The Battlefield Band

Stand Easy

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Stand Easy was recorded and released ten years into the Battlefield Band's career and, interestingly, was their first album to feature the highland pipes. Piper Duncan McGillivray opens the program with a nice set of reels, which he plays in unison with fiddler Brian McNeill, accompanied by the dulcimer of Jenny Clark and the keyboard of founding member Alan Reid. Clark takes the lead on most of the songs, and the men pitch in with harmonies reminiscent of the Tannahill Weavers on numbers like "Seven Braw Gowns" and the sweetly melancholy Jacobite song "I Hae Nae Kith, I Hae Nae Kin," which probably dates from the period of the "union of the crowns" and, in typical manner, uses images of romantic longing to express nationalist sentiments. Another high point in the program is a 17th century Christmas carol called "Christ Has My Hart Ay," which is set to an original tune by Reid. Highly recommended. [The 1994 CD reissue includes Preview, a promo-only EP originally released in 1980.]

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