Stashed away in my memory over the years is an ever-increasing number of favored tunes that I have never had the opportunity to record. The music presented here ranges from J. Scott Skinner's Dr. Gordon Stables, a wonderful fiery reel I once played to garner my first national fiddling title as a young teenager, to "Fear A Bhata," a heartbreaking air, which after thrity years still bursts out of me during moments of intense melancholy.The final set of tunes, beginning with "Purser's Air," is a collection of new compositions written for old friends. An unaccompanied work, it reflects my undying passion for Scottish fiddle music. It is my wish that these melodies will grow on you as they have grown on me.
Thank you for listening."
~ Bonnie Rideout
1. Grant's Rant/Nighean Donn (The Brown-Haired Daughter)/ Innes of Sandsides'/Mo Chuachag Laghach (The Gentle Milkmaid)/ Stuart's Rant - Traditional Highland reels. Fiddle, guitar (Al), Scottish small-pipes and bodhran 4:16
2. The Champion of the Seas/Over the Isles to America/Pop Goes the Weasel/Rossie Castle - This set begins with a hornpipe and works its way into some fun traditional reels. Fiddle, guitar (Al), cittern (Robin) and bodhran 5:14
3. Oh Onochie O - A Scottish air. Fiddle, viola and uilleann pipes 5:06
4. Grace Hay's Delight/Dunkeld House/Mrs. McGee's Reel - Two jigs published by the Gows and one by J. Riddell -- all favorites among country dancers. A warning to choreographers: I have added bits and beats so this may be a challenge on the dance floor. Fiddle, 12-string guitar and cittern (Robin) and bodhran 4:12
5. The Highlands of Scotland/The Lowlands of Scotland/Kelo House/Miss Clementina Stewart - The "Highlands" and "Lowlands" are traditionally played as a strathspey and reel set, although I also play "Lowlands" as a strathspey. Because "Kelo House" and "Miss Clementina" share very similar B sections, we enjoyed interchanging them and playing with them a bit. Fiddle, guitar, bodhran, snare (Paddy) and viola da gamba 4:03
6. Lude's Lament - As with all laments on my recordings, I perform them live in the studio without edits in order to maintain an unbroken intensity. This particular lament is one of the most honest and vulnerable pieces of music I have experienced. It is so touching that I felt any accompaniment or harmony would deter from its elemental beauty. Fiddle 3:24
7. AN GILLE DONN(The Brown-Haired Lad)/FEAR A BHATA(O Boatman) - The first of these two heart-breaking laments was collected by musicologist Margaret Shaw sometime between 1930 and1935 on the Isle of South Uist in the outer Hebrides. When sung, its lyrics reflect upon the loss of a lover whose ship went down in the Sound of Canna. I follow it with a lament written about a woman whose lover has broken his promise to return from his journey at sea. Despite the opinions of her neighbors who think he has long since forgotten her, she desperately believes that he will come back. This ancient melody beautifully captures the agony one may endure whilst wondering if it is death or an untrue heart that creates a lover's long absence. Viola and guitar 3:44
8. Tibby Fouller O' the Glen/The Lonach Highland Fling (Peter Baillie)/Miss Shepherd/Dr. Gordon Stables' Reel - These tunes have been resting in my fingers for over twenty years. The set starts with two powerful strathspeys in the North East fiddle tradition ending with J. Scott Skinner's variations. The reels which follow were also written by Skinner. Fiddle and 12-string guitar (Robin) 4:08
9. Brose and Butter/Cuzle Together/Elsie Marly - These contemporary- sounding Scottish jigs were actually published in London around 1765 by Robert Bremner. Viola, uilleann pipes, bodhran, udu and djembe 4:46
10. What the Devil Ails You!/Loch Ness - Historically these tunes are considered an air and a strathspey, but I play them as a waltz and a slow reel. Fiddle, viola, guitar, hammered dulcimer and viola da gamba. 4:09
11. The 156th Brigade at the Battle of Romani - A classic 19th century pipe march. Fiddle, great Highland pipes, snare and bass drums (John) 3:30
12. Purser's Air/Fishing off Eilean Na H'airde/ Drinan Jig - I will let the air speak for itself. The strathspey was written after catching our dinner off the southern shore of the Isle of Skye with my dear friends John and Bar Purser. The jig has a bit of the Irish in the middle sections with an Highland accent at the top and bottom, my own musical description of Dr. Purser. Fiddle 7:40
Producers: Billy Chadwick and Bonnie Rideout
Executive Producer: Maggie Sansone
Recorded and Mixed: Jim Robeson at Bias Studios, Springfield, VA Mastered: Charlie Pilzer at Airshow, Inc., Springfield, VA
Cover Design: Susan Mundenar at Strata Graphics, Inc.PA Photographs: Chris Moscatiello
Bonnie Rideout's playing exemplifies the fiery spirit that is inherent in traditional Scottish fiddle music. Bonnie has long been a member of the National organization known as Scottish F.I.R.E. (F.I.R.E. is the acronym for FIddling REvival, Ltd.) This non-profit was established in 1975 for purpose of popularizing Scottish fiddle music in the U.S.