This recording is a special collection of Scots Gaelic music and song, accompanied by Dáithí Sproule (guitar, of Altan) and Andrea Stern (harp), with singer Laura MacKenzie adding wooden flutes, whistles, concertina and Scottish smallpipes to the production’s colorful palette. The North Star Gaelic Singers also add their spirited vocals to two tracks. The album is a gorgeous selection of traditional music, ranging in theme from great longings to humorous delights, with a special connection to Scottish heritage in America.
The songs and melodies were sourced primarily from field recordings made in Duluth, Minnesota in 1937 of Scots Gaelic singer John Matheson, who immigrated to Duluth from Uig, Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland in 1905. In both Scotland and North America, Matheson was held in the highest regard as a traditional singer, and his music gladdened the heart of many an immigrant Scot in Duluth and beyond.
The Isle of Lewis
Eriskay Love Lilt/The Boatman
Mary, young and fair – a spinning song
O, my pretty brown-haired girl/Gogan of the big head/She put her knee on the old man
Sleep til daybreak
Mary of the bewitching eyes/I would willingly return
The Braes of Loch Broom/The Isle of Mull/My sweetheart is not here
I gave my love to the fair one
We will take the high road/Davey Maguire's Highland
I would go to the moon with you - a waulking (milling) song