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THE CORRIES "Strings and Things, A Little of What You Fancy"
BGO Records BGOCD419
THE CORRIES "Live at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Sound the Pibroch"
BGO Records BGOCD437

The Corries! Love them (lots did and still do) or hate them (and some did and still do) are too often unfavourably remembered because of the hoards of those less talented who shamelesly stole and bowdlerised their arrangements and presentation style. Here is a chance to re-access and rediscover the original artistes.

The duo of Roy Williamson and Ronnie Browne developed from "Paddy Bell and The Corrie Folk Trio" through "The Corrie Folk Trio" and finally to "The Corries". They were heard and seen on many radio and television shows and featured on numerous television series of their own. They recorded several albums and toured continuously, playing to packed halls and theatres. Singing, joking, splitting their audiences "doun the middle" to compete with each other in the choruses and always leaving them wanting more. The Corries did all this, playing folk music and singing folk songs.

Not just the easy stuff either. These two double CDs show how wide and expansive their musical horizons were. Taking in the big ballads, bothy songs and music hall as well as older work from Lady Nairn, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Tannahill and newer songs from Ewan MacColl, Roddy MacMillan and of course Roy Williamson and Ronnie Browne themselves. All performed with good measures of attack, enthusiasam and humour, underlined by a belief in the strength of their material.

At the time these recordings were made, between 1970 and 1973, the term "accessible" was not used in regard to music or performance. Accessible, however, is just exactly what The Corries and their straightforward style of playing were.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 33 of The Living Tradition magazine.