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OSSIAN "Ossian" Springthyme SPRCD 1004

This album was a milestone album when it was released in 1977, twenty years later released on CD it sounds as fresh as the day it was released, a gorgeous acoustic album with the now fairly normal line up of harp, fiddle, uillean pipes, cello, whistle and guitar and vocals. In 1977 that was quite a stunning combination.

Ossian appeared on the folk scene seemingly out of nowhere with what was then, and still is now, a breathtaking standard of musicianship and oozing taste and confidence. They had served their apprenticeship in the folk rock band Contraband then, as if out of nowhere, appeared as what today might be referred to as an acoustic Celtic band. Their largely Scottish repertoire was fairly unusual for the time, the band coming out of the vibrant West of Scotland scene that also produced bands such as Battlefield, The Tannahills and The Whistlebinkies.

The original line-up of Billy and George Jackson, John Martin and Billy Ross is still regarded by many as the classic Ossian line-up. The re-release of this, their first album, will for many be as good as a new album as this was not as widely available as their Iona albums. For those wishing Ossian were still around, Smalltalk, recording for Greentrax is pretty much back to the original Ossian mould.

John Muirhead

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