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Who's Who in Scottish Folk Music: C

Who's Who in Scottish Folk Music

Caern, The
1969: Edinburgh based threesome Bill Hill, Tom Smith and Jean Brooks took their name from the Scots word for a "small collection". All three had had acclaim as solo artists, but decided to join forces and turn professional in 1968. They toured with Jimmy Shand, appeared on television, and released an LP on Emerald Gem records in 1969, "Introducing The Caern, a Collection of Scotch Folk"
Cassiopeia
1972: Glasgow-based group Cassiopeia were Ann Candlish, Sandy Craig (who were the founding members). For a brief time Steve Middel joined them. Between them they played guitar, banjo, mandolin and autoharp, and wrote some of their own material. In 1973 Anne and Sandy renamed themselves Mystik.
Causeway Folk, The
Group from Newmilns, Fife (had an entry in the 1973 Scottish Folk Directory).
Ceolbeg
Group from Dundee who have had great critical success. They originally formed in the 1970s and finally split up in 2002. They recorded six albums and included many musicians in a constantly changing line-up. Some of their recorded output can be see at their discography page.
Cheap Dessert
A guitar duo based in Germany in the mid-1980s. Dougie Petrie (vocals, guitar) from Stirling had performed with Superswillys and teamed up with Barney Rasche (vocals, guitar, bass). As well as German radio appearances, they released one LP in 1984, Cheap Dessert, with Evert Fraterman on drums.

Clach na Cudden
were Isobel Hirst of Helensburgh and Martin McHugh of Glasgow, featuring vocals, accordion, whistles, bodhran, banjo, guitar and keyboards.
Clansmen, The
were George Stewart and Ernie McPherson and performed at Carlogie Folk Club in Carnoustie in the late 1960s. Their regular gig was warming up the audience before the main act went on. They did a lot of charity concerts and entertained hospitals. They counted The Corries as one of their main influences. Latterly mandolinist John McLaggan joined the group.
Cottars, The
The Cottars were a group based in Girvan around 1964 who did concert parties going round villages in Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire with a country singer, a piper, female impersonator, etc. They were Tommy Truesdale (mandolin), Bobby Robb (vocals, whistle), Matt Galloway (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Hamilton (accordion) and Robby McNally (fiddle). Matt McGinn once asked them to back him on a record, but nothing came of it. Tommy and Bobby also performed as a duet called The Lave.
Coulters, The
Extant 1966 to 1988, The Coulters were Jim Ritchie (bass), Ian MacRae (vocals), Des Forress (mandolin, guitar, banjo) and Joe Forress (guitar).
Crannachan
This was an Edinburgh folk group active between 1980 and 1982. Billy Ross (guitar, vocals), Peter McClements (fiddle), Jimmy Young (flute, pipes) and Davy Stuart (bouzouki, fiddle) performed in folk clubs and festivals and on TV and radio. Ross had been in Ossian, and would later form Smalltalk, which evolved into the second incarnation of Ossian. McClements had played in another Edinburgh group, Wee Willum. Later, in 1988, Jimmy Young formed the New Zealand-based group Rua, and shortly afterwards Davy Stuart joined him. I do not believe Crannachan ever released any recordings.

Crofters, The (Aberdeen)
I know very little about this Aberdeen-based group. They were Bill & Eileen Christie and Frank Robb. They recorded one album that I know about, The Crofters (Beltona 1969)
Crofters, The (Edinburgh)
The Crofters were Steve Brown (banjo, vocals), Pat Ledgerwood (lead vocals), Aly Fraser (vocals), Sandy Scott (mandolin) and George Anderson (guitar). Based in Edinburgh, they performed for about three or four years, made a demo recording, and appeared on the radio, but no official recording was ever released. Pat Ledgerwood went to live in Canada, and still sings. Steve Brown is still in Edinburgh, retired, and is learning penny whistle.

Who's Who in Scottish Folk Music
Crofters, The (Glasgow)
The Crofters (Glasgow variety) featured Jim Carey on banjo, Pat McColgan on vocals and harmonica, Sheila McClymont on fiddle and mandolin and Alan McGregor on guitar and bouzouki. When Carey left, multi-instrumentalist Jim Dorans joined on fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin. The group appeared at clubs and festivals in Scotland and the continent. Dorans now lives in Southampton and gives tuition on fiddle. The Crofters were active in 1970-71.
Cruachan (1)
In October 1971 Cruachan appeared on the Grampian TV programme "High Time", (they sang The Road and Miles to Dundee) and by 1972 they were were residents at the Blairgowrie Folk Club. At this time they were a duo, Ewan Sutherland (guitar, vocals and bodhran), Dougie McLean (mandolin and guitar). They had stints abroad, notably Germany. Before Cruachan, Dougie was playing mandolin with David Wilkie of Alyth, akthough he and Ewan had known each other for some time. Their repertoire was mainly Scottish songs and Corries-type material. "What we really want to do is to revive similar material not yet so well known" explained Ewan. By 1972 they seemed to have found a more definite musical direction with the addition of vocalist Andy Stewart from Rattray. Andy handled most of the vocals, with Ewen on harmony. Andy also played improvised bodhran, but Dougie was still the multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, banjo, mandolin and banjo-mandolin. Dougie McLean later joined The Tannahill Weavers before embarking on a very successful solo career. Andy M Stewart found fame with Silly Wizard.
Cruachan (2)
Extant 1986-92. A three-piece from the west of Scotland, This Cruachan consisted of Jim Shearer (vocals, whistles, harmonica, bodhran), Mike McCormack (vocals, guitar, mandola, mandolin), and Steve Lawrence (vocals, guitar, bouzouki, dulcimer, low whistle). Lawrence had replaced Ross Kennedy, who left to join The Tannahill Weavers. As far as I know, Cruachan released at least three recordings, the first being Cruachan - Traditional Music and Song (1987, Hillside Studios HS001). Stevie Lawrence went on to become involved in many musical outfits including Hot Toddy and The Iron Horse. Later members of the band were John Malcolm (vocals, guitar), Nigel Munro (mandolin, mandola, vocals) and David Munro.
Cuillins, The
Jenny Allen (guitar, vocals) and Gwen Mills (vocals) used a map and a pin to come up with their name. They played a mixture of traditional folk song and contemporary in clubs around their native Dundee in the late 1960s.
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Last update: 17th July 2014

Any further information about any of the groups mentioned on these pages would be appreciated (email Nigel Gatherer)

Nigel Gatherer, Crieff, Perthshire | nigelgatherer@mac.com