Corran Raa

“a quartet of conspicuous talent...”

CDs

Daydreams and Departures

Available to buy now at Coda Music

  1. Made It
  2. The Sands of Luskentyre
  3. The Wild Flowers
  4. Special Agent Turberville
  5. Kirkhus
  6. Seggy Boats
  7. The Dancin’
  8. The Caretaker
  9. Beacons
  10. Squinty
  11. Time Wears Awa’
  12. Many Happy Returns
  13. Daydreams and Departures

Corran Raa

Available to buy now at Coda Music

  1. Bring It On
  2. The New Jigs
  3. Ower the Muir Amang the Heather
  4. Lewis’
  5. Albert Thomas’
  6. Shetland Times and Tatties
  7. The King’s Shilling
  8. Lochside Wedding
  9. Kiera’s and Anna’s
  10. Baron’s Heir
  11. Tricia’s
  12. Lovely In The End
‘Daydreams and Departures’ by Corran Raa

"an album of enchantment and fascination"

Corran Raa play music that drinks deep from the well of tradition and sups from the bowl of invention. Music that’s equally ‘at home’ today as it was years ago. As you listen, there’s an edge cutting through that raises their own interpretations and compositions, sometimes fine and gentle at other times sharp and strong, but always finely placed.

Their latest album, ‘Daydreams and Departures’ combines influences from tradition blending with self-penned and covered compositions that create an album of enchantment and fascination. The original Corran Raa is a sand spit on the island of Taransay - evoking infinite mythical association with its ethereal white sand yet subject to unpredictable Hebridean weather – and that pretty much sums up Corran Raa the band. Four musicians capable of crafting rich tunes and songs of incredible beauty, yet equally mercurial in their approach and poised to take you by surprise. Their tunes flourish and burst into life or slide through soft beginnings into subtle articulation, with a mix of melodies and rhythms. The fiddles of Jenny Smith and Janet Lees weave tapestries that entrance, while Kath Bruce on piano and vocals and Robbie Leask on guitar, provide the threads that hold the fabric together.

From the echoing piano and fiddles sliding across ‘Made It’ and the spritely spirit of ‘The Sands of Luskentyre’ through a gorgeous take on John Spillane’s stirring song ‘The Wild Flowers’ to the enthusiasm and elation that bursts within ‘Special Agent Turberville’ and ‘The Caretaker’ there is much to distil from ‘Daydreams and Departures’. If you recall their first album, then you’ll find they’ve come a long way, there’s more depth and expression to Corran Raa on ‘Daydreams and Departures’.

Tim Carroll (Folkwords, July 2014)


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CORRAN RAA - Daydreams And Departures Private Label RAA002CD

Corran Raa is a young quartet featuring guitar, two fiddles and piano, with a nice flair for composition of tunes and songs. The name derives from a sand spit on Taransay, an island where this collective first played together and where they have returned to many times. The Hebrides and Shetland are woven through this album and bind the tracks thematically.

Kath Bruce, the pianist, is the only vocalist, and has a really delicate voice which would benefit from being more prominent in the mix, but is delightful nonetheless. Robbie Leask, the guitarist, contributes to some stunning tunes and his solo effort, Kirkhus, is one of this album’s triumphs. The medley Seggy Boats / Dude And Jude / The Fat Puffin is my second favourite, although it must be said that there are no duds here - every track is controlled, rehearsed to death and produced with love by the band themselves. Janet Lees and Jenny Smith, the two fiddlers, work well as a team and are the joint backbone of the group.

I would love to get an opportunity to see Corran Raa live, but their website indicates very few appearances (and nothing current) but I will certainly keep my eyes peeled for a chance to see them. Shanks and Russell’s The Dancing is a competent take on a recent classic and Kath Bruce’s title tune, which closes the album, has a dream like quality and rounds off this collection in style. All in all, a great second CD.

Grem Devlin (Living Tradition Magazine, 2014)


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Corren Raa are a four-piece group based in Scotland who play mostly self-penned tunes composed in the traditional style, interspersed with some songs. The quartet consists of Jenny Smith and Janet Lees on fiddles, Robbie Leask on guitar and Kath Bruce on piano and vocals. The sound of Daydreams and Departures is very unassuming, the songs and tunes included on the album don’t shout for attention but sneak up on the listener and impress with both their simplicity and integrity to traditional forms.

The three composers in the band, Bruce, Leask and Smith have a habit of being able to compose memorable tunes that could, in many cases be mistaken for traditional pieces. For example, the first track on the album consists of three distinctive, lively tunes that are played just enough to become buried in the listener’s subconscious but not so much that they outstay their welcome. By contrast Seth’s/The Sands of Luskentyre are two gentle pieces composed by Bruce and Leask. The first is a ’Scottish Mazurka’ led by the two fiddles, whilst the second piece is piano-led and evokes the landscape of Luskentyre in Harris. The piano playing is especially beautiful here.

A more jazzy sound is evident on Special Agent Turberville which uses the piano almost as a ground bass whilst the fiddles take the main tune. It’s a jolly piece which sees the fiddles really stretching and giving the tune a full workout. Included amongst all these wonderful new tunes are arrangements of three songs, one traditional and two by other composers. The most successful of the three is The Wild Flowers by John Spillane. The song is sensitively sung by Kath Bruce who has a pleasant voice. It’s a pity that the vocals on this and the other two songs are, at times, somewhat indistinct and lost in the mix.

Overall, Daydreams and Departures, is a memorable album crafted with skill by four talented musicians who are, surely, going to make many new friends with music making as skilled and heartfelt as this.
  Stephen Witkowski (Bright Young Folk, 2014)


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Janet Lees, Jenny Smith Robbie Leask and Kath Bruce have plenty to be proud of in their first album...... rich compositions, and very tightly performed” Scotland on Sunday, 2011
A quartet of conspicuous talent... mighty melody making.” The Herald, 2011
…faultless fiddle-playing… an impressive achievement.” The Shetland Times, 2011
A delicious mixture” Fiddle On Magazine, 2011
Thoroughly musical instrumentals sit perfectly with stunning vocals, in a perfect mix of the old and the new.” Allan Henderson, Blazin’ Fiddles

Download sheet music for some of our tunes...

The Tuscan Wedding Reel

The Change

Shetland Times and Tatties

Lovely in the End

Bring It On

Albert Thomas' 90th

Tricia's