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Red Thistle Music was founded initially as a house band for the Red Thistle Dancers, and consists of Susan Worland Bentley (violin), Lyle Ramshaw (piano) and Michael Bentley (bodhran & percussion). The trio has played together for over 10 years, often in support of dance performances, but also in ceilidh and country dance settings, as well as music-only events and even weddings. Red Thistle Music has released several CDs (a discography follows below), and provided music for segments on the two Red Thistle Dancers' DVDs. All three members have been involved in the Scottish and Celtic musical tradition for many years here in the Bay Area, as well as across the US, and even in Europe.

Red Thistle Music will be releasing a live album titled Lucky 13, which was recorded last November at the Asilomar Scottish Weekend. CDs and downloads should be available in August 2014.

If you have any questions, would like to hire us, or want more information on our activities, please contact us directly [substitute @ for (at) in the address].

LIVE DATES: Besides ongoing appearances with the Red Thistle Dancers, Red Thistle Music will be playing for the 33rd Annual Jean Patrick Memorial Dance in Pleasanton, California on August 30, 2014. Please join us for a great evening of Scottish music and dance!

More information and a full dance programme can be found at


Purchase via our Bandcamp site,
You can listen to the album and you get an extra track too!
Live at Asilomar 2013
Susan Worland Bentley (violin), Lyle Ramshaw (piano), Michael Bentley (bodhran & percussion; vocal on The Dundee Whaler)

Thirteen tracks from 2013... Lucky 13! This is Scottish Country Dance music recorded in a live setting, you can hear the energy of the dancers infusing the tracks with a special vitality. But these sets are more than just dance music. With a tune selection ranging from 18th century classics to modern favorites, from toe-tapping jigs and driving reels to lyrical strathspeys and lovely waltzes, there is a lot to provide listening pleasure. Please join us for an evening's music, and dancing, fun!


  1. Marches (Warm-up) 05:04
  2. Kendall's Hornpipe (8X32J) 04:55
  3. Up in the Air (8X32S) 08:15
  4. The Button Boy (8X32R) 04:45
  5. The Minister on the Loch (3X32S) 03:19
  6. The Hamilton Rant (8X48R) 06:57
  7. Haste to the Wedding (8X32J) 04:51
  8. Miss Milligan's Strathspey (8X32S) 08:40
  9. Da Rain Dancin' (8X32R) 04:53
  10. The Dundee Whaler (4X32S) 04:16
  11. Australian Ladies (8X32R) 04:53
  12. Australian Ladies - Encore (4X32R) 02:33
  13. Waltzes 02:47

Thirteen lively new Scottish Country Dance tracks!
Susan Worland Bentley (violin), Lyle Ramshaw (piano), Michael Bentley (bodhran & percussion; whistle on Sea Tangle of Skye)

A new release featuring never before recorded tunes for the popular dance Sea Tangle of Skye. New settings for The Breakdown, Rob Roy, and Lady Wynd, plus toe-tapping selections for classics such as General Stuart's Reel and Angus MacKinnon. The Breakdown features the playing of pianist Lyle Ramshaw and violinist Susan Worland Bentley (both from Fiddlesticks and Ivory) accompanied by percussionist Michael Bentley. This trio has been playing for Scottish Country Dancing frequently during the last three years; here is their first full-length recording.


  1. Lady Wynd (8 x 32 Jig) 4:37 MP3 excerpt
  2. Culla Bay (4 x 32 Strathspey) 4:06
  3. Angus MacKinnon's Hornpipe (8 x 32 Hornpipe) 4:41
  4. Strathspey Set (suitable for Bedrule) (8 x 32 Strathspey) 8:15
  5. Shiftin' Bobbins (8 x 32 Reel) 4:36 MP3 excerpt
  6. Jig Set (suitable for Pelorus Jack) (8 x 32 Jig) 4:40
  7. Rob Roy (4 x 32 Reel) 2:26
  8. Sea Tangle of Skye (8 x 32 Strathspey) 8:28
  9. Luckenbooth Brooch (8 x 32 Jig) 4:33
  10. The Breakdown (8 x 32 Reel) 4:35
  11. Tulloch Gorm (8 x 32 Strathspey) 8:06 MP3 excerpt
  12. Follow Me Home (8 x 32 Jig) 4:43
  13. General Stuart's Reel (8 x 32 Reel) 4:26


Susan Worland Bentley
Scottish Music for Listening & Dancing

With guest musicians Michael Bentley, Renata Bratt, Andy Imbrie, Gary Innes, Calli Morrow, Etienne Ozorak, Lyle Ramshaw

Lyrical harp and fiddle duets, toe-tapping jigs and reels, glorious strathspeys from Scotland's 18th century composers, traditional tunes along with several written in the 21st century. There is something for everyone here, whether you're a country dancer, a country dance teacher, an iPod listener, or a CD-while-driving lover of Celtic music!

Susan Worland Bentley is an award-winning fiddler in the Scottish tradition. She regularly plays for Scottish country dance events on both coasts and in Canada. Drawing on her classical training, she also spins lovely sounds for quieter listening.

Susan has appeared on many Scottish music recordings, with the bands Tullochgorum and Reel of Seven, and with Red Thistle Music and the Bayside and Benside Ensemble. This combined listening and dancing CD is her first solo recording.

  1. Meeting And Greeting (SCD 6x32 Jig) 3:41
  2. The Isle of Aigas 2:45
  3. The Mungo Set 3:29
  4. Adieu Mon Ami (SCD 8X32 Strathspey) 8:06
  5. Miss Bielby's Waltz 2:17
  6. The Ewing Fiddlers (SCD 8X32 Reel) 4:41
  7. The Farewell Suite 3:07
  8. Home Again (SCD 8X32 Jig) 4:55
  9. Homage a Canada 6:16
  10. Susan's Souvenir (SCD 3X32 Strathspey) 3:17
  11. The Selkie 3:02
  12. Lady Susan Stewart (SCD 8X32 Reel) 4:40
  13. August 19 (Waltz) 3:26

bayside & benside cover

Scottish Music from Northern California

This musical project celebrates the ties between Scottish traditions in the homeland and in the New World. In following these connections we have tried to present a broad range of our Scottish musical heritage, from the Norse inflected tunes of the Shetland Islands through the Gaelic melodies of the Western Isles to permutations of these traditions in the New World. These tracks also showcase a wide range of instruments and sounds from the Scottish oeuvre: bagpipes, harp, fiddle, guitar, trump, and bodhran. With tracks featuring Aaron Shaw (Wicked Tinkers), Hamewith (lead by John Taylor), Molly's Revenge, Beth Patterson, Susan Worland (Fiddlesticks & Ivory), Calli Morrow, Lyle Ramshaw (Fiddlesticks & Ivory), Lawrence Drummond, Joe Weed, and Michael Bentley you are sure to enjoy this representation of Scottish music in Northern California. In addition, the sales of this CD will help to raise funds for Northern California Camanachd (NCC) and help them to organize and present the Scottish sport of shinty (camanachd) to new audiences in California and the US.

  1. Aaron Shaw & Michael Bentley
    Northern California Camanachd Club March (1.56) MP3 excerpt

  2. Calli Morrow / Susan Worland / Michael Bentley
    The Butterfly Jig (2.06) MP3 excerpt

  3. Hamewith
    Farewell to the Highlands (4.57) MP3 excerpt

  4. Aaron Shaw / Michael Bentley / Susan Worland
    Not An Orchid Medley in 2/4 (4.21) MP3 excerpt

  5. Susan Worland / Michael Bentley / Lawrence Drummond
    Robert Burns Medley (3.06)

  6. Calli Morrow & Susan Worland
    Fhear aBhata (2.59)

  7. Molly's Revenge
    Jagged Rocks Set (5.24)

  8. Lawrence Drummond & Michael Bentley
    Jig of Slurs / Paddy's Leather Breeches (2.44)

  9. Susan Worland & Joe Weed
    Charlie is My Darling / Monymusk (2.09)

  10. Aaron Shaw & Michael Bentley
    Cabar Feidh / High Road to Gairloch (2.31)

  11. Calli Morrow & Susan Worland
    Rowing from Islay to Uist (2.53)

  12. Beth Patterson
    John Anderson (0.55)

  13. Susan Worland / Lyle Ramshaw / Michael Bentley
    Air / Strathspey / Reel Medley (4.20) MP3 excerpt

  14. Aaron Shaw & Michael Bentley
    Not An Orchid Medley in 6/8 (4.20)

  15. Hamewith
    Shetland Reels (3.42)

  16. Aaron Shaw & Michael Bentley
    Northern California Camanachd Club March (3.59)

  17. Susan Worland & Lyle Ramshaw
    Wind in the Leaves (2.09)

Twelve Scottish Country Dances in Strict Tempo
Susan Worland Bentley (violin), Andy Imbrie (piano), Michael Bentley (bodhran; whistle & vocals on Peat Fire Flame), Sherryl Fawx (soprano and alto recorders on The Hibiscus Waltz).

This first release from Red Thistle Music contains a recording for the popular modern dances The March Hare and The Scallywag, as well as new settings for Peat Fire Flame, Wha's at the Window, and Bill Little's Strathspey. Throw in favourites such as The Reel of the 51st Division and The Highlandman's Umbrella and you have a winning collection! The March Hare features the playing of pianist Andy Imbrie and violinist Susan Worland Bentley with contributions from Michael Bentley on bodhran and whistle, and Sherryl Fawx on recorders.


  1. The March Hare (6X32 Reel) 3:35 MP3 excerpt
  2. EH3 7AF (8X32 Jig) 4:39 MP3 excerpt
  3. Bill Little's Strathspey (8X32 Strathspey) 8:46 MP3 excerpt
  4. Whigmaleeries (8X32 Reel) 4:42
  5. The Scallywag (8X40 Jig) 5:59
  6. The Highlandman's Umbrella (4X32 Reel) 2:27
  7. Royal Wedding (8X32 Strathspey) 8:32
  8. Peat Fire Flame (8X40 Reel) 5:49
  9. Wha's at the Window (5X40 Jig) 3:42
  10. Drumelzier (4X32 Strathspey) 4:13
  11. The Reel of the 51st Division (8X32 Reel) 4:40
  12. The Hibiscus Waltz (4X32 Waltz) 5:21