The Old Sod Band

Grass Roots

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Several things make the Old Sod Band one of Canada's finest traditional dance bands. First, there is the undeniable skill and taste of the players. Although all are expert and some are virtuosos, there is never the slightest bit of showing off; instead of breakneck speeds and jaw-dropping ornamentation, the bandmembers play with a gentle elegance that manages to convey energy without detracting from the simple beauty of the tunes they are playing. Second, there is the wide variety of musical backgrounds that the various members of the group bring to the project. The six members of the Old Sod Band come from Scotland, England, Ireland, the U.S., and Canada, and the band's repertoire reflects that diversity; their debut album includes tunes from all of those countries, as well as a few modern compositions (among them concertina player Ian Robb's own "The Blue Jay," written in honor of the band's local baseball team). These sets of reels, jigs, and waltzes were obviously fashioned for dancehall use, and can be put to that use at home if you're in the mood for an impromptu contradance with the spouse and kids. But they also make very enjoyable listening whether you're sitting in the family room or driving in your car. Highly recommended.