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BRUCE DAVIES - ""O'er the Border" - Rothes Records RR011CD

Bruce is one of the hardest working entertainers on the circuit and it's gratifying to see that hard work does have its rewards. Of course, it helps if you have a gem of a voice like his and you know the direction you're taking.

This album is subtitled "16 Songs of Scotland and the Scots'" and Bruce delivers the goods while managing to steer his boat clear of the Schmaltz Reefs which lie in wait for the unwary.

He's made a good, eclectic choice here with some familiar and not-so-familiar songs which are sure to appeal to visitors and locals alike at his many hotel and concert stage appearances and while the danger signals might be hoisted on seeing such titles as "Coulter's Candy" and "Caledonia", the treatment allows the emergency services to be stood down right away.

The album features also some songs which aren't sung enough, a few of his own compositions and a fair sprinkling of Burns, including an Address to the Haggis.

A couple of the tracks have appeared on recordings which Bruce made as half of the popular Fife duo Beggar's Mantle and there are fine instrumental contributions from Gordon Pattullo and Hamish Bayne. The album is released on Bruce's own label and can't help but increase his popularity with punters of all ages.

Alan McIntosh Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 35 of The Living Tradition magazine.