The Battlefield Band

Out for the Night

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Almost 30 years after the release of its debut album (and with only one founding member, keyboardist and songwriter Alan Reid, remaining), the Battlefield Band has gone from strict traditionalism to folk-rock fusion and back again, and is now one of Celtic music's most respected traditional groups. Not that the quartet's sound is in any way hidebound or dusty; they can rip things up with the best of them, and are as likely to play new original compositions as old traditional ones. On Out for the Night, the young fiddle virtuoso John McCusker has been replaced by the only slightly older fiddle virtuoso Alasdair White, who brings not only a gorgeous tone and limpid rhythmic sense to the proceedings, but also several very fine original tunes; even better original material comes courtesy of piper Mike Katz. The best news of all is the return to the group of guitarist and singer Pat Kilbride after a 20-year absence. Highlights on the program include Kilbride's vocal performance on "Earl of Errol" and the very fine dance set at the beginning of the album; only the harmonica on "Belfast to Boston" seems a bit out of place. Highly recommended.

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