The Scone was released on 1 February 2001, the first pressing sold out in four weeks!
You can hear MP3 sample tracks below. Then order it from MusicScotland.
For more than two decades, I've never ceased to be thrilled and enthused by the arrival of a new Bairns recording Their tune sets are always crisp and invigorating, while their song interpretations never fail to shed new light on Scots tradition. The arrangements are always breathtaking, sometimes as complex as a classical piece and sometimes starkly simple. I'd offer this as their best yet.
Where to begin and where to end? There isn't a track here you wouldn't take to your desert island; if a favourite ther must be, let it be Rod Paterson's tear-jerking reading of Bogie's Bonnie Belle. I wouldn't even dare to pick from the half dozen exellent tune sets, packed with ideas and originality.
If you're wondering about the title, it's based on a chorus line from the final song, Donal Don. The booklet contains an excellent scone recipe, in case you're caught short.
Mick Tems, Taplas
A new JTBs CD is a major event- 20 odd years is a long time between albums, especially as their last (1982 "Lasses Fashion") was chosen as one of the all-time top ten albums by Richard Thomson - a man who knows a good band when he hears it - for "Q" magazine. In truth, "the Bairns" have not existed as a working unit for all of that time but the new line-up of original members Rod Paterson, John Croall, Derek Hoy, Ian Hardie and Norman Chalmers sounds just like it did in 1982 - still fresh, lively and inventive. Their ability to make new and innovative noises on a very traditional set of instruments is astounding and the grey hairs don't show on CD!
Here we have 13 tracks of songs, tunes and sets - and Rod Paterson's voice is, predictably, very much in evidence. The man could sing the telephone directory and make it moving. However, his instantly-identifiable tones contrast and blend beautifully with John Croall's on songs like (Robert) Tannahill's wistful "Braes o' Glennifer", the bouncy "Johnny Sangster" and the even more bouncy "Donal Don" - from whence comes the puzzling reference to scones (buy the CD to find out more).
The CD kicks off with a rousing marching drum and never lets loose your attention - whether it's through the lyricism of "Bogie's Bonnie Bell", with a different melody from the one we all know, or the gentle swing of "Woo'd and Married and A'" which puts me in mind of mid-period Nic Jones, incongruously enough. Perhaps it's just the easy, lazy guitar - it sure ain't the accents! As you'd expect, the instruments are as tight as the proverbial duck's behind with the distinctive JTB's swing (although less marked than that of their descendant band - the Easy Club) that we all know and love. Anything new here, then? Well, the sound's perhaps fuller-sounding but that may be just the effect of more experience in production amongst the band members - the ensemble singing on "Gude Claret" is especially impressive.
I could do a track-by-track, but it wouldn't help you. This is 24-carat JTBs, sounding like they've never been away and the 20 years simply have not passed. It was a fabulous sound then and it still is now. Mighty indeed.
Alan Murray, Living Tradition
JTB's first two albums go back to the early 80s, so this third disc has been a long time coming. Their live performances since reforming in 1996 have whetted the appetite for its arrival, and, happily it proves well worth the wait.
It is a fine, entirely characteristic reflection of their deft, highly musical approach. They treat traditional music in respectful but imaginative fashion, whether in songs like 'Braes O' Gleniffer' (beautifully sung by Rod Paterson) and 'Johnny Sangster', or in sweetly played sets of instrumental tunes, ancient and modern.
The twin fiddles of Derek Hoy and Ian Hardie are accompanied by Norman Chalmers on concertina, John Croall's whistle and bodhran, and Paterson's guitar, and everyone pulls their weight in creating a genuine group sound.
Kenny Mathieson, The List
1 Feb 2001
A remarkable renaissance... the arrangements are very crafted, but there is also a lot of variety, a lot of fun and spark...
Not a group that compromises- they play Scottish music the way it is... a strong representation of a great band.
Archie Fisher/Sue Wilson, BBC Radio Scotland
1 Feb 2001
"No let-up of their distinctive stamp on Scottish music... its snappy-swingy, fiddle-driven sets and sensitively couched songs, suggest that old Bairns never die, nor do they fade away..."
Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman
"Has to be in with a shot of winning best title of the year doesn't it? A band that developed an underground following around Scotland which came about from two early 80's albums and some exceptional but infrequent live shows. The band started to work together again in 1996 with the current line up being Norman Chalmers, Ian Hardie, Rod Paterson, Derek Hoy & John Croall. This is as pure, as full of character and as Scottish as it gets, simply wonderful, my favourite is the stripped down enchanting The Unreel from fiddler Ian Hardie. Oh and there's a recipe for scones in the sleeve notes, what more could you want?"