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GORDEANNA McCULLOCH - "Sheath & Knife" - Fellside FECD117

Donkey's years ago I took part in a McColl/Seeger seminar on folk song performance. There were two Scottish people there who really caught the ear. One was John Watt, the other, Gordeanna McCulloch, and what a surprise it was to hear this big voice and expansive delivery coming from this teenage lass. I fully expected to hear much more of these two singers but in the years that followed their stars seemed only to flicker - this side of the border at least.

Now here's a chance for Gordeanna to be heard by all and sundry via Fellside's "chase up the back catalogue" policy. Thumbs up to them for that. The seventeen tracks here are taken from Gordeanna's Topic recording career dating from 1965-78 some as part of The Clutha, a group that has adorned the Scottish scene for many years. This includes the gripping title track. Few women could sing this as well as Gordeanna, in fact it's probably her Big Song. She had a good start on these mighty songs by virtue of the influential Norman Buchan and the Rutherglen Academy Ballads Club. Blessed be the teachers! Gordeanna listened and learned form the likes of Jeannie Robertson and the Stewarts. She learned well - Scotland has always had the best women singers and Gordeanna ranks high among them for voice, style and commitment.

I'm delighted to see her coming into public notice once more. Take notice, public! Let's hear more of Gordeanna McCulloch live as well as on record.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 21 of The Living Tradition magazine.