Thanks to everyone who came along to that wonderful gig with James Talley. James told some great stories and played an excellent set which included "Give my love to Marie", a favourite of mine ever since I heard Gene Clark's version.
(And thanks to everyone, including James, who said they enjoyed my set.)
Apologies to everyone who checked out this site and found it hadn't been updated for a while. After two major surgery operations in 2019, I'm almost back to my normal self.
Many thanks to Marianne Doig for her advice and encouragement and to David Hossack who set up the gig with James Talley.
Plans for 2020 - a 15 track compilation - working tile "Handpicked" and a new CD - working title "Shade".
You'll find some music
and here https://soundcloud.com/tom-clelland/carrion-craw
and here https://soundcloud.com/tom-clelland/how-far-is-it-to-babylon
Out now - "Next Time"
Scotland on Sunday - four stars - "A wistful, lyrical windfall"
The Scots Magazine - "A master of the craft "
Living Tradition Magazine - "Another exceedingly accomplished collection -
an excellent recording- a significantly fine songwriter album."
Review from Folkworld Magazine
"Next time is the fourth album by the Scottish singer-songwriter Tom Clelland. On vocals and guitar he sings his own stories in an impressive way. Backed by several guests on pipes, bass, accordion, banjo, cello amongst others. Totally unknown to me, but this first acquaintance is a more than pleasant one. Clelland seems to be a master-storyteller who, with sober, effective musical arrangements, bewitches his listeners with pure, sometimes sensitive songs. At his best in songs like "Dig/Lochanside" and "All your troubles". Fragile songs, sung calmly and with affection. An album to treasure, to listen to and let you carry away into the world of (Tom) Clelland. "
Review from Living Tradition Magazine
Lanark-based singer-songwriter Tom’s been a bit of a best-kept secret, whose talents I discovered through his debut album Little Stories and subsequently revisited on the fine follow-up Life Goes On, since which time Tom’s also contributed to an album of songs from the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson. But now at long last he’s got round to releasing a third solo album. It proves another exceedingly accomplished collection that is if anything even more illustrious a set than its predecessors. It contains no fewer than five songs that have already won songwriting prizes, including Carrion Craw (commemorating the battle of Harlaw in 1411), I Think He Liked The Ladies (musing on a couple of old friends who died unexpectedly), the disc’s reflective title track, and most notably Dig (concerning Tom’s maternal grandfather, a miner who was a tragic victim of both coal-dust and trench warfare). A further prize-winner, What’s Waiting For You, an evocative portrait of the Clydesdale horses, made a strong impression when I heard it on the Greentrax label’s themed CD Gentle Giants a few years ago. But there are other glories of songwriting elsewhere on this new CD too, the best of which are probably the melancholy, gently poignant Could Fade Away, which was inspired by a friend’s account of accidentally meeting his ex-wife in the street after they’d simply drifted apart, and the pensive All Your Troubles.
A particularly satisfying seal is set on the high quality of Tom’s songwriting by the lovely sound of the album: it boasts an excellent recording, which is superbly warm yet both conveys and retains the necessary intimacy and approachability without sacrificing clarity of expression or internal balance. It helps that Tom has chosen to make the whole album using almost exclusively acoustic instruments (with only Davie Scott’s keyboards being plugged in); this gives a refreshingly uncluttered feel to the proceedings and makes the most of all the individual elements, from Tom’s own undemonstrative but beautifully effective guitar playing to the ancillary contributions of Wendy Weatherby (cello), Steven Polwart and Clive Gregson (guitars), Mairearad Green (pipes, accordion), Russell Ballantine (dobro), Kris Koren (mandolin), John Weatherby (banjo) and Fiona Cuthill (fiddle). Delicious cameos such as Clive’s playing on the easygoing Send Me Another Smile and Mairearad’s powerful rendition of the piping tune Lochanside (serving as a postlude to Dig) are worthy of individual mention too.
Verdict: with Next Time, Tom’s produced a significantly fine songwriter album that deserves to win him some prizes in its own right.
David Kidman (Living Tradition Magazine)
Review from the Scots Magazine
Next Time stars Lanarkshire-based singer and songwriter Tom Clelland in a completely self-penned album which deals with such themes as World War One and how gas attacks there, and subsequent work down the pit, consigned his grandfather to Erskine Hospital. Warfare even before that is also recalled in Carrion Craw, a ballad of the Battle of Harlaw in 1411 and What’s waiting for you, a celebration of an elderly Clydesdale awaiting retirement. The album also rings a bell for the children of the Sixties with a song about Jack Jackson and his Saturday afternoon show on the Light Programme, and much more besides. This is folksinging as it should sound i.e. acoustic, not electric, put across by a master of the craft with the help of a few other talents as he is quick to admit. And, as Tom is a devotee of Robert Louis Stevenson, the name of his label comes as no surprise either.
Alasdair Maclean (The Scots Magazine)
The CD includes the prize-winning songs "Carrion Craw", "What's waiting for you", "I think he liked the ladies", "Dig" and "Next time". Other musicians on the CD are Clive Gregson, Steven Polwart, Wendy Weatherby, Russell Ballantine, Fiona Cuthill, Mairearad Green, Davie Scott, Kris Koren and John Weatherby.
The CD was engineered and co-produced by Kris Koren at Sound Sense Studios and mastered at Castlesound Studios.
2. What's waiting for you
3. Fishing for the blues
4. Carrion Craw
5. All your troubles
6. Jack Jackson
7. That's what falling's for
8. Could fade away
9. Send me another smile
10. I think he liked the ladies
11. Next time
For more reviews, see the Reviews page