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VARIOUS ARTISTS - The Park Bar: 50 Years Of Ceilidh Music

VARIOUS ARTISTS - The Park Bar: 50 Years Of Ceilidh Music
Private Label

Foot-tapping jigs, reels and marches are interspersed with Scots and Gaelic song in 19 cheering and top-quality tracks. Created to celebrate the golden jubilee of music in Glasgow’s legendary Park Bar, the album is a fitting tribute to this oasis for those far from their Highlands and Islands homes.

Eight tracks consist of dance tunes from premier ceilidh artists and bands, all with connections to the Park. Accordions – the landlady’s favourite instrument - feature prominently, lending a sweetness to the melodies. Of the 11 songs, exactly half are in the Gaelic language – one having both English and Gaelic lyrics. Only one song, Home To Tiree, has a woman vocalist. Bonnie Bessie Logan and Ye Jacobites By Name are the best known of the others. Two songs come from Donald Macrae, the man who started the whole thing off when he first sang at the Park during Hogmanay 1966 – until that year, singing had not been allowed in Scottish bars!

Most of the tracks are studio recordings, the exceptions being a live version of Home To Donegal, ‘donated’ by Skerryvore and a ‘Monday Club’ session from the bar, giving some sense of its atmosphere. An accompanying booklet contains song notes and artist profiles.

Jaunty, rhythmic, well-recorded and with fabulous musicianship, The Park Bar: 50 Years Of Ceilidh Music provides a stimulating and uplifting listen. The album’s full warm sound showcases the varying styles and moods of Scots ceilidh music at its best - and all sales proceeds go to the RNLI.

Jim McCourt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 119 of The Living Tradition magazine.