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PAUL ANDERSON "The Journey Home" Ross Records CDGR162

Sometimes albums take me by surprise. The sleeve looks nowt special, the sleeve notes tell me next to nowt about the artist and the material looks like your bog standard country dance/ceilidh band repertoire. Until you actually hear the album. Precision pyrotechnic music and song in "strict tempo" and toe-tappingly exquisite rhythms. The three songs included (two featuring Lucy Dale and one with Jim Reid [aye, that Jim Reid]) dovetail perfectly with the tunes - and they were obviously planned to. Scottish country dance anoraks will in particular love this album (although the lack of starting and finishing chords will mean that teachers will have difficulty using these tracks for instruction). But heck, it's still a wee gem - and destined for pride of place in my car for the foreseeable. I still reckon the CD insert is a bit naff though - but don't let that put you off.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 26 of The Living Tradition magazine.