Foot Stompin’ Scottish music newsletter February 18th 2010

Dusgadh (Awakening) by Joy Dunlop

Dusgadh (Awakening) by Joy Dunlop

As February marches on and it doesn’t seem to get any warmer (here anyway!) – here’s an offer to heat you up! Our offer this week is a great CD for jumping up and down to. We’re selling Silver by great band Cantrip for £4.99 – 60% of retail price! A reviewer described them as “tunes played with much skill and a touch of mischief…” Check it out

1. New Releases – includes Joy Dunlop, Jamie McLennan, Jim Cameron Scottish Dance Band
2. Scottish Music Heroes – Bobby MacLeod
3. Snippets – includes Twitter Helps Spread Gaelic to Spain, Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions 2010.
4. Foot Stompin’ FREE Scottish Music Podcast
5. 5. Edinburgh’s Ceilidh Culture: 2010: 6th March – 18th April 2010
6. Reviews – Catriona Watt, Stuart Cassells
7. Best Sellers: includes Skipinnish Ceilidh House, Calum Kennedy
8. Foot Stompin’ Scotch Whisky – Ardbeg
9. Discussion forum
10. Testimonials
11. Foot Stompin’ on Facebook and Twitter

1. New Releases (remember if you’ve bought from us before you get our loyalty 10% discount off everything)
RISE & SHINE!! Dùsgadh (Awakening) – Joy Dunlop: Featuring an eclectic array of musicians and drawing on a wide range of influences, Dùsgadh is the debut release by Joy Dunlop, one of Argyll’s most prolific Gaelic singers.  The album is a lovely blend of pure, haunting vocals & luscious musical arrangements.  Through 12 tracks, Joy explores the wide, expressive gamut of Gaelic song, demonstrating her versatility both as a singer and dancer, and her talent as an interpreter of traditional music. Guest musicians include Patsy Reid violin/viola. £11.70 (£12.99 for first time customers)
ROYALLY GOOD!! The Duke & Duchess of Edinburgh – Jim Cameron Scottish Dance Band: A great collection of some long lost and rarely heard recordings of the great Jim Cameron and his Scottish Band.  They were a family band with Jim and his brother George on violins, daughter May with nephew Scott on accordions and Willie Ogilvie’s subtle use of the trumpet gave this band a unique sound. The band became Beltona’s biggest earner rivalling the success of Cameron’s great friend Jimmy Shand on Parlophone. £9,90 (£10.99 for first time customers)

TRAVELLING MAN!! In Transit – Jamie McClennan: First solo recording from the New Zealand-born musician, best known for his work with Scottish singer Emily Smith.  Upbeat dancing tunes with soulful melodies that capture Jamie’s energetic and slightly off-the-wall fiddle playing perfectly.  On this recording he’s accompanied by the fantastic guitar work, both acoustic and electric, of former band mate, Gerry Paul, rhythm section of Duncan Lyall on Double Bass and Fraser Stone, and the soaring, pulsating flutes and whistles of Alan Doherty. There’s some great bluegrass mandolin touches by Canadian maestro Andrew Collins and some beautiful cello by Adelaide Carlow. £11.70 (£12.99 for first time customers)    
BATTLE AXES!! Hands Across the Border (DVD) – Saor Patrol: Performed Live at the Guildhall Gloucester. Those that have seen Saor Patrol in live performane never forget the visual image! Often seen in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile particularly at Festival time they always attract a large crowd with their bagpipe and drum presentation and striking ‘wild Highland clansmen’ garb.  Although the band is a separate entity, the guys are all volunteers of the Clanranald trust for Scotland and can often be seen in movies as they are also part of an organisation supplying skilled combat performers and advisors to the film and television industry. £11.25 (£12.50 for first time customers)
Hands Across the Border – Audio CD also available:

ROCKING OUT! Passing Place by Green Goblin: Green Goblin are a Glasgow, Perth, Newcastle based Scottish band blending a wide range of musical styles ranging from Bluegrass to Rock, Jazz to Traditional to create a truly original sound. As individuals they are some of the most respected musicians in the UK and collectively as a group they have created a fresh sound that simply doesn’t conform to any musical genre. £11.70 (£12.99 for first time customers)
Delighted to say the following CDs are now back in Stock!
Orain Gaidhlig Volumes 1,2 & 3: Three great compilation CDs  featuring many of Scotland’s finest Gaelic singers. In the 1960s, television progammes like ‘Se ur Beatha’ and ‘Fear an Tighe’ brought Gaelic into the homes of many Scots who had a  limited knowledge of their ancient native tongue. The programmes were a great success. These CD pulls together a number of recordings from the mid 1950’s through the 1960s including early recordings of Alasdair Gillies and of Calum Kennedy accompanied on guitar rather than by the more familiar orchestral arrangements. Each CD £11.25 (£12.50 for first time customers)
Vol 1:
Vol 2:
Vol 3:
The Clyde Valley Stompers: It seems that regardless of what sort of music people preferred, everyone loved The Clyde Valley Stompers. A historical event in the Scottish Jazz world took place on Saturday June 30th 1956 in St Andrews Grand Hall in Glasgow. The Beltona Record Company setup it’s equipment and recorded a concert. What’s significant is that these were to be the first tracks of traditional jazz bands resident in Scotland and composed only of Scots musicians to be made and issued by a major label.  Main attraction at the concert was the 1955 Scottish Traditional Jazz Band champion group, The Clyde Valley Stompers led by trombonist Ian Menzies and their glamorous young vocalist Mary McGowan…..£11.70 (£12.99 for first time customers)

Remember unlike many other websites you can speak to Foot Stompin’ on the telephone! Get us on +44 (0)131 441 3135 and we’ll help you anyway we can. We take all credit cards.

2. Scottish Music Heroes – Bobby MacLeod (1925 – 1991)
Memories of Bobby MacLeod  by his children Duncan, Robert, Alasdair and Rhoda.
Alasdair Robert Campbell MacLeod or Bobby as he soon became known, was born in Tobermory, Isle of Mull in 1925. His parents, Duncan and Anne, were both from Wester Ross. Anne had a great knowledge of Gaelic song and Duncan was a keen piper. They passed on their knowledge to their son. With additional tutoring from Pipe Majors William MacLean and William Ross, he soon became a competent piper, good enough in fact to be playing pibrochs by the age of twelve. He was regularly paraded in the family hotel, the Mishnish by his proud father.
Melodeons were very much in vogue at that time and Bobby, our Dad, soon acquired a taste for that instrument, being greatly influenced by the regular visits to Tobermory of William Hannah. Dad’s Hohner Black Dot is still on display in the Mishnish. Once able to knock out a few tunes, Dad formed a band with other local musicians. Dancing was very popular in Mull at this time, ranging from Quadrilles and the Lancers through modern dance like the Tango and Fox-Trot to Schottisches and Two-Steps. The band also regularly played at Mull’s stately homes in the summer season, so that those attending could practice their manoeuvres before the real thing – the Argyllshire Gathering Ball in September. Dad always maintained that he could not have had a better environment in which to learn how to play for dancers. A good dancer himself, he placed the utmost importance in setting the appropriate tempo which at all times had to be the one with which the dancers were most comfortable. This could vary from place to place – a Schottische in Stornoway would have to be played much quicker than in the Borders for example. The formative years were therefore predominantly influenced by Gaelic, pipe music and Scottish dance music.

In the late 1940s as the band became ever more popular they began playing further afield at dances throughout the West Coast. Eventually the decision was made to go full time, remaining so until 1958.
The Band’s style of playing – fresh, enthusiastic, pipe influenced, innovative – soon acquired a wide audience. As well as being in demand on the dance circuit, Dad made a series of recordings for Beltona, Parlophone and Phillips. TV appearances also followed, notably on the “White Heather Club”, as well of tours of Canada and the USA, and in 1956 an appearance at a World Youth Fair in Moscow.

Through the years, the band regularly performed on The BBC’s Saturday night Scottish dance music programmes, which in the pre-television days of the 1950s commanded a huge audience. The popularity of the band, and the demands placed upon it are reflected in the following excerpt showing a week’s bookings from the time:

Monday:   Duart Mull Ball
Tuesday:   Peterhead  Warder’s Annual Dance
Wednesday: Lochcarron  Concert & Dance
Thursday:   Rothsay  Shinty Club Dance
Friday:   Kyle of Lochalsh Hall Dance
Saturday  Munlochy  Dance for Inverness Thistle FC

All this at a time when in Dad’s own words “motorways were roads, and bridges were ferries”…
Read the full article:
Bobby MacLeod made some of the best dance music ever. We have:
CD: The Genuine Article:
CD: Best of Bobby MacLeod and his Highland Dance Band 1951 – 1953:
Tune Book: Bobby MacLeod – The Man From Tobermory:  

3. Snippets

Twitter Helps Spread Gaelic to Spain
The tiny white village of Juzcar in Andalucia, Spain, may seem to be the least likely place to host a full blown Scottish cèilidh with kilts, scones, shortbread and fiddles. But come this Springtime, that’s exactly what will happen when a small team of Gaelic singers, tutors and actors head for the hills around Ronda, not far from Malaga. Fiona MacKenzie and Gillebride Macmillan are hosting a Gaelic course in Spain. Fancy going? Sounds great fun.

Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions 2010.
At the Champion of Champions 2010 in Elgin last night, Hector Riddell from Finzean successfully defended the title he won last year. Shona Donaldson – only the second female ever to be in the Champion of Champions Final – was placed second, while Joe Aitken was third. Other competitors were Alan Taylor and John Valentine. Well done to all.

Stardom beckons
Casting Director Orla O’Connor is currently searching for a young male Scottish musician between the ages of 15-20yrs to star as the lead in a feature film which will shoot in America this Spring. The screenplay is called ‘Dirt Road to Lafayette’ and is written by Booker prize winner James Kelman and will be directed by multi award winning director Kenny Glenaan.
Hey! Goodlookin’
A survey of 5000 British travellers has shown that Scotland has made it into the top 20 of the ‘best-looking nations on earth’. But in case this news should to our good-lookin’ heids…..we just managed to slip in at number 19 and well below the other three home nations !
Folkie Actors
A recent Foot Stompin’ discussion Forum thread has highlighted the fact that many folk musicians are also actors and vice versa.. 
A Crackin’ Ceilidh
The ever-brilliant Minathort Folk Festival will be getting underway soon. 12th – 14th March. It’s always a blast! Tickets and info:

4. Foot Stompin’ FREE Scottish Music Podcast
Here’s our mid February 2010 Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast. Great music featured this week are Calum MacCrimmon with his new CD Man’s Ruin, Joy Dunlop’s Dusgadh (Awakening). Next  up is a couple of golden oldies – Kenneth McKellar from 1960 singing My Love’s like a Red Red Rose and Jim Cameron and his Scottish Dance Band (from 1951) with Corn Rigs. We move to the present with fiddle maestro Alasdair White’s CD An Clàr Geal (The White Album) and finish off with Salsa Celtica and The Great Scottish Latin Adventure.
5. Edinburgh’s Ceilidh Culture: 2010: 6th March – 18th April 2010
Now in its eighth year, Ceilidh Culture is a great opportunity to get involved with the traditional arts, whether it be music, song, dance or storytelling – right here in the heart of Scotland’s capital city. Venues include the Usher Hall, HMV Picture House, The Waverley Bar, The Royal Oak, The Lot and The White Hart. The festival will this year include its very own street fair. From Friday 2 to Monday 5 April, Castle Street will play host to a wide range of stalls with food and drink, crafts, fashion and music, all celebrating the very best of Scotland. Alongside some of Scotland’s most accomplished musicians, the packed Ceilidh Culture programme features acts from as far afield as the US, Paraguay, Germany, Sweden and Thailand For brochure, information and tickets contact: 0131 228 1155.

6. Reviews
Cadal Cuain by Catriona Watt
From the first track to the last I was absolutely hooked! I didn’t want to fast forward through anything. Catriona shows such musicality and adds a modern twist while still managing to stay true to the tradition. And the track of her singing with her grandmother – inspired! Wonderful wonderful wonderful – not often that I’m at a loss for words! But it’s the best thing I’ve heard for a long time – she was definitely a worthy winner of Young Traditional Musician last year! £9.89 (£10.99 for first time customers)

Blown Away by Stuart Cassells
Piper Stuart Cassells was the Young Scots Traditional Musician 2005, and this debut CD release is part of his prize. Here he launches into some unorthodox arrangements with the rip-roaring energy and virtuosity that won him the title, abetted by a driving band and several guests. £9.89 (£10.99 for first time customers)

7. Best Sellers
CD: Calum Kennedy’s Songs in Gaelic: Here’s a chance to sit down for an hour and listen again to the beautiful gentle tone and wonderful range of Calum Kennedy’s voice when he sung in his native Gaelic. Sublime!
CD: Breabach – The Desperate Battle of the Birds: With their dual bagpipes, fiddle, whistles  guitar and song are one of the most inventive and diverse bands to have emerged from the Scottish folk scene in recent years.
CD: The Early McKellar: Here we have 20 tracks first recorded by Kenneth McKellar, one of Scotland’s most popular tenor voices, more than 50 years ago remastered and now available on CD. A beautiful Scots voice
CD: The Skipinnish Ceilidh House: This CD demonstrates the tremendous music on offer at this west-coast venue and gives the listener a flavour of the wonderful musical culture of Scotland.
CD: Cadal Cuainn – Catriona Watt: A gorgeous album by one of Scotland’s finest young singers.

8. Foot Stompin’ Scotch Whisky
We’ve partnered again with the excellent Master of Malt to offer you the very best in Scotch Whisky. This week here’s another couple of beauties.

Ardbeg Corryvreckan (70cl, 57.10%). Named after the colossal Corryvreckan whirlpool, this is one of the legendary Islay malts. We loved the Committee release and we weren’t disappointed with this incredible dram. This was released to replace Airigh Nam Beist, choosing a more medicinal style over the creamier style of the beastie. £59.95

Ardbeg Lord Of The Isles (25 Year Old) (70cl, 46%). One malt to rule them all. An incredible dram, Whisky Mag recommended, Lord of the Isles is an exquisite Ardbeg, matured for 25 years. This is rich, full-bodied, with good sweetness. £279.95

9. Foot Stompin’ Discussion Forum

Our discussion is a happening place! Recently discussed is:
Scotia Bar Reunion
At a recent funeral,one of the far too many we had in 2009, I was talking to (Big) Arthur Johnstone of The Laggan and The Stars Band and he was saying how miserable it is to keep meeting up with a dwindling folk scene at these sad occasions,he has decided to invite all who where ever a part of the thriving folk scene in The Scotia in the 60s and 70s to a reunion in Laurie’s Bar 21st Feb at 2pm.

Mandolin question
I’m thinking of getting myself a better Mandolin. Any suggestions?

10. Testimonials
 I just wanted to thank you for the fantastic music podcast.  I live in Israel and don’t get to enjoy Scottish music like this often.  Thanks! Jonatha Degai
Just wanted to say great newsletter, catalog and service.  I live in the U.S., and you sent my CDs across the ocean faster than the “big river” guys, if you know what I mean. Kevin H.

11 . Foot Stompin’ on Facebook and Twitter

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