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Scottish Music from Northern California

This musical project celebrates the ties between Scottish traditions in the homeland and in the New World. In following these connections we have tried to present a broad range of our Scottish musical heritage, from the Norse inflected tunes of the Shetland Islands through the Gaelic melodies of the Western Isles to permutations of these traditions in the New World. These tracks also showcase a wide range of instruments and sounds from the Scottish oeuvre: bagpipes, harp, fiddle, guitar, trump, and bodhran. With tracks featuring Aaron Shaw (Wicked Tinkers), Hamewith (lead by John Taylor), Molly's Revenge, Beth Patterson, Susan Worland (Fiddlesticks & Ivory), Calli Morrow, Lyle Ramshaw (Fiddlesticks & Ivory), Lawrence Drummond, Joe Weed, and Michael Bentley you are sure to enjoy this representation of Scottish music in Northern California. In addition, the sales of this CD will help to raise funds for Northern California Camanachd (NCC) and help them to organize and present the Scottish sport of shinty (camanachd) to new audiences in California and the US.

  1. Aaron Shaw & Michael Bentley
    Northern California Camanachd Club March (1.56) MP3 excerpt

  2. Calli Morrow / Susan Worland / Michael Bentley
    The Butterfly Jig (2.06) MP3 excerpt

  3. Hamewith
    Farewell to the Highlands (4.57) MP3 excerpt

  4. Aaron Shaw / Michael Bentley / Susan Worland
    Not An Orchid Medley in 2/4 (4.21) MP3 excerpt

  5. Susan Worland / Michael Bentley / Lawrence Drummond
    Robert Burns Medley (3.06)

  6. Calli Morrow & Susan Worland
    Fhear aBhata (2.59)

  7. Molly's Revenge
    Jagged Rocks Set (5.24)

  8. Lawrence Drummond & Michael Bentley
    Jig of Slurs / Paddy's Leather Breeches (2.44)

  9. Susan Worland & Joe Weed
    Charlie is My Darling / Monymusk (2.09)

  10. Aaron Shaw & Michael Bentley
    Cabar Feidh / High Road to Gairloch (2.31)

  11. Calli Morrow & Susan Worland
    Rowing from Islay to Uist (2.53)

  12. Beth Patterson
    John Anderson (0.55)

  13. Susan Worland / Lyle Ramshaw / Michael Bentley
    Air / Strathspey / Reel Medley (4.20) MP3 excerpt

  14. Aaron Shaw & Michael Bentley
    Not An Orchid Medley in 6/8 (4.20)

  15. Hamewith
    Shetland Reels (3.42)

  16. Aaron Shaw & Michael Bentley
    Northern California Camanachd Club March (3.59)

  17. Susan Worland & Lyle Ramshaw
    Wind in the Leaves (2.09)

Working on Bayside & Benside was an amazing experience. What started as a small and casual project with a couple of folks ended up as a full length album with contributions from some of the best musicians I've ever worked with... wonderful to have such talented friends!

Most of the tracks were recorded at Joe Weed's Highland Studios in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Joe is very easy to work with, and he brings a lot to the table as far as technical skill and musicianship. Everyone who came up to the studio had a good time and found it easy to work there, and I think that really helped bring the project together in the early stages.

While I had not worked directly with all these musicians before, I was familiar with their work and playing. I had played for Scottish Country Dancing with Susan, John, Lyle, and Larry - and through those gigs had worked with Calli and Joe. Aaron and I had performed a lot in the early-mid 80s both for Scottish Highland Dancing and as a duo in pubs and such, and since then he has continued to grow as a piper and a composer of pipe tunes and is a co-founder of the Wicked Tinkers. I was really excited that, in the Scottish tradition, Aaron had composed a tune especially for our shinty club. In fact earlier this year he led us out onto the field before several of our matches at the Livermore Scottish Games.

Through my work on this project I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of Molly's Revenge and Beth Patterson. Molly's Revenge is based in the Bay Area and I had seen them at several events in recent years, and I was really pleased that they wanted to contribute to our project. I was introduced to Beth Patterson by Bruce and Cheri Norris who are fellow members of the Northern California Camanachd Club (NCCC). I really enjoyed her sound and she was gracious enough to contribute a track to our benefit project.

During the recording of the album I had the wonderful experience of meeting the descendants of one the more famous historical Scottish song writers, Lady Nairne or Carolina Oliphant (who wrote under the nom de plume Mrs. Bogan of Bogan). Lady Nairne wrote, among others, The Rowan Tree, Will Ye No' Come Back Again, and Charlie is My Darling, which Susan and Joe play so beautifully on the album. Amelia, Philippa, and Charlie Blair-Oliphant were very enthused about this project and even attended one of the NCCC's matches at the Livermore Scottish Games.

All in all this has been an amazing experience. Musically I could not ask for more, and I hope that you will feel the same way. Beyond having a great listen you are helping to support our shinty club, the Northern California Camanachd Club, and our mission to spread the word about this wonderful Scottish field sport. Thanks one and all!

Michael Bentley 6/1/2005

PS - If you would like to learn more about shinty please visit the NCC website here.

Besides contacting Beehaus Musick [substitute @ for (at) in the address], you can find more information about the contributing artists by following the links below.