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Private Label KC2021CD 

Seems a strange title for a dance band CD, until you do a bit of historical digging. 40 years ago saw the establishment of The Dundee Accordion and Fiddle Club Junior Scottish Dance Band. Don’t know how long it took them to realise that their title was unsnappy (if accurate) so they rebranded as The Craigowl Band, one of the favourites to this day on the Scottish Country Dance circuit. 50 years ago, The National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs was founded to promote all aspects of this genre of music. Hence 40 50.

This double anniversary gave the band the opportunity to support the NAAFC by giving all proceeds from the recording to the organisation to continue its sterling work, and it also allows them to celebrate the styles of two of the all-time great bandleaders, Jimmy Blue and Jim Johnstone, both of whom were great influences on them as they developed.

Lead accordionist Kevin Clark is accompanied by Bruce Quirie, second box; Stella Wilkie, fiddle; Dennis Morrison, piano; Neil McMillan, double bass and Graham Jamieson, drums. So, a traditional line-up and a determinedly traditional style of playing, with all instruments perfectly balanced under the production of the peerless Freeland Barbour. The individual musicians work together in a very tight and crisp style, producing an overall sound that meets the requirements of strict tempo yet still managing a great fluidity, giving us sets that are not just perfect for dancing, but also superb just to listen to in their own right.

Gordon Potter


This review appeared in Issue 143 of The Living Tradition magazine