Aly Bain

Aly Bain

i’ve been recommened to get an Aly Bain cd. but i’m having trouble figuring out which one…..which one is your favorite, and what makes it so? Thanks!! πŸ™‚

Re: Aly Bain

I really enjoy Lonely Bird. But that’s the only one I have πŸ™‚ There are lots of energetic tunes and great fiddling. The Spey in Spate and Midnight on the Water/Bonapartes Retreat are great, but there are lots of others. The slow tunes are beautiful, also. He’s just an amazingly versatile fiddler.

Re: Aly Bain

I think I’ve got most of his albums,
The Ruby with Phil Cunningham
The Pearl with Phil Cunningham
Another Gem with Phil Cunningham
lonely Bird
The First album
Plus quite a few with Boys of the Lough

I prefer the solo albums and those with PC. try one of the ones with PC. They are all excellent you cann’t go wrong. Although I like the ones with BOTL, the singing is not my cup of tea.

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Re: Aly Bain

I’d go further back than any of you. I think his best work was on the various combinations of Shetland fiddling, especially his duets with the late Tom Anderson, who taught him so much.
One album was called "The Silver Bow", possibly on the Topic label.
Also, very rare to find these days, but a unique combination, was his very first recording with Scottish guitarist/blues harp player Mike Whellans. The Shetland fiddling on that that is sheer brilliance - it’s always been what he does best.
I’ll try to track down the labels and serial numbers for you.

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Re: Aly Bain

I never looked for a solo release from Aly Bain. I will look for them. Aly Bain’s playing kind of cemented my enthrallment with Celtic Music - I dropped Blue Grass, American Old Time in it’s various forms all at once.

He is not the best fiddler but he absolutely a top fiddler. He is a work horse and can amaze the hell out you. The last time I saw him was 2 and half years ago. He was performing with Phil in a medium small room. The ticket prices made up for the limited size of the audience.

Since he was one of my heros, I very happy to chat with him for a minute or two and shake his hand. I highly recommend the duet albums. The Boy’s of the Lough albums are hit and miss. What I mean is some were far more entertaining and inspiring to me. I’ll try to find my collection and get more specific.

Luck to you 290.

Mark

Re: Aly Bain

Its not Irish per se but it’s grand lovely stuff, I’d love to see him again. I saw him many times long ago when I was young free and single and able to get to lots of gigs. I was always amazed how much ale he could put away before a gig and play so controlled, and also not go to the loo very much! Unless he always went exactly when I went out because I would also have been drinking a lot..
25 years later I find I can’t keep it up myself (and the drinking!) I wonder if Aly with God-like powers keeps drinking the lovely nut brown ale and playing beautifully?

Re: Aly Bain

Labels/Catalogue Numbers are as follows:

ALY BAIN & MIKE WHELLANS - Leader LER2022

and for "hardcore" Shetland fiddling -

"SHETLAND FIDDLERS Vol 1" - Topic 12TS 281

"SHETLAND FOLK FIDDLING Vol.2" - Topic 12TS 379

Both feature Aly with Tom Anderson.

I seem to remember seeing a book/tape or CD combination a few years ago, something along the lines of "50 Traditional Fiddle Solos" by Aly Bain, I have a feeling "Ossian" in Cork had something to do with it - sorry I can’t be more helpful.
Good luck !

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Re: Aly Bain

I’m not so sure about this shetland stuff.
I like my rolls too much

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Re: Aly Bain

Then don’t play it , Michael.

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Re: Aly Bain

Kenny, thanks for the pointers to the shetland cds. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard of the shetland style (admittedly not all that much), finding it rather haunting. Have you heard Catriona MacDonald’s cd? If so, what do you think?

Sos

Re: Aly Bain

I haven’t heard all of Catriona McDonald’s CD, only a few tracks from it on radio, and to be honest , I didn’t like what I heard very much. As far as Shetland music in general is concerned, I have to say that I prefer the older traditional stuff, because for some strange reason, much of it plays very well on flute and whistle.
There’s a book called "Da Mirrie Dancers", which I think was reprinted recently, and is full of great old tunes.
Tunes such as - "Jack Broke Da Prison Door ", " Donald Blue", "Da Bonny Isle O’Whalsay", "Sleep Soond I’da Moarnin’", "Scallowa’ Lasses" are all great flute/whistle tunes, and would be well-known in most Scottish sessions. Many have been recorded by Aly Bain and "Boys Of The Lough". Try them, - I think anyone who likes Irish music would find similarities in them.

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Re: Aly Bain

Unfortunatly I do play it. But then I just make sound Irish, Like all the other music I play. No range, that’s my problem

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Re: Aly Bain

Oh my ACTUAL GOODNESS, how cud anyone not like catriona macdonald, she’s amazing! Enuff said.

Re: Aly Bain

Whackadck, yuo shewld wurk on yur speilling - unles yur tu kwel to caer.

Re: Aly Bain

if you actually looked at catriona macdonalds album, you would see that over half the stuff is as traditional shetland as you can get! amazing album.

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I would say that all of the shetland fiddle playing of modern players have been majorly influenced byt outside invaders. Scottish, irish and Cape Breton including many other sources. Aly bain style is shetland yet his influences have a bit of that american sound and excess of slides. catriona macdonalds fiddle playing is a light feel and has been influenced by swing and jazz and is dominant on her latest album bold. None of the modern fiddlers sound like their Mentors accept for Debby Scot a shetlander from papa stour who sounds like tom anderson slightly; but things just change. There are fiddle players from the band Filska (shetland band) and fiddlers Big(Shetland as well) who make the music sound more swing like and jazzy. and I would say the whole slight swing sound (even though their style still is accentend and still a bit straight foward) is due to influences. Way back when, shetland had different styles. My favorite the Yell Style. which the music was lessaccented and use ringing strings constant,phrases with a long draa effects.here are many other styles in the shetlands that used to be. mainly why they were different were the lack of transportation and some classical training. cause as soon as Neil Gow and Scott Skinner came around everyone wanted to sound like them. so… thats the story for shetland music. I myself specialize in the Shetland Fiddle Style. and put on concerts etc and I would have to say my style has changed and has become jazzy and swing, due to additional courses and programs in Jazz performance and Improv for Violin at my College.. I think its funny that im following in the same foot steps as the rest of the shetlanders lol weird…
some sound more swingy then others and that would be catriona! shetland music being lyrical as most as it could. cause usually that is not the case. the style in Whalsay is more annoying to me cause there are only straight bowings up and down and now slurs what so ever! SLUR IT WELL OR DONT SLUR IT ALL?

Re: Aly Bain

I suppose for years young Shetland fiddlers, if they’ve gone to bars at all, have ended up spending time in "The Lounge" playing along with Willie Johnson, so no wonder if they come out playing swing! I remember hearing Debbie Scott and Willie jamming in there in the ‘80’s, playing "Sweet Georgia Brown" et cetera.

Re: Aly Bain

You’d almost say that swing was part of the Shetland tradition now.

On the original topic, seeing that you asked about Aly BAin rather than a rundown of Shetland music (in which case definitely start with The Silver Bow collection) I’d recommend something a bit different: Aly’s collaboration with Swedish bouzouki/mandola/low-whistle player Ale Moller, "Fully Rigged"
Aly emphasises the Nordic side of the Shetland tunes he plays on this one, and it’s a beautiful, haunting record.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005UF37/002-3810370-4420043?v=glance&n=5174
It’s also mentioned in the "recordings" section here.

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Re: Aly Bain

the best of aly bain, definetly. its all his best bits rolled into one! its a new one and its great!

xx

Re: Aly Bain

I really recommend Fully Rigged (Aly Bain + Ale Moller) because it’s a bit different as it has some norwegian tunes as well. Aly is such an inspiration to me, I saw him+Phi Cunningham in Westray and it was amazing!! xx