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RAY FISHER Traditional Songs of Scotland

RAY FISHER  Traditional Songs of Scotland
Saydisc  CDSDL391

Ray Fisher is one of the special singers.  Her voice has a blazing calm which draws the listener to the story of the song.  She is truth-teller and spellbinder.  In the Stewart family term, she has the coniach.  No revivalist has come closer than her to the spirit and style of the traveller singers.
Traditional Songs Of Scotland is a re-issue of a 1991 album which finds her still at the height of her mysterious powers.  The 73 minutes include many of her well-kent songs.  She is accompanied by Martin Carthy on guitar, John Kirkpatrick on button accordion and melodeon, and her husband Colin Ross on Scottish small-pipes and fiddle - three Sassenachs at the service of a Glasgow lass.
Two of the strongest songs were learnt from the singing of Lizzie Higgins: Willie's Fatal Visit and Johnny, My Man warns men of the dangers of faithlessness and hard drinking.  Old men who marry young women fare badly in Hie, Jeannie, Hie and What Can A Young Lassie Dae?  The lover correctly observes the courtship rituals in Night Visiting Song, but an unfunny jest in My Laddie's Bedside ends his chances.
And that's just the Girl Power strand in these 18 songs.  There are plenty more, and a full range from tragedy to comedy, from lords and ladies to underpaid factory girls and country gowks.  This is great stuff from a great singer.

Tony Hendry
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This album was reviewed in Issue 78 of The Living Tradition magazine.