Deaf Shepherd have performed to consistently rapturous acclaim and sellout crowds at many of the world's leading Celtic music gatherings, including the Cambridge, Edinburgh, Shetland and Skagen folk festivals, the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, Brittany's Lorient festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. Their two albums to date, Ae Spark O' Nature's Fire (1996) and Synergy (1997), both won unanimously rave reviews, with Synergy being named by BBC Radio Scotland's Travelling Folk programme as one of the year's top releases, as well as earning a maximum five-star rating as "Album of the Week" in The Scotsman, one of Scotland's two quality daily newspapers.
Based in Edinburgh, currently home to the UK's most dynamic roots music scene, the band first got together in 1993, with most of the current line-up settling into place a couple of years later. Between them, they bring together most of Scotland's major regional traditions, hailing variously from the Highlands, Glasgow, the Hebridean island of Barra and the Lowlands of Ayrshire, with a dash of Irish influence in the shape of percussionist Mark MaGuire. While many of their musical contemporaries have pursued a fusion-based approach, Deaf Shepherd have stuck proudly to their traditional guns, introducing a new generation of fans to their rich native heritage by capturing the timeless spirit and beauty that has kept the venerable tunes and ballads in their repertoire alive down the centuries.
I’ve lost count of the times during this festival that I’ve heard people say what a shame it is that Deaf Shepherd aren’t a full-time performing outfit. Which is not to imply disappointment with what they deliver when they do play live, nor that they don’t have sound individual reasons - but I have to agree, nonetheless, because if they were, we’d get to see more of them. Still, here they were, and what a magnificent show they put on. Their signature blaze-of-glory dance sets, a charge of fiddles, pipes, guitar, bouzouki and bodhran, were expertly tempered with graceful slower interludes (the better to appreciate their shimmering interplay of harmony) and John Morran’s marvellously expressive singing. The Scotsman
The current lineup of Deaf Shepherd are John Morran (vocals, guitar), Claire McLaughlin (fiddle), Jenna Reid (fiddle), Finlay MacDonald (pipes), Malcom Stitt (bouzoukie), Mark Maguire (percussion, bodhran)
01 Gie'sadrink: Gie Us Adrinkof Water/John MacDonald's ... 3:53 Traditional, Gavin Pennycook
02 Thewaltzes: Theglen House/Mrsjean Campbell B SC. 3:04 Rory Campbell
03 Theminister'sset: Gin Ye Kiss Ma Wife I'll Go An' Tell the Minister 5:38 Traditional
04 Loganbraes 4:54 Public Domain, Burnes, Robert
05 Newpa: Ross Battery/Johann McTartan/Lochiel's Awa Tae France 4:14 Traditional,DonaldMacLeod, Rory Campbell
06 Finbarr: Finbarr Saunders/Chloe's Passion/Dhamhsadh Coinnach Ri ... 4:55 Traditional, Dr. Angus Macdonald, Michael Grey
07 Ah, Surely: Flgstoneof Memories/The Pawn Ofmadness/Ah, Surely 3:02 Traditional, Vincent Broderick, Gavin Pennycook
08 Peggygordan 3:26 Traditional
09 Double Pipe Set: Gav on Crutches/theFoxhunter/Gav onCrutches [Jig] 4:16 Traditional,RoryCampbell, Scott MacAulay, Malcolm Stitt
10 Lost Forwordsat Sea 4:20 John Morran, Smith, Brian
11 Theforeignsetl Out in Thenight/Turkish Reel/An Dro 4:59 Traditional, Lroniban, Dermot