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Colleen Eccleston
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Colleen Eccleston In Essence

Colleen is 1/3 of the celtic trio "The Ecclestons". In Essence is a collection of Colleen Eccleston songs to provide listeners with a representative cross-section of Colleen's work, which had been either unreleased or in limited production, up to 1997. Recorded and mixed primarily in-house by musician/producer/ husband Hugh McMillan, the styles range from almost prog-rock through to nearly country and on to acoustic folk, and features guest appearances by James Keelaghan (harmony vocal), Oscar Lopez (nylonstring guitar), Vince Ditrich (drums and percussion), Brent Gubbells (acoustic bass), Eugene Oschadsky ('cello and arrangement), and Louise Rose (piano).

Ecclestons imbolic to beltane

Ecclestons Fir n Mna

This disc contains 13 powerful tracks, of which nine are traditional. Colleen shows us her abilities at song writing with the second track, and one which quickly became a favorite of mine. "Last Rose of Summer" is a passionate song and reaches deep to strike corresponding chords within the soul. A song of nature, a song of dreams, a song of love, it is one of those songs that will linger on and on in the memory. One which you will find yourself humming quite unintentionally.

The third track is another original, this one written by Greg. "The Sixteen Men of Tain" is a great drinking song! "Oh, the sixteen men of Tain/they're at it once again/distilling single malt scotch whiskey/ in the hills above the glen/and the angels take their share/ for it's always been that way/here's to the whisky that they brew/ in Scotland far away."

There was a hit song back in the 70's, a little ditty by the Bee Gees which was an important part of the movie "Saturday Night Fever," and popular soundtrack. The song was entitled "Stayin' Alive," and was one of the most popular of its era. I've heard this performed live by the Ecclestons and am happy to say they've also included it on their disc. The arrangement turned it from disco to Celtic, and their reasoning was explained at the show. "Most inhabitants of Australia originally came from Scotland and Ireland, thus it must be a Celtic tune." Never a fan of the disco era, I can really appreciate the song in this form, and you have to admit the reasoning is quite sound!

Each and every track pulls at you, as if wanting you to join in, capturing some of the group's stage presence. They had a lot of fun recording these songs, and the gaiety and energy which they put forth is passed along as an undercurrent in the music. This disc is definitely a must for those who like Celtic music!

[Naomi de Bruyn]

Ecclestons the home fires

Ecclestons
Release the Hounds

released: Jan 24, 2006
Intelligent, melodic, catchy original songs. Releasing themselves from the confines of Celtic stereotype, The Ecclestons and their special guests drummer Vince Ditrich (Spirit of the West), multi- instrumentalist Hugh McMillan (Spirit of the West) , North American Fiddle Champ, Ivonne Hernandez, and harmonica wizard, Chris Palmer explore a great range of experiences from the burning forests of British Columbia and Montana to the serenity of a Japanese plum garden. Songs of leaving all behind and taking on the Big Big World to Dance as You go, a song to take there with you. All singers and songwriters in their own right, this recording reflects the range, humour and musicality that is The Ecclestons. There is a great range of musical style here yet it has a cohesiveness that comes from the road, the years of adventures and people we connect with. Creative arranging and all the lush harmonies you would expect of this Victoria trio make it a must in your collection..