Two centuries have passed and two CDs worth of his work have been released since the death of Paisley born weaver poet Robert Tannahill. The third compilation released on Brechin All Records sees contributions from the likes of Nick Keir, Rod Paterson and Fiona Hunter.
As many similar albums there is sometimes the problem of too much being respect paid to the original work. Lucy Pringle’s take on ‘Despairing Mary’ may be highly musically proficient yet it fails to spark any excitement deserving of such a great poet whilst ‘Responsive Ye Woods’ performed by Ian Anderson would benefit from a slightly more contemporary approach.
The best results come from an air of playfulness by the musicians involved. Rod Paterson’s charming version of ‘Fill, Fill the Merry Bowl’ is a true highlight whilst ‘The Braes o’ Gleniffer’ by Fiona Hunter sparkles with a beautiful and tranquil arrangement.
‘Will Ye Gang Tae Sherramuir?’ performed by Paterson remains the overall highlight. Guitar work reminiscent of Kris Drever propels it along with a composed confidence and allows the lyrics of Tannahill to shine through.
Through the three compilations of work Brechin All Records have done a rather wonderful job of remembering a great poet and talent indeed. Here’s hoping that we’ll soon see another tribute paid to him soon by other fine folk artists.