The Ultimate Guide to Scottish Folk

Various Artists

(CD - Arc Music #EUCD 2606)

Review by Timothy Monger

This two-disc collection from renowned world music label ARC Music covers a widespread swath of Scottish folk music that spans from traditional to Celtic fusion to more contemporary folk. Dipping as far back as Jimmy Shand's signature piece "The Bluebell Polka," The Ultimate Guide largely features more contemporary trad acts like Lau and Skipinnish, while tossing in a handful of artists to represent each decade back to the 1950s. Singer/songwriter greats like Archie Fisher and Dick Gaughan are here, as are folk-inspired hybrids like Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac and electronic-leaning multi-instrumentalist Martyn Bennett. As with any collection of this type, there are some noticeable gaps and questionable selections, but overall it's an enjoyable set that showcases legends and newcomers alike.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Lau 05:08 SpotifyAmazon
2 Capercaillie 04:11 SpotifyAmazon
3 Fred Morrison 04:50 SpotifyAmazon
4 Dougie MacLean 02:59 SpotifyAmazon
5 Jimmy Shand 03:05 SpotifyAmazon
6 Ceolbeg 02:52 SpotifyAmazon
7 Mischa Macpherson Trio 03:54 SpotifyAmazon
8 Mick West 03:06 SpotifyAmazon
9 Ashley Maclsaac 05:29 SpotifyAmazon
10 Heather Heywood 06:43 SpotifyAmazon
11 Michael Marra 03:28 SpotifyAmazon
12 Mackenzie 02:15 SpotifyAmazon
13 Angus Mackenzie / Kenneth Mackenzie 05:28 SpotifyAmazon
14 Archie Fisher 02:40 SpotifyAmazon
15 Iron Horse 03:30 SpotifyAmazon
16 Blazin' Fiddles 04:20 SpotifyAmazon
17 Dick Gaughan 03:58 SpotifyAmazon
18 The Red Hot Chilli Pipers 05:07 SpotifyAmazon
19 Martyn Bennett 03:50 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick