This live album, the Battlefield Band's first since '89's HOME GROUND, features select performances over the course of three concerts at the Edinburgh International Festival. The set list favors compositions from the band's '95 release THREADS, such as the slow air "Miss Kate Rusby" and the foot-stomping reels "My Home Town/Kalabakan," but also includes songs of social unrest, such as Tommy Armstrong's "The Trimdon Grange Explosion" (also covered by the Mekons), and free form instrumental jams (the dance medley including "Frank's Reel").
The quartet even includes a nod to American roots music in the cover of Dave Dudley's "Six Days on the Road" (also covered by the Flying Burrito Brothers), with the aid of Glasgow country rockers The Radio Sweethearts. Special guests crop up all over the place, as the Band is joined alternately by harpist Alison Kinnaird, vocalist Kate Rusby, piper Eric Rigler and the legendary Irish flautist Seamus Tansey. An energetic live set characterized by the high level of musicianship fans have come to expect, ACROSS THE BORDERS is a fine introduction to this folk music institution.