Old Blind Dogs, |
(Green Linnet, 2005)
Opening with "Battle of Harlaw" the Old Blind Dogs will have your attention and they will keep it. The use of the border pipes gives a wonderful lift to the song.
The mood quietens on the set of instrumentals collectively called "Sky City," combining the contemporary title piece with a traditional Galician jig and the beautifully named "Lovely Basket of Nice Smelling Flowers."
One of my favourite tracks on the album is "Young Edward," a chilling ballad dating back two centuries and, like so many such songs, it is filled with blood and violence. Going to a restaurant for lunch will never be the same after you listen to the contemporary tune called "Soup of the Day."
They return to the tradition for the next track, "Tramps & Hawkers," to remind us of a bygone age that was far from rosey for the itinerant workers who inspired the tale. The band then takes on another challenge by combining new lyrics and a traditional tune on "Battle of Waterloo." I am delighted to report that the chance pays off.
One of my favourite instrumental pieces is the beautiful "Lochanside" and it is heard here combined with "Morag Haig-Thomas."
No Scottish album is complete without something from Robert Burns, and we must admit there are many tunes to choose from. The Old Blind Dogs take "A Man's a Man For A' That" and re-arrange it to great effect. They end this concert in your living room with a gentle start and hearty finishing "A Wild Rumpus."
The insert gives us the background and lyrics.
This is a wonderful live recording that captures the atmosphere without having long rambling chat between tracks.
by Nicky Rossiter