Sunday, 30 November 2014

St Andrew's Day show 30 November

An all Scottish line-up on the latest edition of Off The Beaten Tracks. Some musings on the playlist...

The Fratellis - Whistle for the Choir
This was one of two singles released from their debut album, "Costello Music", the other being 'Chelsea Dagger' which most people know. It has a very catchy bit which is often played at sporting events such as rubgy internationals when Scotland scores a try, which happily they are doing more often these days under their new coach.

Barbara Dickson & Rab Noakes - Do Right Woman
Two stalwarts of the Scottish music scene, Babs and Rab have been playing together on and off for decades though herself has had considerably more success than he has. This is from a 6 track cd they released this year titled "Reunited". If you're not familiar with Rab's music I can recommend "The River Sessions".

Del Amitri - Move Away Jimmy Blue
Another reunion which took place in the last couple of years was Justin Currie and his pals getting Del Amitri back together. Their fans came out in force when they played to 8,000 people at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow back in January this year. 'Move Away Jimmy Blue' dates from their 1990 album "Waking Hours" which included what is probably their best known song, 'Nothing Ever Happens'.

Karine Polwart - Don't Worry
IAMKP, to use her Twitter handle, has a couple of dates coming up in January. One at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow on the 27th and Dublin on the 31st. 

Paul Anderson - The Beauty of Cromar Before Me
Paul is playing at Aberdeen City Music Hall on Dec 31 as part of the Granite City’s Hogmanay Concert. 

Pauline Alexander - Imagine
Pauline has a gig this Friday Dec 5th at Carlisle Folk & Blues Club.

The Proclaimers - Shout Shout
A shouty number from the Reid brothers. I still haven't seen that film Sunshine on Leith. Must add it to my Lovefilm list.

Ewan Robertson - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Breabach guitarist and singer Ewan does a pretty good job of covering Richard Thompson's classic number about love, death and motorbikes.

John Coletta - The Hill \ Tarzan
I think I'll be adding John's album "...sleekit, slivers..." to my Best of 2014 list as it is a fine collection of songs and instrumental pieces. He plays guitar and mandolin and sings. Apparently he used to in a band called The Humpff Family if you've heard of them.

King Creosote - Largs
Another film for my Lovefilm wishlist is "From Scotland With Love" as this is from KC's soundtrack. On Google under it say "The Scottish town of Largs is located in North Ayrshire, Scotland. It is a very popular seaside resort that is very rich in both Scottish and Viking history." So now you know. 

Coreen Scott - Who Knows Where The Time Goes
A song you're bound to know if you're a fan of Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny or just a fan of folk music as it's a song which is regularly voted as one of the best folk songs of all time. Nice version by Coreen.

Kim Edgar - The Ornate Lie
The title track of Kim's 2012 album. Last year she joined the band Cara which is "eine Irish-Folk-Band aus Deutschland, Schottland und Irland." Their wikipedia page is in German but there is the option to translate it -

Ewan McLennan - Song of the Lower Classes
Another excellent album (already on my Best of 2014 list) released this year is Ewan's "Stories Still Untold". Check it out - it's well worth a listen. Read a review of it at

Breabach - I Am Proud To Play A Pipe
I had to have a wee bit of bagpipe music for St Andrew's Day. This is from their album "Urlar" which was released last year.

Listen to the show at

Monday, 3 November 2014

Recommended albums of 2014

Thanks, as ever, go to promoters Geraint Jones, Bob Buchan, Jane Brace and Martin Hadden for the music they've sent me this year. And despite Acoustic Spectrum going off air last month I am still being sent the occasional new release which is much appreciated as it encourages me to keep putting shows together and uploading them to MixcloudThanks also to the musicians who have sent me cds or free downloads of their music. 

I'd say my favourites are Patsy Matheson, Ewan McLennan, The Rails, Ian Sherwood, Shinyribs and Tumbling Bones. 

These lists are in alphabetical order. 

UK & Ireland Top 20

Ross Ainslie - Wide Open

The Alt - The Alt
Polly Barrett - Probably Me
Broken Boat - Small Defeats
John Coletta - ...sleekit slivers...
Ultan Conlon - Songs Of Love So Cruel
Damian Helliwell - Metta
Luke Jackson - Fumes and Faith
Ollie King - Gambit
Patsy Matheson - Domino Girls
Ewan McLennan - Stories Still Untold
Mishaped Pearls - Thamesis
The Rails - Fair Warning
Rowan Ross - Fireflight
Kaela Rowan - Menagerie
Patsy Reid - The Brightest Path
Skerryvore - Chasing The Sun
Songs For The Voiceless
Twelfth Day - The Devil Makes Three
The Willows - Amidst Fiery Skies

Rest of the World

Hannah Aldridge - Razor Wire
Birds of Chicago - Live from Space
Hat Fitz & Cara - Do Tell
Robby Hecht - Robby Hecht
Jane Kramer - Break & Bloom
Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer - Maritime
Peter Mulvey - Silver Ladder
Amanda Rheaume - Keep A Fire
Run Boy Run - Something to Someone
Ian Sherwood - Everywhere To Go
Shinyribs - Gulf Coast Museum
The Sweet Lowdown - May
Tumbling Bones - Loving a Fool
West My Friend - When The Ink Dries

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