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TONY CUFFE Sae Will We Yet Greentrax Recordings Ltd cdtrax243

Sadly, this is the final chapter in the story of a man who gave so much to traditional music and song.

Born in Greenock, Tony Cuffe developed his craft as a singer and guitarist in Scotland's folk music boom of the 1970s and became an internationally recognised figure through his work with groups such as Alba, Jock Tamson's Bairns and Ossian. In 1989 he made his home in Massachusetts, where his solo career blossomed and his teaching abilities ensured the continuation of the carrying stream.

This album comprises mainly previously unreleased material - songs and instrumentals - gathered from various sources, including a projected solo album of Scottish and Irish love songs on which he was working before his untimely death at the end of 2001. Most of the tracks feature Tony's voice and guitar but in addition there's a song recorded with US band The Windbags, with whom he played for many years. There's a glowing tribute from guitarist Tony McManus on the sleevenotes and you can hear the distinctive Cuffe fingerstyle guitar in a couple of slow air/strathspey sets and a set of slowed-down Irish reels. Occasional guests include Laurel Martin, Derek Hoy, Jenny Clark, Billy Jackson and Norman Chalmers and the album ends with the title track recorded with Jock Tamson's Bairns in 1980.

Executive producer Stuart Eydmann must be congratulated on this project and for the extensive sleevenotes provided. "Sae Will We Yet" is a fitting tribute to a popular man whose contribution to the world of traditional music and song will be fondly remembered.

Alan McIntosh Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 52 of The Living Tradition magazine.