OLD BLIND DOGS – Room With A View (own label OBD013)

Room With A ViewIt has always been my opinion that an album/CD should have a minimum of twelve tracks to offer the purchaser value for money. I equally believe that if you do not have twelve tracks ready to record then you are not yet ready to release an album/CD. Room With A View has only nine tracks and sort of backs up my belief. There is no doubt that Old Blind Dogs is a group of great reputation and comprises of four fabulous musicians, although one of them has appeared on three of the last six albums which I have reviewed.

Their line up has changed over the 25 years that they have existed. They still have a large following who will no doubt love this latest release, Room With A View. As seems to be the fashion these days, several of the tracks are fairly long with ‘Newe’ running over six minutes. Throughout these long tracks the musicianship is wonderful and arrangements very clever and I know I would love them in a ‘live’ performance. ‘Bunkerhill’, track one, has many aspects to it and mixes cultures. I am sure I can hear ‘Old Joe Clark’ running through the melody.

Two of the songs cover “one of my favourites” to “a song I’m not sure about”. ‘The Earl O March’s Daughter’ is a fabulous song which you will hear sung at festivals throughout Scotland by Scots song enthusiasts. A great song to harmonise with. ‘Sawney Bean’ covers one of the most interesting subjects in Scotland about a cannibal family from the South West of Scotland. Both songs are written by Lionel McLelland.

This is a good CD. The overall package is minimal and tells you very little about the content of the CD. There are editing faults which I would have addressed, especially related to breathing. However, it will be enjoyed by many as will the ‘live’ performances of Old Blind Dogs.

Fraser Bruce

Artists’ website: http://www.oldblinddogs.co.uk/

Old Blind Dogs announce new album and tour dates

 

Old Blind Dogs

Old Blind Dogs are back  with a new record and a new line up.

Original member, Jonny Hardie (Fiddle / Vocals) is joined by long term partners Aaron Jones (Bouzouki / Vocals), Ali Hutton (Pipes / Whistles) and new percussion powerhouse Donald Hay.

In their twenty five year history this is The Dogs’ thirteenth release and their first in six years. Back to their best with a recording capturing the infectious energy of their live show, Room With A View has excitement, beauty and their trademark powerful vocals.

A Scottish band that takes their historical ties seriously, Old Blind Dogs’ new recording captures parts of a tradition that goes back a long way. Great story telling and timeless tunes made for the ups and downs of life … and dancing!

The Dogs have spent a lot of time touring in America and opening track ‘Bunker Hill’ is a perfect example of tunes travelling from one country to another, adapting to their surroundings as they go.

Music by brilliant current tune writers sits seamlessly with tunes from days gone by, from ‘Ali’s Cairo Day’ and Alasdair White’s brand new ‘An Iuchair’ to Breton gavottes and old Scottish pipe reels. Aaron was interested in singing songs from where he lives so there are two from Lionel McLelland, a great poet from Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway, the enchanting ‘Earl O March’s Daughter’ and the dark tale of ‘Sawney Bean’.

Jonny was fascinated with the Orcadian history of The Maid of Norway, so ‘A Ring On Her Hand’ by Saltfishforty’s Brian Cromarty has been given the Old Blind Dogs pounding groove treatment.

Recorded and mixed at Carrier Waves Studio in Glasgow by Andrea Gobbi. This was a genuinely collaborative and enjoyable process for everyone involved. We’re looking forward to the next chapter in this influential band’s long history.

Old Blind Dogs will be touring the UK in April / May 2017, the USA in September / October 2017 and Germany in November 2017.

Artists’ website: www.oldblinddogs.co.uk

Old Blind Dogs live at this year’s Celtic Connections:

UK Tour Dates

1st April Woodend Barn, Banchory

5th April Eden Court, Inverness

6th April Queenʼs Hall, Edinburgh

7th April The Old Malthouse, Bristol

8th April Ferndown Village Hall, Dorset

14th April The Arc Sessions, Lochaber

15th April Tolbooth, Stirling

19th May Piping Centre, Glasgow

20th May White Church, Comrie

Old Blind Dogs – Fit?

Old Blind Dogs - FitOpening with ‘Is There For Honest Poverty’ (‘For A’ That’) it’s nice to see the Dogs really getting to grips with their material perhaps not returning to form (because they never really lost it) but continuing the legacy left by Ian Benzie.

That’s not to say that current lead vocalist Jim Malcolm doesn’t suit the band, far from it in fact. It’s just that the thrust of the vocal isn’t as obvious. Jim’s delivery is, it has to be said subtler and on tracks like ‘Reres Hill’ they positively shine. Instrumentally with Jonny Hardie on fiddle and Rory Campbell’s pipes, the band are reminiscent of the Tannahill’s but, the addition of Buzzby McMillan’s electric bass and Paul Jennings percussion the dynamic edge is enhanced.

For those looking for a bit of groove in their folk, check out the second track ‘Come A’ Ye Kincardine Lads’.

Original Posting date – 6-Jun-2001
Reviewers Name – Pete Fyfe

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