Featured Album: James Scott Skinner - The Strathspey King December 19 2018

Time for a look & listen back to 'The Strathspey King, an album of recordings by James Scott Skinner (1843–1927). Skinner is a legendary character and a key figure in Scottish traditional music. He took the art of Scottish fiddle music to a new height through his playing and his compositions. This album gives the listener a chance to hear the man himself perform tunes which are so well known and played throughout the tradition.

You can listen to clips from the album and read more about it below, and you can purchase the CD or a download (with album sleevenotes) here.

The Strathspey King album features Skinner recordings from the period 1905-1922, which were originally recorded on cylinder and early vinyl discs. These recordings were first released as a collection in the 1970s by Topic Records, but due to the original recording process they were extremely noisy, some of them to the point where the quality of the recording distracted from the music itself. When Temple Records released this album in 2002, we utilised advances in modern audio technology and processed the original tracks with sophisticated CEDAR processing equipment to remove as much of the background noise and hiss as possible, without affecting the quality of the music. We've included two versions of the final track on the album - one processed with noise removal, and one untreated - to illustrate the difference.

As Bruce MacGregor says - "We'll never truly know what went on in Skinner's mind, or fully understand what drove him on; in many respects it doesn't really matter. What is clear is that his music possesses the unique elements of Scottish music; passion, vigour, heart and soul"

"The Strathspey King is all that a reissue should be, important music with improved sound, informative illustrated notes and a generous twenty two tracks all beautifully presented. This is a superb and important release. Please buy it - who knows what gems could be reissued next if enough interest is shown in this one. Brilliant"
The Living Tradition