The Celtic Music Radio Album of the Week commencing Saturday 17 November 2012 is the posthumous solo release from folk legend, Lionel McClelland.
Lionel McClelland ‘To Wyle Us Hame’ was produced by Kirsten Easdale and Gregor Lowrey which Lionel was recording at the time of his death in September 2010.
Lionel’s work was completed with a little help from his friends including: Pete Clark; Marc Duff; Aaron Jones; Susie Kelly; Kris Koren; Paul McKenna; Rod Paterson and John Weatherby and is funded in part by Arts Live, Dumfries & Galloway Council and dgArts.
Lionel was born on the 21 March 1957 and left behind him a great legacy of wonderful material. His poem, ‘The Craw’ is a masterpiece and captures beautifully Lionel’s ability to see the human side to things. His ballad, ‘The Earl O’ Marches Daughter’ is entrancing and Lionel took the fact that many people thought that this was a classic traditional song as the ultimate compliment to his writing. His grizzly tale of ‘Sawney Bean’ has all the elements required for a good old fashioned shiver up the spine.
Lionel had a great love and passion for the work of Robert Burns and recorded on Linn Records ‘The Complete Songs of Robert Burns’. His own guitar arrangements to things like ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ were so incredibly thoughtful and insightful as were his compositions on tin whistle. His ‘Bankers Song’ and ‘MP’s Expenses Song’ were hilarious pieces that showed Lionel’s contempt for greed and deceit.
Lionel’s work as an actor on such productions as Arthur Millar’s, ‘The Crucible’, and also Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s ‘Sunset Song’ with Tag Theatre Company, may well have been a contributing factor as to his ability to recite Scots poetry and verse like no other. John Cairney said of Lionel’s recitation of Tam O’ Shanter that ‘it was like hearing an old friend telling him a wonderful story over a pint; an excellent narration with every nuance there’.
Lionel toured all over the world with his band, ‘Blackeyed Biddy,’ and recorded sessions with such people as Brian McNeil, Finbar Furey and guitarist Martin Taylor. He was very excited about his new band, ‘Bring In The Spirit’, and had just completed the first run of gigs with the band in Callander, his charismatic performances enthralling audiences.
Ross Macfadyen talks to the album co-producer Kirsten Easdale about Lionel and his music.
Celtic Music Radio Album of the Week, Saturday at 12 noon and 12 midnight and Monday 19 November at 6.00pm and Catch Up anytime.