Willson & McKee | One Lone Rowan Tree

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Folk: Celtic Folk Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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One Lone Rowan Tree

by Willson & McKee

A great collection of ballads including the first and second place songs of the Milwaukee Irish Festival. You put on your headphones or turn up the stereo and drift away.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. One Lone Rowan Tree
5:32 album only
2. Blackbirds and Thrushes
2:51 album only
3. Scarborough Settlers Lament
4:50 album only
4. Oh That I Were
3:09 album only
5. Night Hymn
2:48 album only
6. The Pattern
4:17 album only
7. Last Trip Home
4:34 album only
8. Mark the Time
4:20 album only
9. She's Never Alone
4:12 album only
10. McPhearson's Rant
4:33 album only
11. The Dreamers
4:18 album only
12. Soft Lapping Water
3:53 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Willson & McKee
"One Lone Rowan Tree"
"Another duo that does and outstanding job with harmonious narratives is Willson & Mckee. On One Lone Rowan Tree, Colorado-based singers and multi-instrumentalists Ken Willson and Kim Mckee are joined by a half-dozen guest musicians for a set of richly arranged story songs, mostly of the quiet contemplative sort, many of them originals in traditional Celtic ballad style. They do a lovely, slow version of "Scarborough Settler's Lament" that captures the wistful loneliness of the lyrics with a delicate cello and guitar accompaniment, and Padraig Buckley's uillean pipes add a lush buzz to a number of tracks, like "Last Trip Home," a moody evocative picture of changing times on a western farm. The disc's title song is a haunting picture of the anonymous graves once reserved in Ireland for those who had run afoul of the Catholic Church.

--Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen Magazine

Willson & McKee's 6th recording is a powerful, award winning must have! Over the years the Montana (now Colorado) based duo has made sure that their recordings reflect their live shows. For anyone who has attended a Willson & McKee concert, you know that means a broad mix of traditional Celtic and their own brand of original music. Tune sets flow into songs, and many instruments are utilized, including hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, Irish bouzouki, guitars, harp and others. In 2002, Kim McKee was awarded the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship, and as a result the couple released an all-instrumental cd, where only the sounds of the dulcimers (hammered and mountain) and guitars were to be found. It is a huge success with their fans and concertgoers!

This time around, the cd is all ballads! In August of 2003, the largest Irish fest in the world, Milwaukee Irish Festival, honored Kim with first place in the songwriting competition! The winning song was "The Pattern", a song W&M fans will quickly recognize. But the ironic twist is that composers were allowed to enter two songs, and Kim's second entry took 2nd place! That second place song, is the title for the new release "One Lone Rowan Tree". The title track was inspired by her visits to Ireland, and seeing lone trees growing in a tree-less landscape. These are poignant and powerful places called lost souls graves, the resting place for individuals who were not allowed to be buried in church cemeteries, for various reasons. This track as well as 2 others, has the haunting and beautiful sounds of the Uillean pipes recorded by Padraig Buckley, County Kerry, Ireland. When the recording was taking place in Ireland, all those involved were greatly moved by the song, because they all "have someone in a lost souls grave".

There are 9 original pieces by Kim, along with two traditional Scottish ballads, and one cover of a Battlefield Band Song. Accompaniment is light, with harp, keyboard, accordion and guitar, and matches the subtleties of the songs themselves.

Because of the songwriting awards, the design and graphic artist for the world publication Dirty Linen Magazine, Lahri Bond, offered to design the cover art for this recording! This is quite an honor, and the artwork is stunning! His review of the pre-release version of the recording was: "WOW! Let me repeat that, WOW! This disc should get the attention of the Celtic Folk world, on both sides of the Atlantic!"



to write a review

Robert Zenker

the Last Trip Home
I have an old friend who has raised (and recently buried) Belgian draft horses. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, he's as rough and tough as they come. This song (The Last Trip Home) brought a tear to both our eyes. The whole CD is heartfelt and moving. It should be played for a broader audience. I suggest Folktown on sirius satellite radio, or some other comparablemedium. bz

Richard Hodges

Their best album yet
If you like thoughtful melodic lyrics that evoke emotional response, One Lone Rowan Tree by Ken Willson and Kim McKee is for you!

Charles Turner

One Lone Rowan Tree-- Haunting, Melancholy, Mellow--a beautiful collection!
Another great CD. I am hoping to see you in June at the Gaelic Highland Festival at Canon City, CO. Do you have a schedule of performances?


Wendy Brown

We were delighted to get our One Lone Rowan Tree CDs to give to special friends as Christmas gifts- THANKS!

Maria LaFond

Irish music lovers must have this CD!!!!
I cried buckets when I heard the title song, One Lone Rowan Tree. My newborn baby girl lies in an unmarked grave these 13 years now. There are no words to describe how I feel - just this music. Magic and Blessed.

Lisa Johnson

Great Work, This CD is all we expected it to be like all their work has been!!! Keep it up!!!

Anna L. Juarez

Powerful, poignant, lyrical and honest!
If you can listen to "One Lone Rowan Tree" and not get misty-eyed then you obviously aren't listening closely enough! What a beautiful, haunting melody and brutally heart-breaking story! "The gates were barred to the hallowed yard" but not to our souls and memories! "The Pattern" is a long-time favorite, capturing a woman's lot in life and mental state as the men in her life, husband and son, go out to sea, possibly to never return alive. Lots of great songs, such a great album that I buy extra copies to give as Christmas gifts or for birthdays.

Karen Hall

Loved it!
Willson and McKee will bring new and current lovers of music delight and wonder. I loved this, as I have loved their other releases.

Lori Holmberg

Just love it! I was very touched by One Lone Rowan Tree and The Pattern when I saw their live performance a few months ago. Now I can listen to those and their other songs anytime I want!

Sam Dennis

Thought provoking music that paints images across the mind.
The songs on this CD are songs for the heart and mind. They all express emotion with beauty. Fun to listen to either before bed or just chilling out. Great inspiration for art because the lyrics and sounds of the instruments lay out strong pictures in the minds eye. If you've seen these folks on stage you NEED this CD. It's a must. Buy it now!