy Band) although he made some contributions here – Moynihan had played in Sweeney’s Men with Andy Irvine. Christy Moore left the band soon after this album to pursue a solo career. After his departure, the Irvine/Moynihan/Brady/O’Flynn line-up toured extensively but released no recordings before playing their final show in Brussels on 5 December 1975. This was of course not the end…they would reunite in 1979 for a big European tour. It’s a long story – get your hands on a copy of Leagues O’Toole’s The Humours of Planxty…it’a fantastic biography of the band.
While You’re here…
If you enjoyed this then try our Spotify playlist which currently clocks in at 23 Hours of music. Even in shuffle mode it sounds great.
Photo Credit: Francesca Pagni