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Alan was a vital member of Battlefield Band from its inception in 1969 till his departure in 2010.
In that time he toured all over the world and made almost
30 recordings with the band, working with such artists as
Garrison Keillor, Van Morrison and Mike Oldfield.
The Battlefield Band won awards in Germany, Britain and the U.S. and throughout Alan was at the heart of the band, his keyboards underpinning the bagpipes and the fiddle. In being the first to use keyboards as an integral part of a traditional folk band Alan’s contribution to the band’s story has ensured it’s stature in Scottish culture as well as its influence on many of today's Celtic musicians.
"Alan Reid's performance at the Hylton Performing Arts Center was
fresh, engaging, and full of passion for the stories of the
people he sings about. And he is a master storyteller in song.
That he also sings like a dream and plays several instruments with panache
adds to the overall effect, which is sometimes witty, sometimes
melancholy, often mesmerizing, and always impressive."
Alan’s singing has long been respected by his peers, illustrated when he was invited to participate in the Linn Recordings series on the complete works of Robert Burns. Moreover his song writing has grown in stature ever since the 1980s when his songs first appeared in the band repertoire, lyrical songs steeped in history , strong in storytelling and rich in melody.
His first solo album 'The Sunlit Eye' featuring new songs and tunes was released in 1998 and was followed up with a song and tune book 'Martyrs, Rogues and Worthies' in 2001. Later that decade he recorded two
albums "Under the Blue" and "The Rise and Fall o' Charlie" both of which showcase many of his works.
Reid and van Sante are ex members of the hugely successful and
long running (since 1969) Scottish folk group, The Battlefield Band.
Alan researches historical and contemporary events that catch his
interest with great depth and attention to detail. He then writes wonderful
story songs with such diverse topics as endangered species of Sea Eagles
to the loneliness of the life of The Last Lighthouse Keeper and
a whole album’s worth of songs about John Paul Jones.'
Rob provides beautiful guitar backing (and forwarding!) on guitar
which he jokingly referred to as his high strung wife. To continue this
image, he stroked her with gentle passion eliciting sighing harmonies and
driving rhythms as the mood warranted. He sings in an intrinsically
British traditional style delivering songs with heartfelt sincerity. This
came through strongly in one written by an ex-miner as a conversation
between the miner and the Coal: “Men may win the battles
but Coal always wins the war.”
Besides original material and modern songs, they livened
up well known traditional songs with a twist.