Temple Records artist Alison Kinnaird is currently in Germany, pursuing her parallel career as a visual artist, and working on her latest large glass installation. She'll be back in Scotland in time for the 2016 Edinburgh International Harp Festival (EIHF), where she will be performing as part of 'Harps@85 - A Celebration of The Clarsach Society' on 4th April. Devised and presented by Isobel Mieras and Gillean McDougall, this concert looks back on the journey of the organisation from their inception in 1931 to present, and features performances from many of their finest players including Wendy Stewart, Alison Kinnaird, Sileas (Patsy Seddon and Mary Macmaster), Corrina Hewat and Catriona McKay, alongside new voices from the emerging generation of harpers and music from harp ensemble, Na Clàrsairean.
For all you keen harp afficionados, we're offering a 10% discount on all albums and books in our Harp Music collection until midnight on Friday 19th 2016. This includes Alison Kinnaird's classic album 'The Harp Key / Crann Nan Teud' (our very first release in 1978), and her best selling book 'The Small Harp Tutor', along with albums by artists like Ann Heymann, The Rowallan Consort (Bill Taylor), Mac-Talla and Maire Ni Chathasaigh. It also includes some great compilation albums featuring harps and much more.
You can view all the albums in our Harp Music collection at: www.templerecords.co.uk/harpmusic
To apply the 10% discount, just choose your albums, then when you checkout, type the code HARPY into the discount box and press the apply button.
Battlefield Band and Guests, "Beg & Borrow"Reviewed by Sean Smith in the Boston Irish Reporter, Feb 2016
That Ireland and Scotland have many common threads
There are more than a few revelations on "Beg & Borrow"
in their respective music traditions is one of those truisms people seem to know intuitively, yet can often overlook or under-appreciate. So a recording project specifically dedicated to pointing this out is welcome indeed, especially considering the talent assembled: Scotland's venerable Battlefield Band, with 12 special guests (the 12 is no random number - it's the number of miles between Ireland and Scotland at their closest distance from each other) from the Irish and Scottish music scene, including New York City's Tony DeMarco, Nuala Kennedy, Christine Primrose, Alison Kinnaird, Aaron Jones and Mike Whellans. Also among them is Robin Morton, who is not only the album's producer and founder of the Temple Records label through which it's been released, but also a former charter member of the Boys of the Lough - a band founded on the principle of Irish-Scottish musical ties.
(the title is a sly reference to the interplay between the Irish and Scottish traditions), especially for those whose dominant impression of the Battlefield Band is their 1980s-90s incarnations, when they were known, among other things, for pairing synthesizers and other electric keyboards with Highland bagpipes and fiddle, and for covering Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising" - all of which they pulled off with singular taste and ingenuity. The group has had a complete turnover in personnel over time – the last remaining co-founder Alan Reid, player of those aforementioned keyboards, departed in 2010 - and is now a trio of some geographic diversity: Sean O'Donnell (vocals, guitar) from Derry; Alasdair White (fiddle, banjo, whistle) from the Isle of Lewis; and Mike Katz (bagpipes, whistle, guitar, bouzouki, bass) from Los Angeles. These three prove to be worthy successors to the Battlefield Band legacy, and along with their guests, have judiciously assembled a collection of tunes and songs that demonstrate very well the dimensions of the Irish-Scottish musical bond, as explained in the invaluable liner notes.Some connections are fairly obvious and straightforward:
For example, the four-reel set with Co. Tyrone melodeon player Leo McCann (formerly of the Scottish band Malinky) is a nod to John Doherty, the noted fiddler from Donegal, which has well-documented Scottish influences in its music; another set with McCann includes tunes taken from Allen Feldman and Eamonn O'Doherty's "The Northern Fiddler," a landmark collection of tunes and reminiscences from musicians in Donegal and Tyrone; Kennedy and Primrose, meanwhile, team up for a gorgeous rendition of the classic Jacobite song" An Gille Mear (The Gallant Lad)," originally in Irish Gaelic but translated here by Primrose into Scottish Gaelic, a lament for Bonnie Prince Charlie – whose efforts at securing Scottish independence were viewed with no small sympathy by many Irish. Primrose also sings her Gaelic translation for a verse in O'Donnell's performance of "The Blantyre Explosion," about the horrendous Scottish mining disaster that claimed the lives of Irish as well as Scottish laborers. Other instances of the Irish-Scottish rapport on ‘Beg & Borrow’
are perhaps more obscure, and quite fascinating. A set featuring Whellans on harmonica begins with the well-travelled "McCarthy's Quickstep," collected by Co. Kerry piper James Goodman but also found in Scotland, England and even the US ("The Gettysburg March") and then proceeds – with Whellans switching to rhythm behind Katz's small pipes – to "The Drunken Piper," a mainstay for Scottish pipers and dance band musicians but also played by Doherty (his name crops up a lot here) as a march. Fiddler John Martin (who played with pioneering 1970s Scottish band Ossian) cameos on a medley that opens with "The Braes of Mar," a strathspey in Scotland that may be recognizable to Irish listeners as "Love Will You Marry Me" or "Some Say the Devil's Dead"; it's also played as a polka in the south of Ireland and has a Quebecois relation, "La Belle Catherine." DeMarco and harmonica player Don Meade unite with the band for a Sliabh Luachra version of a tune found in Ulster but originating from Scotland - fiddler Kevin Burke translated the title from Irish as "The Whole Chicken in the Soup" - then proceed into a couple of reels, the first of which is the familiar "Fairy Reel," associated with the likes of Nathaniel Gow and Willie Clancy. Morton shows up on bodhran and backing vocals for "The Mickey Dam," a song - about a beleaguered Irishman's response to workplace harassment- that's been a fixture in Glasgow's Irish community. Of course, you're certainly free to pass up the musicological dimension
of the album and just listen to it for its own sake. But a little education can be fun, you know - and it can be quite enlightening to realize that the tune or song you're sure was thoroughly Irish was also enjoyed by the tartan-clad folks across the Irish SeaYou can learn more about the project at www.begandborrow.net or purchase the Beg and Borrow album direct from Temple Records
Mike Katz, Battlefield Band's great piper, is featured on the Maui Celtic Radio show this week (see below), and just to join in the general spirit of things we'll offer a 10% discount on any Temple Records album or DVD featuring the big fella.
Just shop as usual but when you check out, type the word KATZ into the discount box and press 'apply' and you'll get the discount on any album with Mike playing on it (other albums will go through at normal price) The offer runs until midnight on Friday 12th Feb 2016 and - you can find a list of albums featuring Mike at www.templerecords.co.uk/mike-katz-music or by using the search box.
On Sunday 7th Feb 2016, the Maui Celtic Radio Show features Battlefield Band's Mike Katz, who picks and introduces the music. Together with host Hamish Burgess you can hear fine music from bands that influenced Mike's career, and his personal favourites, with a good look at the Edinburgh scene where Mike made his home.
The show can be heard on www.bluesandrootsradio.com on Sunday 7th Feb 2016 in Australia 9pm, then Sunday in Hawaii 11am-1pm, and 1-3pm US/Canada West coast, 2-4pm Mountain time, 3-5pm Central time, 4-6pm Eastern Time, 9-11pm in Ireland and the UK, 10pm-12am Europe. The show repeats on Monday 8th Feb at 10am-12pm EST, and Friday 11.30am -1.30pm EST on Blues & Roots Radio.
In this new video
, Nuala Kennedy talks about Mo Bhuachaill Dubh Dhonn
(My Brown Haired Boy), the song she recorded for Battlefield Band's 'Beg & Borrow'
You can watch the video at: www.begandborrow.net/mo-bhuachaill-dubh-dhonn
and you find the album here at www.templerecords.co.uk/begborrowNuala is in currently in Scotland
to perform at the Celtic Connections festival, which coincides with the release of her new record 'Behave the Bravest'
(Under The Arch Records). You can find info on all upcoming shows and her new album at at www.nualakennedy.com
To celebrate the Bard of Ayrshire, here's Battlefield Band's take of one of Robert Burns best-loved works.
This recording is taken from the band's album Dookin', released in 2007 which you can find here: www.templerecords.co.uk/dookin
Alan Reid says in the sleevenotes "we were taken with the less well known melody that I found in Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum (published 1784) for it seemed to us to be like a new song. Johnson suggests it is the original tune used by Burns for this poem. But just in case any of you pine for the more familiar tune, we play a bit of it as an instrumental break – a case of proportional representation"
Alan Reid – vocal, piano / Sean O'Donnell – Guitar, backing vocal; / Alasdair White – Fiddles, whistle / Mike Katz – whistle, Scottish small pipes
We've just created sleevenotes for our free downloadable sampler, which features a selection of great tracks from our catalogue, and these notes will now be included in the folder when you download the music.
The sampler features tracks from: Alison Kinnaird, Christine Primrose, Peter Nardini, Sean McAloon, Dr Angus MacDonald and Battlefield Band members Alasdair White & Mike Katz and you can find it here: www.templerecords.co.uk/free-sampler
If you've already downloaded the sampler without sleevenotes, you can access the sleevenotes only by clicking the PDF below and printing or saving them.
All albums now downloadable
We've been working hard on our new website, and we're pleased to say that we've now made every album in our catalogue available to download directly from our website. The price is better than itunes et al, plus you've got the bonus of knowing that you're buying direct from the source, which allows a small label like us to keep releasing records of these great traditional musicians. Have a browse through the catalogue at www.templerecords.co.uk/digitaldownloadsSleevenotes
In addition, we're working away in the background to make all the sleevenotes available with our downloads. Temple Records and the artists on the label have always spent a long time preparing album sleevenotes, which contain lots of information about the tunes and songs, and we view this as an important part of the package when you buy an album. At the moment around 25% of the downloads include sleevenotes and we're aiming to make this 100% as soon as we can. In the meantime, if you buy a download from us that doesn't have notes included, and you'd like to get hold of them, just drop us an email
; we'll bring those notes to the front of the queue and we'll send them along as soon as they're available.Audio format
All the downloadable albums are currently available in good quality 320kbps mp3 files, and we're working on adding a lossless FLAC alternative for people who prefer this format. As with sleevenotes, if there's any album you'd like to get hold of in FLAC format right now, just let us know by email
and we'll bump it up the queue.
Black Friday fatigue? Try Green Thursday instead, with 10% off our Irish Music collection until the end of November.
Inspired by Battlefield Band's recent Beg & Borrow album, which explored common musical ground between the Scottish & Irish cultures, we've decided to run an offer on the great Irish Music in our catalogue. From Thursday 26th November until the end of the month, we're offering 10% off all albums in our Irish Music collection.
Just enter the word 'GREEN' into the discount code box when checking out and the discount will be applied to any music (downloads or CDS) from this collection. Albums that aren't in the offer will go through at full price as normal
Beg & Borrow is a new release, and isn't included in the offer, but with 18 tracks & 12 special guests it's great value anyway! You can find Beg & Borrow here.
We're gradually making our back catalogue available as direct downloads from www.templerecords.co.uk and we've just made Scottish harper & glass artist Alison Kinnaird's most recent album 'The Silver String' available as a download (FLAC or mp3) in our online store, with full sleevenotes and accompanying videos. It's also still available as a CD with accompanying DVD.
You can listen to a clip of the opening track 'Laura Bhisa' below and find The Silver String album here in our Secure Online Shop
On this album the group
, one of the great institutions of Scottish traditional music, have invited twelve special guests to explore and play the music and songs shared by the two vibrant cultures of Scotland & Ireland.
Guests include: Christine Primrose (Gaelic Song), Alison Kinnaird (Scottish Harp & Cello), Jim Kilpatrick (Snare & Bass Drums), John Martin (Fiddle), Mike Whellans (Harmonica / Moothie), Nuala Kennedy (Gaelic Song & Flute), Leo McCann (Melodeon), Aaron Jones (Vocals & Bouzouki), Barry Gray (Highland Bagpipe), Don Meade (Harmonica) & Tony DeMarco (Fiddle)
Beg & Borrow Release Dates:
Out now worldwide