Alan Reid

The Sunlit Eye

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When an artist who has been with a group for 29 years releases their first solo work, that album is likely to be scrutinized pretty carefully. Alan Reid has been with the Battlefield Band since the beginning, and The Sunlit Eye gives listeners the clearest look at what he has brought to that legendary outfit. His strengths are obvious and well-presented -- excellent original songs and instrumentals delivered with understated arrangements and warm, slightly plaintive vocals. This is not to slight the two traditional numbers -- Reid performs what may be the definitive version of Robert Burns' "Rantin? Rovin? Robin" -- but through much of this album the originals are superior to even the well-chosen classic works. Given the fact that fellow Battlefield Band mainstay John McCusker plays on most of these tracks, some might wonder why this wasn't released as a group effort. The answer is that these tunes all fit a smaller, more intimate ensemble, at times composed just of Reid himself, at times with a few well-chosen friends. This album is a classic, a wonderful showcase for an artist who finally took a turn in the limelight.

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