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GREENTRAX NEW RELEASES: Matt McGinn, Peter Morrison, Nick Keir, Alan Bell and more.....

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Matt McGinn - The Best of Matt McGinn Volume 2
This compilation album by Matt McGinn was first released on licence by Greentrax Recordings in 2003 and having recently negotiated an extension of the licence with Sony Music, they are pleased to re-release the album on this, the 40th Anniversary of Matt’s death.
The humour, uncanny perceptiveness and rare talents of Matt McGinn made him a household name in Scotland and in folk circles throughout the world. He was a native of Gallowgate, one of Glasgow’s less affluent areas, a bizarre part of the old town in whose tenement closes and back courts grew the seeds of his music, poetry, social observations and unique humour.
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Peter Morrison - Gaelic Stories
This is a CD re-release of the 1995 Greentrax music cassette (catalogue number CTRAX9014) and is Volume 14 in the Scottish Tradition Series, from the archives of The School of Scottish Studies. The Series has been widely acclaimed.
Peter Morrison, a crofter-fisherman from the small Hebridean island of Grimsay, which lies between North Uist and Benbecula, was recorded by D A MacDonald between 1962 and 1974 on Grimsay.
Peter Morrison, a man of many talents apparently, was a very highly regarded Gaelic storyteller and six of his favourite stories are included on this CD.
The extensive sleeve notes, previously available as an additional booklet, are now included within the CD booklet and were updated by Will Lamb. The translations to English are included in the CD booklet.
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Nick Keir - 1953-2013
A double album reflecting the talents of Nick Keir. Nick formed the group Finn McCuill while at Stirling University, then toured with poet Norman McCaig, worked with the 7:84 Theatre Company and in 1982 he joined The McCalmans. He remained with the group for the next 30 years and toured all over the world as one of the best known and most successful Scottish traditional acts.
Many of his own songs entered the repertoire of The McCalmans but at the same time, Nick made many solo appearances, including his annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe gigs and still found time to record four solo albums.
The thirty-seven tracks on this tribute double CD collection were selected mainly from Nick’s four solo albums: Rumours Of Snow, All Over This Town, Fishing Up The Moon and The Edge Of Night, plus tracks featuring Nick’s songs from most of The McCalmans’ albums from 1982 onwards. All songs in the collection were written by Nick, except Envy The Wind by Lucinda Williams, which Nick always included in his solo gigs.
This is a truly remarkable collection by any standard.
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Alan Bell - The Cocklers
Alan Bell is a veteran singer/songwriter from the North-West of England. His best-known songs, amongst many, are Windmills and Bread And Fishes - the latter was recorded in several countries and was a hit in Japan. Alan also wrote for a number of radio and TV productions.
He was a member of the famous Blackpool Taverners Folk Group who performed in clubs, concerts, on radio and television and released four LPs. They also sang at a Royal Command Performance.
It was in the 1960s that Alan began writing songs in the folk idiom about the Fylde Coast in Lancashire. Over the years his songwriting developed and he explored other musical genres. He wrote song cycles for choral societies, musical suites for brass bands and songs for Radio Ballads. The Blackpool Taverners sang many of Alan’s songs before the group disbanded after twenty years.
The songs on this album are about events and people within the North of Britain, and he is accompanied by members of his Alan Bell Band - Andrew Green (guitar), Eddie Green (bass) and Sue Jennings (fiddle) - plus Chris Carter (piano and snare drum) and Becky Hoyle (backing vocals).
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The McCalmans - Lost Tracks
The McCalmans, who retired in 2010, made 26 albums and recorded over 400 songs in their 46 years as professional musicians.
Finding new songs was a group passion and because of the constant influx of material, many songs never made it on to a Macs album. This album has studio recordings, rehearsal recordings, live concert songs, songs from the Macs’ DVD The Final Concert Uncut - The Good Old Days , plus a couple of ‘cassette copies of cassette copies’, of which Ian McCalman says, “Please don’t sue us for the occasional hiss or bump: consider it as the gift of third generation analogue”.
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Freeland Barbour & Friends - The Music & The Land: The Concert
With the stunning photography of Cailean Maclean and over 450 of Freeland Barbour’s compositions, The Music And The Land - The Music Of Freeland Barbour (a sumptuous 2-volume book in a slip-case) is a wonderful tribute to Scotland’s landscape and traditions. The book was published by Birlinn Ltd in October 2015 and launched with concert/ceilidh nights at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh and The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow. This album The Music And The Land - The Concert contains much of the magic of these two nights, a chance to hear just a few of the compositions from the book, and also to hear music from the distinguished list of performers. Everyone in the concert had also made a contribution to the book in some way and this made for a wonderful atmosphere and, in the words of author James Robertson, “A book launch like no other”.
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Eric Bogle with John Munro - Voices
Voices is another amazing collection of songs - eight from Eric himself, probably one of the greatest songwriters of the past several decades. There are two songs from John Munro, one from Peter Titchener and a song sent to Eric by Simon Wilkins. The album is eagerly awaited from Greentrax by the legions of Bogle fans in the UK, Europe and beyond, and will not disappoint.
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Various Artists - Greentrax 30th Anniversary Collection - The Special Projects
2016 is the 30th Anniversary of Greentrax Recordings and to mark the occasion Greentrax has released this double CD of 30 tracks, selected by Managing Director Ian Green from the many special projects of the past thirty years. The compilation includes tracks from not only the Greentrax label but also the Culburnie label (licensed from Alasdair Fraser for the UK, Europe and other territories), also celebrating 30 years in 2016. As well as these, there are tracks from the School of Scottish Studies Sound Archive, the G2 Label and the Celtic Collections Budget Series. A lot of care and thought went into the selection and Ian Green is confident that it is an exciting snapshot of the many special projects Greentrax has undertaken over the thirty years.
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Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band - Revisited
The Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band was one of the most universally recognised and successful pipe bands of all time. In its 130-year history it won virtually every competition award and accolade available. Pipe Major Iain McLeod led the Band from 1959 until his retirement from the Police in 1978. During that period it won the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship on five occasions - four times as Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band and once as Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band (after police restructuring). For Iain, the Band’s win at the first Intercontinental Pipe Band Championship in Toronto, Canada in 1972 - competing for the first time against the top North American bands - was the ‘icing on the cake’ after winning the World Championship in Scotland the same year. The album represents Pipe Major Iain McLeod’s personal selection of tracks from the Band’s five albums under his leadership (four on EMI Waverley and one on Fontana). It illustrates that the quality of the Band’s performances has stood the test of time over more than half a century, despite considerable advances in recording equipment and instrument technology.
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Sguaban A Tìr An Eòrna - Traditions Of Tiree (Scottish Tradition Series vol 27)
Tiree, a low lying island of some thirty-six square miles west of Ardnamurchan Point, lacks the mountains and hills of its Hebridean neighbours. It is distinguished, however, by its fertile fields and machairs, which are highly productive, and for its shining white sands, which attract high numbers of holiday-makers each year. Currently its population is about 650, although in the first half of the nineteenth century it peaked at around 5,000. This is the 27th collection in the Scottish Tradition Series of recordings from The School of Scottish Studies Sound Archive, University of Edinburgh. The School and Greentrax are delighted to present this CD collection, selected from the extensive collecting of Calum MacLean (1915-1960), who first visited the island in 1953, followed by Hamish Henderson (1919-2002), John MacInnes, Lisa Sinclair and Eric Gregeen (1921-1983). Collecting was also later carried out by Morag MacLeod and Peter Cooke. The album was edited by Dr Margaret A Mackay and Professor Donald E Meek.
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Various Artists - Reclaimed: Pipe Music And Song From The Scottish Borders
This is a brilliant album in which the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society has set out to explore Border repertoire - tunes and songs with strong Border resonances, many of which have not previously been recorded. Each track features a different player or combination of players, many of whom have been leading lights in the revival of the Border pipes, Scottish smallpipes and as members of well-known bands since the 1980s, including accompanying musicians and singers. Pipers on the album include Annie Grace, Judy Baker, the late Martyn Bennett (archival track), Iain MacInnes, Hamish Moore, Fin Moore, Gary West, Gordon Mooney, Angus MacKenzie, Mike Katz, Paul Roberts, Chris Norman and Pete Stewart. Accompanists include such fine musicians as Iain MacLeod, David Greenberg, Shona Mooney, Ciaran Ryan, Matheu Watson and George Pasca. Vocal contributions include Mairi Campbell and Fiona Hunter.
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Various Artists - Scotia Nova: Songs For The Early Days Of A Better Nation
In 2014 Luath Press published a book of poems, Scotia Nova - Poems For The Early Days of a Better Nation. It seemed to make sense to release an album of new songs with the same title. A steering group of like-minded folk was formed: Mairi Campbell, Dave Francis, poet Alistair Findlay and Ian McCalman joined Gavin MacDougall of Luath Press and Ian Green of Greentrax. Invitations went out to songwriters who the group believed would be interested in the project. The response was tremendous and 18 songs were selected and recorded, a wide variety of songwriting styles and singers. The songwriters include Yvonne Lyon, Fiona J Mackenzie, Gill Bowman, Mairi Campbell & Dave Francis, Finlay Napier, Brian McNeill, David Lyon, Scott Murray, Charlie Milne, Ian McCalman, Iain MacDonald, Alistair Findlay, Duncan McCrone & Cy Jack and more. Most songs are sung by the writers but in a couple of instances writers invited other singers to interpret their work. This is a truly unique and remarkable project and many of the songs are likely to find their way into Scotland’s song tradition.
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William MacLean - Pibroch
Born of a Raasay family living in Tobermory, Isle Of Mull, William MacLean was a pupil of Malcolm MacPherson (Calum Piobaire) of Badenoch, with whom he made a special study of piobaireachd. He went on to win many piping prizes, including the Argyllshire Star at Oban (1898), the Inverness Champion’s Gold Medal of The Highland Society of London (1901), the Highland Society of London Champion’s Gold Medal for Piobaireachd at Oban (1912) and the Inverness Ex-Champion’s Class (1913). He also won prizes for March, Strathspey and Reel. He became Pipe Major of The 5th Cameron (Lochiel) Highlanders during World War 1 and was regarded by some as one of the best piobaireachd players of the first half of the 20th Century. The recordings on this album were made in the early 1950s and include examples of complete piobaireachd tracks, plus sections of piobaireachd and one track of canntaireachd. The album will be sought after by many pipers and in particular those with a particular interest in piobaireachd. This double CD re-release was originally available on music cassette only.
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Archie Fisher - A Silent Song
Archie Fisher has been on the Scottish folk scene since the early days of the ‘folk revival’ and is known throughout the UK to anyone who loves Scottish song. He also tours North America on a regular basis and in fact this album is released by Red House Records (USA) and licensed to Greentrax. Archie has a lovely, laid back style of singing and is regarded as an outstanding guitarist, having tutored some of the best in the past. This collection is mainly of Archie’s own songs and those of other contemporary songwriters, with a couple of older songs included. Archie sings and plays guitar and is accompanied by some fine session musicians from the USA where the album was recorded and mastered.
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Various Artists - A Tribute In Music & Song To John Bellany
The late John Bellany was born and brought up in Port Seton, East Lothian, Scotland, and went on to become an artist of international renown. His father was a boat builder in Port Seton and many of John’s paintings reflect his connection with fishing and the sea. John also had a great love of music and in fact had a ceilidh band named The Blue Bonnets in his early years. This collection of music and songs is released as a tribute to the great man and many were John’s favourites, chosen by his wife Helen and other family members. Some items were specially written for the album in honour of John Bellany.
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Gordon Gunn - Wick To Wickham
Gordon Gunn is one of Scotland’s top fiddlers and a member of the hugely successful Scottish band Session A9. He is also regarded as a talented composer, especially of slow airs which are the envy of all tunesmiths. On Wick To Wickham, Gordon has surrounded himself in the studio with not only Brian McAlpine and Phil Anderson, but also Marc Clement (guitar), David (‘Chimp’) Robertson (percussion), Tim Edey (melodeon) and Marc Duff (whistles). Together they produce a rich and exciting sound. The sets include several of Gordon’s own compositions, those of other contemporary composers and several traditional tunes.
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Fraser & Ian Bruce - The Best Of Mrs Bruce's Boys
Fraser and Ian Bruce enjoyed an extremely successful period between the years 1980 and 1986, playing festivals, concerts and folk clubs throughout the UK and other countries around the world. They made many radio and television appearances plus they released three very fine albums: Mrs Bruce’s Boys Vol 1, Veil Of The Ages and Mrs Bruce’s Boys Vol 2. In those days they were on vinyl and tape, long before CDs were even thought about! Here we have ten re-mastered tracks, five re-recorded live tracks and one song never previously released. Ian Walker joins the lads on the live tracks, which were recorded in front of an invited audience in the Wee Folk Club, Edinburgh. The album includes such classics as King’s Shilling (Ian Sinclair), Farewell To The Gold (Paul Metsers), Rise Up Jock (Bob and Carol Pegg), Broken Down Squatter, Down Where The Drunkards Roll, Edinburgh (Ian Bruce), Grey Funnel Line (Cyril Tawney) and the very powerful Nostradamus (Al Stewart). The re-mastered tracks all include the best session musicians of the time and the arrangements are as fresh today as they were in the 1980s.
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George Moss - Pibroch
Born in Strathglass in 1903, son of an estate worker, it was while his father was working on an estate in Glengarry that George Moss, not yet in his teens, began serious study of the repertory and traditions of the Highland bagpipe. He competed on occasions but spent a lot of his time studying and playing pibroch (piobaireachd), also known in Gaelic as ceol mor or the great music. This collection provides invaluable evidence of an earlier, truly Gaelic style of piping, which began to change in the years around World War One when George found that “the Gaelic style was falling out of fashion”.
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Ross Munro - Twisted Tradition
Ross Munro started playing the bagpipes under Pipe Major John D Burgess MBE at an early age. At seventeen he joined The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. After the mega success of the Spirit Of The Glen trilogy of albums on Decca Records, in which Ross played a pivotal role as Pipe Major on the Classical Brit award-winning album Journey, Ross became widely known. He retired from the army in 2013 to start a new professional career in music. Ross is a multi-instrumentalist and Twisted Tradition takes you on a musical journey with a playful and yet seriously inspired variety of original and traditional tunes.
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Brian McNeill & Friends - The Falkirk Music Pot
Brian McNeill & Friends Celebrate His Home Town’s Music. The Falkirk Music Pot is one of three projects forming part of the Falkirk Creative Place 2014 Award programme. This recording project has been produced on behalf of Falkirk Community Trust and Falkirk Council by multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and author Brian McNeill. The project has involved Brian of course and other professional musicians and singers, but also includes items by local residents, schools and bands plus recordings from Bandawa Girls Secondary School, Malawi.
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Cruinneachadh Chaluim - Field Recordings of Gaelic Music and Song (Scottish Tradition Series vol 26)
A double CD set with one CD consisting of songs and the other featuring instrumental music. This is the 26th collection in the Scottish Tradition Series of recordings from The School of Scottish Studies Archives at the University of Edinburgh. The School and Greentrax are delighted to present this double CD collection, selected from the extensive collecting of Calum MacLean. We never tire of saying the series was described in the past as “The most important series of traditional recordings ever…” Calum MacLean (Calum an Tàilleir) was born in Oskaig, Isle of Raasay in 1915, and was educated locally before entering the University of Edinburgh, gaining a first class degree in Celtic in 1939. His further studies took him to Ireland where in due course his work as a collector began. MacLean worked assiduously collecting nineteen bound volumes of transcribed lore and a further five full bound volumes of his diaries. In 1951 MacLean began to formally work at the newly founded School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh as their first appointed collector. He was the first person to undertake the full-time systematic collecting of Gaelic songs, stories and traditions in the Highlands and Islands. Everywhere he went he found the best contacts and tradition bearers and gathered in a vast amount of oral material straight from people’s memories. In 1956 MacLean was diagnosed with cancer and in 1960, at the age of forty-four, his life and work were tragically cut short.
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Luke Daniels - Tribute To William Hannah
William Hannah (1891 – 1961) was born in the mining village of Blackburn, West Lothian. Having started on the mouth organ as a boy, he became well known as Scotland’s premiere melodeon player by the end of the First World War, during which he served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. His role in the development of the modern accordion was an important one. William Hannah was a prolific recording artist with companies such as Parlophone and Columbia, and a celebrated band leader in the 1920s. He was a major influence on Jimmy Shand, although the man and his contribution to Scottish music have been largely forgotten. The album features Luke Daniels (melodeon), Neil Ewart (fiddle), Ian Carr (guitar) and John Paul Gandy (piano). The music throughout the album is outstanding.
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Various Artists - Favourite Scottish Songs
This album is the result of discussion between Scottish piper and pipe-maker Hamish Moore and Ian Green about the need for a CD of ‘favourite Scottish songs’ to be available in Scottish schools - a collection that would be a simple tool for teachers to introduce Scotland’s rich song heritage to their pupils. Much thought was put into the selection of songs for this compilation. We feel the final selection fits all the criteria and if Scottish children left school knowing at least these songs we would be well satisfied. It is hoped, however, that introduction to these eleven songs might encourage some, if not all children, to investigate further. In compiling the album it became clear to both Hamish and Ian that this was a collection which would have interest for a’ the bairns and awbuddie (everybody) else so the album will also be on general release through retail outlets, in addition to being made available to Scottish schools.
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Alex Hodgson - The Brig Tae Nae Where
The Brig Tae Nae Where (The Bridge To Nowhere) is the second Greentrax album by the Prestonpans singer Alex Hodgson. Twelve tracks on this album were written by Alex, plus one each by Robert Burns and Ewan MacColl. This new album is based on family memories of summer days past, some spent at Belhaven Bay near Dunbar. It takes a different approach from his debut album and touches on a nautical theme which weaves its spell through traditional and original material.
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Various Artists - For Freedom Alone: The Wars Of Independence
2014 is the 700th Anniversary of The Battle of Bannockburn and Greentrax marks this important event with this compilation of songs, music and a poem by many of Scotland’s finest artists. 2014 is also the year of The Scottish Referendum and the album recognises this historical event. The title of the album For Freedom Alone is taken from The Declaration Of Arbroath, a portion of which is included on the album.
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Ian Bruce & Ian Walker - Born To Rottenrow
Ian Bruce and Ian Walker are well known singers and songwriters in their own right, and were in fact a hardworking duo some years back, but then decided to go their own solo ways. Recently the duo re-formed under the name Bruce & Walker and have been gigging around Scotland and beyond, causing quite a buzz along the way with a mix of their old and new songs.
This release consists of a DVD and CD combination set and sells for the price of a double album.
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Various Artists - The Scottish Diaspora: The Music & The Song
This double CD, selling for the price of a single album, is a companion to The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry and is released at the request of Dr Gordon Prestoungrange, who commissioned the tapestry. The tracks are as diverse as: the Canadian song Scarborough Settler’s Lament by the late, great Stan Rogers; an Australian aboriginal recording of Waltzing Matilda (titled ‘Waljim Bat Matilda’, sung in Kriol); a Bengali version of Auld Lang Syne (a song which has been translated into numerous languages) plus the Scots recording by The Cast of this popular Robert Burns’ song which was part of the soundtrack of Sex And The City; The Corby Song (written by an unemployed Scotsman who followed employment to the steelworks in Corby) and sung by George Galbraith; a specially composed and recorded piece, Le Campagne di Barga (The Bells of Barga) played by Hamish Moore on the Scottish smallpipes, accompanied by the choirs of Barga (Italy) and Sangstreem; and the Dominic Behan song Connolly Was There, specially recorded by Dick Gaughan.
Other newly recorded tracks include River Of Steel by Siobhan Miller, General Tam Dalyell by Robin Laing, three contributions by Margaret Stewart, My Last Farewell To Stirling by Ian Bruce & Ian Walker, and a new version of The Rovin’ Dies Hard by Brian McNeill.
In addition there are previously recorded songs from Jean Redpath MBE, Natalie MacMaster, Margaret Stewart, Fiona J Mackenzie, Mairi MacInnes, Cathy-Ann MacPhee, Coreen Scott, The McCalmans, Rua, Dick Gaughan, Donnie Munro, Robin Laing, the late Alan Mills (Canada) and more.
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