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Temple Records

Never mind Harrods' sale; this 2 CD set for the price of one has got to be the bargain of the year.

One disc features the best of the Battlefield Band with nineteen tracks taken from their nineteen albums spanning the years from 1977 to 2001. Temple Records boss man and Batties' manager Robin Morton has chosen the tracks carefully to give an overall picture of the band, though as faither o' the hoose Alan Reid points out in his sleevenotes, he could choose another nineteen tracks and it would still be a 'Best Of'. It would be mean to single out particular tracks; there's nothing substandard here and it's a fine way of hearing both individually and collectively the fine musicians who have graced the Battlefield Band down the years.

The second disc is a representative selection of performances by other members of the Temple stable. Well, you say, I've heard of the Battlefield Band but what am I getting for my money on the other disc? Well, you're getting another nineteen tracks which will provide you with a veritable treasure chest of songs and instrumentals. You'll hear traditional fiddle, harp, pipes and flute from artists such as Fiddlers Five, Alison Kinnaird, Maire Ni Chathasaigh, Ann Heymann, Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band and Seamus Tansey. Then you'll hear both ancient and modern Gaelic songs delivered impeccably by Flora MacNeil, Arthur Cormack and Christine Primrose. There's also a soupcon of Cajun and blues and I'll stop there because I've decided I'd be better listing what you won't hear.

Excellent idea; excellent value; excellent music. Last word? Excellent.

Alan McIntosh Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 52 of The Living Tradition magazine.