Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Alison McMorland - "Cloudberry Day" - LTCD1003

Here we have another in the LT 'Tradition Bearers' series and a worthy entrant it is. Alison McMorland has always been a favourite singer of mine either on record or live and this album confirms the reasons why. She sings with a profound sense of the worth and beauty of her songs, and an understanding that comes from deep absorption in the subject. Not that she is a dry academic, but her singing life includes much collecting and reading, and the invaluable lessons gained from listening to the likes of Willie Scott, Lucy Stewart, and their like. Nothing beats that.

As for the songs, two of the 'big' ballads, 'Edom O' Gordon' and 'The Swan Swims Sae Bonnie' stand out for me. The first with its tale of bloody family feud gets full value in Alison's dramatic rendering, while 'The Swan..', better known as 'The Twa Sisters' is a tour-de-force, well backed by Derek Hoy's fiddles and Alison's own 5 String banjo. A singer needs to know what they are doing to attempt songs like this, they call for technique and talent of high degree. Alison meets the challenge triumphantly with her glowing voice and precise phrasing.

There are three non-traditional songs included, one being the title track 'Cloudberry Day' written by Alison's husband Geordie McIntyre. The others are Helen Fullarton's 'Traiveller's Joy', and Hamish Henderson's towering work 'The Flytin' o' Life and Daith', all three fitting inclusions in an album that shows us an artist convincingly at the top of her form.

Roy Harris

To Hear Some Sample Tracks Click Here (Needs Real Player)

Secure On-line mailorder service Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 42 of The Living Tradition magazine.