Old Blind Dogs

The World's Room

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

With harmonica and conga drums in the mix, you know that Old Blind Dogs are not the kind of traditional Scots musicians who waste too much time worrying about authenticity. But their overall sound is one that will appeal greatly to fans of the Battlefield Band and, especially, the Tannahill Weavers, a group whose vocal approach is quite similar to that of Old Blind Dogs. This band's secret weapon is piper Rory Campbell, who composed a number of the tunes on this album and who also plays a mean low whistle. Singer and guitarist Jim Malcolm does himself proud on the rollicking "Forfar Sodger" (one of many tracks that benefit greatly from the percussion of Paul Jennings), and the group's ensemble singing is especially attractive on "To the Beggin' I Will Go," the album's lead track. The instrumentals are even better; "Roslin Castle," an ancient and melancholy air, is given a minimalist and almost spooky arrangement for fiddle, whistle, and guitar, while Campbell's "Soup of the Day" is underpinned by what sounds suspiciously like a drum loop. Excellent.

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