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Freeland Barbour At The Old Fruitmarket 19/1/16

This was a night showcasing Scottish music and in particular the life and times of Freeland Barbour and his new book “The Music And The Land” which is a compilation of his compositions and photography from Cailean  Maclean.

The book covers Freeland’s travels and the music from those journeys. Various musicians write introductions to each chapter and many of them joined Freeland Barbour on stage playing the music featured in the book. These guests included Ross Ainslie, Phil Cunningham, Janet Barbour, Jane Gardiner and The Occasionals which Freeland is a member of. Narrator of the show was Billy Kay also a contributor to the book.

The lights dimmed and the sound of the highland pipes emanated from the rear of the venue as Ross Ainslie walked through the audience and onto the stage joining Freeland Barbour, together they got the show off and running with the tunes Blackstane Cottage and Pitlochry Highland Games. Ross then continued on his own with some of his own music and also tunes written by the late Gordon Duncan. Other guests continued to file onto stage and entertained with lots more music and poetry. One such guest was English folk royalty in Martin Carthy with some of his well known songs including Georgie. A very touching tune was played by Freeland and his daughter Janet Barbour, called In The Lamplight, which was written by Freeland for his wife. Another highlight was the introduction of Phil Cunningham. Two of Scotland’s finest accordion players sitting side by side playing Atholl Braes and Drunken Piper was a memorable moment as indeed was the whole evening.

This was very much a night of two halves with the first half being the concert and the second a ceilidh with the dance music provided by the full Occasionals Band. Whilst getting up onto the dancefloor was  much encouraged, non dancers such as myself could sit and absorb themselves in the tremendous Scottish music on offer.


Danny Matheson


Celtic Music Radio


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