Duncan McCrone is a Glasgow-based singer-songwriter whose musical CV goes right back to the early Seventies, when he joined Hot Toddy, with Billy Ross (of Ossian fame) and Cy Jack, who has been his song-writing partner and fellow musician in virtually every musical venture since. Duncan and The Duncan McCrone Band are now well established in the Scottish folk scene but Duncan prefers to think of it as the ‘Duncan and Cy Band’, although they go out often as a trio of Duncan, Cy, Jim Yule and/or Stevie Lawrence.
Land Of Gold is Duncan’s first album for Greentrax, who welcome him warmly to the fold. The tracks include: Land Of Gold, featuring the wonderful Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes, about a girl who left the Hebrides to seek her fortune in Canada’s Yukon Valley; If Wishes Were Fishes, an Eric Bogle song loved by Ian Green’s wife June Green, to whom Duncan has dedicated the song; The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, the stunning love song written by Ewan MacColl; The Pioneers, a song inspired by the story of Bashir Ahmad, Scotland’s first Asian MSP; My Eldorado, a lament for a life unfulfilled and full of regrets; Matt McGinn’s classic Magic Shadow Show; Resurrection Road (aka A Clydeside Carol), with a featured vocal by the legendary singer-songwriter Rab Noakes; My Old Man, Ewan MacColl’s poignant observation of the effects of advancing technology on the lives of craftsmen and their families; The Song of The Skylark, an amazing account of one of the ‘brave little ships’, which alone saved 660 souls from the Dunkirk beaches; The Surf and The Silver Fishes, a song inspired by the loss of the Carradale trawler Antares which was sunk in a tragic incident off Arran in 1990. This is a brand-new version featuring just Duncan, plus Chris Stout’s wonderful piano arrangement; plus more tracks.
Despite this being Duncan’s fourth ‘solo’ album, he’s very aware indeed that it belongs just as much to his co-writer and life-long friend Cy Jack, who co-wrote the original songs, and was de facto musical director on this project, but couldn’t be persuaded to share the (ahem) ‘limelight’ with Duncan.
Duncan has always had a philosophy of working only with his friends, who just happen to be some of the finest musicians in Scotland and the North of England, and without exception they have given far more than 100% in helping make this Duncan’s finest album to date. On Land Of Gold, the honorary ‘Tron Band’ are:
Duncan McCrone (vocals, guitar), Cy Jack (bass guitar, double bass, keyboards, vocals), Jim Yule (guitar, vocals), Stevie Lawrence (bouzouki, guitar, bodhran, mandola, percussion), Ray Laidlaw (percussion), Chris Stout (fiddle, viola, piano), Catriona McKay (harp), Fraser Speirs (harmonica), Sandy Brechin (accordion), Finlay Macdonald (small and highland pipes, whistles), Kathleen MacInnes (vocals), Rab Noakes (vocals), Jim Jack (vocals) and Paul Savage (drums).
Land Of Gold was recorded, mixed and mastered at the legendary Chem 9 Studios in Blantyre by the amazing Paul Savage, who co-produced the album with Duncan and Cy. The process was ‘a joy from start to finish’.