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ROBYN STAPLETON - Songs Of Robert Burns

ROBYN STAPLETON - Songs Of Robert Burns
Laverock Records LAVE002CD

Robyn Stapleton demonstrates her impeccable command of Burns’ songs with this selection, all of which are self-produced to the highest standard. Mostly delivered with minimal backing, these are songs of the bard that are formal, but never stuffy, and are delightful throughout. If I had to select favourites of this collection, I’d plump for My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose and Ae Fond Kiss, although all of them are brilliant. The unaccompanied John Anderson, My Jo is a text book delivery and I think would have been despoiled by instrumental backing. Four tracks feature a superb string quartet comprising Patsy Reid, Seonaid Aitken, Christine Anderson and Alice Allen, and collectively they lift such songs as Westlin’ Winds to another level, and their accompaniment to the closer (Auld Lang Syne to the original tune) is a masterpiece.

This collection comprises probably the most popular Burns’ songs, and is a well-packaged product with something to please just about everyone. The fellow travellers on this journey, including Patsy Reid and Jenna Reid on fiddles, and Alistair Iain Paterson on piano and harmonium, contribute greatly to the atmospheric feel of these songs.

If any of you are out there wondering if the world needs another album of Burns’ songs, worry no longer - this selection nails it. These 12 songs demonstrate why Robyn Stapleton is so much in demand currently. A few more tracks, to extend the playing time beyond the 41 minutes herein would also have been nice (maybe they’re earmarked for the sequel...).

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 117 of The Living Tradition magazine.