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The Cast: Colours of Lichen

Mairi Campbell (voice, viola, fiddle)
Dave Francis (guitar, voice)

Traditional Scottish and Cape Breton tunes are skilfully blended with some of The Cast's original songs.

"The Cast have proven that subtlety and restraint are weapons that, when used correctly, are a lethal combination. A regal grace pervades their work and an eye for creating moods and melodic textures remains their ace card."
—Rock 'n' Reel

1
Giant (Stan Rogers)
Canadian songwriter the late Stan Rogers had a great love of Cape Breton.  In this song he imagines an unusual connection between Scotland and that island.
2
Broom o' the Cowdenknowes   *  Tha mi tinn
This song and accompanying tune were already old when, in the early 1700s, Allan Ramsay included it in The Gentle Shepherd and guaranteed its popularity.  A few years after its appearance there, it became a fad among "trained" fiddlers to try and add second sections on to old traditional tunes.  There's a story that the celebrated Italian composer Geminiani, then living in Dublin, had a go and gave up in frustration after "blotting several quires of paper".  We didn't attempt to take up where he left off, but we did discover that the old Gaelic air Tha mi tinn (I am sick with love) wove in well.
3
Aviemore (Joseph Lowe)  *  Ca' the Stirks frae oot the Corn  *   The Drummer  *  The Argyle Bowling Green
A selection of tunes from Keith MacDonald's 19th century Skye Collection.   Joseph Lowe was from a well known family of musicians and dance teachers, whose publications were the last word in dance and dance etiquette in their day.
4
Hall of Mirrors (Campbell/Francis)
5
Lullabye for a Very New Baby (Peggy Seeger)
Learned for the christening of Florence Kemp.
 
6
Memories of Father Angus MacDonnell (Mike MacDougall)
Mike MacDougall of Ingonish Beach in Cape Breton was a fisherman and a member of a great musical family in the northern part of the island.
 
7
The Duke of Gordon's Birthday (William Marshall)  *  The London Lasses   *  Da Eye Wifie (Iain MacLeod)  *  The Fyrish Reel (David Gordon)
Fiddler and composer William Marshall was in the service of the Duke of Gordon, and once his talent had been recognised was expected to turn out tunes for special occasions.  The tunes by Iain Macleod (of Shooglenifty fame) and Easter Ross farmer David Gordon are from The Nineties Collection, a gathering of new tunes in the traditional idiom instigated by the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland.
 
8
The Piper and the Maker (Campbell/Francis)
This song was inspired by Hamish Moore to whom it is affectionately dedicated.   Frank and Maggie are Francis MacConnell and Maggie Moore, two of Scotland's finest step-dancers.
 
9
Eventide (Campbell/Francis)
Sparked off by the day room at an old people's home in Edinburgh.
 
10
Basker's Delight (Brenda Stubbert)  *  Mrs McGhee (John Riddell)  *  The Black Hoe
Tommy Basker is Cape Breton's foremost mouth organ (or "tin sandwich") player, a great teller of tales and from a heroic step-dancing family.  Brenda Stubbert is from a younger generation of fiddlers and is a prolific and popular composer with a collection of tunes recently published.  John Riddell of Ayr was the first fiddler-composer to publish a collection of his own tunes in the 1760s, and was described by Burns as "that bard born genius".  His best known tune is the jig Dumfries House.  
 
11
The Auld Refrain (Campbell/Francis)
A brief excursion through some Highland episodes in waulking song form.
 
12
John Anderson, my Jo (Robert Burns)
This meditation on love, ageing and death is one of the finest songs that Burns ever wrote.
    All compositions arranged by Campbell/Francis, traditional unless credited.
Produced by Jack Evans.

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