The MacDonald Sisters were the first Gaelic singing group in Scotland. Founded in 1963 they were extensively touring the British Isles until 1977. Finlay MacDonald, son of Kathleen, presents a compilation with 26 of their most beautiful songs.
The first 12 songs were taken from their album "Four Bonnie Highland Lassies". They sing traditional rhythmic Gaelic songs like "Horo Bhodachain", melancholic slow waltzes like "Calum Sgàire" as well as some intoxicating mouth music (Puirt a beul). Their beautiful singing is accompanied by orchestral arrangements by Colin Wylie and Archie Duncan. They also perform classic folk songs in English like "The Spinning Wheel", another beautiful slow waltz, or the rhythmic "Johnny Cope".
All vocal arrangements for the 14 songs on "Songs of the Island" were by Kathleen and the accompaniment directed by Iain Gourley. The exclusively Gaelic songs are traditional except one of the Waulking songs, "Is guirme do shuil", and the soft melancholic ballad "An Ataireachd Bhuan", which are original songs by The MacDonald Sisters.
The four brilliant singers introduced their Gaelic heritage to the audience in the 60ies and 70ies and thus are trailblazers for modern Scottish folk music. Their authentic singing style is accompanied by rather classical arrangements, an interesting and beautiful historical source.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup