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Traditional Music >> Performers >> Scottish Folk Groups >> Alba


Alba

Scottish Folk Group

Behind the creation of the excellent but short-lived band was Sean O'Rourke, one of the main elements in the folk-rock trailblazers The JSD Band. Sean had first thought of an acoustic band in 1974, but it wasn't till 1975 that Sean explained the idea of the group with Mike Ward (ex-Tannahill Weavers). Mike introduced singer Tony Cuffe, and later they found young piper Alan Macleod playing at a gig. They took their time, trying to take direction from some of the big Irish groups if the time, the Bothy Band and Planxty.

They recorded one album (listed below), but they weren't playing full time. Sean O'Rourke had gone back to art school in Glasgow, while Mike Ward planned to qualify in classical guitar. Alan Macleod was still at piping school, while Tony had just finished teacher training. Before long, the band had simply moved on to individual projects. Tony Cuffe joined Jock Tamson's Bairns and then Ossian. He later moved to Boston where he performed solo and with Windbags, and did some teaching as well. Sadly with the turn of the century Tony contracted cancer, dying in December 2001. He is sadly missed and fondly remembered.

Some of Alba's recordings are detailed below:

 


Alba

Alba (Rubber Records RUB 021, 1977)

Side One: Glen Rinnes/The Jig of Slurs; The Overgate; Kings Favourite; Van Dieman's Land; The Mermaid's Song/John Murray of Lochee/Pipe Major George Allen
Side Two: The Blacksmith's Reel/The Star of Munster; Fear Ah Bhata; Drummond Castle/Paddy's Leather Breeches; Captain Ward; The Garten Mother's Lullaby; The Geese In the Bog/Dr McInees' Fancy

Alan Macleod (Highland bagpipes, bodhran), Tony Cuffe (guitar, lyre, whistle, vocals), Sean O'Rourke (vocals, bazouki, flute, whistle), Mike Ward (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals)


Up the Town

Up the Town (Rubber Records RUB 039, 1980)
with The Buskers, Sean McGuire, Wynters Armoury

Side One: The Blacksmith's Reel/The Star of Munster; The Geese In the Bog/Dr McInnes' Fancy; Fear Ah Bhata; The Mermaid's Song/John Murray of Lochee/Pipe Major George Allen

Alan Macleod (Highland bagpipes, bodhran), Tony Cuffe (guitar, lyre, whistle, vocals), Sean O'Rourke (vocals, bazouki, flute, whistle), Mike Ward (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals)