Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

1986-2021: Celebrating Scotland's Music for 35 Years

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21 tracks: Waldoboro * La Russe * Reedy Lagoon * Balmoral * Lord Lovat * Palais Glide * Frank Martin * Old Adam * Lily Russell * Liberton * Cavan Girl * Penicuik * Flotta * Donkey * Postie’s Jig * Drampire * Agnes * Gardybelaten * George Johnston * Ladies of Spain * Shiftin’ Bobbins.

The Occasionals are widely regarded as one of the foremost ceilidh dance bands. They have a huge reputation around the Scottish dance scene, and have been playing for dancing the length and breadth of Europe since 1986.

Great dancing nights are still to be found in halls around Scotland, where enthusiastic dancers birl and swing through lively sets. Here The Occasionals steer the dancers’ feet around the dance floor with a new selection of Scottish dances.

Accordionist Freeland Barbour initially joined forces with fellow ex-Wallochmor Ceilidh Band drummer Gus Miller, to ‘occasionally’ play for dances at festivals, and when Freeland invited banjo/mandolin player Kevin MacLeod to join that year, the basis of the current band line-up was secured.

However, since then, many fine musicians such as fiddlers Rebecca Hunter and Mairi Campbell, pianists Neil MacMillan and Gill Simpson, Runrig guitarist Malcolm Jones and drummer Ally MacIntyre have ‘occasionally’ performed with the band.

The line-up on Down To The Hall comprises Freeland (accordion, midi-bass, piano, whistle, clavinet, harpsichord), Ian Hardie (fiddle, Scottish smallpipes), Kevin MacLeod (electric tenor banjo, resonator, tenor guitars, bouzouki, mandolins) and Gus Miller (drums).

Over the past sixteen years the band has performed at many large and prestigious events, including Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections, BBC TV’s Talla a Bhaile, Tonder Festival in Denmark, Jakarta Highland Society, RSNO Viennese Balls, The National Mod and a thousand other public and private functions all over Scotland and beyond.

The Occasionals have released three previous albums on Greentrax (Back In Step, Live At The Music Hall and Reel Of Four) - both Ian Hardie and Kevin MacLeod also have solo albums on Greentrax.

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