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*Lismor (1983-1988)

Lismor Records was started in 1973 as an offshoot of a small chain of four records shops in Glasgow selling traditional Scottish music. Over the years the label released the very best of all styles of Scottish recordings and the label is still in existence today with a catalogue of over 400 albums. Andy released three albums on Lismor from 1983-1988.

Come In, Come In


Album sleeve image Buy Now! 1983 brought a new album on the Lismor label (applauded by Andy for "taking a punt on so many and varied aspects of the sounds of Scotland, from pop to pibroch!"). The album is a well arranged and performed mixture of songs both old and new, many included by request. On this record Andy pays tribute to his friend and former songwriting partner who sadly passed away in the same year.

From the original sleeve notes:

"I should like to dedicate this album to the memory of Iain MacFadyen who tragically died in April of this year.

As a BBC Producer, and latterly Head of Light Entertainment, BBC Scotland, Iain was responsible over the years for many programmes that represented his own deep love and caring for our music and entertainment. His was the idea, away back in 1957 to produce a television show that would be a show-case for the dance music, for the songs, traditional and contemporary, for the humour, in verse and prose, of his native land. Thus 'The White Heather Club' came into being and the rest is history.

Apart from his talents as a Producer, Iain had a fine talent for writing music and his name, often in his nom-de-plume of Neil Grant, appears below the title of many songs.

Of the 14 songs on this album, Iain wrote the music for four, to the words of yours truly - 'Come In, Come In', 'The Lads of Bonnie Scotland', 'Lassie come and Dance with Me' and 'The Girl from Glasgow Town'. But Iain's contribution to the healthy state of music and culture cannot be measured solely in terms of song title; he is sorely missed and is a great loss, both professionally and personally."

'Come In, Come In', the title track, is the first of four classic Stewart/Grant compositions and as such needs no introduction. 'The Dark Island', first appearing on 1971's 'Here's Tae You' had become another popular request for live performance, and this recording is a true match for the seventies version. 'Corn Rigs' is one of Robert Burns' earliest works; the typically lusty ode is thought to have been inspired by one of Burns' girlfriends, either Annie Blair or Annie Ronald. 'The Rumour', the eternally popular "Andylogue" is spread around once more, followed by a "new" song added to Andy's recorded repertoire; 'I'm Dan Your Man', a popular Irish song with writing accredited confusingly to several different composers. 'Amazing Grace', the well-known hymn written by clergyman John Newton in 1779 is recorded here (the first recording of a hymn on a Stewart album) alongside 'The Lord's My Shepherd' (the 23rd Psalm) and the Stewart/Grant collaboration 'Lassie Come and Dance' finishes side one.

Side two begins with a brand-new Stewart composition 'They're Playin' Country Music'. In this song Andy's discovers the popularity of Country Music wherever he travels in Scotland. Because this track is played strictly for fun - complete with Johnny Cash and Elvis impressions - it succeeds and is one of the highlights of the album. Andy re-visits a track from his 'Country Boy' album 'Together Again' and follows it with another Stewart/Grant composition, the lesser known 'The Lads of Bonnie Scotland'. 'Ra Wee Cock Sparra' will of course always be associated with Andy's friend and colleague Duncan Macrae, and Andy's recording here is suitably performed in character as Macrae. 'Danny Boy' is up next, another song that has been performed, almost to death (!) and as such needs no introduction. But, perhaps surprisingly, Andy delivers an excellent version here. The arrangement is simple, and Andy's voice holds up well. The notes are spot-on and the song builds to a satisfying climax. Another standout track. In comparison, Andy seems to struggle a bit with the strident 'Scotland Yet'. This particular song demands a powerful delivery that, nearly twenty years after his original powerhouse recording, Andy just can't quite provide. 'The Girl from Glasgow Town' ends the album with another fond reminder of the late Iain MacFadyen.

Whilst not one of Andy's best known albums, overall despite a couple of rough spots, this record contains some very respectable recordings.

Year of Release: 1983
Label: Lismor Deluxe
Catalogue Number: LIDL 6008

COME IN, COME IN (Stewart/Grant) / THE DARK ISLAND (Maclachlan) / CORN RIGS (Trad.arr. Simpson) / THE RUMOUR (Stewart) / I'M DAN YOUR MAN (McDill) / AMAZING GRACE (Trad.arr. Simpson) / LASSIE COME AND DANCE WITH ME (Stewart/Grant) / THEY'RE PLAYING COUNTRY MUSIC (Stewart) / TOGETHER AGAIN (Owens) / THE LADS O' BONNIE SCOTLAND (Stewart/Grant) / RA WEE COCK SPARRA (Traditional) / DANNY BOY (Trad.arr. Simpson) / SCOTLAND YET (Stewart) / THE GIRL FROM GLASGOW TOWN (Stewart/Grant)

Producer Bob McDowall.
Musical Director Mark Simpson.
Engineer Clark Sorley.
Graphics Donald George (Photo-Litho)
Photography Harry Turner - Mono Press

A Burns Supper


Album sleeve image Buy Now! A Night of a Thousand Tributes

This is an excellent double album release, both for Burns aficionados and Stewart fans alike. John Cairney, Moira Anderson, Ian Powrie, Kenneth McKellar, Russell Hunter and Andy Stewart - who could want more? Andy provides two recitals here; a spirited ode to 'The Haggis' and a most remarkable version of 'Tam O' Shanter'. The latter alone makes the album well worth acquiring.

"I've been to Burns Suppers, The grandest and the least, But the ane we had frae West Sound Was nae supper, 'twas a feast!
A thousand cam' frae a' the airts, An' had't been a thousan' mile, There wasna ane but wad agree, Their journey was worthwhile!
This is a record of that nicht's By-ornar famous ploy; We wish ye pleasure as we say Sit back - an' share its joy." Andy Stewart

Year of Release: 1986
Label: Lismor Deluxe Double
Catalogue Number: LDDL 8001

INTRODUCTION Joe Campbell / BURNS SELECTION: A Man's a Man for A' That - Duncan Gray - Coming Thro' the Rye - My Love She's but a Lassie yet John Carmichael & his Band / BURNS GRACE AT KIRKCUDBRIGHT Joe Campbell / THE HAGGIS Andy Stewart / JOHN McMILLAN OF BARRA (Norman MacDonald) / MAGGIE CAMERON / COL. D.J.S. MURRAY (P/M A. MacDonald) Iain MacFadyen - Piper / THE IMMORTAL MEMORY John Cairney / OH WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU MY LAD Moira Anderson / AYRSHIRE - LAND OF BURNS The Rt. Hon. George Younger / THE COCK O' THE NORTH / HOO DINNAE YE PLAY MAIR Ian Powrie - Fiddle / MARGARET ANNE ROBERTSON (F. Jamieson) Ian Powrie - Fiddle / THE LASSIES Lionel Daiches Q.C. / GREEN GROW THE RUSHES Kenneth McKellar / THE GALLANT WEAVER Moira Anderson / REPLY TO THE TOAST TO THE LASSIES Jean Anderson / THE ATHOLL HIGHLANDERS / BONNIE DUNDEE John Carmichael & his Band / HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER Russell Hunter / THE CORN RIGS ARE BONNIE / FLOWERS OF EDINBURGH Ian Powrie - Fiddle / AFTON WATER Kenneth McKellar / TAM O' SHANTER Andy Stewart / A ROSEBUD BY MY EARLY WALK Moira Anderson / SCOTS WHA' HA'E Kenneth McKellar / AULD LANG SYNE John Cairney & The Company

All tracks Trad. except where noted.

Produced for Lismor by Bob McDowall.
Produced for West Sound Radio by John McCauley.
Recorded live at the Hospitality Inn Glasgow.
Engineer Brian Yound - Ca Va Sound Workshop.
Re-mixed at Sirocco Studio, Engineer Clark Sorley.
Front cover of stained glass window at the Cottage Museum Alloway. By kind courtesy of the trustees of Burns monument and Cottage Alloway
Designed by Geo-Graphics

Back to the Bothy


Album sleeve image Buy Now! A full five years had gone by since Andy's last album, and in the intervening time much had been made of Andy's supposed "retirement" (which only lasted about a year) due to the on-going nature of his health. This album is essentially Andy's last specifically recorded album, and is a delight.

Andy provided the sleeve notes explaining the choices of songs:

"'Back to the Bothy' is an apt title for this my latest recording.

Not a lot of people know this! but at one time I had a yearning to be a vet, and so spent all my holidays working on farms near Arbroath, where I picked up a few bothy songs. I was also lucky to have two friends in Arbroath who were keen collectors of the Ballads - George Lowe and George Shepherd and they were of great assistance to me in this.

I was lucky to have great backing musicians on this recording. My pianist Mark Simpson (with me now for 21 years), Roy Sneddon who is tops as far as drumming goes; our two accordionists Jim Johnstone and Gordon Pattullo - household names in the accordion world: Dave Barclay who played with the Ian Powrie Band on my first White Heather Club - 30 years ago and Duncan Findlay Scotland's No.1 on guitar and banjo.

We thought we'd stick to the real classic ballads, giving them a new treatment, so you'll find all the old favourites here. I must mention 'An Auld Maid in a Garret' which apart from being a stottin' song is a special friend of a very good friend of mine Doddie Kemp, who is my oldest friend in Aberdeen and one of nature's gentlemen."

'MacFarlane O' the Sprotts O' Burnieboozie', the tale of farm-worker feuding gets us underway quickly followed by 'Nicky Tams' (the name given to the string that keeps a farm-hand's trousers out of the mud). These perfect pair of comic songs are perfect examples of the doric song and it is sheer enjoyment to hear them performed so well and with obvious delight. 'The Road and the Miles to Dundee' is a well-worn path by now, receiving another fresh recording here. 'The Barnyards of Delgaty' revives more Aberdeenshire hi-jinks and 'The Sunday Painter' is an "Andylogue" first published way back in 1961 (but never recorded until now) telling the tale of an under-appreciated amateur artist. 'An Auld Maid in a Garret' is a "new" bothy-song added to Andy's catalogue, being the comic tale of an unfortunate spinster and her longing for a suitor. 'Maggie' and 'The Muckin' O' Geordie's Byre' close side one in familiar style.

Side two begins with new renditions of 'The Bonnie Lass O' Fyvie' and 'Kissin in the Dark', the latter, of course, being a self-penned bothy "classic". Slowing things down a little Andy performs his 'My Ain Lass' written with Jimmy Blue in 1975. Stepping out again with 'Mormond Braes' Andy takes us again for 'A Dauner Roon the Toon' ending up at the horse fair at 'Aikey Braes'. 'D'Ye Mind Lang Syne' was one of the most regularly performed songs that was not one of his own, and here it is revived once more. Back to 1961 to finish off and the supper is still going strong at Balmannocks in 'McGinty's Meal and Ale'.

These recordings of the "Bothy Songs", appear relaxed and natural and at this stage in his life these songs now particularly suited his vocal ability.

Year of Release: 1988
Label: Lismor Deluxe
Catalogue Number: LIDL 6021

MACFARLANE O' THE SPROATS O' BURNIE BOOZIE / NICKY TAMS / THE ROAD AND THE MILES TO DUNDEE / THE BARNYARDS OF DELGATY / THE SUNDAY PAINTER (Stewart) / AN AULD MAID IN A GARRET / MAGGIE / THE MUCKIN' O' GEORDIE'S BYRE / THE BONNIE LASS O' FYVIE / KISSING IN THE DARK (Stewart/Grant) / MY AIN LASS (Stewart/Blue) / MORMOND BRAES / A DAUNDER ROON THE TOON (Stewart) / AIKEY BRAE (G.S. Morris) / DAE YE MIND LANG SYNE (Rev. Dr. Lawrie) / McGINTY'S MEAL AND ALE

All tracks traditional non copyright except where noted.

Produced by Bob McDowall.
Engineer Frank Reader and Clark Sorley at Sirocco.
Graphics Donnie George.