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Best Scottish Music

Scotland has one of Europe's strongest living folk and musical traditions, with an amazing number of singers, songwriters and musicians performing in every musical style. Some, such as Rod Stewart, The Proclaimers, Annie Lennox, Franz Ferdinand, and Snow Patrol are world famous. Others are less famous, and yet constantly tour the world. Belle & Sebastian have recently been voted as the best Scottish Rock band of all time. Travis came in second while Idlewild bagged third but there was a complete change of pace for fourth place, which was taken by late eighties popsters Wet Wet Wet. Further down the list were Simple Minds, Primal Scream, The Proclaimers, Sensational Alex Harvey Band and the tartan loving Bay City Rollers.

I am often asked to name my own favourites, and while that is no easy task, I thought I would list a few Scottish singers, musicians and bands that no lover of Scottish music should be without. To hear many samples, click on any of the links on this page, then choose an album, then scroll down to "listen to sample."

So here goes............

Mar a Tha Mo ChridheMar a Tha Mo Chridhe Julie Fowlis. Debut solo album from young North Uist-born singer and multi-instrumentalist who also plays in the band Dochas. The deserved winner of both the Gaelic Singer of the Year award andBBC Radio 2's Horizon award for breakthrough folk artist, Fowlis's music is beautifully, unselfconsciously romantic, steeped in the tradition of her Western Isles home and buoyed up by her sweet, clear voice and accomplished playing.

Jackie LevenOh What a Blow That Phantom Dealt Me. Oh What a Blow That Phantom Dealt Me by Jackie Leven. Great album from a singer, songwriter, who is one of the most talented performers in Scotland today. This CD is outstanding. Tracks include: Vox Humana. One Man One Guitar, Mellow My Madness.

My Secret Is My Silence. My Secret Is My Silence by Roddy Woomble. Tender and epic, enormous yet touching, Woomble's secret may not be his silence, but the brilliance of his musical friends.

Alloway Tales. Alloway Tales. An wonderful selection of Robert Burns songs performed by Burns specialist Ian Bruce. One of the best singers on the folk scene today.

Gaelic Scotland Volume TwoGaelic Scotland, Vol. 2. Traditional Gaelic songs from the Isle of Skye, Isle of Lewis, Uist and other areas of Scotland presented by a veritable "who is who" of Gaelic singers and musicians: Mackenzie, Clíar, Mary Ann Kennedy & Charlotte Petersen, Donnie Murdo MacLeod, Dòchas, Maeve MacKinnon, Iain MacKay, Blair Douglas. Original lyrics in Gaelic with English translations plus Information about songs and musicians.

Home AgainHome Again. Home Again is the first album from Edwyn Collins since his cerebral haemorrhage in 2005, which left the former Orange Juice frontman seriously ill in hospital. Don’t be fooled by the title, though. Recorded before Collins’ hospitalisation but only mixed after his recovery, this record isn’t so much a story of rehabilitation as and album written in the spirit of reflection.

Smile It Confuses People by Sandi Thom Smile... It Confuses People Sandi Thom. Debut album from a young Scottish singer-songwriter from Macduff in Aberdeenshire, who allegedly landed a deal with RCA after webcasting gigs to tens of thousands of net users from her Tooting basement. Drawing on a musical palette that varies from Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley through Carole King and Stevie Nicks to Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, Sandi Thom joins the dots between black and white music.

Do Whatever Turns You on Scottish indie rockers Aberfeldy return with their second album. Do Whatever Turns You On fuses catchy riffs with up-beat choruses resulting in a compelling record with elements of folk, punk and rock 'n' roll. Includes the single 'Hypnotised'.

Although Karine Polwart has been around in groups like the Battlefied Band and Malinky, Faultlines her first solo album. It's brilliant.The quality of all the songs, all self-penned, is remarkably high from the up beat 'Four Strong Walls' the jazzy opener 'Only One Way', the beautiful folky, 'Faultlines' and 'Waterlily' to the murder ballad 'Azalea Flower'. Best Scottish Music.

Ballad of the Broken SeasBallad of the Broken Seas Ballad Of The Broken Seas is the debut album from former Belle and Sebastian member Isobel Campbell and former Screaming Trees and Queens Of The Stone Age lead singer Mark Lanegan. Recorded in Glasgow and Los Angeles, the album mixes indie-folk and blues with Campbell's sweet vocals complementing Lanegan's harsh voice.

The Power and the PassionThe Power and the Passion This recording breathes new life into songs which have been around for a long time and makes them sound fresh and new, whilst still respecting and preserving their original meaning. Amongst the trios, the very intimate Over the Sea to Skye and Loch Lomond are particularly beautiful, as are the two Hebridean solos Sleeps The Noon and Land o' Heart's Desire. The third Hebridean solo, Mist-covered Mountains of Home, is a brilliantly catchy jazz-inspired number finishing on a huge, tenorial top note!

K.T. Tunstall. This Scottish raised singer, songwriter of Chinese ancestry debuts with a delightful album as mixed as her background. One of the most popular tracks is the fun-country live rendition of the foot-stompin' "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree". Eye to the Telescope.

Karen Matheson's vocals are the coolest, swirling and slamming, amazingly dynamic on Down River.

Eddi Reader one of the great voices in Scottish music today. Eddi Reader Sings the Songs of Robert Burns is one of the finest albums to come out of Scotland this year. Best Scottish Music.

Annie Lennox is a popular Scottish singer, born in Aberdeen. She formed The Tourists group and then The Eurythmics with Dave Stewart. She stopped performing with The Eurythmics and embarked on a solo career. In 2004 she won an Oscar for her song, ‘Into the West’, from the film Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Alasdair Fraser. Alasdair Fraser is recognized throughout the world as one of the finest fiddle players Scotland has ever produced. Best Scottish Music.

Michael MarraPosted Sober. Michael Marra, is widely acclaimed as one of Scotland's most talented and original songwriters and performers, He was born 1952 in Lochee, Dundee. This wonderful collections of songs and music will surely bring Michael Marra the wider recognication his awesome talent deserves.

Silly Wizard must rate as one of the top Scottish folk bands of many a year. Best Scottish Music.

Scottish Tranquility by famed Phil Coulter is one of his bestselling albums. Best Scottish Music.

Battlefield Band has been at the forefront of Scottish music for thirty years. This innovative group, which blends traditional Scottish music with other idioms, was named after the Glasgow district of Battlefield. Formed in the early 1970s, the band has undergone many changes of personnel over the years. Best Scottish Music.

Aly Bain is probably one of the best-known and most significant fiddle-players in the Scottish tradition. Aly Bain was born in Lerwick, Shetland, and was taught fiddle by the famed Tom Anderson. Aly was a founding member of Boys of the Lough and has often worked very successfully with Phil Cunningham since 1988, and also as an exceptional solo artist. Best Scottish Music.

Fiddle Music from Scotland. Fiddler Five features the best of Scotlands folk fiddlers. These musicians; Marie Fielding, Chuck Fleming, John McCusker, Brian McNeill and John Martin accompanied by Brian Miller on guitar and Alan Reid on piano, have played with the cream of Scotlands bands, including Battlefield Band, Ossian, Tannahill Weaver, J.S.D. Band, Five Hand Reel, Jim Johnstones Scottish Dance Band and the Laggan Band. Each Fiddler plays a solo track and they join together to reproduce a session in a mixture of old and well known material, plus obscure and newly written tunes.

Peatbog Faeries Over the last few years The Peatbog Faeries have proved to be one of the most popular Celtic bands around. With their rousing songs they are amongst one of the most popular acts at any festival, and can certainly claim to be a leading Scottish band.

The Corries, Scotland's most famous folk duo. Roy Williamson, 1936 to 1990, and Ronnie Brown formed this inlfuential folk band, playing a wide variety of different instruments and recording many albums. They are best remembered for Flower Of Scotland, written by Roy Williamson, which has been adopted as the unofficial Scottish National Anthem. Best Scottish Music.

Jimmy Shand, (Jimmy) (1908—2000) Accordionist, born in East Wemyss, Fife. He left the mines at 18 to work in a music shop and became a professional player, gaining acclaim after appearing on programmes such as the White Heather Club. He toured the world and continued playing in his later years. He was knighted in 1999.

Forever in Song Andy Stewart, of The White Heather Club fame sings great Scottish Songs including; Donald Where's Yer Troosers,. Highlandman's Umbrella, Loch Marie Island, Lovely Stornoway, Dancing In Kyle, Song Of The Clyde, In Praise Of Isla, Rothesay Bay, Joy Of My Heart, Loch Lomond, Stop Your Ticklin' Jock, Roamin' In The Gloamin', Wee Deoch An' Doris, Keep Right On To The End Of The Road.

Capercaillie are without a doubt one of the most popular of Scottish traditional groups of the past twenty years. Founded in 1984 by Donald Shaw, accordionist. The band also includes the incredible Karen Matheson, considered one of the best Gaelic singers of her time.

Tannahill Weavers Band formed in Paisley in 1968. Their hard-driving approach to Scots traditional song and tune, incorporating old and newer instruments, has made them hugely popular over the years. Dougie MacLean is a former member of Tannahill Weavers.

The Old Blind Dogs have stood at the leading edge of the roots revival that has both reawakened and revolutionised Scottish folk music.

The Proclaimers are a popular duo formed in 1983 by Charlie and Craig Reid, twins, born in Leith, and brought up in Auchtermuchty, Fife. They recorded their first album, This Is The Story in 1986. Sunshine On Leith followed in 1988. They have continued to release very successful albums and are popular both in Scotland and in the USA. Best Scottish Music.

Runrig Celtic band, founded by brothers Rory and Calum MacDonald on Skye in 1973. Runrig merge Celtic and Gaelic influences with modern Rock. They continue to perform in the Uk and Europe to sellout crowds.

Dick Gaughan, Scotland's most famous traditional singer and guitarist. Dick Gaughan was born in Glasgow and grew up in Leith. He recorded his first album in 1971. A guitarist, songwriter and record producer, he has worked mainly in Celtic folk music. Best Scottish Music.

Eric Bogle Remarkable songwriter from Scotland, now residing in Australia. Eric has been described as one of the most important songwriters of recent years.

The Rough Guide to Scottish Folk. With, Silly Wizard, Rory Campbell, The Tannahill Weavers, Alasdair Fraser etc;

Scottish Fiddle Encyclopedia. Offer fiddlers direct access to the gems of the genre. Composers represented in this volume span a three hundred year period including works by: Patrick MacDonald, Adam Craig, Capt. Charles Duff, Simon Fraser, Robert and Joseph Lowe, Robert MacIntosh, William Marshall, and J. Scott Skinner. Ms. Rideout's original compositions are also included. The tunes are listed in order by key signature to enable the fiddler to put sets together for performance, competition or session playing. This book contains extra marches and strathspeys unique to Scottish fiddling. The end of the book is dedicated to solo numbers consisting of piobaireachd, pibroch, and slow airs. The Scottish Fiddle Encyclopedia is an essential tune book for musicians interested in developing a deeper appreciation for genuine traditional Scottish fiddle music. Scottish Fiddle Encyclopedia.

Scottish Ballads.
Songs Of Scotland.

Traditional Music of Scotland.
Traditional Folksongs and Ballads of Scotland
Songs Of Scotland
Highland Dancing

Gaelic Music and Song

Jean Redpath, Scottish Singer, born in Edinburgh, brought up in Fife. She has had a distinguished career as a singer and interpreter of Scottish music. She has made highly acclaimed recordings of the songs of Robert Burns.

The Best of the Alexander Brothers Alexander Brothers, great Scottish Songs including; Mull Of Kintyre, Any Dream Will Do, Oil Rigger, Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again ), One Day At A Time, Scotland Scotland, Road To Dundee,. Flying Scotsman.

Jock Tamson's Bairns. The fantastic voices of Rod Paterson and John Croall are combined with wonderful accompaniment from Derek Hoy, Ian Hardie and Norman Chalmers creating an album that you will want to play again and again. Best Scottish Music.

The Dunkeld area is blessed with many incredibly talented Scottish musicians, song-writers and composers.

A few recommendations for great Scottish Christmas gifts. Eddi Reader Sings the Songs of Robert Burns is one of the finest albums to come out of Scotland this year. Scottish Tranquility by famed Phil Coulter is one of his bestselling albums. Gaelic Scotland is a delight on the senses for this truly romantic language.

The Scottish Ceilidh Dance Party is legendary the world over for bringing people together to listen and dance to the music of the Scottish Country Dance Band. Whatever your taste in Scottish Music, the Music of Scotland is alive and thriving, with an many singers, songwriters and musicians performing in every musical style.

The most popular Celtic Music CDs and latest Celtic Bestsellers can be found here.

 



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