Visit the Maritime Crew website: www.maritimecrew.co.nz
Small Town Stories is the stunning debut album by husband-and-wife duo Emily Smith and Jamie McClennan, its ten tracks drawing on the couple's shared life in rural south-west Scotland. It's an intimate, uplifting and intensely beautiful record, reflecting the pair's deep-seated affiliation with American roots music.
For More Information visit their website here: smithandmcclennan.com
On Songs For Christmas Emily presents a beautifully crafted album of original and traditional material drawn from her folk background. Forgotten gems such as the ancient Scots 'Christ Has My Hairt, Ay' (lyrics trad/music Alan Reid) and the soulful traditional American ballad 'Heard From Heaven Today' feature alongside contemporary covers and popular carols. Smith's songwriting also features with two originals 'Winter Song' and the single 'Find Hope'.
Joining Emily on 'Songs For Christmas' are regular collaborators: Jamie McClennan (fiddle, guitar, vocals), Matheu Watson (guitars, viola) and Ross Hamilton (bass, drums, vocals).
The material for Songs For Christmas has been written and collected over the last few years in response to the popularity of Emily's annual Christmas show held in her home region of Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland. Growing every year the show has developed into a tour of the region and in 2016 will be going nationwide. In Songs For Christmas Emily has created an album of songs that inspire, comfort and celebrate Christmas and the winter season. The album was recorded and co-produced by Jamie McClennan who has worked with Emily since the beginning of her career. Co-produced and mixed by Brandon Bell in Zac Brown's studio 'Southern Ground Nashville'.
Emily continues to draw on her talent as one of the finest interpreters of traditional song in the UK presenting an album that is unshakeably Scottish but with farther, wider horizons. New settings of time worn texts weave beautifully alongside contemporary covers blurring the borders of old and new.
Backed by her talented band of Jamie McClennan (guitar), Matheu Watson (guitar), Signy Jakobsdottir (percussion) and Ross Hamilton (bass) the album also features a line up of special guests including Jerry Douglas, Kris Drever, Tim Edey, Aoife O'Donovan, Natalie Haas and Rory Butler.
To celebrate Emily’s 10th anniversary as a full time folkie she presents ‘Ten Years’ a compilation album of tracks selected from albums so far with new and updated versions of old favourites such as ‘A Day like Today’, previously unreleased tracks and two bonus live tracks. This is the perfect soundtrack to showcase Emily’s career so far.
Smith’s new release, Traiveller’s Joy, features songs written on the road throughout 2010 blending alongside traditional material sourced from the travelling people of Scotland. Emily continues to draw inspiration from her home area of rural Dumfriesshire but this release sees her writing from a more personal viewpoint than before.
Perfectly complimenting Smith’s vocals are guest musicians on fiddle, guitar, bouzouki, percussion, flute and double bass with Emily also backing on piano and accordion.
Covers include Rick Kemp’s ‘Somewhere Along the Road’, which Emily recently performed on BBC1’s ‘Songs of Praise' and ‘Waltzing’s For Dreamers’ by Richard Thompson, whom Emily opened for on his UK tour in 2009 and was subsequently featured at London’s Meltdown Festival 2010 during his year as curator.
Jamie's debut album is as much a collection of his own tunes as it is a musical journey. All the tunes on the album were written by Jamie whilst either on tour in various locations around the globe or in one of the two countries he calls home, NZ and Scotland, hence the name 'In Transit'.
The album was recorded and produced by Jamie, he also took care of the artwork and design (if you know Jamie you'll realise this when you take a look at the coffee reference inside the CD cover).
With upbeat dancing tunes and soulful melodies this recording captures Jamie's energetic and slightly off the wall stage presence perfectly.
On this recording he's accompanied by the fantastic guitar work, both acoustic and electric, of former band mate, Gerry Paul, rhythm section of Duncan Lyall on Double Bass and Fraser Stone, and the soaring, pulsating flutes and whistles of Alan Doherty. There's some great bluegrass mandolin touches by Canadian maestro Andrew Collins and some beautiful cello by Adelaide Carlow.
Hear audio samples and visit the Emily or Jamie's site at http://www.emilysmith.org & http://www.jamiemcclennan.com
2009 marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s National Bard Robert Burns.
It is also the year that the Scottish Government named ‘Year of Homecoming’ inviting people from Scotland and beyond to celebrate Scotland’s contributions to the world.
With Jamie’s Scottish ancestry and Emily being born and raised only ten miles from Burns’ Dumfriesshire home of Ellisland Farm, it seemed fitting to make their contribution to the homecoming year an album of Robert Burns songs.
They started out with the intention to only include songs Burns wrote in or about Dumfriesshire but as they delved deeper with their search the album has become a collection of lesser known songs written by Burns, songs he collected and a few in there for no reason other than that they enjoy singing and playing them!
There is a happy, optimistic feel to this album. There are no broken hearts, no sad endings, just songs celebrating love, beauty and good times. From the delicate ‘Gowden Locks o Anna’ which Burns said was “the best love song I ever composed in my life” to the jolly ‘Whistle o’er the Lave o it’, Smith and McClennan display their versatility as a duo occasionally underpinned by the bass skills of Duncan Lyall. Their imaginative choice of instrumentation and approach to arranging ensures each tracks sounds fresh to the listener’s ear be it original Burns or new settings of songs such as their powerful ‘Soldier’s Return’ and lullaby version of ‘Lassie Lie Near Me’.
250 years on Burns’ work still continues to inspire and entertain people all over the world. The sentiment of songs such as ‘A Man’s A Man For A’ That’ still rings true with what we strive for in our lives today. He must have been a man full of charm and charisma but also a humble man who knew struggles and poverty in life all too well.
Hopefully in ‘Adoon Winding Nith’ you can find an appealing perspective on his work whether you’re new to Burns or a life long fan.
With her third studio album ‘Too Long Away’ Emily presents five traditional tracks alongside five self-penned songs, cementing her success as one of Scotland’s finest interpreters of traditional song but also as a leading songwriter in the Scottish music scene.
This album sees Emily’s writing develop and mature whilst maintaining her integrity as a traditional singer leading to her being voted Scots Singer of the Year at the 2008 Scots Trad Music Awards.
Much of the inspiration for this album comes from her move back to rural South West Scotland where she continues her use of local history and folklore as a source for her writing in tracks such as ‘Old Mortality’ and ‘The Mermaid of Galloway’. Dumfriesshire’s ever changing landscape also plays a part sparking her inspiration to create the beautiful ‘Winter Song’ and thought provoking ‘Audience of Souls’ written in a local graveyard.
Unlike previous albums, there are no instrumental tracks on Too Long Away but Emily’s accordion and piano still feature on several songs including her folk-rock take on the ballad ‘May Colven’ and upbeat version of Tony Cuffe’s ‘Caledonia’.
Guest musicians include long time collaborators Jamie McClennan on fiddle, guitar and backing vocals and Duncan Lyall on double bass. There are also contributions by Luke Plumb on mandolin, Alyn Cosker on drums and Ross Milligan on guitar and banjo. ‘Come Home Pretty Bird’ is the only co-write on the album, written with David Scott during a residential songwriting retreat. It was written after a conversation between Smith and Scott about the ups and downs of life on the road. The album’s title ‘Too Long Away’ is taken from this song and sums up Emily’s feelings on returning home to Dumfriesshire.
Emily’s second album ‘A Different Life’ was her follow up to the well-received ‘A Day Like Today’. It is an album full of variety.
There are several of Emily’s own songs such as ‘Always A Smile’, written for her Polish grandmother, and ‘Edward of Morton’, a tragic tale from Emily’s native Dumfriesshire. Emily has also re-worked several traditional songs and given a new feel to many by giving the words melodies of her own. Amongst the songs are three instrumental sets, a slow air written by Emily and two up beat sets largely consisting of tunes penned by Emily’s regular fiddle player, Jamie McClennan.
Though very much a song based album Emily’s accordion and piano feature throughout on both tune sets and songs. With so many musicians performing many of the tracks inevitably have a ‘big’ sound but the album is well balanced with sparser tracks such as ‘The Lowlands of Holland’ and Emily’s unaccompanied singing on ‘Far O’er the Forth’.
In total there are ten musicians featured on the album. Complimenting Emily’s vocals are Brian Finnegan on flute and whistles and Jamie McClennan on fiddle. Steve Byrne (Guitar/Bouzouki/Cittern), Duncan Lyall (Double Bass), Martin O Neill (Bodhran) and Paul Jennings (Percussion) provide a rhythmic backbone to many of the tracks. Sarah Murray (Cello), Jonna Inge (Viola) and Hamish Napier on backing vocals give a beautiful touch to ’Strong Winds For Autumn’ in particular.
Hear audio samples from the CD at Foot Stompin' Records.
If you were around the Hamilton folk music scene in the mid to late 90s, you'd have known about Jamie McClennan, fiddle playing son of Ross and Viv - founding members of the Kon Tiki Folk Club in the 60s which evolved into the current Hamilton Acoustic Music Club.
Jamie impressed with his cheeky grin and flat-out fiddle playing; "this kid should go far.", I thought. Well, blow me down with a bunch of cat-gut - he has! McClennan has returned to his roots and now plays with Scottish 'bright young things', the Emily Smith Band. (Emily Smith, 21, is the winner of this year's BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award.)
The four-piece featuring Smith on spine-tingling vocals, McClennan on fiddle, Ross Ainslie on pipes and Irishman Sean O'Donnell on guitar, debuts with this CD, billed as a mix of traditional and originals, (but for the uninitiated it'll all sound pretty 'old').
Smith keeps true to a traditional singing style, her voice clear and fresh yet telling tales centuries old. She's also an accomplished accordion player, which ads to the tartan flavour, but tracks like McClennan's instrumental 'Party in my Pants' have a definite world music feel, aligning the band with the current resurgence of Scottish music on the international scene.
- Mathias Media
The Maritime Crew was formed in 1994 with the primary purpose of entertaining visitors to the New Zealand National Maritime Museum on Auckland's Hobson Wharf. The Crew still entertain at the Museum, giving a free concert on the first Sunday of each month. The Crew perform both nationally and internationally at festivals and folk clubs, and regularly perform at events in the greater Auckland region.
Also in stock: The Maritime Crew Live at the 2000 Auckland Folk Festival - $25.00
Phamie Gow is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and is internationally known for the originality of her compositions and the virtuosity of her clarsach playing. Phamie has performed through Britain and Europe, composed for film and theatre and conducted workshops and masterclasses in schools of music and conservatoires in France. Her immediate engagements include festivals in Britain, and performances with her five - piece band in France, Italy, Spain and Australia.
Amid the hype of the Celtic revival, it's worth remembering that the core is built on the rich fabric of traditional Irish and Scottish music that stretches back centuries. If you're looking for the heart of this music in a contemporary setting you could do no better than Wellington- based band Crannog. This debut album is a good blend of traditional and refreshingly innovative material. Although still in their 20s, Duncan Davidson and Jamie McClennan are no strangers to Celtic music and have a sense for the essence of traditional material. The album has an honest feel of accomplished, uncompromising musicians, playing traditional music of lasting quality - music which will endure long after the current fad in Celtic music has waned.
Mark Sheehan, Wellington Evening Post, August 1999
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