Ingleneuk

by Hector Gilchrist

Hector is blessed with a wonderful tenor voice and a way of carrying a song so that it touches the listener. Most of the backings on this album have been provided by Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer who are great performers in their own right but also have a way of complementing a song without getting in the way. The choice of material is wide and varies from very modern singer songwriter to Scottish traditional but it all makes good listening. The title of this CD is taken from the name of his boyhood home in Coylton, Ayrshire and is a tribute to his parents who loved singing.



A long term performer on the Folk Scene, Hector has appeared in Clubs and Festivals as a solo artist or in the duo Selkie. In this, his third album on the Wildgoose label, he has chosen many of his personal favourites, which have marked the journey from his native Ayrshire and a career in the Dairy Industry, which has taken him for lengthy periods to Cheshire, Aberdeenshire, Surrey, Dublin, East Clare, Isle of Man and Normandy. Through it all, folk music has remained a constant presence and a link to many friends where he has lived and sung. Now retired from business, he is finding more time to perform and to bring his audience that late night, fireside warmth round the Ingleneuk.

Hector Gilchrist  (Vocals, guitar ) 
Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer  (Pipes, flute, bass, guitar, accordion) 
Paul Sartin  (Fiddle, Oboe) 
Steve Poole  (Guitar)
Liz Thomson   vocals

1 Norland Wind. 
Violet Jacob/J.Reid 

A classic. Liz, my “Selkie” partner, encouraged me to learn this ballad and I admit to struggling to fit the couplets to the right verse initially. To an exile, it does paint an indelible picture in the mind, of the straths of Perthshire and Angus in autumn. 

2 Are Ye Sleepin Maggie. 
Robert Tannahill 

A lively arrangement by Vicki and Jonny, of the poem by Paisley born poet , based on a tune set by the Tannahill Weavers. I believe I may have slept through a few lectures at the Old Paisley Tech. in the late 50’s ! 

3 Lockeeper. 
Stan Rogers 

The late Stan Rogers song is another of my favourites, missed off previous recordings. 

4 Halloween. 
Violet Jacob / Jim Reid 

Violet Jacob wrote many fine poems in the local vernacular of the Mearns of Fife, although amazingly, it was not her natural tongue. This is a tale of remembrance on Hallows eve, by a ploughman, whose comrade, The “Heid” horseman, has been lost in the trenches and a new one, has placed his clothes kist next to the fire. It prompts us I think, to take the time to read the lists on the village war memorials, when passing by. Jim Reid’s tune captures the mood perfectly, as does Jonny’s sensitive, piano accompaniment. 

5 Corn Rigs. 
Robert Burns 

The works of Robert Burns, have been a lifelong interest and I have sung them since schooldays. When I started performing in the 60’s they were little heard in Folk Clubs. An earlier Wildgoose Records CD, “The Lea Rig”, has eighteen of the songs, but I had to include at least one. In this case, another conquest for Rabbie! 

6 Getting Over You. 
Janis Ian 

I have always loved Janis Ian’s songs. This one, although not a happy subject, is often requested and is one of my favourites from her extensive repertoire. 

7 Bogie’s Bonnie Belle. 
Trad. 

During our time in Aberdeen, I joined the local Folk Club and was made welcome. There, in the Station Hotel, I listened to and joined in with, many fine artists in the years between 1969 and 1972. This song is evocative of those years and also my links with the farming community. 

8 Lochanside. 
Trad. 

A well known, pipe tune, with words by the Scottish singer Jim Malcolm, which effectively conjure up the seasons in the countryside. One for the “ex-pats”. Put on your marching boots to Vicki’s pipes ! 

9 Fair Helen o’ Kirkconnel. 
Trad. 

I first recorded this song on vinyl at the Liverpool Folk Festival in 1966. It recalls the many friends whom I made during my eight years in Cheshire and at the Crewe Folk Club. The lass Helen, in this ballad, was obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time! The tale is well documented in Border literature. 

10 Lallans Love. 
Hector Gilchrist 

I have always been keen to keep the old tongue of Scotland and my native Ayrshire alive. The tune, to one of my earlier poems, (Translation available!) came to me, during one of many visits to the home of friends Michael and Carmel Scanlan, who live near Nenagh Co,Tipperary. This is dedicated to the family and thanks for the generous hospitality and friendship enjoyed over the years. 

11 Last Trip Home. 
Davy Steele 

From the pen of the sorely missed singer/songwriter, Davy Steele. The verses take me back to watching the Clydesdales on a neighbouring farm and the demise of the working horses in the 50’s, replaced inevitably, by the ubiquitous Fordsons and “Fergies” 

12 Valley of Strathmore. 
Andy M. Stewart 

A “Selkie” standard . Andy M. Stewart ‘s passionate song of longing, for a time past and probably gone. 

13 Shadow. 
Janis Ian 

No excuses for another Janis Ian number. I motor cycled last year from Surrey to Edinburgh mostly in the rain, to hear her in concert. Interpret this song as you will. Can I say more? Of course! 

14 May Morning Dew. 
Trad. 

My time spent working and living in Ireland, has left me with a love of that country, the music of its people and also, a better understanding of its history. Ennis, Co. Clare artist, Phil Brennan, brings it all to life in his paintings, one of which, depicts this scene of an abandoned cottage in decay, slowly returning to the earth. 
Norland Wind.
A classic. Liz
Are Ye Sleepin Maggie.
A lively arrangement by Vicki and Jonny
Sample not available
Lockeeper.
The late Stan Rogers song is another of my favourites
Halloween.
Violet Jacob wrote many fine poems in the local vernacular of the Mearns of Fife
Sample not available
Corn Rigs.
The works of Robert Burns
Sample not available
Getting Over You.
I have always loved Janis Ian’s songs. This one
Sample not available
Bogie’s Bonnie Belle.
During our time in Aberdeen
Sample not available
Lochanside.
A well known
Sample not available
Fair Helen o’ Kirkconnel.
I first recorded this song on vinyl at the Liverpool Folk Festival in 1966. It recalls the many friends whom I made during my eight years in Cheshire and at the Crewe Folk Club. The lass Helen
Sample not available
Lallans Love.
I have always been keen to keep the old tongue of Scotland and my native Ayrshire alive. The tune
Sample not available
Last Trip Home.
From the pen of the sorely missed singer/songwriter
Valley of Strathmore.
A “Selkie” standard . Andy M. Stewart ‘s passionate song of longing
Sample not available
Shadow.
No excuses for another Janis Ian number. I motor cycled last year from Surrey to Edinburgh mostly in the rain
Sample not available
May Morning Dew.
My time spent working and living in Ireland
Sample not available

Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

Hector Gilchrist has been around the folk scene for a very long time but this is the first time Ive had an opportunity to hear him first hand as it were. He is a renowned solo artist as well as a member of the duo Selkie. This is his third album.

He has the sort of voice that immediately appeals to the listener and his choice of material is wide ranging from traditional through to contemporary which he takes in his stride in equal measure. His long experience and maturity show through.

Apart from his own guitar work he is given extra sympathetic and innovative accompaniment by Vicki Swan (small pipes, double bass, flute), Jonny Dyer (guitar, piano accordion, piano), Steve Poole (guitar) and the Wild Goose almost resident musician Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe).

There are a number of folk standards competently recorded here including Stan Rogers Lockeeper, Robert Burns Corn Rigs, the well known Bogies Bonnie Belle and Andy M. Stewarts smashing song Valley of Strathmore. However, it is the two songs from the writing of Janis Ian, whom I readily confess is a new name to me, that caught my ear the most. Apart from the fact that Hectors voice and style are well matched to them, Getting Over You and Shadow are among the best contemporary songs Ive heard for some time.

There are a number of very Scottish accent tracks too of course but none too impenetrable! Another song that took my fancy was Davy Steeles Last Trip Home lamenting the passing of working horses where double tracking nicely complements the chorus.

Overall this is a smashing album that never palls due to the variety and careful programming of the material. For Hectors already established followers this is another album that Im sure theyll lap up and if you are teetering on the brink.. go on take a chance; I dont think youll be disappointed. This is a man who should be much better known than he already is.

Mardles

M Everett

This is quite simply a gorgeous album. Curl up in front of a blazing fire with a wee dram and lose yourself in the music.

Hector Gilchrist may be known to you as a fine exponent of the songs of Robert Burns and a half of the duo, Selkie. In which case, you know what to expect and you will not be disappointed; if anything, your expectations will be exceeded. If Hectors name is new to you, youre in for a rare treat.

The album has a well balanced mix of traditional and contemporary songs. The material includes two fine songs from the poems of Violet Jacob, the Robert Burns song, Corn Riggs, and two covers of Janis Ian songs. There is also a couple of personal favourites. Ive known Stan Rogers song, Lock-keeper, for many years from the singing of Marie Little. This version is just as good. Last Trip Home from the pen of the late Davy Steele is another favourite, again given Hectors gentle but powerful treatment.

A delightful surprise was to find Hector being accompanied throughout by Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer. This combination works so well together that I hope we see them performing regularly, or even occasionally, as a trio. Steve Poole on guitar and Paul Sartin on fiddle and oboe also support Hector on some tracks.

If ever an album fitted Shakespeares quote of if music be the food of love, play on this is it. Sit back, relax and listen.

Shire Folk

Jonathan Roscoe

Named after his boyhood home in Coylton, Ayrshire "Ingleneuk" is Hector Gilchrist's third album on Wild

Goose. Hector is, of course, familiar to many from his several years as a performer on the folk scene at clubs and festivals, as a solo performer or as half of the duo Selkie with Liz Thompson.

His latest album slips easily between traditional songs, such as "Corn Rigs" and "Fair Helen o' Kirkconnel", and singer-songwriter fare as represented by the two Janis Ian tracks - "Getting Over You" and "Shadow". A highlight is the version of Davy Steele's "Last Trip Home" with some lovely accordion work from Jonny Dyer on it. Hector has chosen many personal favourite songs with a wide sweep of subject matter - from a lockkeeper in Canada, to watching the Clydesdale horses on farms in the '50's,

but in each song Hector's mellow, laid-back vocals are given able and sensitive support by Paul Sartin, Steve Poole and in particular the afore-mentioned Jonny Dyer and Vicki Swan, whose small pipes and flute playing are a highlight.

As usual with Wild Goose recordings the CD comes with informative notes about each of the songs

The Folk Diary

Vic Smith

Hector is a very experienced singer with a long connection with the folk scene and a winning way of putting over the songs that he loves on his very warm, lived-in Scottish voice. He is a singer to coax and cajole the listener rather than trying to assault them with any vocal pyrotechnics. The Scottish tradition seems to be the basis of his repertoire, but there are two of the familiar Jim Reid settings of Violet Jacob poems, Burns Corn Rigs and items by Janis Ian and Stan Rogers amongst others.

His own guitar accompaniments form a pleasant and unobtrusive backing to his singing and there are fine contributions also from Vicki Swan, Jonny Dyer and Paul Sartin.

Shreds and Patches

Neil Brookes

I first saw Hector perform when I was a young lad at our school folk concert in the heady days of the 1960s folk boom, and was struck by his clear tenor voice, light Scots accent and simple but effective guitar accompaniment. Hector has more than enough talent to succeed in the music business, but like so many folk singers, his career (in his case in the dairy industry) took first place and so his singing has always been a sideline.

It is a sad fact of life that there are world famous singers in the acoustic music genre with a mere fraction of Hectors ability. Happily, he now has more time for both recording and performing, either solo or as part of the duo Selkie. His third CD for Wildgoose records shows he has lost none of his vocal skills in a collection of 14 songs that by and large reflect his Scottish roots, but also include material by a broad range of poets and songwriters such as Janis Ian, Stan Rogers, Davy Steele, Violet Jacobs/Jim Reid and Andy M Stewart. Although I remember Hector mainly as a singer of Scottish ballads and street songs, there are only a couple of traditional items (Bogies Bonny Belle and Fair Helen of Kirkonnel). His passion for Scots poetry make the inclusion of a fine versions of Burns Corn Rigs and Tannahills Are You Sleepin Maggie a must. Hectors mellow guitar accompaniments are enriched by Vicki Swan, Johnny Dyer and Wildgoose house musician and Bellowhead Paul Sartin, who all do just enough to add interest, but allow the songs to breathe.

As expected from a Wildgoose CD, Doug Bailey handles the technical side of the recording with his usual finesse, to give a well-balanced, warm sound. This collection may not be for you if you only crave excitement in your music, but it will surely appeal to anyone who likes a good song well sung.  Hector is remarkable in maintaining a zen-like calmness in his delivery, which is probably why his voice is still so good after so many years. As the title of the CD suggests, this album is one for cosy winter nights in front of an open fire, with a wee dram to complete the scene.

The Living Tradition

Pernille Rutzou

I sat a Wednesday afternoon and listened to quite a few new CDs. This one stopped me in my tracks. I had at that point in time only planned to take a sample, play a few tracks from each - but this one played all the way through.

The first thing that came to my mind was, that this was not an up-and-coming next new thing on the folk scene, the voice wasn't quirky and neither was it full of weird and wonderful grace notes ...it was maybe more of a voice you'd imagine in a setting around the piano ... but I'm afraid it was just so pleasing to the ear.

Hector Gilchrist has been described as `relaxed easy listening', which is true, as one does seem to sink back into the chair when listening to his rendition of Bogie's Bonnie Belle. Voice, guitar and a few gentle notes from the fiddle makes this stand out in beautiful simplicity. It is followed by a great version of Lochanside, a pipe tune with words by Jim Malcolm. Vicky Swan plays the Scottish small pipes on this one and Jonny Dyer the accordion, together they provide a real, yet unobtrusive, drive to the song.

The album holds a mix of traditional and contemporary songs, Norland Wind by Violet Jacob and Jim Reid, Stan Rogers' Lockeeper and Davy Steele's Last Trip Home are other favourites on this collection of great songs. It sometimes seems to me the term, easy listening, implies a kind of permittable switchoff but there is a real sense of these songs being lived in - and though you may find yourself relaxed, it is well worth it to listen carefully.

Net Rythms

David Kidman

This is a genuinely pleasing disc which will satisfy those who appreciate the gentler kind of expression and traditional values simply conveyed. It's an undemanding listen in that it doesn't plumb any intense emotional depths: however, that is not to underestimate its unassuming appeal. Hector is a warm-hearted, warm-voiced performer of long standing, and both of his previous excursions onto disc for WildGoose were conducted as one half of the duo Selkie (in company with Liz Thomson).

His style is soft-hued, sensitive and unhurried, mildly contoured, even a tad undersold perhaps (at least in terms of earthy passion), but always very equable and pleasant, and it's hard to find fault with his approach or his delivery. The CD title Ingleneuk, though taken from the name of Hector's boyhood home in Ayrshire, also most aptly characterises the cosy fireside ambience, glow and intimacy of his performances of these 14 thoughtfully-chosen songs. These embrace a pair of well-loved Jim Reid settings of Violet Jacob poems (Norland Wind and Halloween) and some contemporary classics like Jim Malcolm's Lochanside and Stan Rogers' Lock-keeper, with the surprising inclusion of a couple of Janis Ian songs. In addition, Hector's own dialect composition Lallans Love keeps the old Ayrshire tongue alive, while the ebullient Corn Rigs is a worthy supplement to Hector's earlier CD of Burns songs (The Lea Rig).

I didn't always find Hector's at times rather understated manner entirely convincing in terms of the song he's performing: for example, Davy Steele's Last Trip Home is taken quite briskly, almost too matter-of-factly (or at any rate it feels too easygoing), while Hector's takes on Bogie's Bonnie Belle and Valley Of Strathmore don't seem to significantly stand out from any number of other versions of these well-worn songs.

What does give this CD something more of an edge, though, is the instrumental arrangements, which have been carried out with an abundance of taste and skilled professionalism by Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, who also play on the majority of the tracks: Vicki plays small pipes, double bass and flute, Johnny Dyer guitar, piano accordion and piano. Hector also enjoys the benefit of more occasional, though neat and stylish, contributions from Steve Poole (guitar on two tracks) and Paul Sartin (fiddle on one track and some gorgeous oboe traceries on Lockkeeper). Not a disc to set the world alight, then  but that's not its intention, and thus no adverse criticism should be read into my commentary.


Surrey Folk News

Bill Haiselden

Hector Gilchrist has been in the folk scene since the mid-sixties when he was a resident at the Sing Out Club in Crewe, Cheshire. His first recording was on the Liverpool Festival record of 1966 and in this, his new solo album, is his third CD on the Wildgoose Records label.

On the fourteen tracks, he is ably abetted by other fine musicians: Vicki Swan on small pipes, bass and flute; Jonny Dyer on guitar, piano and accordion; Steve Poole on guitar and Paul Sartin on fiddle and oboe. This provides a variety of tones and textures to the tracks, making the CD one of those you can leave on for its entirety - if thats how you listen.

Gilchrist's Ayrshire origins are a real boon as a folk singer - his diction alone has a lyrical quality which, when combined with his gentle light baritone singing voice, means he passes the test for a solo album. What is more, he sings with sincerity, conveying years of experience and understanding. My favourite is 'Lallans Love', his own composition; a translation is available, but the lilting sound of the words is sufficient. The track which follows is exquisite, too, steeped in nostalgia for the days of working farm horses - 'Last Trip Home', music and lyrics by the sorely missed Davey Steele. Jonny Dyer's accordion adds to Gilchrists double tracking.

The words which will stay in you're your mind will be from 'The Valley of Strathmore' (context and origin annoyingly not mentioned on the sleeve notes). It is classic folk song material - a man's longing for his homeland and the sweetheart he left behind and regret that economic necessity tore him away from his roots:  'But if time was a thing I could buy o' the money that I have in store, I would give for one day by her side, in the Valley o' Strathmore'. Vicki Swan's plays along on the small pipes to complete the Celtic picture. Finally, not to be missed either this CD is 'Corn Rigs' from the pen of Robbie Burns: devotees of Scotland's bard will be glad to know that Gilchrist included eighteen Burns songs on an earlier CD.

The quality of the recording is excellent as is the production values of the colourful and mainly helpful sleeve notes.

fRoots

Thumbs-up

A long-time folk club performer, Hector's warm tenor voice and wistful old-fashioned singing style reminds me somewhat of Vin Garbutt. This lyrical CD contains Scots ballads, Janis Ian songs and sensitive accompaniment on double bass, piano, guitar, flute, fiddle, pipes, accordion.

EDS

David Eyre

Hector Gilchrist is one of those singers who has been singing since the 1960s, but never turned professional, preferring to stay in his day job in the dairy industry and not 'enjoy' the vagaries of life as a full-time folk singer.  Thus, I would guess that, despite his travels, he is not particularly widely known, although he does deserve to be so. Our loss, if this, his third record is anything to go by. Let's hope folk club and festival organisers move to rectify it, now he has retired from full-time work. He has a soft gentle voice from the west of Scotland that one could imagine is influenced by the climate there; the soft gentle rain of the area.


He has that indefinable knack, probably the result of maturity, of making his voice fit perfectly to each song and there are a wide range of songs on this album. There are two contemporary songs from Janis Ian, one well known song from Canadian Stan Rogers, and a Burns song, 'Corn Rigs'. Davy Steele contributes a ploughing song about Clydesdales that Burns could easily have written, and there's that well-known bothy song 'Bogies Bonnie Belle', where a traveller is seen as a better catch for a pregnant farmer's daughter than the baby's father, a farm worker. Hector sings all these with restraint and delicate changes of style.


Hector seems to have a real affinity for the poems of Violet Jacob, a Scots vernacular poet from near Montrose. These are set to carefully thought-out tunes, to my mind the best material on the album.


The album's accompanists deserve a mention: the small pipes of Vicki Swan, piano of Jonny Dyer and fiddle and oboe of Paul Sartin blend perfectly with Hector's voice.  Great production from Wildgoose Records.

What's Afoot

Colin Andrews

I admit that I am prejudiced in that an album of Scottish songs would not normally be my first choice for listening. It is therefore of greater than usual credit to Hector Gilchrist that he not only held my attention throughout all 14 tracks, but I removed the disc from my player thinking, "I enjoyed that!"

Hector has a fantastically clear, gentle tenor voice, and his guitar accompaniments are also thoughtful and sympathetic to the songs. What makes the album really stand out, however, is that he has selected material, which is perfectly suited to his style. It's probably due to my self?imposed unfamiliarity with most songs from north of the border that Bogies Bonnie Belle was the only one I'd heard before, and although I know the tune Corn Rigs I'd never connected it previously to the words by Robert Burns. Hitherto, several of the songwriters were also unknown to me, but I shall certainly look out for Violet Jacob and Janis Ian's songs in future if Hallowe'en and Getting Over You are anything to go by. Songs of the late Stan Rogers seem to crop up in the repertoire of many artists, and Lockeeper is another fine example from his pen.

On many tracks, Hector is accompanied by Vicki Swan on double bass, small pipes or flute, Jonny Dyer on guitar, accordion or piano, with guest appearances, too, of Steve Poole (guitar), and Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe). There's also a little vocal harmony on some songs, though I'm not sure whether or not this double tracked was by Hector.

So, play this CD, close your eyes, and let Hector's singing soothe your mind as it relaxes into images of the Scottish glens.