> Folk Music > Records > Various Artists: Festival at Blairgowrie

Festival at Blairgowrie

Festival at Blairgowrie (Topic 12T181)

Festival at Blairgowrie
Various Artists

Topic Records 12T181 (LP, UK, 1968)

Festival at Blairgowrie (Topic 12T181, 1976 issue)
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Recorded by Bill Leader at a concert in The Angus Hotel, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, on 13 August 1967
with the cooperation of The Traditional Music and Song Assiciation;
Notes by Peter Shepheard;
1976 sleeve design by Derrick McRobert;
Photography by D Wilson Laing


Mary Brooksbank: vocals [5-6];
John ‘Hoddan’ Macdonald: vocals [9-11];
The Marsden Rattlers [7-8];
Jeannie Robertson: vocals [4, 12];
Willie Scott: vocals, melodeon [3];
Belle Stewart: vocals [1, 13];
Davie Stewart: vocals, accordion [2]


Side 1

  1. [BS] The Festival o’ Blair
  2. [DS] I Am a Miller tae Ma Trade (Roud 888; G/D 7:1489) (2.43)
  3. [WS] The Irthing Water Hounds (Roud 5692) (4.22)
  4. [JR] An Old Man Come Courting Me (Roud 210) (3.44)
  5. [MB] My Johnny (Roud 5693)
  6. [MB] The Jute Mill Song (Roud 2585)

Side 2

  1. [MR] The Bellingham Boats / Smash the Windows
  2. [MR] My Old Man / Puppet on a String
  3. [JM] Nam Shuidh So Gad Chuimhneachadh (Sitting Alone Thinking of You)
  4. [JM] Bas An Eich (The Poor Horse Buried at Sea)
  5. [JM] Mucan Bhalallan (The Whales of Balallan)
  6. [JR] MacCrimmon’s Lament (Roud 5134)
  7. [BS] The Berryfields o’ Blair (Roud 2154) (2.31)

All tracks trad. except
Tracks 1, 13 Jeannie Robertson;
Track 3 Isaac Pattinson;
Track 6 Mary Brooksbank;
Track 8a Fred W. Leigh, Charles Collins;
Track 8b Bill Martin, Phil Coulter;
Track 12 Malcolm MacCrimmon


Aisnia Cswica’s review is from Gramophone, December 1968:

Back of Benachie (mono 12T180) is a generous sample of the living tradition, with Sheila Stewart’s Mill o’ Tiffy’s Annie, Belle Stewart’s Bonnie House o’ Airlie, and Maggie MacPhee’s Back o’ Benachie. Sheila Stewart and her mother, like Lizzie Higgins and her mother Jeannie Robertson, span two generations, and show what has been lost further south in strength and renewal of singing. The same point is amply illustrated on The Travelling Stewarts, a companion record (mono 12T179), with their singing, their husband’s piping and the first Topic recording of Christina Stewart, Davie Stewart, and his daughter Jane. The other meaning of a living tradition—the spontaneous renewal of the songs as well as the singers—is brought out in Festival at Blairgowrie (mono 12T181), where Belle Stewart sings both the Berryfields o’ Blair, which she wrote forty years ago, and her 1966 parody of it; while the indefatigable Mary Brooksbank, having composed one of the shortest and clearest of radical statements in her Jute Mill Song (“Oh dear me, the world’s ill divided / Them that work the hardest are the least provided”), returns at the age of 70 to sing it movingly. This record is also notable for the singing of John “Hoddan” Macdonald of Lewis.

> Folk Music > Records > Various Artists: The Blair Tapes

The Blair Tapes

The Blair Tapes (Ericht Trust ETCD01)

The Blair Tapes
Recordings from Blairgowrie Folk Festival 1986-1995
Various Artists

Ericht Trust ETCD01 (CD, UK, 2000)

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All tracks recorded live at the Blairgowrie Folk Festival between 1986 and 1995
except track 1 is from Hamish Moore’s album Stepping on the Bridge;
Cover picture: Anthony Armstrong: “Berryfields in Blair”


Chuck Fleming & Gerry Kaley: fiddle, guitar [6, 11];
Vin Garbutt: vocals, guitar [4, 13, 16];
Isaac Guillory: guitar, vocals [10, 14];
Lizzie Higgins: vocals [7, 9, 15];
Hamish Moore: Northumbrian small pipes [1];
Marion Paterson: vocals, guitar [5, 17];
The Stewarts of Blair: vocals [2-3, 12];
Kathryn Tickell: Northumbrian small pipes [8]


  1. [HM] Battle of Waterloo / Wee Highland Laddie / The 8th Argyll’s Farewell to the 116th Regiment de Ligne / The Boy’s Lament for His Dragon marches (4.36)
  2. [S] Bonnie Glenshee (Roud 832; G/D 5:1053) (2.25)
  3. [S] Keyhole of the Door (Roud 2099) (3.43)
  4. [VG] Carol-Ann Kelly (3.24)
  5. [MP] Mary Hamilton (Roud 79; Child 173; G/D 2:195) (6.10)
  6. [CF, GK] The Cliffs of Moher (1.10)
  7. [LH] The Beggarman (Roud 212; Child 279 Appendix; Henry H810) (2.48)
  8. [KT] Lizzie Lindsay / Tyneside Tunes / Madame Bonaparte (4.12)
  9. [LH] The College Boy (Roud 31; Laws O35; G/D 6:1222) (4.40)
  10. [IG] Guitar Man (5.33)
  11. [CF, GK] Shake Loose the Border (5.43)
  12. [S] The Nobleman (Roud 2533) (1.59)
  13. [VG] Where the Hell Are We Going to Live? (3.18)
  14. [IG] Fools Paradise (3.26)
  15. [LH] Lord Donald (Roud 10; Child 12; G/D 2:209; Henry H814) (4.27)
  16. [VG] If I Had a Son (6.51)
  17. [MP] Carrickfergus (Roud 26183) (3.30)

All tracks trad. except
Track 4 Vin Garbutt;
Tracks 10, 14 Isaac Guillor;
Track 11 Chuck Fleming, Gerry Kaley;
Track 13 Paul Wright;
Track 16 Phil Millichip