Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

1986-2020: Celebrating Scotland's Music for over 30 Years

cover image for The Clear Stream (Guitar Music From Scotland And Beyond)
November 2004
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17 tracks: Kate Dalrymple * Accrington McBride’s Set * Roslin Castle * My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose Set * Lady Lothian’s Lilt Set * Zagreb * My Home Town * Leaving Stoer * She Of Many Names * Old Long Syne * Vigo * Da Day Dawns Set * Gille Callum Set * Sleep Dearie Sleep Set * The Battle Of Waterloo * Enfin Set * The Voddy Girders.

Featuring the guitar playing of Tony Cuffe, Jack Evans, Dick Gaughan, Rob MacKillop, Tony McManus (with Alain Genty and Soig Siberil), Brian McNeill and Innes Watson. The aim of this album project was to record guitar tracks by some of Scotland’s finest exponents of the instrument.

As always with such ambitious projects, availability of artists to attend the recording studio was an ongoing problem. Thankfully, the first artist to be recorded was the late Tony Cuffe, when, on a flying visit to the UK in 1994, four tracks were laid down. Other tracks were added, depending on the availability of artists - like good whisky, The Clear Stream was a long time maturing but the resulting album is comparable to a De Luxe blend!

There is a wide variety of guitar styles and amazing sounds. Listen to the Tony Cuffe tracks and it is immediately apparent why he was held in such high regard by other guitarists. Jack Evans, ex-guitarist with Jock Tamson’s Bairns and The Easy Club, plays his distinctive sounding Sobell guitar.

Dick Gaughan, who led the field years ago with his groundbreaking Coppers And Brass guitar album, performs some of his own compositions from the orchestral suite Timewaves performed at Celtic Connections in 2004.

Rob MacKillop has searched widely for the roots of the roots of Scottish music and recorded music from the medieval period on lute, mandour and cittern but here he returns to the guitar and has arranged some of the best tunes from his researches.

The long time interest of Tony McManus in the music of Brittany is explored here with two of the most significant players in France’s Celtic province: Alain Genty and Soig Siberil.

Brian McNeill came to the guitar in the mid-eighties while in Battlefield Band and he immediately found that with a guitar in his hands he could arrange more than on single line melody instruments and now enjoys composing for the instrument.

Innes Watson, at the tender age of nineteen and currently on the Scottish course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is the youngster of this group of guitarists and his main instrument is fiddle but you would not think so when listening to his guitar playing.

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