Link to Living Tradition Homepage





BRIAN MCNEILL - The Road Never Questions: The Best of Brian McNeill Volume 1

BRIAN MCNEILL - The Road Never Questions: The Best of Brian McNeill Volume 1
Greentrax  CDTRAX360

How can you have a CD sub-titled The Best of Brian McNeill that doesn’t include No Gods And Precious Few Heroes? By calling it Volume 1, of course. The Road Never Questions is a compilation of tracks chosen by McNeill from his numerous solo and duo albums, from when he was still with the Battlefield Band, of which he was a founder member, right up to one he made with students at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, where he was Head of Scottish Music.

There’s a good mixture of breakneck speed tunes (The Condolences Set, The Heroes’ Reels), more lyrical pieces (Jamie Come Try Me, Miss Hamilton) and McNeill’s songs, which while they invariably convey a message, always have a strong narrative as well as that human touch about them (Strong Women Rule Us With Their Tears, Ewan And The Gold). He plays beautifully whether with others – especially on his ‘duo’ albums with Tom McDonagh or Iain MacKintosh – or multi-tracking with himself, as he did on Unstrung Hero.

He has some interesting things to say in the excellent liner notes about traditional music. His love of this ‘strange beast’ is clear from every instrumental. Fiddle is his first instrument, yet it seems that whatever he picks up, including guitar, mandolin and concertina, he excels. Even ragtime guitar! (The Dallas-Domestic etc etc). Impeccably played and arranged, McNeill’s music, and this CD, is full of spirit, full of heart.

Graham Gurrin

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 90 of The Living Tradition magazine.