CD A0348: Ceolbeg 5

Ceolbeg 5

CD coverModern folk sound with vocals, harp, pipes, keyboards, guitar, flute, bouzouki and drums. Since their last album, singer Davy Steele has been replaced by Rod Paterson, arguably Scotland's best male Scots singer. The overall band sound is the same as previously and this could be their best album to date. "Ceolbeg continues to seize opportunities for experimentation and development in a manner that is resolutely Scottish." (Dirty Linen)

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Ceolbeg: profile & index of recordings

Track Listing & Audio Samples

Ceolbeg 5

1.  Mother Farquhar
     A skate in the Hand is Worth Two on the Beach
     Gillies' Favourite
2.  Willie Wastle
3.  The Chow Man
     Catriona Og
4.  Cadal Cha
5.  Cockerel in the Creel
     Duncan Finlay's
     Black Cocks of Berriedale
6.  The Presence
     The Old Maid's Dream
7.  Borderline
     Les Freres Denis
8.  India
9.  The Nodding Song -Gude'en tae ye Kimmer
     The Skye Bridge Dance
10. Duncan Cla's
      Dr Iain MacAonghais
      Finlay MacKenzie
11. The Gaberlunzie Man    

CD Notes

CD Sleeve Notes

1.  Mother Farquhat - comp. Mike Katz. pub Grain Music
This tune pays homage to the semi-mythical American matriarch of the Jazz-Funk tradition whose name is proclaimed almost oath like in conjunction with especially good or innovative music: That's a Mother Farquhar tune. Obviously a prolific composer and an inspiration to generations.

A Skate in the Hand is Worth Two on the Beach - comp, Mike Katz pub Grian Music
Celebrates the alleged recreational activities of some dubious and lonely fisherman.
Gilles Favourite - trad arr Ceolbeg, pub Grian Music.

2.  Willie Wastle - comp Robert Burns, pub dom;arr. Ceolbeg, pub Grian Music
Had Robert Burns gone to Jamaica, as he threatened, we like to think the results might have been something like our treatment of this song which he wrote at a time when there was concern about the decline of the Scots language!

3.  The Chow Man - comp Ewan MacDonald; copyright Control
     Catriona Og - trad arr Ceolbeg; pub Grian Music.
This set exists as a juxtaposition of the traditional and 'modern' in Bagpipe composition. The first tune, composed by Ewan MacDonald(Scots Guards) on duty in south China, illustrates the unique opportunity that army pipers had to pick up influences in foreign climes. Catriona Og appears in Angus MacKay's collection:An old tune whose novelty reminds us how marches have changed over the last few centuries.

4.  Cadal Cha - trad arr Ceolbeg; pub. Grian Music.
Wendy learnt this well-known song from the wonderful Ishbel McAskill. It tells of a girl so besotted with a blond, blue-eyed young man-a skilled handler of dogs and guns-that she can get no sleep, poor lass. The sentiments expressed are often sung to another version in Scots, Aye Waulkin' O.

5.  Cockerel in the Creel - comp. Donald MacLeod. pub. Donald MacLeod
     Duncan Findlay's - comp. Jack Smith; Copyright Control
     Black Cocks of Berriedale - trad. arr. Ceolbeg;pub. Grain Music.
Three epic reels composed this century and played in the Scottish competition style. The composers will be known to you.

6.  The Presence - words Stuart McGregor, music Archie Fisher, MCPS & PRS
     The Old Maid's Dream - comp. Wendy Stewart; pub Grian Music.
Archie Fisher set Stuart McGregor's poem to this tune, and says it was written for a Highland spinster - with a gleam in her eye.

7.  Borderline - comp.Wendy Stewart. pub Grian Music
     Les Freres Denis - comp. Mike Katz; pub. Grian Music
The first piece was inspired by the peace and tranquillity of the Scottish Border landscape. The second is a slightly unusual jig written for a great family of Breton pipers who Mike met in Jakarta-Loic, Armell and Yannick.

8.  India - comp. Rod Paterson. Copyright Control.
The last of Dundee's jute babies scratches his head and wonders.

9.  The Nodding Song - Gude'en tae ye Kimmer - comp Robert Burns, pub.dom; arr Ceolbeg, pub Grian Music.
     The Skye Bridge Dance - comp Mike Katz; pub Grian Music.
A street song from Robert Burns which is unusual in that its subject is drunken women.

10. Duncans Cla's - comp H.MacFadyen; Copyright Control
     Dr Iain MacAonghais - comp Allan MacDonald; MCPS & PRS
     Finlay MacKenzie - comp Neil MacLennan; Copyright Control
A set of three jigs, the first of which was written by Hector MacFadyen(Mull) and collected by Duncan Johnstone. Allan MacDonald wrote the second for Dr.John MacInnes, renowned Gaelic scholar at Edinburgh University's school of Scottish Studies. From the older Willie Ross collection comes the third tune written by Neil Maclennan, Lochboisdale.

11.  The Gaberlunzie Man - trad. arr Ceolbeg; pub Grian Music.
Rod first heard this version of an old favourite from John Greig of Edinburgh, not long after James IV had it at No.3 in the charts.

CD Credits

CD Credits

The band would like to thank in particular their families and friends whose support, encouragement and paitence made this album possible.

Ceolbeg -a brief history

Peter Boond -flute, whistles, cittern, vocals
Mike Katz - highland bagpipes,electric bass guitar
Colin Paterson - guitar,vocals
Wendy Stewart -electric harp, clarsach, concertina, vocals
Jim Walker - drums, percussion,udu

As it was thought that this recording was an appropriate time to include some background to the band. I listed the past personel and was astonished to find that in the 18 years the band has existed there have been 28 members and 4 stand ins.

Ceolbeg has evolved both musically and instrumentally as new members have brought to the band their own styles and influences. Of the dozen or so line-ups only two have been complete changes.Other 'staggers' involved one or two leaving and being replaced, or not. Most members are well known individuals on the Scottish music scene and many have gone on to play with other bands or have pursued musical careers in other ways.

The melody instrumentation has changed over the years and has included uillean pipes, tenor banjo, whistle, mandolin, fiddle, flute, piano accordion and xylphone. The present instrumental line up of Highland pipes, harp, flute, whistles, guitar, keyboards, drums and percussion has existed since 1988.

Having enjoyed prominence on the Scottish music scene, the last five or six years have seen a consolidation of the Ceolbeg style and sound. This I believe is due to the commitment and quality of the musicians and singers involved over that period and also the confidence, commitment and enthusiasm of Ian Green of Greentrax Recordings.

It has been said that Ceolbeg is not so much a band as a club, and people at home and abroad would attest to both the musicianship and special quality of "good crack" which is the philosophy of this particular club.


All non-copyright tracks arranged by Ceolbeg
Recorded at Hart Street Studios, Edinburgh by Roy Ashby.
Produced by Jack Evans
Photograph by Norman Chalmers
Sleeve design & 'mac-montage'
1996 John Haxby, Art Surgery

Cockenzie Business Centre
Edinburgh Road
East Lothian
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© 1996 Greentrax Recordings Ltd

Album Information

Title: Ceolbeg 5
Artist: Ceolbeg
Genre: Traditional / Scottish
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0348
Label: Greentrax Recording Ltd
Year: 1996
Origin: Scotland (EU)