A blog from Chris Bartter, trade union writer and communications expert in Scotland,
This blog is a small contribution in opposition to the right-wing consensus in the media, and will. hopefully, campaign for working people and public services.
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Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Roots men make rebel connection in Glasgow
Much has been written about the links between British folk music
and American roots music, much less so between British folk and Jamaican
reggae. But that is the area thatScottish Canadian musician Jason Wilson, and his band have been
exploring in the last few years, with the help of English fiddle player Dave
Swarbrick, and Scottish troubadour, Dick Gaughan. Last night's Rebel Musics
concert at Oran Mor, as part of Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival showcased
the results of that work, and previewed (it was designed to launch!) the
collaborative album Lion Rampant, that Wilson's Band have recorded along
with a multinational galaxy of guests
The links between the music are certainly more evident now than
they were two years ago, when I last saw them - Swarbrick's Spanish Ladies dance
tune works suprisingly well with a heavy reggae bass beat behind the fiddle!
And Gaughan was clearly 'dancing in the oldest boots he owned' as he delivered
Tom Paine's Bones! I hope it isn't heresy to suggest however that sometimes the
link looks too contrived? I'm not sure adding Marley's No Woman, No Cry,
on to the end of Burns' My luve is like a red, red rose adds much to our
appreciation of either, despite Gaughan's inimitable delivery.
To add to the international mix, Pee Wee Ellis, past member of
both the James Brown and Van Morrison bands, provided an excellent example of
funk sax playing on a version of And it Stoned Me.
Earlier, singer-songwriter, Fraser Anderson (think early John
Martyn meets a quiet Loudon Wainwright) played a laid-back set mixing his own
material with Bob Dylan, Peter Sarstedt and an interesting Woody Guthrie poem, Sweetest
Angel, that Anderson had set to music.
Links between national musical traditions, as this concert
showed, can come up with excellent new takes on old standards. They also
demonstrate that links between peoples, are often much more important than
national divisions. Gaughan's traditional finish of Hamish Henderson's
international anthem, the Freedom Come-All Ye,demonstrated that.
This is my Morning Star review of the Celtic Connections concert, Rebel
Musics, starring Jason Wilson, Dick Gaughan, Dave Swarbrick and Pee Wee
Ellis. It took place at Oran Mor on Thursday 23 January 2014. It is as written, as I think the para on Pee Wee Ellis, works better linked to the set in which he played. I've appropriated the Star's headline however, as it is much better than mine!The piece as published is here.