Link to Living Tradition Homepage






Private Label

Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet and songwriter, combined romantic longing, astute social comment and ribald observations of characters local and national. His work forms the backbone of the folk and popular songbooks in Scotland and has fed both historical and folkloric repertoires. The Band Of Burns tribute to Robert Burns is both a stage show and album. This is a big outfit of 12 musicians and singers from England, Scotland, Turkey and Ireland, and the show is a big production having been recorded live in the theatre to celebrate the life and music of Robert Burns.

Immediately, the image of Burns suppers and Burns nights comes to mind, but this project is intent on lifting the work of Robbie out of the tourist songbook and into the vernacular. That in itself is a worthy and noble aim, but it’s also a project which demands some regulation and poise of expertise in order to fulfil its obligation in retaining authenticity and ensuring relevance to a new generation.

Musically, the arrangements have a big expansive sound that is expertly recorded and portrays a potent mix of traditional and chamber methodologies. The sound is full-bodied and vigorous in Murray’s - a set of dance tunes that spit and fly with a controlled viscosity. String dominated (with violin, viola and guitar featuring predominantly), the sensuous accompaniment works in tandem with the rugged male vocals of John Langan and Mikey Kenney in Parcel O’ Rogues, and Alastair Caplin and Rioghnach Connolly’s vocal contributions add to the show’s versatility, while subtle interweaving of songs and instrumental tune-sets maintain the momentum both aurally and visually. Live At The Union Chapel celebrates Robert Burns’ work in the way it ought to be - with respect and integrity.

John O’Regan

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 124 of The Living Tradition magazine.