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Neil Paterson "Tunes Old and New" NPCD221

Since shuffling modestly on stage as a guest at Auchtermuchty festival in 1992, it is in keeping with Neil that his choice of title for his first CD is so unassuming - it is a lot more than that. Since then, he has won for himself a host of friends in musical circles. Neil's main instruments are Highland and small pipes, but on this recording he tosses in, almost as an afterthought, whistles, guitar, bass guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, and bodhran.

A perennial session player and "popper-up" on other people's albums, Neil has produced a well thought-out, musically balanced CD of extremely high quality which is very listen able. No mean composer, he includes eight original composition, from the happy jig, "The Duke of Dreich's Nightmare, (suggested by Danny Kyle), to the haunting slow air, "The Burleigh Plough", written for his grandfather Bob, who spent much of his life working on Burleigh farm outside Neil's home village of Milnathort in Kinross-shire. Traditional items include "Morrison's Jig", "Rantin Rovin Robin", "Corn Rigs", "Tam Bain's Lum" and an Irish set - "Out on the Ocean and the "Humours of Glendart".

The virtuosity on both pipes and whistles sustains the enjoyment and variety of this recording and there is not a single dull track on it. The changes of pace have been given consideration - jigs fairly bound along under Neil's nimble fingers and then suddenly, you're met with the really haunting "An Ataireachd Ard" on whistle. Oh, I nearly forgot, Neil makes a great job of U2's "Van Dieman's Land" where he SINGS, accompanying himself on whistle and guitar. I am green with envy, he'd better not start telling jokes - I cannot recommend this CD too highly.

John Watt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 41 of The Living Tradition magazine.