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"Tac an Teine / The Fireside"

"Tac’ an Teine may be often movingly elegiac, evoking a bygone way of life, but it also flags up the enduring importance of the Canna House Archive- Jim Gilchrist, Scotsman Arts, Sept '22"


Failte gu Taigh Chanaigh- Welcome to Canna House!


This album by Fiona J Mackenzie is the culmination of many years working with and learning about the song collections and recordings made by John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw in their years as Gaelic folklorists and song collectors.  As Archivist for the National Trust for Scotland in Canna House, on the island of Canna, Fiona has been privileged to look after these wonderful collections, something which has been her life’s ambition.

Picture yourself arriving on Canna off the Loch Nevis ferry, to come to a ceilidh in Canna House......


Fiona waited until she was sure she truly understood how John and Margaret would want these songs to be heard and understood. This album is about the contributors, the songs, how we can learn from them today, to be inspired by them and to use them to create the New from the Old. Ther are no sounds to be heard onthe album which would not have been heard in or around Canna House, when the songs were originally recorded inthe 1930's and 40's. These sounds may include such diverses sounds as cats miaowing, doors banging, kitchen bells, dinner bugle calls, music boxes and cuckoos!  Just as they would all have been  heard at any 'fireside ceilidh' in Canna House!


Fiona is an award-winning and highly regarded Gaelic singer and she won the Royal National Mod Gold Medal in Stornoway 2005. This is her fourth album for Greentrax Recordings. This is another very important collection in the long list of Gaelic song albums released by Greentrax.


Session musicians are Katie Mackenzie (clarsach & vocals), James Duncan Mackenzie (flute, pipes), Rachel Walker ( vocals) Yvonne Lyon (shruti box, vocals, keys), David Lyon ( accordion), Pat Macleod ( vocals), Shula Higgins, (vocals), Raine Clarke(vocals) and Florence Cummings of Seattle (step dance).


Samples of the voices of various contributors from the Canna House sound archive are also included (see sleeve notes for details). 

The album was recorded in Rose Croft Studios, Muir of Ord, Scotland, early in 2022, by Barry Reid and mastered by Dennis Blackham at Skye Mastering.


The front cover image is a photo of Máiri MacRae and Angus John Campbell captured by Margaret Fay Shaw at the fireside in Tigh Máiri Anndra, North Glendale, South Uist, in 1930. Other photos are from the Margaret Fay Shaw Photographic Collection © National Trust for Scotland. Artwork by John Slavin of DesignFolk.

Fiona would like to thank Maoin nan Ealain Gaidhlig and The Campbell Discretionary Trust for their funding support . 

Track Listing

16 tracks: Failte go Taigh Chanaigh * Spinning Set * Ailein Duinn * Music Box Plays Bonnie Dundee * Puirt a Beul * Diuram * Milking Set * Fiddle From Margaret & ‘Anndra’ * A Canna House Luadh * Lavender’s Blue * Taladh Choinnich Òig * Ho Mo Leannan * An Gille Donn * Mo Chasan Dubh * The Basque Set * Ciobair an Lasair

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