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Pat Kilbride "Nightingale Lane" Temple Records COMD2089

The prodigal member of Battlefield Band celebrates his welcome (and long overdue) return after 23 years with a tour de force. The instrumentals run on rails, and the songs give the impression that they were written with him in mind. His version of Henry McDermott Roe by Carolan played on cittern makes one question whether it was written for the harp at all. Such is the confident professionalism that he mentions that they 'went for a live take' to 'get the mood right' on the Nancy Griffith song Hard Life as if excusing perceived shortfalls (there are none).

His version of Gerry Rafferty's Rick Rack doesn't do much for me - probably because I'm so used to the original Humblebums' version (and have never heard anyone else attempt it). Others hearing it for the first time would have a different viewpoint doubtless. Elsewhere his vocals are confident and polished, and he has a beautifully accurate guitar style. The tracks where he is joined by his current Battlefield cohorts give a tempting taste of the new line up - so I'll be heading in their direction next time they swing by Scotland. My highlight is the title track that closes the album - all of my favourite ingredients, handled with customary care and served up with pride. Welcome back Pat.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 48 of The Living Tradition magazine.