FolkWorld #61 11/2016
© Greentrax Recordings

Greentrax 30th Anniversary Collection

Greentrax 30th Anniversary Collection
It is unbelievable that it is now already 30 years ago that Ian Green, freshly retired from the police force, set up Greentrax, using his lump sum pension payout. Only a few years later Greentrax had become Scotland's leading publisher of Scottish folk recordings. And even though the volume of publications may have been reduced over recent years, Greentrax is still going strong with top quality folk releases, and its back catalogue of Scottish music is second to none.
One of the big passions of Ian Green have always been the special projects - themed compilation albums (often featuring both new and previously recoded tracks) or special collaborations - and it feels only right to mark this year's anniversary with a double album celebrating all those special projects.
30 tracks, from some of Scotland's greatest musicians, have been assembled from as many different "special project" Greentrax albums. Not only does this compilation showcase the breath and quality of music that Greentrax is famed for, it also reminds us of how very special indeed many of these albums were - be it historically themed (such as WW1 - "Far far from Ypres", the Spanish Civil War, the battle of Flodden or the Jacobite Risings), unique collaborations such as Gaelic Women or Scots Women, music put together to go with themed tapestries, celebrations of the works of great folk artists such as Robert Burns, Davy Steele or Ian McCalman, or celebrating the Clydesdale horse and the new Scottish parliament, or an alternative Christmas album, or the wonderful Keltik Elektrik project. And the list goes on.
Another great compilation of superb music. Many happy returns Greentrax!
[Michael Moll]

Various Artists "Greentrax 30th Anniversary Collection – The Special Projects", Greentrax Recordings, 2016

1986-2016: Celebrating 30 Years of sending Scottish Music Worldwide.

2016 is the 30th Anniversary of Greentrax Recordings and to mark the occasion Greentrax has released a double CD of 30 tracks, Greentrax 30th Anniversary Collection – The Special Projects, 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.

In selecting tracks, the rich Culburnie Records catalogue, including the many Alasdair Fraser albums, proved a difficult choice but Ian Green finally settled on The High Reel Set from the award-winning Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas Fire And Grace album. Choosing a track from the 27 albums in the highly rated Scottish Tradition Series also proved to be a daunting task but the Lizzie Higgins version of The Jolly Beggar, from the very popular Muckle Sangs album, won the day. A short but well sung version of Robert Burns’ The White Cockade is from the internationally acclaimed Jean Redpath & Serge Hovey collaboration The Songs of Robert Burns.

Tracks were selected to represent such stunning projects as Aly Bain & Friends, from what was probably one of the best TV series of all time - Aly & Phil Cunningham play an exciting set. The best-selling Gaelic Women album is highlighted by Catherine-Ann MacPhee performing one of her favourite songs. The concept was later presented as a hugely successful concert at Celtic Connections and a follow-up Scots Women concert was equally successful - Heather Heywood leads Scots Women and the Band in The Sands O’ The Shore. Scottish Women, a combination of both Scots and Gaelic Women, went on a Scottish tour and was recorded, including the late great Ishbel MacAskill leading Scottish Women and the Band in the Gaelic classic Canan Nan Gaidheal.

Fuzz to Folk

Greentrax @ FolkWorld:

The prestigious Tapestry albums released as companions to Andrew Crummy’s beautifully designed and widely travelled tapestries are highlighted with tracks from The Battle Of Prestonpans - The Pipes And Drums Of The 1st Battalion The Black Watch with a Jacobite selection; The Great Tapestry Of Scotland represented by the winning entry in a competition to find a Robert Louis Stevenson song - Tusitala by Benny Gallagher; and The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry with a Brian McNeill original, The Rovin’ Dies Hard.

An album in tribute to the sadly missed Davy Steele - Steele The Show - was another hugely successful stage presentation at Celtic Connections and Dick Gaughan’s interpretation of The Last Trip Home was a must; while a project which started off as a double CD - Far, Far From Ypres - Songs, Poems & Music Of World War One - rapidly gained concert legs with sell-outs at Celtic Connections and other venues, under the guidance of producer Ian McCalman. Currently the No.1 best-selling Greentrax album (including visitor centres across Flanders) this was, for both Ian McCalman and Ian Green, a real joy to work on and includes many classics.

Other albums represented in the collection include:

The Eric Bogle - Singing The Spirit Home box set is the most ambitious collection released by Greentrax to date and comprises five CDs of songs selected by Eric, with the track The End Of An Auld Song from The Emigrant And The Exile album representing this hugely prolific songwriter’s work. Eric’s Santa Bloody Claus is a track which featured on Ian Green’s selected and idiosyncratic, best-selling, alternative Christmas songs album Bah! Humbug.

Other tracks which deserve special mention include:

On 8 th June, 2016, Simon Thoumire of the Hands Up For Trad organisation, which promotes Scottish traditional music and presents the Scots Trad Awards annually, presented the ‘Landmark Award’ to June and Ian Green of Greentrax Recordings at the company office in Cockenzie.

In his presentation speech Simon said: What would Scottish music have done without Greentrax Recordings? Thirty years of releasing the best in Scottish music and as Sheena Wellington said, “Maintaining integrity, goodness and fairness to all”. Not only that the label created and sustained a revival in traditional music where young (and old) musicians could experiment with their culture, for example Shooglenifty’s ‘Venus In Tweeds’ album, which changed the world in my opinion and put an innovative musical Scotland on the map. It wasn’t just Shooglenifty though – Greentrax recorded and supported so many young artists when no one else did........... So here’s to Ian and June and all at Greentrax Recordings. We cannot do without them and I look forward to the next inspirational 30 years!

The Special Projects

Fraser / Haas: Fire And Grace
Artist Video
"Fire & Grace"

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas: Fire And Grace (2004)

Alasdair Fraser

Alasdair Fraser @ FW:
Artist Video FW#1, #10, #20, #29,
#30, #31, #45, #53, #57

Alasdair Fraser is one of Scotland’s leading exponents of the fiddle and has great stage presence. He has made many recordings both solo and with his group Skyedance.

He is joined on this album by Natalie Haas, a stunning cellist from America, who has been touring with Alasdair. Natalie has been playing the cello under Alasdair’s guidance for six years, and the two of them bring back the old style of string power to Scottish music - driving rhythms, melodic nuance and rich harmonies.

The Muckle Sangs - Scottish Tradition Series Vol. 5 (1992)

Classic Scots ballads from Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, Betsy Whyte, Jane Turriff, John Strachan, Jimmy MacBeath, John Adams, John MacDonald, Bella Higgins, Duncan MacPhee, Nellie MacGregor, Minnie Haman, Sheila MacGregor, Betsy Johnstone, Willie Whyte, Geordie Robertson, Jessie Murray, Willie Edward, Campbell MacLean, Margaret Stewart and Willie Scott.

The Scottish Tradition Series consists of a selection of material from various regions of Scotland previously held in the archives of Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies and has been hailed as "the most important series of traditional recordings ever".

Scots Women (Live From Celtic Connections 2001)

"Ar Cànan 'S Ar Ceòl"
"Live from Celtic
Connections 2001"

Jean Redpath: Songs Of Robert Burns Vols. 5 & 6 (1996)

Burns’ songs performed by Scotland’s outstanding traditional singer. Researched and arranged by Serge Hovey.

Aly Bain & Friends (1989)

Robert Burns

Robert Burns @ FW:
Artist Video FW#38, #39,
#39, #40

From the highly successful Channel 4 / Scottish Television series. With Capercaillie, Boys of the Lough, Phil Cunningham, Clive Gregson and Christine Collister, Martin O’Connor, Willie Hunter, Hamish Moore and Dick Lee, Violet Tulloch, Allan Taylor, Willie Johnson, Junior Dougherty, Queen Ida and The Bontemps Zydeco Band.

Gaelic Women - Ar Canan ‘s Ar Ceol (1999)

Three years in the making and featuring many of Scotland’s most celebrated singers, this album demonstrates the richness and diversity of the Gaelic song tradition, focusing on womens’ part in the creation of its poetry and song.

Vocalists are Catherine-Ann MacPhee, Flora MacNeill, Maggie and Cairistiona MacInnes, Ishbel MacAskill, Karen Matheson, Kenna Campbell, Mary Ann and Wilma Kennedy, Mairi MacInnes with the Glasgow Gaelic Choir, Anna Murray, Anne Lorne Gillies, Margaret Stewart, Mairi Morrison, Mary Smith and Mackenzie.

The Battle Of Prestonpans 1745 - Music And Song Of The Campaign

Artist Video "The Battle of

Scots Women (Live From Celtic Connections 2001)

Double album recorded live at the Celtic Connections Festival, Glasgow, in January 2001. Featuring Aileen Carr, Elspeth Cowie, Cilla Fisher, Annie Grace, Corrina Hewat, Heather Heywood, Maureen Jelks, Chris Miles, Gordeanna McCulloch, Alison McMorland, Anne Neilson, Karine Polwart, Sheila Stewart, Stravaig and Sheena Wellington.

Scottish Women (2004)

The popular Gaelic and Scots songs on this album were recorded from live concerts during the Scottish Women tour of 2002.

The cast of singers included Sheila Stewart, Sheena Wellington, Ishbel McAskill, Elspeth Cowie, Corrina Hewat, Annie Grace, Karine Polwart, Emily Smith, Mairi MacInnes, Anna Murray, Ray Fisher, Margaret Bennett, Maggie MacInnes and MacKenzie.

The Battle Of Prestonpans 1745 - Music And Song Of The Campaign (2010)

Brian McNeill

Artist Video Brian McNeill @ FW:
FW#10, #40, #40,
#42, #45, #57

A companion album to The Prestonpans Tapestry, one of Scotland’s most significant and ambitious community projects. A compilation of music and songs connected with the Battle Of Prestonpans, featuring artists Karen Matheson (Capercaillie), The Corries, The Whistlebinkies, The Panel Beaters, Jean Redpath, The McCalmans, Ceolbeg (with Davy Steele), Coreen Scott, Sangsters and The Drambuie Kirkliston Pipe Band.

The Music And Song Of The Great Tapestry Of Scotland

Artist Video "The Great Tapestry
of Scotland"

The Prestonpans Tapestry is 104 metres in length, was stitched by 200 women and 2 men, involved 25,000 hours of work, has 10 million stitches, used up 3,000 metres of thread and took over 18 months to create - both The Baron Of Prestongrange, who gave birth to the idea, and Andrew Crummy, the tapestry designer, believe it to be the longest tapestry in the world.

The Music & Song Of The Great Tapestry Of Scotland (2012)

This album is being released in association with The Great Tapestry Of Scotland which is currently being stitched on panels designed by the artist Andrew Crummy, and will go on exhibition in 2013. The Tapestry, which will be longest in the world when complete, has been given the stamp of approval by The Scottish Parliament.

The panels represented are (in the same order as track listing): The Ring of Brodgar, Orkney * Columba in Iona * Lordship of The Isles * Battle of Bannockburn * Orkney & Shetland Ceded by Denmark to Scotland * Flooden * Scottish Reformation, A School in Every Parish * The Border Reivers, Rescue of Kinmont Willie * The Massacre of Glencoe * The Darien Scheme * The Act of Union, Edinburgh * Advance of English, Retreat of Gaelic * Jacobite Rising at Prestonpans * Highland & Lowland Clearances Begin * The Forth & Clyde Canal Dug * Robert Burns * George Smith Founds The Glenlivet Distillery * The Railway Boom, The Forth Bridge * Scottish Rugby Union Founded * Scottish America Emigrants’ Impact * Battle of The Braes * Robert Louis Stevenson * Scottish Trade Union Congress Formed in Glasgow * The 1914-18 War * Sinking of The Iolaire * 2nd World War, St Valery, 51st Highland Division Captured * D-Day * The First Edinburgh Festival * Cumbernauld New Town * North Sea Oil * Pop Music Boom * Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Work-In * Scottish Comedy * The Rise of The SNP * Scotland’s World Cup Campaign in Argentina * The Miner’s Strike 1982 * Gaelic Resurgence * The Scottish Parliament Re-Convenes * Map of Scotland * The Surge of The Sea.

The Scottish Diaspora - The Music And The Song

Artist Video "The Scottish

The Scottish Diaspora - The Music And The Song (2014)

Dick Gaughan

Dick Gaughan @ FW:
Artist Video FW#9, #23, '25,
#32, #36, #36

This double CD, selling for the price of a single album, is a companion to The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry. The Tapestry was designed by the quite remarkable artist Andrew Crummy and stitched by numerous volunteers.

Scotland’s diaspora across the world was predominantly created by warriors, traders, missionaries, medical experts and farmers. And of course there were also large groups that were driven off the Highlands by landlords or by the rigours of unemployment to seek jobs and new homes. Their descendants today number 30 million and more, not counting England where the impact has been enormous. This eclectic mix results in a quite unique collection.

Steele The Show - The Songs of Davy Steele (2011)

One of Scotland’s best loved singer songwriters, Davy Steele was loved equally for his sensitivity to others and for his charismatic ebullient nature. Davy could always be relied upon to ‘get the party started’.

Born in 1948 in Summerlea, Prestonpans, on the banks of the River Forth, he remained a proud ‘Panner’ all his life. Davy’s rich life took him to many places, from tours with the 1st Tank Regiment in the army to his lifetime dream of touring as a musician. He was well known for his earlier work with Drinker’s Drouth and Ceolbeg and the bands he co-founded: Clan Alba, Urbin Ri and Caledon but is was Battlefield Band in the 1990’s that allowed his talents to be fully shared with the wider world.

Steele The Show - The Songs of Davy Steele
Artist Video
"Steele The Show"

A proud family man, Davy was married twice and had four children. 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of Davy’s death. To celebrate his life and to bring his work into focus, his widow Patsy Seddon collected together all 37 of his songs to be published in a songbook and invited some of Davy’s favourite singers and musicians to choose and interpret a selection of songs for this album. The songs were performed live in ‘Steele The Show’ at Celtic Connections 2011 in Glasgow.

The featured singers are Karine Polwart, Kate Rusby, Kathy Stewart, Patsy Seddon, Sally Barker, Siobhan Miller, Andy M. Stewart, Dick Gaughan, Ian McCalman and Davy and Patsy’s son Jamie (12 years of age).

Davy’s song writing as a young man, explored soul music, adding various styles including country ballad before moving towards traditional ballad. Other forms emerged later; protest song, work song and love song, ending up with the ultimate ‘come-all-ye’ of which he was a master: ‘Just One More Chorus’. Davy always sang from the heart and his songs were songs of Scotland. He was also renowned for his singing of traditional Scottish song and often his version became the definitive one. His own song ‘Scotland Yet’ was his call for unity between all the cultural divisions within this small country.

Far, Far From Ypres - Songs, Poems & Music Of World War One (2008/2014)

Davy Steele

Davy Steele @ FW:
Artist Video FW#18, #21,
#24, #44

In 2014, the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War One, Greentrax Recordings re-launched this critically acclaimed best-selling album, first released in 2008. The album is a tribute to all the soldiers from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, and also their Commonwealth brothers in arms from all corners of the globe, who fought and suffered together in the Great War and, in particular, all those who died.

No Pasaran! Scots In The Spanish Civil War
Artist Video
"No pasaran!"

The album has a more Scottish perspective than any of its predecessors but when one considers that Scotland suffered the most soldiers killed, per head of population, of any nation that fought in the conflict, such an album was greatly overdue.

CD1 consists of the soldiers’ marching and trench songs, music hall favourites of the time, a Harry Lauder track, a pipe band track consisting of tunes associated with Scottish regiments, the poignant Flooers o’ The Forest and The Last Post. The Scottish Pals Singers, as we named them for CD1, are Fiona Forbes (Sangsters), Ian Bruce, Tich Frier, Hamish Bayne and the then current McCalmans lineup of Ian McCalman, Stephen Quigg and the late Nick Keir.

CD2 comprises a pipe band track of tunes named after some of the major battles of WW1, songs written about WW1, or strongly connected with that war, by such amazing songwriters as Judy Small, Alan Bell, Eric Bogle, Dick Gaughan, Jim Malcolm, and the late Davy Steele. Some of the writers perform their own songs on the album but there are also contributions from The Corries, The McCalmans, Malinky, Sheena Wellington and Karine Polwart, Robin Laing and Gaelic singer Donny MacLeod.

In a remarkable development, a copy of the CD ended up in the hands of a family in Australia where a 92 year old lady, recognised her father, John Hastings, as one of the soldiers on the front cover. John Hastings, who was born in Glasgow, was in the 51st Highlanders during WW1. He fought in France and experienced the Christmas truce – when the soldiers came out of their trenches all along the line and shared drinks, food and photos of family with the enemy – as depicted in a recent film Joyeux Noel.

Gentle Giants - A Celebration Of The Clydesdale Horse In Song (2004)

Robin Laing

Robin Laing @ FW:
Artist Video FW#5, #13, #24,
#26, #31, #33,
#33, #35, #36,
#45, #45, #45

A collection of songs on the specific subject of the ‘gentle giants’ - Clydesdale horses - sadly no longer part of the rural scene. The project is produced by Robin Laing and consists of previously recorded songs plus others specially recorded for the project.

¡No Pasaran! (They Shall Not Pass) - Scots In The Spanish Civil War (2012)

The Piper And The Maker - Hamish Moore Piping Concert

Artist Video "The Piper &
The Maker"

A collection of songs and a poem principally about the many Scots who volunteered to fight in Spain on the side of the elected Republican Government against General Franco and the fascists. The Scots volunteers fought mainly with The International Brigade which included, as the name suggests, volunteers from many other countries of the world.

The Nineties Collection (1995)

New Scottish tunes in traditional style, including contributions from some of Scotland’s best-known composers on the traditional music scene plus entries from The Nineties Collection Competition.

Featuring Aly Bain, Ian Hardie, Eilidh Shaw, Kathryn Nicoll, Phil Cunningham, Freeland Barbour, Allan MacDonald, Duncan MacGillivray, Gordon Duncan, Mary Ann Kennedy, Simon Thoumire, Hamish Moore, Jack Evans and Jim Sutherland.

Sandy Bell’s Ceilidh - Celtic Collections Vol. 10 (2006)

An album from the 1970s which was recorded in Edinburgh’s famous folk music bar Sandy Bell’s (The Forrest Hill Bar).

Many of the Sandy Bell’s Bar regulars of the time feature on the album, including Aly Bain, Dick Gaughan, The McCalmans, Chorda, Liz and Maggie Cruickshank, plus The Bell’s Big Ceilidh Band - local musicians who regularly played music in the Bar - and The Bell’s Chorus - regulars who frequently broke into song in Bell’s!

Hamish Henderson

Artist Video "A' the Bairns o Adam"

The album fully captures the atmosphere of the period, and even today the Bar continues to host musical sessions, being a starting point for visitors to Edinburgh who want to seek out real Scottish traditional music.

The Piper And The Maker - Hamish Moore Piping Concert (2004)

The McCalmans

The McCalmans @ FW:
Artist Video FW#1, #10, #23,
#30, #39, #41, #61

Recorded live in Pitlochry Town Hall in October 2003, a varied set of performances to an enthusiastic sell-out audience. The performers on this album include the best of Scotland’s exponents of the Scottish Smallpipes and Border Pipes. All the pipes played were made by Hamish and Fin Moore of Dunkeld.

A’ The Bairns O’ Adam (Hamish Henderson Tribute Album) (2003)

Poet, songwriter, soldier, collector, academic - none of these pigeon-holes do justice to the late Hamish Henderson, one of the great cultural figures of 20th century Scotland.

Most of the tracks were recorded specially for this album by artists who were personal friends of Hamish, or greatly admired his work. Artists include Dick Gaughan, The Laggan, Fred Freeman, Alison McMorland, Gordeanna McCulloch, Adam McNaughtan, Geordie McIntyre, Rod Paterson, Jim Reid, Allan MacDonald, Margaret Bennett The Corrie Folk Trio and the Eurydice Choir.

Hamish died in Edinburgh on 8th March 2002, but at the celebration of Hamish’s life (which followed one of the largest Edinburgh funerals in recent times), the idea of a tribute album was already being suggested. The finished album consists mainly of Hamish’s songs and poems and is accompanied by extensive sleeve notes and song lyrics. Three tracks were gleaned from The School of Scottish Studies archives - a spirited version of Hamish singing his own aong The 51st Highland Division’s Farewell to Sicily and a piece of mouth music, plus a track from the wonderful Jeannie Robertson.

Bah! Humbug
Artist Video
"Bah! Humbug"

Eric Bogle - Singing The Spirit Home (2005)

This 5 x CD boxed set includes sixty songs written and recorded by the Scottish-Australian singer and songwriter Eric Bogle. Eric has chosen the songs from his recorded output spanning the period from 1980, when he released Now I’m Easy, to 1997 and the release of Small Miracles. All of Eric’s ‘big’ songs are included in this collection.

Bah! Humbug (2002)

Eric Bogle

Artist Video Eric Bogle @ FW:
FW#1, #15, #19, #31,
#32, #40, #51, #55, #57

A Tribute In Music And Song To John Bellany (2015)

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.

The Clear Stream (Guitar Music From Scotland And Beyond) (2004)

Featuring the guitar playing of Tony Cuffe, Jack Evans, Dick Gaughan, Rob MacKillop, Tony McManus (with Alain Genty and Soig Siberil), Brian McNeill and Innes Watson. The aim of this album project was to record guitar tracks by some of Scotland’s finest exponents of the instrument.

The Clear Stream (Guitar Music From Scotland And Beyond)

"The Clear Stream"

There is a wide variety of guitar styles and amazing sounds. Listen to the Tony Cuffe tracks and it is immediately apparent why he was held in such high regard by other guitarists. Jack Evans, ex-guitarist with Jock Tamson’s Bairns and The Easy Club, plays his distinctive sounding Sobell guitar. Dick Gaughan, who led the field years ago with his groundbreaking Coppers And Brass guitar album, performs some of his own compositions from the orchestral suite Timewaves performed at Celtic Connections in 2004.

Rob MacKillop has searched widely for the roots of the roots of Scottish music and recorded music from the medieval period on lute, mandour and cittern but here he returns to the guitar and has arranged some of the best tunes from his researches. The long time interest of Tony McManus in the music of Brittany is explored here with two of the most significant players in France’s Celtic province: Alain Genty and Soig Siberil.

Siobhan Miller

Siobhan Miller @ FW:
Artist Video FW#37, #44,
#45, #57

Brian McNeill came to the guitar in the mid-eighties while in Battlefield Band and he immediately found that with a guitar in his hands he could arrange more than on single line melody instruments and now enjoys composing for the instrument. Innes Watson, at the tender age of nineteen and currently on the Scottish course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is the youngster of this group of guitarists and his main instrument is fiddle but you would not think so when listening to his guitar playing.

A Clear Day’s Dawnin’ - A Thousand Years of Scotland's Music To Welcome The New Parliament (1999)

McCalman Singular
Artist Video
"McCalman Singular"

Scotland’s music to welcome a new parliament. Our rough guide to some of the key landmarks in the long, rich history of Scotland’s music, which we present as Scotland regains its own Parliament after 300 years.

Featuring Sandy Brechin (accordion), Mairi Campbell (fiddle, viola, vocals), Jack Evans (guitar, whistles, programming), Mike Katz (Highland pipes), Tony McManus (guitar), Catherine-Ann MacPhee (vocals), Rod Paterson (vocals), Wendy Stewart (clarsach) and Gary West (smallpipes).

The King Has Landed - Songs Of The Jacobite Risings (2002)

The 2002 Edinburgh International Festival included Songs of the Jacobite Rebellions in their Scottish traditional music programme - this compilation was released to mark that event. The album consists of popular Jacobite songs, plus some recent compositions, performed by artists including The Corries, Alastair McDonald, Heather Heywood, Ewan MacColl, The McCalmans, Ceolbeg, The Whistlebinkies, Ian Bruce, Jim Malcolm and Brian McNeill. Together they plot the history of the three Jacobite rebellions.

McCalman Singular - Songs By Ian, Sung By Friends (2004)

The album showcases the songs and music of The McCalman’s frontman, Ian McCalman. Ian’s songwriting is prolific and here some of Ian’s songs are given new interpretations by some well known friends in music.

People And Songs Of The Sea

Artist Video "People and Songs
of the Sea"

Tony McManus

Tony McManus @ FW:
Artist Video FW#2, #4, #10,
#22, #31, #38,
#43, #52, #58

Ian Green says: ‘I have known Ian and The McCalmans since shortly after the group was formed in Edinburgh in the 60’s and am not only a big fan but have also acted as part-time gig driver, compere and even critic over the years. When I started planning Greentrax in '86, The Macs immediately offered to help the fledgling label by recording Peace and Plenty, adding considerable muscle to other more tentative debut releases. During 2003, in a rare moment of future planning, it occurred to me that Ian McCalman’s song-writing had been most prolific over the years and had contributed considerably to The McCalmans’ ever-changing repertoire of songs. I was also aware that 2004 was The McCalmans 40th Anniversary and it seemed to me that here was an appropriate time to showcase the songs of the only remaining founder member.’

People And Songs Of The Sea (2009)

Songs and music reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Scotland’s fishing, with recordings from some of Scottish music’s finest artists. Singers include Cilla Fisher, Isla St Clair, Cathy-Ann MacPhee, Shona McMillan, the late Davy Steele, Archie Fisher, The Cast, The McCalmans, The Harbour Lights Choir (Cockenzie), Blackeyed Biddy and The Fisher Folk Choir.

Shona McMillan, of the Thorburn fishing family from Fisherrow, set up the People And Songs Of The Sea exhibition to celebrate this heritage from a Firth of Forth perspective. The exhibitions run from May to December during the Year Of Homecoming 2009 in libraries and other venues from Edinburgh to Eyemouth and beyond, and this album was produced in association.

For Freedom Alone - The Wars Of Independence

"For Freedom Alone"

For Freedom Alone - The Wars Of Independence (2014)

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.

Gary West & Wendy Stewart

Gary West @ FW:
Artist Video FW#40

There are a total of eighteen tracks on the album, sixteen of which relate to the relevant historical period, plus two bonus tracks. Fifteen tracks feature the Wars Of Independence and the exploits of William Wallace and Robert The Bruce. Wallace’s famous victory at Stirling Brig and his overwhelming defeat at Falkirk are the subjects of two songs, and of course The Battle of Bannockburn features in several.

Bonus tracks: The Referendum by Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, and the classic Both Sides The Tweed by Dick Gaughan, which we felt was important to redress any perceived imbalance - with its lines “Let friendship and honour unite, and flourish on both sides the Tweed”.

The Flooers o’ The Forest - Songs, Poems & Music of Flodden (2013)

9th September 2013 marks the 500th Anniversary of The Battle of Flodden, when an English Army crushed a Scottish Army. This was slaughter on both sides, on a terrible scale. This was the largest battle ever fought between Scotland and England. The outcome was a heavy defeat for the Scots which resulted in the death of James IV, the Scottish King, and approximately 10,000 of his countrymen. This double album is dedicated to the memory of all those who fell on that bloody battlefield - we hope it is a fitting tribute.

The Flooers o’ The Forest

Artist Video "The Flooers o’
The Forest"

The first CD opens with Dick Gaughan’s iconic version of The Flooers O’ The Forest and we felt it appropriate to end the CD with a haunting instrumental version on the Scottish small pipes by Gary West. In between there are tracks by established Scottish, New Zealand and Irish artists - it was important to include artists from the Borders too.

The second CD consists of four poems and two pieces of prose interpreted by the wonderful Scottish voices of BBC Radio Scotland presenter Iain Anderson and actor John Shedden. In addition, our friend Alastair McDonald licensed his version of Sir Walter Scott’s Marmion to accompaniment including the Border pipes of Hamish Moore.

A Highland Journey In Music From Scotland (2005)

Gordon Duncan

Gordon Duncan @ FW:
Artist Video FW#25, #31

‘My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go’, wrote Rabbie Burns who loved the landscape and music of this uniquely beautiful part of the world. This album is a musical evocation of the stunning mountains, lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands, with tunes old and new, and the ancient melodies of the Gael. Whether a frequent visitor to this wonderful part of Scotland, or looking forward to the first experience of its beauty, the tranquil airs and evocative pipe tunes of A Highland Journey will take the listener there.

Relaxing orchestral sounds, plus the musical instrumental talents of Jack Evans (guitar, whistle, synthesiser), Dougie Pincock (Highland bagpipe), Mairearead Green (smallpipes, accordion) and Innes Watson (fiddle).

Keltik Elektrik Vol. 3 Hotel Kaledonia

"Keltik Elektrik 2:
Just when you
thought it was
safe to sit down..."

Keltik Elektrik Vol. 3 Hotel Kaledonia (2002)

Pumping out a third slab of untamed Celtic electro beat for your ears and feet, supercharging the trademark grooves, samples and loops with stunning live playing by top Scottish musicians. Old and new tunes, synthesised and realised with style and volume - a blast of inventive musical hooliganry!

Driving fiddle, swaggering pipes, feral guitars and wailing whistles plus pumping beats bass and keys all combine to make Hotel Kaledonia one of the most unsitdownable Celtic albums of the year. An incredible mix of sounds, styles and rhythms - with a beat to suit the most energetic club dancer!

In 1998 Greentrax released the Keltik Elektrik Edinburgh Hogmanay Party Mix, directed at the dance, club and party scenes - the second album (Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Sit Down…) was released in November 2000. As before, the musician behind the project is multi-instrumentalist Jack Evans (guitar, whistles, melodica, programming) of Jock Tamson’s Baims, Easy Club and Cauld Blast Orchestra fame. With Finlay MacDonald (bagpipes, whistle), Chris Stout (fiddle), Ken McBeth (synth), Gordon Duncan (bagpipes) and Tony Cuffe (guitar, vocals).

Photo Credits: (1ff) Greentrax CD Covers, (19) Alasdair Fraser, (20) Robert Burns, (22) Dick Gaughan, (24) Robin Laing, (26) Eric Bogle, (30) Gordon Duncan (unknown/website); (21) Brian McNeill, (25) The McCalmans, (27) Siobhan Miller (by Walkin' Tom); (23) Davy Steele, (28) Tony McManus (by The Mollis); (29) Gary West (by Edinburgh Folk Club/Eberhard Bort).

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