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JOCK TAMSON'S BAIRNS - "A' Jock Tamson's Bairns"
Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX112

Not quite all of Jock Tamson's Bairns' output but a sizable portion. Twenty two tracks which include the whole of the 1982 Topic recording, "The Lasses Fashion" and most of the Temple Records' release "Jock Tamson's Bairns" from 1980.

Jock Tamson's Bairns sit atop of a group family tree, with members moving on to other bands including, Ossian, Easy Club, The Cauld Blast Orchestra and Highland Connection. Although younger than the usual artistes booked at clubs and festivals, at that time, they soon established a strong following. Their style of playing and their fresh look at Scottish music was a welcome change from others, whose idea of folk music was strummity-strum guitars and songs, complete with jokes, lifted straight off Corries, Dubliners and Spinners records (this gutless, cabaret pastiche of folk music is unfortunately still around and I have too many CDs and cassettes that prove it).

Fiddle and concertina are to be heard well to the fore from, Ian Hardie, Derek Hoy, Adam Jack and Norman Chalmers, driven on by Jack Evans' guitar work and a batch of songs from John Croall, Tony Cuffe and Rod Patterson.

The material is still fresh and vibrant, with that hint of daring and urgency that marked a night with "the bairns" as something special.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 16 of The Living Tradition magazine.