Robin Laing,
Whisky for Breakfast
(Greentrax, 2011)

Robin Laing must have a great love of the amber nectar. No, I am not suggesting an over-fondness of drinking, it but rather a great love of writing and singing songs about it. This is the fourth CD dedicated to whisky from his collection and it does not disappoint.

A bit like his subject matter, Laing's music improves with time and savouring. There is a more country feel to this collection than some earlier offerings, but it is a joy to listen to his melodious voice sing with obvious enjoyment.

From the initial track, "A Turquoise Frame of Mind," he has your attention, and like a drinker you will be craving more. He certainly delivers. The joy for listeners is that, after a night on this whisky, there is no hangover.

"Talisker Bay" recalls not just a lovely place but a lovely drink of Talisker 100 proof. Laing harkens back to a folky trait on "Old Minmore," a lovely history lesson in verse and music about the illicit whisky days.

He moves away from his own compositions and the "water of life" to the containers by including a lovely version of the traditional "Wee Cooper o" Fife." Our education in the life of whisky continues on "The Smallest Whisky Bar," as Laing tells us in song that the place of the title exists not in Scotland but Switzerland. The notes tell us that a full house is 12 patrons.

Sixteen tracks, 14 brands and some great music later we are sated and mellow, but always ready for another round with Robin Laing.

music review by
Nicky Rossiter

9 July 2011

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