“Four Stars! Scots fiddle master Alasdair Fraser and young American cellist Natalie Haas have already created a considerable stir in their concert performances . . . A highly engaging session.” The Scotsman
"....So the idea of pairing a master fiddler such as Alasdair Fraser with the sublime cello playing of Natalie Haas might seem like a stroke of brilliance, something bold and new. But according to Fraser, it's a pairing that has deep roots in Celtic tradition. 'People may be familiar with the gorgeous, melodic cello sound,' Fraser says, 'but they're surprised to learn that the cello used to comprise the rhythm section in Scottish dance bands.'
Special guests include top players from the Celtic and new acoustic world: Irish fiddle/guitar comboMartin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, old-time fiddle master Bruce Molsky, Brittany Haas from trend-setting band "Crooked Still", Hanneke Cassel, Laura Risk, Ryan McKasson, Evan Price, Emily Onderdonk, Mike Block, Tristan Clarridge. Fraser, long regarded as Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador, and the sizzlingly-talented young California cellist Haas continue to delight audiences with live performances throughout the US, Canada and Europe and with their seminal and highly inspirational previous releases “Fire & Grace” and “In the Moment”, also available on CULBURNIE RECORDS.
Trad One tune taken on an epic journey—originating in Scotland as a strathspey, making its way to Ireland as a reel, then lingering slightly with a popular jig from the Gaeltachd, and finally crossing over to Appalachia as a breakdown.
Gordon Duncan The first tune is a popular modern session tune by “Ceilidh King” Fergie MacDonald; the second tune is a reel, written for a wedding which took place at the Ramnee Hotel in Forres.
Trad A very old Scottish reel; Pitnacree is a place in Perthshire on the River Tay.
Howie MacDonald / John Morris Rankin Two modern Cape Breton tunes; the first a march from fiddler and piano player Howie MacDonald, and the second a popular session tune by the late John Morris Rankin of the Rankin family.
Nathaniel Gow Nathaniel Gow Nathaniel Gow wrote the first tune on the occasion of the death of his older brother William, who was also a fiddler and leader of the Edinburgh Assembly Orchestra before Nathaniel took over the job. The second tune is the Irish adaptation of the same melody. A ‘gallowglass’ is a foreign mercenary soldier (usually a Scot) who fought in Ireland in ancient times.
Trad / Gordon Duncan The first tune is a pipe hornpipe; the second tune comes from the wonderfully inventive mind of the late piper and composer Gordon Duncan.
Alasdair Fraser Written for very fine Scottish Country dancing friends Marjorie and Richard McLaughlin on the occasion of their wedding.
Trad This tune’s origins are a bit mysterious. It may have begun its life as a strathspey (it has been claimed by both the Gows and by Alexander Campbell), but it is best known in its later song form as created in the early 19th century by Scottish poet Robert Tanahill.
Alasdair Fraser Dedicated to the beauty and strength of the Yuba river near where Alasdair lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Duncan Johnstone A modern Scottish pipe tune that won best march in a competition run by the College of Piping to mark the launch of the first oil rig from the Highland Fabricators’ Yard at Nigg.
Anton Seoane / Trad Two of the most popular dance tunes from Galicia. Anton Seoane of the band Milladoiro wrote the first; the second tune comes from the repertoire of the Pipers of Soutelo, led by Avelino Cachafeiro.
Alasdair Fraser Written for our two wonderful friends Pate and Judy Thomson for their 50th wedding anniversary.
Dominique Forges A schottische written by hurdy-gurdy professor and head of the traditional music department at the Conservatoire de Nevers in France.