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OLD BLIND DOGS - Live - CDLDL1294

The story so far . the old Blind Dogs have changed into the new Old Blind Dogs, but this is the new Old Blind Dogs' release - follow so far?

This is, just like it says on the cover, a live recording from the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, surely the spiritual kennel of OBD as evidenced by the crowd chanting of their name at the start and finish of the set. And what a set, too - Ian F Benzie was always one for taking the big ballads and injecting them with emotion and passion, bringing the story alive and clearly relishing his task. When the instrumentation is delivered with the panache of Jonny Hardie and Buzzby McMillan, supported by Davy Cattanach's powerhouse percussion, then the whole jigsaw just falls in to place and the audience erupts.

From the outset, when OBD launch into the "Twa Corbies", the tone is set for a rip-roaring selection which includes the likes of "The Bonnie Earl o' Moray" and "The Barnyards o' Delgaty" as well as blistering instrumental sets like "The Salmon Leap" ending up, most appropriately with the almost anthemic "Bennachie". A fitting tribute to a group who have created a place for themselves in the history of the development of Scottish music and song, this recording is an excellent way to mark their passing and recall their dynamism.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 36 of The Living Tradition magazine.