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Silly Wizard

Generally considered the world's finest performers of traditional and contemporary Scottish music -- and with good reason. Silly Wizard's music is at once driving and sensitive, powerful and poignant, at times hypnotic, often humorous, with sensitive group interplay and virtuoso-level musicianship, particularly from brothers Phil (accordion, keyboards, whistles, guitar, vocals) and Johnny (fiddle) Cunningham. Their repertoire includes centuries-old instrumental dance music along with traditional and contemporary narrative ballads: tales of joy and woe, of men and women, of time and travel, of love and loss. Silly Wizard is not just another folk music group; they rank with the greatest creators and performers from any country from any time.

Several members of the group, particularly the Cunningham brothers and vocalist Andy Stewart, have made solo and duo recordings and have performed and recorded with other artists, primarily Scottish traditionalists. These recordings are also well worth investigating, but get the Silly Wizard stuff first. ~ Niles J. Frantz
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Best Of Silly Wizard

1. The Valley Of Strathmore

2. Donald McGillavry / O'Neill's Cavalry March

3. A.A. Cameron's Strathspey / Mrs. Martha Knowles / The Pitnacree Ferryman / The New Shillin'

4. The Fishermen's Song

5. The Queen Of Argyll

6. Finlay M. MacRae

7. The Pearl

8. Isla Waters

9. Mo Chuachag Laghach (My Kindly Sweetheart)

10. Broom O' The Cowdenknowes

11. Green Fields Of Glentown / The Galtee Reel / Bobby Casey's Number Two / Wing Commander...

x

Track List: Kiss The Tears Away

1. The Queen Of Argyll

2. Golden, Golden

3. Finlay M. MacRae

4. The Banks Of The Lee

5. Sweet Dublin Bay

6. Mo Nighean Donn, Gradh Mo Chridhe

7. Banks Of The Bann

8. The Greenfields Of Glentown / The Galtee Reel / Bobby Casey's Number Two / Wing Commander Donald MacKenzie's Reel

9. The Loch Tay Boat Song

x

Track List: Wild And Beautiful

1. If I Was A Blackbird

2. Pipe Major Donald Campbell / The Orphan / The Kestrel / Come Up Alang (Jigs)

3. The Pearl

4. The Fishermen's Song / Lament For The Fisherman's Wife

5. Hame, Hame, Hame / Tha Mi Sgith (Slow Air)

6. Tha Mi Sgith (Strathspey) / Eck Stewart's March / Mackenzie's Fancy (Marches)

7. Miss Patricia Meagher

8. A.B. Corsie (The Lad From Orkney) / Ril Bheara / Richard Dwyer's (Reels)

x

Track List: So Many Partings

1. A Scarce O'Tatties / Lyndhurst

2. The Valley Of Strathmore

3. Bridget O'Malley

4. A.A. Cameron's Strathspey / Mrs. Martha Knowles / The Pitnacree Ferryman / The New Shillin'

5. Donald McGillavry / O'Neill's Cavalry March

6. The Highland Clearances

7. Miss Catherine Brosnan

8. Wi' My Dog And Gun

9. Miss Sherpherd / Sweeney's Buttermilk / McGlinchey's Reels

x

Track List: Caledonia's Hardy Sons

1. Mo Chuachag Laghach (My Kindly Sweetheart)

2. The Isla Waters

3. The Twa Brithers

4. The Auld Pipe Reel / The Brolum

5. Glasgow Peggy

6. Monymusk Lads

7. The Ferryland Sealer

8. Fhear A Bhata (The Boatman)

9. Jack Cunningham's Farewell To Benbecula / Sweet Molly

10. Broom O' The Cowdenknowes

Comments

Report as inappropriate
I love The Queen of Argyll--sang my kids to sleep to that song for years. Curiously, I've rarely heard anyone else do it besides Silly Wizard--mayb e because they set the standard too high?
Report as inappropriate
Unrelenting sadness, conveyed my master musicians. Some Scots ballads are as stark and emotionally true as Greek mythology.
Report as inappropriate
What a beautiful ballad!
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tryna.owen
If you get a chance, go to YouTube and watch their live concert. Not only is the music sublime, but Andy and Johnny are a hoot.
Report as inappropriate
bobyrne1984
Among the best performers from any country and any time.
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angels4mike
All the best Celtic artists aren't recording anymore. (Except the high kings.)
Report as inappropriate
Very Peaceful
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momgmi
A Scots woman enjoyin' the sounds of a great Scots man's voice.
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obiwansean9
nobody else listens to this beautiful music from my generation!
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I love the words to this song, it's truly beautiful.
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nunnayobiz42 0
:)
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Loch Tay Boat Song simple absolute beauty!
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The Fishermen's Song is haunting. I hear it and it stays with me for days. I find myself singing it or humming it at the oddest times. Very powerful indeed!
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brilliance in a dull land. Blackbird is so forlorn like the digging up of old yew
Report as inappropriate
These lads were regulars featured on The Thistle and Shamrock, an NPR radio show of music from the Celtic lands hosted by Fiona Ritchie. I was blown away by the astonishing performances of the brothers Cunningham. I howled with laughter when I first heard them just to know that human beings were capable of such virtuosity and spirit. My hair stood on end and shivers ran down my spine. Aye mates, twas a fine thing it twas, keeps these old Irish eyes a smilin'.
Report as inappropriate
I also have been a fan for over 25 years and was greatly saddened by Johnny's passing. His solo albums are amazing as well. however, my favorite album by him is one he did with his brother called Against the Storm. it is hard to find now, but definitely worth the search.
Report as inappropriate
I've been a fan of theirs for over 25 years. I was privileged to see them in concert twice. I also was able to see Johnny Cunningham in a solo concert before he passed away.
Report as inappropriate
They are still the best and the most capable of bring tear to mine eyes.
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While there's breath in my body...they' r e the ones I love still...
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ce.evenstar
I discovered Silly Wizard from the cd collection at my local public library over 10 years ago. I still love them!
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duaneschroed t e r
I love Silly Wizard and Dougie macClean
Report as inappropriate
bliss
Report as inappropriate
slapshot1894
Sends you to another world! Fantastic.
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modineb
I agree with michaels450- i'd like to have some bothy band on pandora
Report as inappropriate
Also include "Battlefield Band"
Report as inappropriate
Definitely need more music by Silly Wizard, Andy M. Stewart, and the Cunningham Bros.
Report as inappropriate
i agree the best is not here. Also how about a few other close companions like planxty and the Bothy Band both missing from Pandora
Report as inappropriate
wmkmerritt
We definitely need a larger selection of this group's music
Report as inappropriate
ceandra
Why didn't Silly Wizard's music come up when I searched for Andy Stewart or The Queen of Argylle? You chose Tom Petty and Stone Cold! Definitely not the Cetic music for which I was in the mood.
Report as inappropriate
Get more of their albums! They have so many powerful songs, like Donald McGillavry or The Queen of Argyll. And get Andy Stewarts solo album, "at it again", especially the song "Haughs of Cromdale".

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