Featured on CBS-TV- Sunday Morning-- The music from this CD is also highlighted on BMG DVD -Scottish Christmas and featured on the national tour- Scottish Christmas. Both features America's best Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout,and with her ensemble, Highland dancers,and members of the City of Washington Pipe Band, annual concerts including appearances at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.Considered one the most popular Celtic Christmas concerts, touring acts and Christmas CD to date!
BONNIE RIDEOUT- Scottish fiddle-3-TIME U.S. NATIONAL SCOTTISH FIDDLE CHAMPION;ERIC RIGLER- Highland Bagpipe,Scottish smallpipes,Uilleann pipes-THE BRAVEHEART PIPER! Featured on Mel Gibson's Oscar winning movie soundtrack;MAGGIE SANSONE- Hammered dulcimer- INDIE WINNER, Celtic & Seasonal recordings;AL PETTEWAY- Acoustic guitar- WAMMIE winner; "Musician of the Year"
ABBY NEWTON- cello-performs with famous Scottish singer Jean Redpath.
Celebrate the many moods of a Scottish Christmas:
THE BRAVEHEART SOUND-Eric Rigler was the piper on Mel Gibson's BRAVEHEART; HOLIDAY FAVORITES WITH A SCOTTISH FLAIR; Oh, Come All Ye Faithfull, What Child Is This
LIVELY COUNTRY DANCE TUNES FOR THE HOLIDAYS such as: The Bottom of the Punch Bowl, Ale is Dear and SCOTLAND'S GREATEST MUSICAL GIFT TO THE SEASON-Auld Lang Syne- written by Scotland's Greatest Poet Robert Burns
FROM THE CD BOOKLET:
Dear Listeners,When selecting music for this recording, I considered two important factors. First, compositions that fit well to both Maggie's evocative interpretations on the hammered dulcimer and Al's fluid contemporary guitar style. Their unique sounds combined with the Scottish fiddle, pipes and cello created a wide pallet of textures. Also, I chose a potpourri of repertoire to reflect the many moods of Christmas. Included are familiar Christmas melodies, lesser known tunes from Scotland with seasonal titles and a few choice classics such as "Bottom of the Punch Bowl" and "Ale is Dear which are too irreistible not to include. We hope that this recording will bring a touch of Scots pine and peat fire into your holidays for many years to come.Merry Christmas from the bottom of our punch bowl!Bonnie Rideout
1 O Come, O Come Emmanuel/God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman
(Fiddle, Highland bagpipes & fife drum) 4:13
A 12th century Latin carol followed by a traditional Christmas carol popular around the world. In keeping with the Scottish fiddle tradition, Bonnie composed a closing jig using elements of the final melody.
2 Here We Come A-Wassailing/Bottom of the Punch Bowl
(Fiddle, hammered dulcimer & guitar) 3:44
The first carol is popular throughout the British Isles and America. Wassailing is a lively tradition practiced in many towns where villagers carry their favorite libation from house to house. "Bottom of the Punch Bowl" harkens back to dances of the eight-some reel.
3 DUAN NOLLAIG (Christmas Duanag)/Hark the Bonny Christ Church Bells
(Hammered dulcimer, bells & chimes) 3:04
Christmas chants such as the first in this medley were common throughout traditional Scotland. In Carmichael's "Carmina Gadelica," the author describes "rejoicers" - - men dressed in long white shirts and hats -- venturing out on Christmas Eve to sing from door to door. Delighted neighbors often rewarded them with hot cakes called "bannocks." The second tune is from an old hymnal Bonnie found in a used book shop in Glasgow. The chimes were played with great pomp by Abby and Bonnie, with beloved producer Charlie as chimemaster.
4 What Child Is This (Greensleeves)
(Fiddle, hammered dulcimer, guitar & uilleann pipes) 5:43
A 16th century English tune equally popular in Scotland. The final jig is a uniquely 18th century Scottish version of this familiar melody.
5 SUID A LEINIBH (Rock Thee O Child)/TALADH AR SLANAIR (Our Savior Thee)/TALADH CHRIOSTA (Christ Child Lullaby)
(Hammered dulcimer, guitar & viola) 4:30
This first Gaelic air was collected on the Isle of Skye and may be an ancient Norse lullaby. Its lyrics refer to singing birds, ending with a gentle "cuckoo" to draw the listener into a famous Scots lullaby. The first version Maggie plays here was originally a waulking song("waulking"is a process for shrinking tweed cloth) from South Uist. Catholics there adapted it for the church, singing all 29 verses during the Christmas Mass. The final rendition on the viola reflects the version most widely known today.
6 A MHISG A CHUR AN LOLIG OIRN (Christmas Carousing)/Ale is Dear/New Christmass
(Hammered dulcimer, smallpipes, guitar, cello & bodhran) 4:04
These tunes can be found in the Skye, Kerr and Fraser collections respectively. Eric starts the set with the smallpipes, a bellows-blown bagpipe unique to the borders of Scotland.
7 Da Day Dawis (The Day Dawns)/Christmas Day I' Da Moornin'
(Fiddle, hammered dulcimer, guitar & cello) 4:15
Two tunes from the Shetland Islands off the northeastern coast of Scotland. The first, possibly 15th century, was performed door-to-door by fiddlers before sunrise to call sleepers to the kirk (church) on Christmas Day.
8 Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)
(Highland bagpipe & fiddle.) 2:53
An 18th century hymn.
9 Baloo, Lammy
(Guitar & uilleann pipes) 3:59
A 17th century Scottish Christmas carol set by Al and Eric to a contemporary beat. The expressive uilleann pipes are featured -- "uilleann" is Irish Gaelic for "elbow."
10 Gloomy Winter
(Viola & fiddle) 2:23
Bonnie learned this tune from her primary school teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Maine. She was attracted to the melancholy nature of this lovely Scottish air which speaks of loneliness and the coming of spring.
11 POCA SIL AN T-SEALGAIR (The Huntsman's Bag of Grain)/GAASEPIGENS SANG (Goosegirl's Song)/'BHLIADHN UR (New Year's Day)
(Hammered dulcimer, guitar, fiddle & cello) 3:12
A Gaelic children's song collected on the Isle of Skye and a cousin to the Norwegian tune which follows. The Captain Simon Fraser collection (1816) is the source of the last tune which was often sung to Fraser by his father.
12 New Year's Day/On Christmas Night
The first tune is from an 18th century Gow collection of dance music. The second was collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams at Monk's Gate, Sussex in 1904.
13 Yeoman's Carol/Sound of Sleat
(Hammered dulcimer, smallpipes, fiddle & fife drum) 5:16
Maggie's distinctive dulcimer interpretation of "Yeoman's Carol" gradually eases into a march tempo to blend with her favorite pipe march, "Sound of Sleat" (pronounced "slate"). She first heard the tune played as a slow march by Christopher Layer, an instructor at the Hamish Moore School for Cauld Wind Pipes in Vermont. The Sound of Sleat is a body of water off the Southeastern tip of the Isle of Skye.
14 Rorate (Nativity)
(Guitar, cello & fiddle) 2:56
This Scottish melody has become a favorite Christmas carol. "Heaven, earth, sea, man, bird and beast/He that is crowned above the sky/Pro nobis puer natus est."
15 All Sons of Adam (The Christmas Medley)
(Fiddle & cello) 1:55
This medley of Christmas favorites contains "I Saw Three Ships" in perhaps its earliest version which dates back to the courts of King James' IV and V of Scotland. John Purser, author of "Scotland's Music," brought this score to Bonnie's attention for the recording.
16 Auld Lang Syne
(Fiddle, hammered dulcimer & guitar) 4:27
No holiday recording is complete without this famous Scottish melody. The arrangement follows the evolution of the tune over the centuries. It starts with an 18th century rendition by Allan Ramsey, followed by an early Robert Burns version and ending with the song embraced by cultures around the world.
Press Reviews: A Scottish Christmas
"A Scottish Christmas, ancient and infectious...one of the best-selling CDs of the season...and so compelling, no matter what the listener's ancestry."
CBS "Sunday Morning"
"Rideout's vibrant fiddling and Petteway's rich, round guitar tone contrast in interesting ways with Sansone's crystalline tones, and Rigler's use of Highland pipes, Scottish smallpipes and uilleann pipes complements every mood...A fine disc." Dirty Linen Magazine
"Fiddle, hammered dulcimer, guitar and pipes share this collection of instrumental versions of Scottish and British carols. Tempos are leisurely, the better to let the melodies ring; the tone is pristine." Jon Pareles, New York Times
"Another splendid seasonal gift from the local label specializing in modern but Celtic-rooted music...mostly subdued, reflective yet vibrant combinations of instruments in service to gorgeous melodies...hauntingly ritualistic...achingly beautiful."
Richard Harrington, Washington Post
"...One of the best seasonal albums ever...If lifts you away to castle banquet halls with roaring fires and to desolate snow filled forests." Music Hound Folk "The Essential Album Guide" (highest rating: five stars)
"A dream team of Celtic musicians...Inventively selected, cleverly arranged and impeccably performed, this is one of the best seasonal recordings released in a long, long time. A PJ fave rave!" J. Birosik, New Age Retailer