From Uig to Duluth
Scots Gaelic Music and Song 

Featured on NPR's "Thistle & Shamrock" program, alongside field recordings of our Scots Gaelic source singer, John Matheson - November, 2016.

This recording is a special collection of Scots Gaelic music and song, accompanied by Dáithí Sproule (guitar, of Altan) and Andrea Stern (harp), with singer Laura MacKenzie adding wooden flutes, whistles, concertina and Scottish smallpipes to the production’s colorful palette. The North Star Gaelic Singers also add their spirited vocals to two tracks. The album is a gorgeous selection of traditional music, ranging in theme from great longings to humorous delights, with a special connection to Scottish heritage in America.
 
The songs and melodies were sourced primarily from field recordings made in Duluth, Minnesota in 1937 of Scots Gaelic singer John Matheson, who immigrated to Duluth from Uig, Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland in 1905. In both Scotland and North America, Matheson was held in the highest regard as a traditional singer, and his music gladdened the heart of many an immigrant Scot in Duluth and beyond.
 
“…a recording of subtle excellence and substantial emotional depth, filled with
both joy and longing, delivered through skillful arrangements by some of the best.”
 -- Gary Rue, producer/composer/professor/director of New Music Arts and Musicals 4 Young Audiences 

"Laura and her colleagues skillfully and subtly convey the songs’ essence with a gentle, light touch....it's easy to be won over by the creative flair of Laura's performances."
- The Living Tradition
 
“A monumental piece of preservation of Scots Gaelic….A Herculean task well done I must say. Laura performs the Gaelic tunes as if she’d spent her whole life in the Hebrides.”
- Jack Baker, Irish American News

"Fascinating musical project performing the Gaelic repertoire of singer John Matheson, who migrated from the Isle of Lews to Minnesota in 1905.  Laura's clear Gaelic vocal has lots of expression. Guitar, smallpipes,harp and whistles provide sprightly, bright, smooth accompaniment" -- fROOTS (U.K.) (with a "Thumbs Up" rating!)

"Her guests are Andrea Stern on Celtic Harp and Dáithí Sproule, one of Celtic music's most inventive and tasteful guitarists. With this palette, MacKenzie builds arrangements with a fresh, light quality, alternating between the spirited Scottish dance music of such pieces as "Chuir i glùin air a' bhodach" and the more stately feel of parlor music on tunes like "Màiri mhin mheall-shùileach." All of this perfectly suits Matheson's delicate traditional airs. MacKenzie is also the main singer on the recording, and she does an impressive job with the challenging task of singing quick, sometimes wordy Gaelic songs and making them accessible and enjoyable. MacKenzie relies on Matheson's field recordings for most of the repertoire, so with a few notable exceptions (such as "Fear a bhatha" and "Gabhaidh sinn an rathad mor"), the tunes and songs will be fresh even to people very familiar with Scottish Gaelic music.   It's a very appealing package for both general listeners and connoisseurs."
-- Steve Winick, Huffington Post

 

Laura MacKenzie  - vocals, wooden flutes, whistles, Scottish smallpipes. concertina
Dáithí Sproule – guitar
Andrea Stern – harp
The North Star Gaelic Singers – additional vocals
 
Recorded, mixed and mastered at
   Wild Sound, Minneapolis, MN
   by Matthew Zimmerman
Produced by Laura MacKenzie
Cover Art: Rick Allen
Graphic Design: Katryn Conlin,
    Dakota Street Design
 

From Uig to Duluth - track list: 
1) Stocainnean daoimean 
2) Eilean Leòdhais
3) Bheir mi ò/Fear a’ bhàta 
4) A Mhàiri bhàn òg 
5) Ho rò mo nighean donn bhòideach/
     Gogan a’ chinn mhòir/Chuir i glùin air a’ bhodach
6) Caidil gu là 
7) Màiri mhin mheall-shùileach /Bu deònach leam tilleadh
8) Bruthaichean Ghlinn’-Braon/
      An t-Eilean Muileach/Chan eil mo leannan ann an seo 
9) Thug mi gaol do’n fhear bhàn
10)Gabhaidh sinn a’ rathad mòr/Davey Maguire’s Highland
11) Màiri laghach 
12) Dheighinn dha ‘n a’ ghealaich leat 
 
From Uig to DuluthTitles in English: 
1) Diamond-Patterned Sox
2) The Isle of Lewis 
3) Eriskay Love Lilt/The Boatman 
4) Mary, young and fair – a spinning song
5) O, my pretty brown-haired girl/Gogan of the big head/She put her knee on the old man 
6) Sleep til daybreak 
7) Mary of the bewitching eyes/I would willingly return
8) The Braes of Loch Broom/The Isle of Mull/My sweetheart is not here
9) I gave my love to the fair one 
10) We will take the high road/Davey Maguire’s Highland 
11) Winsome Mary 
12) I would go to the moon with you  - a waulking (milling) song
 
Sound samples, lyrics and translations coming soon - check back! Or contact Laura directly.
laura@lauramackenzie.com | 651.398.5055 | design: dakotastreetdesign.com | Copyright © 2015 Laura MacKenzie