TOM HUGHES & friends

Traditional Fiddle Music of the Scottish Borders

sprcd 1044 (with 52 tunes)
Buy CD:
Tom Hughes Book & CD (with 52 tunes).
Spiral Bound (Players edition) £20.00
Spine Bound (Library edition) £20.00
Players Edition
(UK only)
Players Edition
Library Edition
(UK only)
Library Edition
Click for more information on the Tom Hughes Book.

Tom Hughes was inducted posthumously into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame during the Trad Awards in Perth in November 2018: Tom Hughes - Hall of Fame 2018.

This outstanding collection of traditional fiddle music from the Scottish Borders was recorded from the playing of Tom Hughes of Jedburgh between 1978 and 1980. The CD includes well known tunes such as Flouers O Edinburgh and East Neuk O Fife Š but in distinctive variants and some old tunes such as Lady Mary Ramsay and Farewell To Whisky. But TomÕs repertoire includes many unusual tunes and some that are unique to to his family repertoire Š many hornpipes, some old waltzes and some slow airs including several that have become a classic of the Borders repertoire Š TamÕs Old Love Song, Faudenside Polka and Auld Graden Kirn.

Although TomÕs style includes many characteristic Scottish elements, it is quite different from any mainstream fiddle style or the dominant fiddle style of ScotlandÕs North East. Through TomÕs playing we are able to gain an insight into an old, traditional, fiddle style stretching back through TomÕs family well into the 1800s.

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Booklet PDF
Tom Hughes Book

Extended online version of the CD Booklet PDF

Tom Hughes & Friends:
Traditional Fiddle Music of the Scottish Borders

on springthyme/ soundcloud

Lori Watson (FiddleOn47 2015): "A treasure trove of great tunes, engaging style, joyful and intricate phrasing, beautiful harmonies, liveliness and warmth."

Tom Hughes and his family were all talented musicians Š his grandfather Henry Hughes, father Thomas Hughes and two uncles played together in a family band Š two or three fiddles, melodeon and tambourine Š playing at the local events, country weddings, harvest home and hiring fair dances.Ź Like his father and grandfather before him, Tom spent his working life as a ploughman on farms in the Border countryside around Jedburgh. Ź

Track List:
For more information, click on a tune title
1: Redesdale Hornpipe/ Galloway Hornpipe (Four fiddles, Tin whistle Jack, Guitar Brian)
2: Braes O Mar (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie)
3: TamÕs Old Love Song/ Banks of Kale Water (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie)
4: TamÕs Victoria Waltz (solo)
5: Marquis Of Lorne Hornpipe (solo)
6: CowieÕs Hornpipe/ St PatrickÕs Day or Tell Her I Am/ Turkey In The Straw (solo)
7: Lady Mary Ramsay/ Orange and Blue (solo)
8: Henry HughesÕ Favourite (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie)
9: The Frost Is All Over/ JacksonÕs Morning Brush/ Irish Washerwoman (solo)
10: Sidlaw Hills/ The Wife She Brewed It (solo)
11: Sidlaw Hills/ The Wife She Brewed It (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie, Guitar Sid)
12: The HuntsmanÕs Chorus (solo)
13: The High Road To Linton (solo)
14: Barren Rocks Of Aden/ Nut Brown Maiden (Solo)
15: Champagne Charlie (solo)
16: Auld Robin Grey (Two fiddles Tom and Wattie)
17: Faudenside Polka (solo)
18: The Rock and a Wee Puckle Tow/ Teviot Brig/ The Stool Of Repentance (Four fiddles with Guitar Brian)
19: Cock Yer Leg Up (solo)
20: Flouers O Edinburgh/ East Neuk O Fife (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie, Guitar Sid)
21: Lady Mary Ramsay/ Orange and Blue (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie, Guitar Sid)
22: Lilliesleaf Polka (solo)
23: Farewell To Whisky/ Roxburgh Castle (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie, Guitar Sid)
24: MillicentÕs Favourite/ TamÕs Untitled Hornpipe (solo)
25: Greencastle Hornpipe/ Off To California/ The Dundee Hornpipe (solo)
26: Boys Of Blue Hill/ The Harvest Long In Coming (solo)
27: Morpeth Rant (solo)
28: Morpeth Rant (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie, Guitar Sid)
29: Kelso Hiring Fair (solo)
30: Lady Mary Ramsay/ Soldiers Joy (solo)
31: The Triumph (solo)
32: The Old Rustic Bridge (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie)
33: Auld Graden Kirn (solo)
34: Liberton Pipe Band (Two fiddles Tom & Wattie)
35: Redeside Hornpipe (Four fiddles with Brian Guitar)

The recordings were made by Peter Shepheard who first remembers hearing Tom Hughes play the fiddle in June 1978 at the Newcastleton Traditional Music Festival.Ź Tom was sitting playing fiddle at a bench in the cobbled back yard of The Grapes Hotel in the village square.Ź In different quarters of the small courtyard several other sessions were going strong.Ź At TomÕs table were a couple of other fiddlers, at times playing together, at times taking turns.Ź Pete had for a long time been interested in different styles of fiddle playing and TomÕs style immediately impressed him as being distinct from the usual Scottish styles and yet at the same time both Scottish and clearly traditional.ŹTomÕs playing included liberal use of ringing open strings and double stopping (or Ņdouble string workÓ as he called it), both being widespread characteristics of older, but now rare styles Š but still found in Scandinavian fiddle style, in older Shetland fiddle styles and in American ŌOld TimeÕ fiddle music.

Over the years a new younger generation of fiddle players have taken an interest in the old Borders style as played by Tom. TomÕs grandson Jimmy Nagle of Jedburgh learned some of TomÕs tunes and style and, in the 1980s, taught members of the Small Hall Band.Ź Border fiddle player Lori Watson was a member of the band and she became an enthusiast for TomÕs tunes and style. The original recordings. some of which were issued as an LP in 1981, have now been revisited, around 60 have have been transcribed for the book and the new CD includes some 50 tunes played by Tom, some played solo and some played along with other border musicians Š Wattie Robson, Bob Hobkirk and Tom Scott on fiddles, Jack Carruthers on tin whistle and joined on some tracks by Brian Miller or Sid Cairns on guitar.

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