The Tune book to the CD
Now approaching our 25th anniversary and stronger than ever, the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club explores the lively sounds of Scottish music, with repertoire that both acknowledges and reinvents traditional roots, drawing enthusiastic and loyal crowds. Regularly collaborating with some of the world’s best traditional musicians, the Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers deliver a charming and exhilarating show.
Musicians from 8 to 80 play together in our monthly gatherings, sessions and performances, and have recorded 7 CDs, with two of our CDs, “Gates of Gold” (2008) and “Of an Island” (2012), winning several awards. The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club performs in many festivals around Australia.
We have undertaken successful major tours including a 2 week tour of New Zealand in 2005, 10 day tours of Tasmania in 2008 and regional New South Wales in 2010 and a mini-tour of Western Victoria in 2012. Our last tour was the biggest ever: 18 days around Scotland, including Shetland, during September/October 2015. Next one – it’s a bit hush-hush as yet, but we’re looking at Canada in 2023!
The group collaborates regularly with some of the world’s best traditional musicians, such as American-based Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Chris Stout, Ross Couper and Catriona McKay from the Shetland Islands, Adam Sutherland from Scotland, as well as home-grown heroes such as Chris Duncan, Catherine Strutt, Chris Stone and Catherine Fraser.
The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club always gives a lively and captivating performance, with a heart-warming mix of the traditional and the contemporary, of songs and of tunes, that will bring a smile to the lips and perhaps a tear to the eye of anyone who can trace a link back to Scotland, to Shetland or even to Nova Scotia.
Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club and Friends – Gates of Gold CD review by John Williams
This is the fourth CD from this amazing group of musicians. Over fifty five musicians were involved in the recording. The sound they create is great to listen to on a CD although, like most groups, I prefer them in person where their unique sound can fill a venue. I love the whole idea behind the group and salute their achievements as evidenced by this CD. More experienced musicians nurture and encourage the less experienced to gain skills and experience the joys of public performance. The folk process as it should always be. I really like the way the group involves other people in the recordings such as the female members of the Wise Family singing ‘Wheels of Fortune.’ I also enjoyed the opportunity to listen to tracks composed by the members of the club in track one called ‘MSFC Originals’. There is the usual mix of Scottish fiddle tunes as you would expect such as the tunes of Neil Gow in ‘A Herd of Gows’ and ‘Ghost of the Gows’. The CD also includes music from other influences such as ‘Gates of Gold’ (Lyrics by Robert Louis Stevenson with a Welsh tune), ‘Johnny/Hughie/Billy’ and ‘Jack’s Jigs’ from Cape Breton and the ‘Cool/Young People’s Set’ from Louisiana, the Appalachian Mountains and Nova Scotia. Just for good measure Bob Dylan’s first song ‘Let Me Die in My Footsteps’ is also included. In 2008 the members of the group met Pascale Gemme from the Montreal group Genticorum at Port Fairy and in ‘The Butcher Bird’ have combined a tune composed by Judy Turner (club founder in 1995) with Pascale’s ‘Gigue de Salon’ (Living Room Jig). Guest performers on the CD include Chris Duncan, Jonathan Jones, Richard Klein, Bec Rigby, Gus Rigby, Catherine Strutt and Louisa, Lucy, Rowena and Ruth Wise If you like great fiddling coupled with a variety of singers and are not averse to toe tapping then this is a CD that I can highly recommend. It makes for great listening.
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