James Scott Skinner - The Strathspey King

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James Scott Skinner (1843–1927) 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 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


"I've always made it a rule never to give a ten out of ten score, but it's really important to rate this album as a perfect specimen within it's class of one. An unusually listenable testament to a unique genius from a bygone era. 10/10"
Sarah McQuaid

1. Luciana Polka 2. The Miller O'Him, Mackenzie Fraser, The Auld Wheel 3. Athole Highlander's Farewell To Loch Katrine, Cameron Highlanders, The Inverness Gathering 4. Arthur's Seat, Eugene Stratton, The Banks 5. Laird O'Thrums, Gavin M'Millan, Laird Of Drumblair, Gladstone's Reel 6. Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord, Marquis Of Huntley's Farewell, The Ten Pound Fiddle 7. Sandy Cameron, Miller O' Him, The Glenlivet 8. Triumph, Timour The Tartar, The Left Handed Fiddler, Speed The Plough, De'il Among The Tailors 9. Home Sweet Home, The Iron Man Strathspey, The Bungalow Reel 10. Cradle Song, The Braes Of Auchtertyre, The Athole Highlander's Farewell To Loch Katrine 11. Glengrant, Tulchan Lodge, The Parrot - Humorous Pizzicato 12. Mrs Scott Skinner, Mackenzie Hay, The Devil's Elbow 13. The Laird O' Drumblair, The Baker Reel, Will Ye No Come Back Again? 14. The Auld Wheel, Spinning Wheel, Bride's Reel, Mackenzie Frazer, Fairy Dance 15. Bohemian Melodies 16. Goodbye Gramin, Johnny Steele, James Hardie 17. Maggie Cameron, Athole Brose, The Devil In The Kitchen, Forbes Morrison 18. Sean Trews, Whistle O'e The Lave O't, Wha Widna Fecht For Charlie? 19. The Freebooter, Tullochgorum, The East Neuk O' Fife 20. The Freebooter (Is Your War Pipe Asleep), MacPherson's Rant, Tullochgorum & Variations, The East Neuk Of Fife & Variations 21. The President - Air And Variations 22. The President - Air And Variations (no noise removal processing, for comparison)

Artists on this release: 
J Scott Skinner

Further Information:  
Originally released on Topic Records in 1975
This remastered version released on Temple Records in 2002

Remastering by Peter Haig, Ewan MacGregor & Robin Morton
Record Production: Robin Morton

Temple Records Catalogue Number:    
CD - COMD 2084
Download - DD 2084

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