My first ever recording was on an Alex Campbell album called No Regrets produced by Nick Strutt.This would have been about 1977 - I played a bit of tin whistle on it I think.Next came my first solo album in 1978, recorded by Bill Leader, and called Farewell To Foggy Hills.Several others followed,including band records with Iona and Dab Hand.Most of these are buried in the mists of time now and,thankfully,unavailable.My more recent recordings are my trad acoustic album "So I've Heard";my more experimental project "Drive Old Puss Away";and among my most recent, an album of trad folk instrumentals on acoustic guitar "Jackdaw Grooves".
Review of Jackdaw Grooves:-
"For Gordon Tyrrall's eighth solo album he chose to make his first solely instrumental selection one of English traditional tunes with four scottish ones dotted amid them. Most of the album is solo guitar, and the odd touches of the familiar flute and whistle dont dominate - with the exception of "An Italian Rant"which turns into a splendidly joyous knees-up, percussion and all. Tyrrall's English sources include Playford ("Portsmouth" and "Westmoreland" for example), Yorkshireman Joshua Jackson, Thomas Hardy's "Enrico", John Clare and William Kimber.
Some of the best moments in an overall excellent selection are the beautiful "Trip To Castle Howard", a spare,chilling guitar version of Joseph Taylor's "Lord Bateman", and a tricksy medley of Kimber's "Trunkles" and "The 29th Of May". The Scottish selection is well-chosen too; "Alan MacPherson,Mosspark" by Angus MacDonald is a real standout, but the tunes by Donald MacLeod and D.Johnstone are not far behind.
Throughout, Tyrrall's approach is to play the tunes for themselves and not get involved in trickery for the sake of it. His arrangements show him to be a terrific guitarist who is able both to keep things simple where needed ("All In A Garden Green" and "Tom Tolly's" for example) and to use strong technique when dealing with tunes evidently not composed with the guitar in mind (as in the opening sequence of "Jockey To The Fair" and "Double Lead Through").
I recommend this album to anyone who plays or is interested in traditional tunes, whatever their chosen instrument - it's a good masterclass and a very enjoyable listen."
Ian Kearey fRoots
Tom Tolly's Hornpipe - a track from Jackdaw Grooves ;-