“Ar Log VI”
Ar Log ~
The Welsh band ‘Ar Log’ ( = ‘For Hire’ ) have been performing Welsh instrumental and vocal music since the 1970s:
Musicians over time have included:
Dave Burns ~ guitar
Dafydd Roberts ~ triple harp & flute
Gwyndaf Roberts ~ knee harp and bass
Iolo Jones ~ fiddle
These four were brought together by the Welsh Tourist Board, eager for a Welsh traditional group to represent the Cymru / Wales in Lorient, Brittany for the annual ‘Interceltique festival’. Their first album, ‘Ar Log’, followed.
1980 ~ Dave Burns and Iolo Jones left the group and in their places:
Geraint Glynne Davies ~ guitar
Graham Pritchard ~ fiddle
& later ~
Stephen (‘Steffan’) Rees ~ accordion, fiddle, keyboards & clarinet
1988 ~ fiddlers change again, as Graham Pritchard leaves and Iolo Jones returns
In 1996 ~ this album, ‘Ar Log VI’ is the result of their celebrating their anniversary with all members, past and present…with drum & bassdrummer and bassist in their performances.
An ‘Ar Log’ Discography:
"Ar Log I - III" ~ 1976 - 1981
"Ar Log IV" ~ 1985
"Ar Log V" ~ 1989
"Ar Log O IV I V" (4 & 5 combined)
"Ar Log VI" ~ 2001
They have also produced albums with Dafydd Iwan on the Sain label:
"Yma O Hyd" ~ 2004
"Rhwmg Hwyl a Thaith"
"Dal I Credu"
I had digs in the same lodging house as Iolo Jones when we were both students at Oxford in 1975. He practised fiddle in his room, I practised whistle in mine (rather than revise). Fortunately the landlord and lady were tolerant people who anyway lived several floors below in the basement, surrounded by vast and vociferous poodles, so we didn’t bother them.
“Dafydd Iwan ac Ar Log: Rhwng Hwyl a Thaith ac Yma O Hyd”
SAIN, 1995 ~ SCD2063
"Dafydd Iwan and Ar Log, two of the leading names in contemporary Welsh folk music, joined forces for two memorable tours in 1982 and 1983. Each tour resulted in an album, both of which are included on this CD, displaying the combined talents of the singer-songwriter and exceptional instrumentalists."
21 tracks combining two earlier albums, including "Yma O Hyd" (13 tracks) already listed on site here and linked to above, but minus approximately one track each from the two earlier recordings, this compilation, like he earlier two, is primarily songs…
The other recording included is:
"Dafydd Iwan ac Ar Log: Rhwng Hwyl a Thaith"
Sain, 1982 ~ C852N ~ 11 tracks
Correction!!! ~ I was doing too many things at once, including dinner…
"Dal I Gredu" ~ is Dafydd Iwan but not with Ar Log…
“Ar Log: Meillionen: Ten Welsh Folk Dances”
1983 ~ this was recorded for, and consequently under the auspices of, ‘Cymdeithas Ddawns Werin Cymru’ / ‘The Welsh Folk Dance Society’, and I suspect that’s what kicked the spirit out of it, literally. While it is all instrumental and the bands abilities are clear, this in my estimation is a disaster. When it came out there was some hope that the groups verve would transfer over into a decent record for dancing to, gyda hwyl, with fun and excitement ~ but it is dull and the groups and the Society’s ( a la R.S.C.D.S. ) classical trappings weight heavily on it, affected and twee…as warns the cover… Their talents aren’t doubted, but the ‘Society’ and its cloying ways shows its effect here in the results…
While I have heard some great tracks laid down here and there on scattered albums, including Ar Log, Cymru / Wales has yet to produce a great and uplifting, driving, instrumental dance album, but that may be due to the revival nature of things tagged ‘traddodiadol / traditional’ there, and the strong sway of schooled or classical influences, and powerful vested interests…
Re: Ar Log VI
Does anyone on here have the full track names of the tunes in the seventh Ar Log album, Ar Log VII? I would love to be able to put the recording on here as it’s such a nice album, but on my copy (the digital Amazon album), not all the dances are listed (seems like only the first dance name is shown(. I recognize a few from other Welsh albums that I have, but not all. Thanks!