In Concert / Scottish Love Songs

In Concert / Scottish Love Songs

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Date Added: Monday 27 June, 2005

by Mary Ann Brading


The dazzle and drama of a Corries performance was legendary, and many fortunates enjoyed the experience firsthand. But for those of us too distant in time and place, a Corries live recording is the next best thing.

This disc reveals the liveliest of live concerts, spotlighting Roy and Ronnie's music hall talents with a engaging mix of spectacular songs and witty anecdotes. The comedy bits, seasoned and well timed, have a cheerful spontaneity that keeps the humor fresh and funny. The lads are having a very good time and it shows. They revel in songs like "Johnny Lad" and the "Wild Rover," delivered with characteristic swashbuckler swagger, and the skylarking continues with a cheeky medley of schoolyard ditties. The "Lord of the Dance" steps lightly in the Corries' brisk rendition, with Roy's bright flute and Ronnie's rhythmic bodhran. And "Liverpool Judies" displays one reason the Corries were so memorable as live performers -- their charming knack at engaging audience participation. Despite the intricacies of the song, Roy and Ronnie convert the crowd into a tuneful choir.

But it's not all fun and games. The Corries suddenly change the mood and present something a wee bit darker. Hearts break listening to the keening harmony of "Sally Free and Easy," with its haunting echo of droning guitar and pulsing bodhran.
The mood becomes more reflective with the stunningly beautiful "Hills of Ardmorn," one of Roy's own compositions. And Roy's "Flower of Scotland" is performed with quiet restraint, revealing a gentler, melodic song in contrast to its popular cheerleading status.

All good things must end, and the concert closes with Roy's wistful singing of "Will Ye Go Lassie Go"; Ronnie and the audience join in the chorus, and the performance glows with the warmth and intimacy of family ceilidh.

Buy this CD and sing along!


On this disc, the Corries conjure a romantic dream -- a dream that makes one fall in love with Scotland. Here is the poetry of the land -- "bonnie glens" and "dark rolling seas," and here is the poetry of the people, passionate in both joy and sorrow.

Each song is a sonnet wedded to a sweet flowing melody. Despite such sentiment, the Corries never sink into a maudlin mire. Roy's "magic fingers" pluck sprightly rhythms (often a lively 6/8 or a ragtime cadence) presenting the songs as potent ballads, not ponderous hymns. Guitars and mandolins jangle brightly, and flutes and whistles trill light as birds. (no thundering bodhrans on this serenade)

Roy and Ronnie's voices soar together in chiming harmonies -- sometimes in ethereal flight as on "The Skye Boat Song," and then down to earth again for "Nut Brown Maiden." Like two calling birds, their singing echos and blends into the melodic enchantment of "Annie Laurie." And when singing solo, each struts his own unique vocal style. On "Ca' the Ewes" Ronnie gives wonder to whether he was born with a reed in his throat rather than a larynx, so effortlessly do his mellow tones join with Roy's lilting flute. And Roy's lyrical voice dramatizes songs such as "The Road to Dundee" and "Hunting Tower"

No songs of farce, no songs of battle -- only songs that touch the heart.

Buy this CD and fall in love.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

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