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Peat Fire Flame

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Album Review

By the late '70s, the Corries were a well-established favorite of Scotland's folk circuit and had already penned their two signature tunes, "Flower of Scotland" and "Roses of Prince Charlie." Coming off a series of successful live albums that had carried them through the middle part of the decade, the duo of Roy Williamson and Ronnie Browne returned in 1977 with Peat Fire Flame, a collection of both love songs and celebrations of Scotland's rugged beauty. Unlike the four live albums that preceded it, their return to the studio allowed them to once again expand their sonic palette and multi-track the variety of different instruments they were known for playing. In addition to the use of combolins — a pair of homemade multi-stringed instruments Williamson had developed in the late '60s — the two can be heard playing bouzouki, bodhran, banjo, Northumbrian Pipes, and a number of other instruments, often stacked in ethereal combos like on the haunting title track and the eerie, chanted soundscape of "The Barge of Gorrie Crovan." "Come by the Hills" is another standout and prominently features some fine interplay between Williamson and Browne on their combolins as well as some strong vocal work. After the well-rehearsed banter and crowd-pleasing tone of their live albums, the Corries showed that they were still a formidable and daring force in the studio on what is easily the highlight of their late-'70s output.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The traditional music of Scotland was preserved in the 1960s and '70s by the Corries, a duo featuring multi-instrumentalists, songwriters, and vocalists Roy Williamson and Ronnie Browne. Although they primarily focused on traditional folk songs, the Corries are best remembered for their original songs, "Flower of Scotland" by Williamson -- which has gone on to become Scotland's unofficial anthem -- and Browne's "The Roses of Prince Charles." The Corries originated with a trio that Williamson and...
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Peat Fire Flame, The Corries
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