The songs of Robert Burns: male and female vocals, fiddle, guitar, with guests on bagpipes, cello, string bass, whistles accordion.



Hector Gilchrist is a long-standing performer of Burns work. With Liz Thomson, whose knowledge of traditional and contemporary Scottish folk is extensive, he sings here as half of the duo Selkie, known for their sensitive and easy style. Bill Eddies fiddle playing ranges from Scots music with the Aberdeen Strathspey and Reel Society to classical music with the University Symphony Orchestra and jazz with Jazz Avec and French connection. Amongst the many excellent musicians joining Selkie on this album is a rare appearance by Doug Bailey from WildGoose on guitar.

Away To The South’ard
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Lacy House/Right Under The Bridge
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False Lady
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Horkstow Grange
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The Death of Nelson
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Rod’s (Mr Adams’ Schottische/Portswood Hornpipe/Steamkettle)
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Poor Old Man
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The Coalowner and the Pitman’s Wife
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After the Floods
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Country Hirings
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Two Brothers
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Folk on Tap

JPB

The Robert Burns celebrations continue unabated with this excellent sampler of the Great Mans unrivalled songs.  We have praised Gilchrist and Thomson in these pages before now, and this fine album consolidates the impression we have had from their earlier work.  Augmenting their work on this present album is Bill Eddie who, had he so wished and desired sufficiently, could have been one of the most recorded fiddle-players in Britain.  WildGoose have done well to get him for 'The Lea Rig, and a great contribution he makes.  So - an excellent production all round.  AND its nice to hear BurnsOde to Autumn(or Westlin Winds as it is called here, and by which name it is better known in Ireland than it is in Scotland - a nice irony which would have pleased Burns).

   

Folk On

It's the season for issuing albums as witnessed by the mass of jiffy bags on reviewers' doorsteps these days.  It also seems that time of the century for Burns albums, for this is another entry.  No pretence at being the entire collection here but just a gentle offering from Hector and Liz (better known as the duo �Selkie�) with the aid of some delicate instrumental work from Bill Eddie, Tony Hooper, Chris Bartram, Paul Hutchinson, Doug Bailey, Fran Wood and Chris Thomson.

In a way, it's really Hector leading and the others supporting for he is a longstanding performer of Burns' works in his own right, although there's no doubting the love ofthe material which the others hold, and display.

I have to be careful in my praise here for I'm writing this just after reviewing the wildly different V-J Incident!  Seeking another description of the album which beats �gentle� I get �gently pleasing�.  There's a lack of pretension refreshing these days and the tiny quibble which MIGHT be forced from me is that it is too gentle in places.  Burns loved perfection and would have possibly found a smoky-folky performance of his work not to his liking.  I see nothing wrong in an up-front delivery where the song needs it but Hector obviously knows what he's about and the point is minor.  Full marks for the clever choice of instrumentation; fans of the bagpipes get their own pieces (and a written �excuse� for including them!)

It's a collectors' album, as are most other Burns' anthologies; he's been done so often it's really a case of how one likes the performers  in question.  This is delightful.