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ALAN REID - Recollection: Songs Of Scotland’s Martyrs, Rogues & Worthies

ALAN REID - Recollection: Songs Of Scotland’s Martyrs, Rogues & Worthies
Temple Records COMD2103

I would hope that no readers of this magazine will have any doubts about who Alan Reid is. The backbone of the Battlefield Band for 40 years, providing the drive behind their evolving and innovative style, he was responsible for many new ideas in folk music. Often copied but seldom bettered it is true to say that many of today’s crop of excellent Scottish bands would not be around if not for Alan and Battlefield.

It was a shock then when it was announced he was leaving. Luckily the band was going to carry on with a “replacement” – how can you replace a legend? Was this to be the last we were to hear of Alan? It soon became clear that this was not to be the case. He was to concentrate on his work with Rob Van Sante and a new recording from the duo is expected soon.

In the meantime we have to make do with Recollection, a collection of songs written during the last 30 years. I say make do not in a dismissive or negative tone because this is a great collection of material which shows off his excellent song writing and voice. However it’s all been out before, mostly on Battlefield albums with a couple of tracks from solo work. As I have all the albums in my collection, I was hoping for new recordings, but I realise many won’t have. And it has made me focus on Alan’s songs too as a collection rather than as a larger work.

It really is good.  They are all here: - The Road Of Tears, The Dear Green Place, The River, and my favourite, Jock The Can to name a few. All feature the original band members so you know it’s going to be good.

I suppose given Alan’s drive he was never going to re-record this material. After all hasn’t he always taken the music forward as the Battlefield slogan states? Recollection provides the chance for him to do just that. His involvement with Battlefield band is over. Let’s celebrate that with this CD but look forward to new music from Alan Reid in the near future.

An enjoyable CD that focuses us on Alan Reid’s amazing contribution to Scottish music. 

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 89 of The Living Tradition magazine.