The Islanders: Jim, with the beard, is the lead singer. Eddie, with the mexican[ sic] moustache, is lead guitarist and Nancy is lead tambourine. They make the singing sounds, and they're good, while Pete looks after the double bass.
It's about four years since they started and they soon came to the top in Scotland with their records, and their own radio and TV series but make no mistake about it, this no Heather and Haggis outfit. Like the loch they're international with a liking for good songs wherever they come from. And their work reflects this since they are as much at home with cabaret in a slick nightspot as in the smoky confines of a folk club or topping the bill in our best known theatres.
But most importantly The Islanders are people who have successfully combined the best of all worlds in their singing and their songs. With a fine sense of tradition they still see and face today's problems and blend both into something which is still pure entertainment. They haven't set out to preach or pontificate, point fingers or punish. They enjoy what they do and they do it well.
There are many singers who'll give you a song to the accompaniment of a battery of untutored guitars and still others who can pick so dizzv a banjo that you lose the lyric completely. The Islanders have achieved that happy balance between voice and instrument which proclaims their sheer professionalism.
They want you to enjoy their songs and especially to enjoy this record. And you will.
I Ain't Marchin' Any More — It seems crazy that a protest song should have such a martial tune but maybe if the music catches your ear the words and the sentiment will filter in too.
Early In The Morning — An unmistakably Canadian song with a lonesome sound like those far off spots "somewhere on the mountain" that it speaks of.
Last Class Seaman — Wine. Women and…well nobody wrote better on the subject than Woody Guthrie and here he's in typical earthy form in an untypical sea song.
Hush Little Babe — Some traditional songs can soldier on for ever unscathed, while others get progressively more meaningless. What can you legally do with a mocking bird anyway? The face-lift was long overdue.
No More Words — At last Nancy, released temporarily from her blistering tambourine work, takes the lead in a burlesque love song of our own composition.
The Gallowa Hills — "Still strangely remote Galloway is one of the last unspoiled areas of Scotland" drones on the travelogue. But it's true, just the same.
John Reilly — Love's most traditional story of the absent sweetheart who changes so much that his girl doesn't know him when he returns to "chat her up" seven years later. Seems hardly surprising. You should have seen us seven years ago!
Steel Rail Blues — Folk music has a fascination for all forms of travel and the rail road wanderer has ever been a favourite subject.
This modern song still seems to capture all the power and glamour that was the railroad train.
Going To The Zoo — With my personal loathing for zoos and circuses I still find this song strangely attractive. Let the kids hear it. They'll love it and sing it…and sing it…and sing it…and…
Gipsy Boy — Youth and age stay sadly apart even in these enlightened days. Although we are all pre-judged and guilty there are still, happily, many young people willing to try for their own particular sun.
Pride Of Man — A biblical war which is still being fought in very real terms 2,000 years on and still no nearer solution. A strong song, a warning and a possible answer.
Yes, Yes, Yes — Most important here is your pronunciation and how your mind works. Eddie, who sings this solo, thinks you'll get the picture early on.
Wild Flying Dove — If Tom Paxton really did write this song for his wife, we fed a little guilty for intruding, but it's so lovely that we just couldn't resist.
Twa Recruitin- Sergeants — Before the days of the TV Commercial the Army had its own at men selling die "man's life" angle even then, at country fairs and the likes. This Scottish song has all the i especially- the language.
Freedom Come-All-Ye — Despite the absence of a glossary we thin you'll sentiment, set to an old pipe tune. A strangely universal from a country that normally looks inwards and backwards.
That's My Song — "And to sum it up". A song that says it all neatly and nicely. The closing number for all our concerts, clubs, cabarets, bingo halls, and cinema queues. It's been fun for us and we hope there's "Still that yearning" for more.