See all the posts in this series here.

So far I’ve been roughly progressing in this Scottish music series in order of importance to me. Wolfstone is great but they’re not #3 for me; they’ve just been stuck in my head recently.

Wikipedia says “Wolfstone perform pieces from the traditional folk and Celtic repertoire permeated with rock and roll sensibilities.” They’re anchored by fiddler Duncan Chisholm and guitarist/vocalist Stuart Eaglesham, and had a rotating slate of other musicians filling out their number over the years. Seems like in the past 15 years or so they haven’t been recording and maybe they’re mostly dissolved, but they have some great albums from the 90s and early 2000s.

I mainly know the music from three of their middle albums, Year of the Dog (1994), The Half Tail (1996), and Almost an Island (2002). For some reason I don’t really know 1999’s “Seven”. I especially like The Half Tail and Almost an Island.

The Piper and the Shrew was the first track I heard from Almost an Island, probably on Thistle and Shamrock. I’d still call it my favorite Wolfstone track. I love the slow-building nature of it.
I already knew the Live Wizardry version of Queen of Argyll when I heard this version that slaps hard, you can imagine I was pretty elated when I listened to Almost an Island

Some other tracks I love on Almost an Island include Elav the Terrible (especially notable in my listening to it is how it flows right in from the end of Piper and the Shrew) and 5/4 Madness.

From The Half Tail, my favorite track is definitely Bonnie Ship the Diamond, a popular whaling song in the pub sing scene. I largely love this track because it’s paired with the chorus of another song, The Last Leviathan, about the grief of whales being hunted to extinction (I’m noticing the theme of grief coming up a lot in these posts; it’s not just because of losing our cat recently or all the news worth grieving about in the world, but also aesthetically I think I just appreciate the pairing of grief themes with joy & energy themes: acknowledging that there’s a lot to be distraught about in the world but we keep soldiering on and find joy where we can).

Other tracks I enjoy from The Half Tail include Zeto, Tall Ships, and Heart and Soul. A lot of other Wolfstone tracks are fine contributions to the average background of my Celtic playlists, stuff I wouldn’t skip over, but those mentioned above (and Black Dog from Seven, the only one I know from that album) are the ones I would highlight for purposes such as this post.