Ian is absolutely delighted and the Greentrax staff are all very proud of him.
Ian himself has done so much to restore and promote the reputations of Scottish music and culture through his recordings of famous and less well known artistes. He has encouraged young bands and musicians and supports festivals and events locally and indeed throughout Scotland.
Greentrax Recordings will be again sponsoring Best Live Act Of The Year.
Far, Far From Ypres - Martignas Sur Jalle
Posted: 24th October 2014
Charlie Milne writes:
The above trip was initiated by a friendship between myself and a good, long-time friend Michel Bastida who is now the deputy mayor of Martignas. The town of Martignas is twinned with Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, and that twinning was started by a rugby relationship that I and several others have been involved with since 1987.
In discussions and emails with Michel I made him aware of the Far, Far From Ypres performance and what was being done to commemorate WW1. We are both interested in the subject and he was going to be responsible for setting up a 4-day commemoration event at Martignas covering the 15th to 19th of October. He liked what he saw and heard of the show and asked if it would be possible to get performers over there to appear with the show in their local theatre Gerard Philippe.
So we managed to get sufficient volunteers to go across, Ian McCalman revised the script and with assistance from locals, especially Susan Brun - a Scots lady originating from Musselburgh who is married to a Frenchman in Martignas - we worked to produce a decent translation.
We arrived in Martignas on Wednesday 15th October and on Friday 17th we took part in the memorial service for WW1 victims at the village memorial. It has the names of a Gordon Highlander, an American army doctor, a German soldier and two French soldiers, one local to Martignas on the memorial. The parade involved the local 13th regiment “The Dragons”, men from the veterans association locally, the town mayor and officials, the Deputy Prefet for the region, the American consul, the consul of Senegal, many locals and some 200+ children from the local schools, who sang ” Les Marsellies” during the ceremony. Gary West, our piper, played during the ceremony too.
In the afternoon we attended the opening of an excellent WW1 exhibition set up by locals - really wonderful from the front door which was a section of trench topped with barbed wire, to uniforms, weapons, field hospital of the period, model aircraft, tanks… the variety was tremendous.
On Friday afternoon we had a sound check and partial run through of the show, then on Saturday the performance itself. We followed some readings by local people of letters sent by one local man from the front line to his family at home, and the local Martignas choir who sang French songs from WW1 and the Bordeaux Regional youth orchestra. Our performance went down a storm with a standing ovation and continued applause until we came back out to take a final bow - what a fantastic experience.
The reduced cast of performers (15) for this one were Ian McCalman, Iain Anderson, Ian Bruce, Gary West, Brian Miller, Fiona Forbes, Anne Murray, Carole Prior, May Weatherston, Alan Prior, George Archibald, Jim Weatherston, Dennis Wilson, Gordon Stewart and me. Sandy Forbes helped out with the PA technicians. Several spouses also accompanied the team.
All performers were hosted by local people who invited them into their homes, looked after and fed them - as well as taking us out to restaurants and tours of local areas! An unforgettable trip on so many levels as the friendship, hospitality and humour, as well of course as sharing lots of singing will live long in the memory.
Paul McKenna Band German Tour Dates
Posted: 20th October 2014
The Paul McKenna Band will be on tour in Germany in November 2014:
The band enjoyed success at the 2012 Scots Trad Music Awards, with Paul winning Scots Singer Of The Year. The band were also nominated for Folk Band Of The Year.
Far, Far From Ypres Stage Show in 2014
Posted: 11th September 2014
After selling out The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at Celtic Connections 2014 and receiving two standing ovations in the emotionally charged main auditorium, this moving show is being presented several times again in the year of Homecoming Scotland 2014. It will also be in commemoration of this, the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the so-called Great War of 1914-18.
The cast comprised Barbara Dickson, Phil Cunningham, Dick Gaughan, Siobhan Miller, Ian Bruce, Stephen Quigg, Gary West (pipes), Stevie Palmer, Mairi MacInnes (Gaelic song), John Blackwood, Fiona Forbes, Anne Murray, George Archibald, Charlie Milne, Jim Weatherston, May Weatherston, Peter McCulloch, Kenny MacDonald, Gordon Stewart, Norman Gore (snare drum), Donald Hay (snare drum), Brian Miller (guitar), Tom Ward (concertina), Dennis Wilson, Carol Prior and Allan Prior. The narrator was BBC Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson, Peter Heywood took care of graphic projection and Sandy Forbes was sound advisor. Ian McCalman, who instigated the production and wrote the script, directed and Ian Green took care of promotion.
The cast of twenty-six included Barbara Dickson, Phil Cunningham and Dick Gaughan and was brilliantly produced by Ian McCalman. The entire cast rose to the occasion and gave stunning performances which even exceeded those of 2012. Narration was by BBC radio presenter Iain Anderson and the overhead projection was by Peter Heywood.
“Congratulations to you and all those involved in this unforgettable production…” (Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture)
“What a moving concert and magnificent evening…” (Norman Drummond, Chairman of Parliamentary WW1 Commemoration Panel)
”Overwhelming! This show should be seen by everyone. It was a beautifully crafted show. Come back anytime…” (Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Director)
“It was an incredibly powerful performance…” (Carole Robinson, Scottish Government Culture Division)
“Superb, two standing ovations says it all… (Alistair Findlay)
“Truly fantastic… I thought the entire production was sensational…” (Fraser McCreadie)
“It was an honour to be present at this wonderful event. You could have heard a pin drop during the performance and the audience showed its appreciation with a standing and resounding ovation at the end.” (Ian Green)
The show features the large screen projection of relevant images throughout the evening, enhancing greatly the audience’s understanding of the story unfolding before them. The format of the evening takes the form of two fifty-minute halves with an interval.
It has a cast of ‘folk singing stars’, who remain on stage throughout the performance, singing the ‘trench’, ‘marching’ and Music Hall songs of the time. From that chorus, groups and soloists come to the middle of the stage and perform songs, both contemporary and traditional, about the Great War.
The narrator, Iain Anderson, brilliantly links the songs with stories about the hero of the show, Jimmy MacDonald, who was born in “any village in Scotland”. It tells of Jimmy’s recruitment and training then follows his journey to the Somme and back to Scotland.
It would not be a Scottish tragedy without laughter, so there are also stories of humour and joy that take this production well away from the path of unremitting gloom.
Written and directed by Ian McCalman, the production features 26 folk stars. Previous performances have included Dick Gaughan, Iain Anderson, Barbara Dickson, Sangsters, Ian Bruce, Siobhan Miller, Ian McCalman, Stevie Palmer, Stephen Quigg, Ragged Glory, Sineag MacIntyre, Soopna, Donald Hay, Drew Talbot, Dennis Wilson, Brian Miller, Tom Ward and a host of others.
Ian McCalman wishes to encourage the use of the script by schools and colleges for educational purposes.
The cast for this concert included Barbara Dickson, Siobhan Miller, Dick Gaughan, Ian Bruce, Nick Keir, Stevie Palmer, Stephen Quigg, Donald Hay, Brian Miller and Tom Ward, with groups Sangsters, Soopna and Ragged Glory, plus Iain Anderson of BBC Radio Scotland. Peter Heywood provided overhead projection.
“an inspiringly convivial experience, where the audience joined the performers in choruses that echoed into the deep spaces of the hall… a standing ovation raised the roof of the Queen’s Hall for several minutes after the show had finished. It was a stirring end to a night honouring a terrible tragedy, one that left the entire audience moved and sombre, but strangely elated.” (Edinburgh Fringe concert review)
Celtic Connections, Glasgow - January 2012
Far, Far From Ypres - From A Scottish Perspective was presented in The Strathclyde Suite of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at the Celtic Connections festival on Saturday 21st January 2012. The show was a massive success.
It was sold out in advance and many people remarked that it was one of the most moving stage presentations they had ever witnessed. Members of the audience were visibly moved and at the end of the second half there was a genuine standing ovation.
Ian McCalman is highly complimented for his superb work as researcher and producer, while Peter Heywood’s overhead projection was well chosen and added greatly to the excellent stage performances of a cast of many, including Barbara Dickson, Dick Gaughan and narrator Iain Anderson. Everyone rose to the occasion and made this a very memorable event.
Far, Far From Ypres was originally one of four popular themed sections within the Greentrax 25th Anniversary Concert in October 2011 at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh.
“Powerful solos, robust melody and beautiful harmony, told stories of excitement and hope, suffering and endurance, humour and escapism, fear and disillusionment, in the words of those involved in the horrors of the Western Front.” (STV)
The Ian Hardie Memorial Concert held on 3rd September during the Nairn Music & Arts Festival was a sellout. Numerous artists, who Ian had worked with over the years, gave their services free and the concert was a stunning success. Viv Hardie donated one of Ian’s fiddles for a raffle and Greentrax donated several Ian Hardie albums. All proceeds went to charity.
Kathleen will be accompanied by Mike Vass (fiddle, guitar) and Mhairi Hall (piano). Special guests on the night are Rachel Newton with Lauren McColl, and Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin’ Big Band.
Presented by DHM Concerts.
Death of Jean Redpath
Posted: 22nd August 2014
It was with great sadness that I learned this morning of the death of my friend and Greentrax artist Jean Redpath. She died in a hospice in Arizona, USA, during the afternoon of 21st August after a fairly long illness. Jean was a lovely person and never failed to phone me when she came home annually for a holiday in Scotland - to what had been her Mum’s house in Elie, Fife. Most of her time was spent in the USA where she toured tirelessly but she also attained international recognition as a singer and ambassador of Scottish song. Her MBE was indeed well deserved. She called me some weeks ago when she was again in Scotland and it seemed she was saying ‘Goodbye’. I will greatly miss this lovely, warm person. Rest in peace Jean.
Jean Redpath was cremated in Arizona, USA. Her ashes will be returned to Scotland to be buried with her father.
The outstanding Karine Polwart and Blazin’ Fiddles (the current Folk Band Of The Year) will be topping the bill at this year’s festival.
Other headline acts will include The Friel Sisters, The Victorian Trout Conspiracy and local singer/songwriter Alex Hodgson, while the programme will again feature Massed Pipes And Drums, Open Stage, workshops, come-and-try classes, storytelling, pub sessions, and a wide range of family entertainment.
Organised by Haddington Pipe Band in association with the Waterloo Bistro, Trad On The Tyne is now in its fourth year. All the festivals to date have been shortlisted - and won commendations - for the Best Small Festival In Scotland title at the Scottish Event Awards.
The headline event at the 2012 festival in Haddington was Steele The Show, the outstanding tribute concert to the late, great Prestonpans singer and songwriter Davy Steele, who died in 2001.
Ian Green (Greentrax MD) is the Honorary President of the festival.
May 2014 Album & Event News
Posted: 22nd May 2014
The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry and companion Greentrax album are being launched on Saturday 31st May in Prestonpans Community Centre. The launch is by invitation only but the Tapestry will thereafter go on exhibition. It is an amazing work of art by Andrew Crummy and his many volunteer stitchers and is really worth a visit.
Dougie Vipond presented a programme on BBC TV Scotland over the festive period in which he examined the Robert Burns song Auld Lang Syne in depth. By coincidence he featured an Indian recording of the song, similar to the Bengali version included on our album The Scottish Diaspora. Vipond also travelled to Japan and visited a department store at closing time, when Auld Lang Syne is played over the tannoy, as in all such stores, to warn customers that shopping has ended for the day. This information is also included in the sleeve notes to The Scottish Diaspora. One of Dougie’s guests was Tony Roper who stated that his favourite recorded version of Auld Lang Syne is by Mairi Campbell of The Cast (also included on the Diaspora album and of course part of the Sex And The City movie soundtrack).
Discussion also centered around why so many people wrongly sing Zyne instead of Syne.
Christmas 2013 Newsletter
Posted: 4th December 2013
View or download our Christmas 2013 Newsletter (Adobe pdf format for print) with news on forthcoming releases and events, and also our Top 20 Albums in 2013.
The September 2013 Blas Festival tour ended on Canna.
Photo: National Theatre of Scotland
November 2013 Album & Staff News
Posted: 8th November 2013
The Scottish Diaspora double CD album (for the price of one CD) is in preparation for February 2014 release. Tracks have been selected, a front cover chosen and this will be off to the factory soon. Much research went into this album, which is full of surprises and quite unique.
Rottenrow Born is a CD and DVD combination by Ian Bruce and Ian Walker, receiving its finishing touches for a February 2014 release. Since the duo reformed, they have been getting a big reaction to their new songs which will be featured on the CD. The DVD will feature mainly their older material.
Welcome back to to Elaine (Accounts & Royalties) who has been on sickness leave since July and was in hospital for several weeks recovering from a major operation. The rest of the Greentrax team welcomed Elaine back in October and already our systems are working more efficiently! Thanks to those who sent good wishes to Elaine.
‘Auld Greenie’ - Ian Green - is 80 in January but still at the helm, and his book Fuzz To Folk continues to sell.
The Sangsters Trio
Posted: 8th November 2013
The Sangsters vocal group are now a trio: Anne Murray MBE, John Blackwood and Fiona Forbes.
“They are Scotland’s number one harmony group. They are indeed the sultans of Scottish song. Stunning close harmonies, well chosen material and some awfy funny asides - that’s Sangsters.” (Ian McCalman)
The latest Scottish Tradition Series album Gaelic Songs From The North Uist Tradition was launched at the School Of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh, on Friday 20th September. Already sales of this album have been excellent. This is the 25th release in this unique series.
Barbara Dickson continues to do high profile interviews on national radio and TV, and the new album To Each And Every One is selling extremely well in advance of Barbara’s 2013 UK tour commencing on 9th October and ending on 10th November.
A Spanish Civil War memorial concert - When The Call Comes - is being arranged by Daniel Gray on Sunday 12th October 2013 at 7.30pm in The Canons’ Gait (downstairs), 232 Canongate, Edinburgh. The Greentrax album Scots In The Spanish Civil War is still available.
Prestonpans School Children Perform at The Scottish Parliament
Posted: 8th September 2013
Infants and Primary School members of Prestonpans School sang The Toun o’ Prestonpans along with Alex Hodgson, who wrote the song, at a reception at The Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 4th September. They were brilliant and brought the house down.
Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter David Francey will be performing two dates in Scotland during Summer 2013: Stirling Folk Club (at the Rugby Club) on Monday August 26th, and The Gordon Arms Hotel in Yarrow on Wednesday August 28th.
“A trio that can write good quality songs, sing them with beautiful harmonies and play instruments as only experienced session and backing musicians can and must do, is a rare thing. This was a most enjoyable concert. Stories, explanations, the self-deprecation and the friendly jibes are all part of engaging the audience and helping them relax. Mike O’Callaghan, Pete Titchener and John Munro (in the wrong order) each brings his unique talent to the stage - fine mandolin/guitar playing, clear and strong lead vocals and tight-as-a-drum harmonies. They managed to sing most of the songs on their debut CD First Inversion, a few others and a couple of covers to boot. A great audience, a great concert and a great sound.” (Dave Greenslade, Acoustic Peacock Newsletter)
Kilmarnock Edition performances
Posted: 19th April 2013
Kilmarnock Edition have more concert dates lined up over the coming months:
Rura have just returned from a very successful tour in Germany during March.
Their album Break It Up had to be repressed twice and shipped to Germany as the audience sales escalated.
Visit the Rura official website for upcoming tour dates in the UK and abroad, to see videos of the band in action and to follow them on Twitter.
Winners at The 10th Scots Trad Music Awards
Posted: 11th December 2012
Congratulation to all the winners at the 10th Scots Trad Music Awards. Winners of the prestigious prizes in 2012 included Greentrax artists Mike Vass who won Composer Of The Year and Paul McKenna who won Scots Singer Of The Year - many congratulations. The late Ian Hardie, and Roddy MacLeod MBE were inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall Of Fame. See a list of all the winners.
Christmas Download Single from Fiona J Mackenzie
Posted: 29th November 2012
Fiona J Mackenzie is releasing a special remix of Air a chiad Latha den Nollaig (On The First Day of Christmas) from her 2007 Greentrax album Duan Nollaig (A Gaelic Christmas).
The single is to be released for Christmas 2012 and will be available on iTunes and other download stores.
Fiona is a former Gaelic Mod winner, and BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards winner.
The track is traditional, arranged by Sandy Jones & Fiona J Mackenzie and published by Grian Music.
Scots In The Spanish Civil War - ¡No Pasaran! - On Stage At Celtic Connections 2013
Posted: 24th November 2012
This concert is now sold out.
Greentrax is proud to announce that Donald Shaw is including a stage presentation of ¡No Pasaran! - Scots in The Spanish Civil War in the Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow on Sunday 20th January 2013, as part of the Celtic Connections festival. Greentrax has invited Ian McCalman to act as musical director, a position he has revelled in with the Far, Far From Ypres series of concerts. Ian has accepted and we are looking forward immensely to this concert.
Artists appearing will be: Dick Gaughan, Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre, Christine Kydd, Arthur Johnstone with Brian Miller, George Archibald with Charlie Milne and Donald Hay, Carlos Arredondo, Frank Rae, The Wakes, Gallo Rojo and Liederjan. The McCalmans, who of course have now retired, learned Peatbog Soldiers from Liederjan so Ian thought they would make a good replacement for the concert.
Most of the songs on the album, plus some others, will be performed in the concert. In addition, Iain Anderson of BBC Radio Scotland will read the Bob Cooney poem and Daniel Gray, author of Homage to Caledonia, will tell us something of the Scots who fought in the conflict against the fascists.
There are fifteen songs and a poem on the album. Ian McCalman got behind the new project and recorded six of the songs, including: Dick Gaughan’s unbeatable version of Jamie Foyers; Christine Kydd - Si Me Quieres Escribir; Eileen Penman with Tom Ward - Graves In Spain; Robin Laing with Steven Polwart - Picasso Paints Guernica; Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre, accompanied by piper Allan MacDonald - Viva Los Brigadistas. Ian McCalman searched his archive of multi-track tapes of McCalmans recordings and unearthed The Peatbog Soldiers, recorded live in 1979 by the original lineup of Ian, Derek Moffat and Hamish Bayne. It was originally adopted by The International Brigaders as their marching song.
Greentrax licensed the following tracks from various companies: The Laggan - Jarama Valley/Bandiera Rosa; Alison and Geordie - Another Valley; Carlos Arredondo - Viva La 15 Brigada / Viva Nicaragua; the late John Watt - Owt For Nowt; the Glasgow/Irish folk ‘n’ roll band The Wakes - These Hands; the late Jim Brown - Salud International Brigade; and Frank Rae - Hasta Luego.
Edinburgh’s Gallo Rojo recorded the high energy ¡No Pasaran! sung in Spanish. The poet and author Alistair Findlay submitted a poem late in the production of the album - When The Call Comes. Ian McCalman put music to it and enlisted the help of George Archibald to sing it. The poem – Hasta La Vista Madrid – by Bob Cooney was read and recorded by Iain Anderson.
We have received numerous complimentary phone calls and emails from radio presenters and customers who had so enjoyed the album that they found time to let us know, including one presenter who has played the late Jim Brown song several times.
A launch of the album was held in Barioja Tapas Bar in Edinburgh on Sunday 28th October 2012, when the absolutely packed bar was treated to songs by many of the artists on the album, described as a very memorable occasion by several.
CC De Adelberg, Adelberg Park, Lommel, Belgium, 1-3920
Celtic Night 14 - Caladh Nua, Dàimh & Anxo Lorenzo Band. Exploring the Celtic music scene. Young talent from Ireland, Scotland and established values-driven work from Galicia: a better exploration of the Celtic music scene is hardly conceivable.
Daimh’s festive Ho Ho Ho-Ro Gheallaidh aims to bring seasonal cheer with Hymns, Carols, songs and tunes connected with Christmas, New Year and Midwinter:
Featuring Special Guests Margaret Stewart & Steve Byrne.
Woodend Barn, Banchory AB31 5QA
Featuring Special Guests Margaret Stewart & Steve Byrne.
An Talla Mhòr, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Sleat, Isle Of Skye IV44 8RQ
Featuring Special Guests Arthur Cormack & Griogair Ladhruibh.
An Lanntair, Kenneth Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis HS1 2DS
Featuring Special Guests Calum Alex and Seonaidh MacMillan & Griogair Ladhruibh.
Eastgate Theatre, Eastgate, Peebles EH45 8AD
Featuring Special Guests Kathleen MacInnes & Steve Byrne.
The CatStrand, High Street, Castle Douglas, New Galloway DG7 3RN
Featuring Special Guests Kathleen MacInnes & Steve Byrne.
Greentrax receives Hands Up For Trad’s first Business Limelight Award
Posted: 2nd November 2012
Greentrax Recordings are the first recipients of Hands Up For Trad’s Business Limelight Award. The ‘Limelights’ are a monthly initiative launched in October 2012 that recognises the outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today. Hands Up For Trad exists to increase the profile and visibility of Scottish traditional music through information, education and advocacy. Read an interview with Ian Green about this award.
There will be songs from Eileen Penman, Alison McMorland & Geordie McIntyre, Gallo Rojo and others. Daniel Gray, author of Homage To Caledonia, will speak.
A dedication ceremony and anti-fascist pledge for locals who fought and nursed in Spain will be held earlier that day. Assemble at 11.45am at the Waverley Gate Entrance to Princes Street Gardens.
Death of Ian Hardie
Posted: 19th October 2012
With great sadness, we have to announce the death of Ian Hardie on Tuesday 16th October 2012.
Ian was an outstanding fiddler and composer and played with Jock Tamson’s Bairns, The Occasionals Ceilidh Band and others.
His funeral will take place on Tuesday 23rd October at 12.30 in Nairn, in the United Reform Church.
Ian Green was proud to have Ian Hardie on the Greentrax books and considered him a good friend as well as a great musician. He will be sadly missed.
Kathleen MacInnes at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Posted: 26th September 2012
Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes will be making a special guest appearance at Duncan Chisholm’s Affric album launch concert at Edinburgh Queen’s Hall on Friday 5th October 2012.
Kathleen will be known to Greentrax customers as a Scottish singer, television presenter and actress, who performs primarily in Scottish Gaelic. She is a native of South Uist, Outer Hebrides and lives in Glasgow with her partner and three sons.
In 2010, she appeared on the soundtrack to the Ridley Scott film Robin Hood. Scotland On Sunday awarded her debut album Og-Mhadainn Shamhraidh (Summer Dawn) as Best Folk Album - this was released by Greentrax in 2006 and will be available at the concert.
She was recently featured in the Transatlantic Sessions 5 series, along with Aly Bain, Jerry Douglas and other folk luminaries.
Kathleen will be joined by Boys Of The Lough founder member Cathal McConnell, Griogair Labhruidh and Allan Henderson.
“She has unique vocal colour and an ability to breathe dramatic life into her songs…” (Norman Chalmers)
The Great Tapestry Of Scotland Songwriting Competition
Posted: 19th September 2012
This competition was launched in The Scotsman on 14th June and entries closed on 14th August 2012. The winner of the nationwide songwriting competition run by Greentrax was Benny Gallagher (of Gallagher & Lyle) with his song Tusitala. There was excellent response to this competition and there were some very fine songs. It was a pity that only one could be included on the album. It wasn’t an easy call for our judges.
The Great Tapestry Of Scotland is a unique project to stitch the entire story of Scotland from pre-history to modern times, the brainchild of one of Scotland’s best-known writers, Alexander McCall Smith.
McCall Smith, together with historian Alistair Moffat and the artistic talents of artist Andrew Crummy, form a team with Scottish stitchers who will produce the world’s longest tapestry through one of the biggest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland.
Greentrax has been invited to release a companion double CD of songs and music to reflect many of the subjects of the panels of the tapestry. It will comprise some forty tracks and will include many items from the Greentrax back-catalogue, as well as tracks licensed from other companies and individuals. Examples of tracks being included are: The Proclaimers’ Letter From America, representing the ‘Scottish Pop Boom’; Eric Bogle’s now universally sung No Man’s Land evokes the ‘First World War’ panel and The McCalman’s Who Pays The Piper? represents the ‘North Sea Oil’.
Greentrax Recordings has also come up with songwriting competition with a £1,000 prize to whoever writes the best song to reflect one of the tapestry images as yet unmatched to an existing song. The winning song will also be recorded for inclusion on the CD (hopefully be released before the end of 2012). Entries will be judged by a panel including singer and songwriter Ian McCalman, as well as Alexander McCall Smith, Alistair Moffat, Andrew Crummy and Greentrax boss Ian Green.
Entrants must choose one of the following panel subjects to base their song upon:
The General Strike Of 1926
Scotland In Africa
James Watt And The Steam Engine
Robert Louis Stevenson
Scotland At The Movies
The creation of the tapestry is a unique opportunity to tell the nation’s history and to involve as many people as possible in the telling. The aim is to create a series of over one hundred and twenty panels that tell the key stories in Scottish history – everything from Duns Scotus to Dolly the Sheep.
The tapestry project will use a range of embroidery skills and over 30 miles of woollen yarn to translate Andrew Crummy’s descriptive artwork into a colourful, skillful and textured depiction of the history of Scotland. To date there are stitchers in practically every area of Scotland committed to taking part, all of whom share a passion for Scottish history and some pretty impressive sewing skills. The volunteers will work together for over 400 hours per panel to help make Andrew Crummy’s artistic vision a reality, and gift The Great Tapestry of Scotland to the nation.
Seventy-five children from Prestonpans Infants School have recorded local singer-songwriter Alex Hodgson’s song The Toun o’ Prestonpans to partner the panel ‘The Scottish Reformation - A School In Every Parish’.
BBC Alba TV has broadcast two wonderful tributes to Gordon Duncan this year.
Dha Gordon a-mhain (Just for Gordon) was a documentary about Gordon’s life, and his tunes which became a mainstay of the Scottish traditional music repertoire. It featured the musicians that knew and played with him, and those who continue to be inspired by his music, particularly his own pupils.
Cuirm-Ciuil dha Gordon Duncan (A National Treasure) featured performances from the fourth concert held in Gordon’s memory, in Perth in 2010, from Seamus Begley and Tim Edey, Willie MacCallum, Old Blind Dogs, Galician piper Xose Manuel Budino, The Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Pipe Band and the Gordy Duncan Jr Band.
Fiona J Mackenzie tour dates
Posted: 16th July 2012
To coincide with the release of the her album Archipelago, and the Kilmarnock Edition album Pay It Forward, Fiona J Mackenzie will be touring in August 2012 with Yvonne Lyon of Kilmarnock Edition and David Lyon, producer of both albums.
Aug 16th - Carnegie Hall, Portmahomack
Aug 17th - House Concert, Portree
Aug 18th - Tigh an Eilean Hotel, Shieldaig
Aug 19th - Lochinver Village Hall
Aug 20th - 2.30pm Strathpeffer Coffee Shop - live web concert broadcast - free entry
Aug 20th - Medicine Show, The Greenhouse, Dingwall
Steele The Show To Headline At Trad On The Tyne
Posted: 2nd July 2012
The headline event at the 2012 Trad On The Tyne festival in Haddington (31st August to 2nd September) is to be Steele The Show, the outstanding tribute concert to the late, great Prestonpans singer and songwriter Davy Steele, who died in 2001. Ian Green (Greentrax MD) is the Honorary President of the festival.
The show, which was a huge hit at last year’s Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, has been curated by Patsy Seddon. It will be performed in Haddington on Saturday 1st September and will feature a host of top-flight musicians, including Dick Gaughan, Patsy Seddon, Mary Macmaster, Siobhan Miller, Gary West, Kathy Stewart, Peter Boond, Andy Thorburn, Donald Hay, Eilidh Shaw, Amy MacDougall and Davy and Patsy’s son Jamie Steele.
Davy Steele was a key figure in some of Scotland’s finest groups, including Ceolbeg, Clan Alba and Battlefield Band, and recorded three fine solo albums. He is revered as one of Scotland’s most honest and eloquent voices, writing songs such as Farewell Tae The Haven, The Last Trip Home, Long Hellos And Short Goodbyes, Scotland Yet and Just One More Chorus, often rooted in the past and present of his beloved East Lothian home turf (though resonating much further afield) while giving new expression to traditional material.
The full programme for Trad On The Tyne, which is run by Haddington Pipe Band in association with the Waterloo Bistro, will be announced in July. It will be held at the East Haugh in Haddington and as with last year’s festival, a series of top-quality concerts will be complemented by come-and-try sessions, Open Stage, workshops, storytelling, stalls, a silent disco, late-night sessions, and a range of family entertainments.
“I am delighted to be given the chance to bring this show to East Lothian and to give people from far and near the opportunity to enjoy his songs once again. Davy always called Prestonpans ‘the centre of the universe’ but in fact his songs have universal appeal and, though written some time ago, are still very current. The show in Glasgow was a real celebration of Davy’s immensely powerful song-writing and I’m sure this event will be just as uplifting…” (Patsy Seddon, Davy Steele’s second wife)
“We are really thrilled to be staging this show, which both celebrates the amazing talents of one of East Lothian’s finest sons and showcases some of the country’s greatest musicians. The impact that Steele The Show made at Celtic Connections was quite extraordinary, and it is great - and very fitting - that we are now able to follow up that success by bringing the show home to East Lothian. It will not only be a wonderful musical occasion but also, no doubt, an emotional evening for all involved. We want to make this event something that can be enjoyed by everyone in Haddington - and plenty from well beyond the town, too…” (Alastair Bruce, Trad On The Tyne committee)
Greentrax at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards and Gala Concert 2011
The Awards took place at Perth Concert Hall on 3rd December, and included a Gala Concert and Festival Club. Winning an award at the glittering ceremony, hosted by Mary Ann Kennedy and Tony Kearney, is one of the biggest accolades on the traditional music scene.
Greentrax artists performing on the night included Barbara Dickson, Peatbog Faeries, The Paul McKenna Band, Rura, Salsa Celtica, Cathy Ann MacPhee, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas.
Winning Greentrax artists were:
Siobhan Miller - Citty Finlayson Scots Singer Of The Year - Siobhan is a member of a duo with Jeana Leslie, and the pair have two albums to their credit on Greentrax. Siobhan is regarded as one of the best singers of her generation. She hails from Penicuik.
Rura - Up And Coming Artist Of The Year - Rura were signed by Greentrax early in 2011 and currently the six lads are recording their debut album. Outstanding instrumentalists, they have a young singer to match.
Norrie MacIver (of Bodega) - Gaelic Singer Of The Year - Norrie was a member of the young band Bodega who recorded two albums for Greentrax. Norrie sings in Gaelic and Scots.
Mairi Campbell (of The Cast) - Music Tutor Of The Year - Mairi is a member of The Cast, who are probably best known for their singing of Auld Land Syne in the film Sex And The City.
Greentrax artist nominations also included:
Steele The Show – The Songs of Davy Steele - Album Of The Year - a celebration of the life and songs of the late Davy Steele of Prestonpans. The idea came from Davy’s widow, Patsy Seddon, who is compiling a book of Davy’s own songs and suggested an album sung by friends. The album was recorded by Ian McCalman and includes singers Kate Rusby, Karine Polwart, Sally Barker, Patsy Seddon, Siobhan Miller, Andy M Stewart and Dick Gaughan. A concert of the same title was featured at Celtic Connections in January 2011, and was later included as a themed section in the Greentrax 25th Anniversary Concert.
Brian McNeill - Citty Finlayson Scots Singer Of The Year - Brian is best known for being a founder and long-time member of The Battlefield Band. Since leaving the band in 1991 he has recorded several albums for Greentrax and added singing/songwriting to his already mighty reputation as a multi-instrumentalist, as well as author and producer.
The Paul McKenna Band - Scottish Folk Band Of The Year - with two albums on Greentrax, this young band have previously won the Up And Coming Artist Of The Year award and currently the band is gaining a huge reputation on the European and North American touring circuits.
Calum MacCrimmon (of Seudan) - Composer Of The Year - Calum is a member of the piping group Seudan (pronounced Shaytan) whose album of the same title was released by Greentrax in September, to quite astonishing acclaim.
Our congratulations go to all these award winners (and nominees) and we wish them good luck for the future.
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Greentrax 25th Anniversary Catalogue
Posted: 5th October 2011
The Greentrax Recordings 25th Anniversary Catalogue (pdf) is now available to view or download. A full colour paper version of the catalogue is also available from Greentrax on request - please let us know your mailing address.
Now available from Greentrax direct by telephone or alternatively online from MusicScotland.com - PAL format, Region 0, MACSDVD131 - running time 2hrs 45mins.
Featuring their Final Concert Uncut at The Queens Hall, Edinburgh on 10th December 2010 (5 Star Scotsman review), and archive footage The Good Old Days.
Rolling Hills of the Borders (Matt McGinn)
Gallant Murray (Trad)
The Broom (Trad)
Scots Abroad (Ian McCalman)
Instrumental (Nick Keir)
Come By the Hills (W. Gordon Smith)
Let’s Recycle (Ian McCalman)
Corryvreckan Calling (Nick Keir)
Ye Jacobites By Name (Trad)
12 Folk Days of Christmas (Keir/McCalman)
Scotland’s Story (Craig & Charlie Reid)
Moor Road (Ian McCalman)
Still Gonna Die (Shel Silverstein)
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
Rise Rise (Trad)
The Bonnyrigg Banker (Ian McCalman)
Leaving Denmark (Ian McCalman)
Don’t Sit on My Jimmy Shands (Richard Thompson)
Caledonia (Dougie MacLean)
Wrecked Again (Ian McCalman)
Skye Boat Song (Trad)
Westering Home (Trad)
So the Years Roll On (Ian McCalman)
THE QUIET STUFF
Seagull Cry (Ian McCalman)
Mothers Daughters Wives (Judy Small)
Green Grow the Rashes (Robert Burns)
The Last Leviathan (Andy Barnes)
SESSIONS, INTROS and FAST SONGS
The Holly She Bears A Berry
Lucky Puppy (introduction)
Embarrassing shanties and Derek’s only interview.
Dido Bendigo and Snow White
White Christmas at the hottest Tønder Festival.
Who’s the guy in the front row?
The Bells Of The Town and the art of drinking.
23rd Of June (or some of it).
Bound To Go - backing song (Ian McCalman)
Strome Walk - backing instrumental (Ian McCalman)
The McCalmans are:
1964 - 1982: Ian McCalman, Hamish Bayne & Derek Moffat
1982 - 2001: Derek Moffat, Ian McCalman & Nick Keir
2001 - 2010: Ian McCalman, Nick Keir & Stephen Quigg
Ian Green’s autobiography: ‘Fuzz To Folk - Trax Of My Life’
It has been Book Of The Month (April 2011) in The Scots Magazine, and has also been selected as one of the books in the 2011 Scottish Libraries Summer Reads promotion, so will be available in every Scottish library. The promotion will be launched on The Reading Agency’s National Readers’ Day on 25th June, and will finish in September.
The release date of January 2011 was also the 25th anniversary of Greentrax Recordings. Ian says, ‘I found it not only cathartic but also a fascinating journey of rediscovery’. The book contains some 120,000 words and Ian jokes that ‘he didn’t realise he knew that many’! The book also includes many photos and other interesting images spanning Ian’s busy life from birth on the 29th January, 1934, in Forres, Morayshire to the present day, managing Greentrax Recordings Ltd in Cockenzie, East Lothian.
The autobiography tells of Ian’s life in many locations in rural Morayshire, including life under a disciplinarian schoolteacher who was not afraid to use the ‘tawse’ on his pupils on a daily basis. His constantly interrupted education finished at Tynecastle Secondary School, Edinburgh, and thereafter Ian became an apprentice gardener under his father at the Convent of The Sacred Heart / Craiglockhart Training College, Edinburgh.
Ian describes sporting success in cycle speedway before signing on for three years in the Army where he served as a motor mechanic in the REME, spending almost two years in Korea and Japan. On being demobbed with the rank of full corporal, Ian had yet another career change and joined Edinburgh City Police, later to become Lothian and Borders Police, where Ian had a distinguished career.
After thirty years’ service Ian retired as a police inspector and, having spent a lot of energy on Scottish traditional music during those years, it seemed logical for Ian to embark on a career in the music business. In 1986 he launched Greentrax Recordings which has become one of the most successful independent record labels in the United Kingdom, specialising in Scottish traditional music.
During his police years Ian married June and brought up a family of three, yet found time to represent Scotland in the annual Angling International against England, Ireland and Wales, grow prize-winning chrysanthemums and brew and ferment award-winning beers and wines respectively.
Many awards have been bestowed on Greentrax and Ian himself, including the Hamish Henderson Award For Services To Traditional Music, plus entry into The Hall of Fame at the Scots Trad Awards, culminating with an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Ian and the work of Greentrax was also the subject of an STV documentary.
Ian continues to enjoy managing Greentrax Recordings, despite attaining the age of 76 years in 2010, and has no plans for retirement.
Excerpts from Amazon.co.uk Five Star and other reviews:
“This hilarious book tells entertainingly of his life so far. A terrific read.” (Scott Murray)
“This is a remarkable book. He has produced an archival document that rivals the best and yet, at the same time he’s managed to conjure up a ‘bloody good read’. Well done Mr Green!” (McCalman)
“This is one of the most honest, informative and entertaining works I have ever read. At times Ian Green writes with an honesty that is infrequently found these days. At times heart-rending, at times funny, sometimes controversial, sometimes intriguing – but always hugely interesting.” (Fiona J)
“Never have I read an autobiography which combined such a mix of sometimes very personal information, plugs for products and rumbustious criticism of people and organisations who have displeased him. One night I could not put it down until 2.00am. A great read.” (Chon)
“A really enjoyable read. I particularly enjoyed the way the author personalised the book with little comments to people past and present. I highly recommend it.” (Karmel Bogle)
“An immensely enjoyable book. The stories had me in stitches! In well chosen words Ian tells it exactly as it was in a language we can relate to and with such brutal honesty and great humour. A wonderful book which I will treasure and refer back to in years to come.” (Mary K Burke)
“The book not only tells of the label (Greentrax), but of the soldier, policeman, family man and friend behind it. The style is so well judged and reflects Ian’s conversational style so perfectly that you feel you have had a wonderful evening of chat with the man.” (N D Keir)
“This is an outstanding read. An autobiography of an interesting and varied life, honestly told and written in a readable and straightforward manner. Difficult to put down.” (May)
“Very informative, wide ranging. No airs and graces – the story is told from the soul which makes it interesting and exciting as well as being easy to read and understand.” (Rob Roy)
“Fuzz To Folk is the Scots Magazine ‘Book of the Month’ for April, 2011. The reviewer said it ‘hits the right notes’.” (C C Mack)
“Just wanted to say congratulations on the book which I’ve really enjoyed reading. Your account (of the Police) gives something of the flavour of the time.” (Dave Francis)
“I’ve read your book and enjoyed it. It was the perfect excuse to wallow in warmth during the bad weather with a good book.” (Mary Duff)
“An excellent book, written with great honesty.” (Bruce MacGregor, BBC Radio Scotland’s Music Café)
“I read it all at the one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. Brilliant.” (Frieda Bayne)
“What a bloody good read, Ian.” (Brian McNeill)
“Just a note to say how good your book is. The castor came off our bed and behold it was the perfect height… my mother couldn’t reach the top cupboard and guess what… your book! Seriously, it’s a great read and insight into an amazing and adventurous journey.” (Alex Hodgson)
“I thoroughly enjoyed your book… well done for remembering all those things.” (Chris M Ross)
“I really enjoyed the book… what an interesting and exciting life you have had.” (Cath Mattingly)
“Congratulations on the book. Must have been at times interesting and an uplifting experience for you in writing it, and no doubt a bit confrontational and disturbing as well… not to mention exhausting.” (Eric Bogle)
“I devoured it in a ‘wanner’… you write like you talk – straight and honest – just hope there’s no libel suits on the way!” (Ed Miller)
“Enjoying your book very much. You are in Korea at the moment!” (Bob Buchan)
“Just finished reading your autobiography – a great read. Was so impressed with Chapter 13 felt I must purchase ‘Far, Far From Ypres’.” (Peter D Wright)
“Thoroughly enjoyed the book. I surprised myself in a way. I thought I would avidly read every word of the ‘music section’ but found I really enjoyed every word of the other sections. Congratulations on a mammoth task undertaken and completed with such openness and humour, ‘warts (and piles) and all’.” (Jack Scott)
“Ian Green’s autobiography makes a great and varied read. The story of a man of all trades – founder of Greentrax, Scotland’s most successful and one of the world’s greatest folk music labels, successful gardener, and mechanic serving in Korea, policeman, angler and more.” (Michael Moll, Folk World)
“Just finished reading your memoirs. Well done Sir. Nicely written and can’t disagree with a word in the Oration for your Hon Doctorate.” (Dr Gordon Prestoungrange)
“I bought my wife your book for her birthday and she’s thoroughly enjoyed it.” (Robin Dempsey)
“I am in awe at the depth and detail of your work – it really gives your life and times their due.” (John Munro)
“It does tell the intriguing tale of a self-confessed ‘wee ragamuffin loon’ from the backwoods of Moray, who left school at 15 and ended with an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, for services to Scottish music.” (Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman)
“The life of Ian Green is certainly a packed one… there’s a remarkable story to be told as Green strolls through his life to the point where he founded Greentrax, the folk record company which has housed the diverse likes of Salsa Celtica and The McCalmans.” (Brian Donaldson, The List)
“I read it from cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed it.” (Peter Heywood)
“I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking part in ‘Take The Floor’. Your chat with Robbie (Shepherd), on your career and your book was just excellent, with the music complimenting the chat perfectly. We have had a lovely response from our listeners.” (Jennifer Cruickshank, producer ‘Take The Floor’)
The McCalmans Souvenir Brochure
Posted: 15th October 2010
The McCalmans Souvenir Brochure is now available direct from Greentrax.
It features photos and articles celebrating The McCalmans’ 24-year relationship with Greentrax and their 46-year, 6,000-gig career!
Paperback, 24 pages in full colour.
The Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust
Posted: 24th February 2010
The Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust, of which Ian Green is a member, recently held its Annual General Meeting and is again inviting applications for awards from the Trust. Applications are invited from any young person up to the age of 30, living or working in Scotland, who is finding that their financial circumstances are making it difficult to progress fully in their chosen field. Criteria for application and other information can be found on The Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust website.
Fiona J MacKenzie’s Duan Nollaig Christmas TV show
Posted: 19th November 2009
Fiona J MacKenzie, who sang at the Scottish Parliament on St Andrews Night, informs us that her Duan Nollaig Christmas TV show, which was recorded and transmitted prior to Christmas 2008, is to be broadcast again on BBC Alba at 8.15pm on Christmas Eve and also on STV around 11.30pm, also on Christmas Eve. Fiona performed songs from her album A Good Suit Of Clothes at Brodie Castle, Moray, recently and a contemporary ballet dancer interpreted some of the songs. See a profile of Duan Nollaig by the Scottish Arts Council.