To the uninitiated, Jock Tamson's Bairns may seem like a strange name for a traditional Celtic band. The name, however, derives from a common Scottish saying meaning, "We're all the same -- we're all equal." The original band recorded a self-titled LP in 1980 and The Lasses Fashion in 1982. Then, as bands sometimes do, they decided to take 13-year break. Now Rod Paterson, John Croall, Norman Chalmers, Ian Hardie, and Dereck Hoy have once again hit the road and entered the studio. Thirteen jigs and ballads fill May You Never Lack a Scone, and each one is guaranteed to inspire dancing and singing. The primitive drumbeat at the beginning of "Gude Claret/Wee Hieland Laddie" will shake one's bones and wake up any cats sleeping too near one's speakers. The lyrics praise a once popular French wine, because "Gude Calret best keeps oot the cauld, And drives awa' the winter soon." Dare one disagree? Robert Tannahill's impressionistic "Braes O' Gleniffer" paints a bleak picture of Scotland's "cloud skiffs," "snaw-flooded fountain," and "wintery wind swellin'." Lovely whistles fill the sails of "Macgregor of Ruara/The King's House" while fiddles call and answer in the sprightly "The Back of the Change House." Fans who have been waiting since 1982 for a new release will surely be pleased with May Ye Never Lack a Scone. This release should also appeal to those who prefer pure, unadulterated, and 100% natural Scottish folk music. This is the real thing, and here's hoping that Jock Tamson's Bairns will not wait 13 more years before recording their next effort.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.