"Write about 200 words for this record" they said at Transatlantic.
Even if I were a writer I'd find that a tough task. How to tell of Archie Fisher's unique position in the folk world? Prospective buyers will know already, surely? Ah! no. Though he's respected, even revered and adored in Scotland, he's famous in London for not ever singing there. His reputation in England rests on his gramophone records, yet this disc you hold is his first solo recording.
It's over ten years ago that I produced Archie's first record. A very young Archie with an even younger sister Ray sang duets in a startling way that distinguished them even in a Glasgow that has produced more folk singers of note than all the rest of Britain put together.
"Rayanarchie" were an entity until marriage and the miles separated them. Archie began to develop the idea of blending his own very considerable instrumental technique with others, as he had once blended his voice with his sister's.
Another blend begins to happen on this record too: the blend of song and dance. With players around him of the quality of John MacKinnon and John Doonan, he is beginning to expand musical tags and develop instrumental codas. This amalgam is quite extempore and embryonic at the moment but points, I think, to new forms ahead.
What else can I tell you in 200 words? One little thing perhaps to characterise his surprisingly wide interests and tendency to lead rather than follow. The sitar he plays in Reynardine was not one bought in a burst of Beatlemania. He got it years ago in India where he spent some time — counting wild animals.