Of all the contemporary song writers on the Scottish scene only Matt McGinn has had any considerable impact south of the border. One reason for this that Matt sings regularly in English clubs whereas the others sing there only spasmodically. This certainly reflects well on Sassenach values for there is no doubt that although there are many fine contemporary song writers in Scotland McGinn is the best by far. There is even less doubt that he is the most prolific.
He has been known to write as many as 6 songs in a day and a standard joke on the folk scene is, 'Matt McGinn's power of invention has run dry. He hasn't written a song for two weeks'.
Matt McGinn's songs are mostly filled with the wry and often coarse humour of the factory floor and he first came to public notice with the song called 'The Foreman O'Rourke' a story of an unlikeable character who was drowned in a lavatory by an opportunist workman. The coarseness comes out amply on this record in 'Manura Manyar' but the sympathy for the working man comes out equally in 'Unner Alow The Ground'. McGinn also pokes good humoured fun at those who regard the tradition as a trifle too sacrosanct with his irreverent versions of well known ballads. Listen here to 'The First Man On The Moon' in which he makes excellent use of the tune of Johnny O' Breadislee. McGinn's prodigal output is largely due to his deft topical touch which may be seen in 'Ban The Beatles', but he has also a brilliant and deep feeling for political trends and a sly wit as evident in 'Old Johnny Bull' and 'Lots of Little Soldiers'.
Finally, take his great sense of simple fun (The Footba' Referee) his loving identification with his Scots background (The Heilan' Man and the Gallowgate Calypso) and his obvious love for and understanding of children (The Red Yo Yo) and you have a writer whose talents are rich, varied and rewarding. On this record Matt joins with his friends, Hamish Imlach, guitar, Marianne Aarlberger viola and Robin Williamson mandolin and guitar.