Here's some lock-down listening to keep you going; 19 great tracks from Battlefield Band's 'The Producer's Choice' , a compilation which was released to celebrate the groups induction into The Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame a few years back. You can find more info on the album below, and a link to the sleeve notes, but it's not obligatory - just press play and enjoy!
In 2016 Battlefield Band were inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame, after almost half a century as internationally acclaimed ambassadors for Scottish folk music. With thirty albums under their collective belts, and thousands of concerts played worldwide, the honour naturally extends to all of the many great musicians who have passed through their ranks over the decades, as each individual brought something new to the party and added to the freshness and creativity that has defined the band.
Even as the music evolved and the personnel changed there remained a distinctive continuity to the 'Battlefield Band' sound. This cohesion can be traced, in part at least, to the long-term producer and manager of the group, who has overseen so many of their albums and continually brought talent to the fore. As a founder member and player-manager of the early Boys of the Lough, Robin Morton helped take the music he loves to huge audiences worldwide and his Temple Records label and record production have continued to fight the good fight since 1978.
These nineteen tracks are his choice then; personal highlights and favourites from the man in the producer’s chair. Enjoy!
Sleeve Notes: download the album sleeve notes here
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.
The Strathspey King
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.
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
We think it's time for a look back and listen to this great compilation album, 30 years after it was first released in 1988. A Celebration of Scottish Music celebrates the musical heritage of Scotland, played by some of the best musicians and singers in the field. These artists didn't (and don't) view their tradition as something of the past, but as a vibrant, contemporary music, as relevant today as it ever was.
This release was named after a concert of the same title, which was held in Edinburgh in 1986 to celebrate the hosting of the Commonwealth games, and features many of the artists who appeared in that show including Battlefield Band, Alison Kinnaird (harp), Cilla Fisher (Lowland singer), Christine Primrose (Gaelic singer), Hamish Moore (Lowland pipes), Jim Johnstone and his Band (Scottish dance band) and Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band.
Find out more about the album at www.templerecords.co.uk/celebration
"The selection of music covers a wide range, and is unlikely to leave anyone disappointed. Splendid stuff, and highly recommended"