Master Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Tony McManus, one of the most admired guitarists on the Celtic scene, unite their creative forces in a partnership of incredible musical power and beauty. Drawing from deep wells of tradition and technical prowess, they explore the rich range of Scottish music, from the pipe tunes and song airs of the Highlands to the music of Scotland's noted fiddler/composers such as Marshall, Skinner, and the Gows. The duo flows from the intimate and subtle nuances of a poignant Gaelic lament to a no-holds-barred fiddle flurry of strathspeys and reels, captivating audiences wherever they perform.
Critics and crowds have been raving since Tony joined Alasdair on stage for a seat-of-the-pants concert cum jam session in Glasgow, Scotland in November 1996. Since then, the duo has performed at major festivals in Australia, Denmark, Canada, the United States and Scotland. Their eagerly-awaited debut album, Return to Kintail, was released by Culburnie Records in 1999.
"Talk about a dream team: The fiddler regarded by many as the finest current exponent of the Scots tradition, paired with the Paisley-born guitarist who's melodic and rhythmic artistry has been setting audiences afire around the world."
1. Bidh Clann Ulaidh (Men of Ulster)
2. Ross' Reel no.4 / Reichswall Forest (Dan R. MacDonald)
3. Roslin Castle / Miss Gordon of Gight (Isaac Cooper)
4. The Marquis of Huntly (William Marshall) / The Ewie wi' the Crooked Horn / John Cheap the Chapman (Nathaniel Gow) / Peerie Weerie / The West Mabou Reel
5. Calum Sgaire A traditional Gaelic song air to which Alasdair has added a second part.
6. Donald Willie and his Dog (Donald Morrison) / Alex MacDonald (Norman MacDonald) / Chloe's Passion (Dr Angus MacDonald)
7. Lady Louisa Gordon's Strathspey (William Marshall) / The Highlands of Banffshire / The Merrymaking
8. Seathan / Na Goisidich (The Gossips) (Allan MacDonald)
9. Sitting in the Stern of a Boat
This air was composed by the Rev. William MacLeod as he sailed from his native Bracadale on the Isle of Skye to take up a parish in Argyllshire.
10. A Mhaighdean Mhara (The Mermaid)
11. Lieutenant Maguire's Jig / The Curlew (Donald MacPherson) / Sleepy Maggie / Tail Toddle
12. The Sweetness of Mary (Joan MacDonald Boes) / Devil in the Kitchen / Willie Davie / The Sound of Mull / The High Road to Linton The late Joan MacDonald Boes was a fine pianist and composer in the Cape Breton style. She was the accompanist for the Five MacDonalds, a fiddle group in Detroit of which the aforementioned Dan R. MacDonald was a member. 13. Theidh mi Dhachaigh (Return to Kintail) "Theidh mi dhachaigh chro Chinn t-Saile" (I will go home to the cattle-fold of Kintail). The song may have been composed by a soldier who was wounded at the Battle of Sheriffmuir.