I've no idea where you are, but if you're a long way from home and you are Scots, the Caern have put a lot on this, their first album, with you in mind. If you happen to live within inhaling distance of the heather and you've already crossed claymores with the folk scene, so much the better. You can't go wrong.
Introductions first: The Caern are three, which is appropriate, for the name is old Scots meaning a "small collection", and Bill Hill, Tom Smith and Jean Brooks are a most pleasing small collection. Bill and Tom both talented musicians are responsible for the excellent backing the group has not only on stage but throughout this L.P. For Jean Brooks' part I refer you to the front cover and to the excellent lead her voice gives the group.
They turned professional in April, 1968, in Edinburgh, their home and operational base. Although all three had considerable acclaim as solo artists, they decided to join forces and during this short time have toured in a package show with Jimmy Shand all summer, had T.V. and club dates in Yorkshire and N.E. of England and have even sampled cabaret in one of Edinburgh's plushiest nightspots. Says Bill, leader of the group "Folk music is our business, but we prefer to entertain rather than educate. If we catered with anyone in mind on the L.P. it's the exiled Scot and it so happens that this has given us the chance to include what we feel is some splendid, stirring material." Hearing is believing the remarkable rapport the Caern have built in a short association.
Feel free to roam with the Caern from the Outer Hebrides, where the legendary Kishmul, chief of the Clan McNiel harboured his galley, to the borders with "The Floo'ers O' the Forest" which has special significance for the group, for while singing it at the Middlesbrough International Eisteddfod they moved the local police pipe band to tears! "The Derby Ram" leaves Tom ample room to show off his fine guitar technique and Jean, looking for some modern change out of a Robert Burns standard, finds it in "John Anderson".
There's more Burns in the closing "A Man's A Man". If you're looking for a reason for this choice as a closure, it's certainly that the Caern feel this song echoes the sentiments of the group, It is as good a way as any of saying goodbye. Take it that the Caern will be back again, Soon,