Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante – Rough Diamonds

Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante ablum review

Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante

The new CD from Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante falls into the familiar territory which once belonged to the Battlefield Band and followers of the band and of this duo will not be disappointed  by ‘Rough Diamonds‘.

The album is packed with some great songs which immediately seem to resonate with some distant memory of songs you heard and loved years ago. The simple approach and skilful presentation encourages the listener to relax and let the songs wash over them.

The third track is a song by Alan Reid called ‘Barrels of Gold’ features a really easy singalong chorus which is bound to be a favourite. Although possibly my choice would be ‘Albert Berry’, a song about the perils of being a coal miner torn between the conflict facing the dangers working underground and earning a wage.

If for no other reason, I would have bought the CD for the mere fact that one of the tracks is an instrumental called ‘Roslin Castle. A wonderfully haunting tune which is played with a beautiful arrangement in which the duo are joined by musician John Martin on cello. A special mention for Stewart Forbes on tenor sax on the excellent ‘Last Trip Home’.

For me the CD grew in stature on the second listening, when I must have had more time to appreciate the quality of the song writing and the construction of the playlist. Highly recommended.

For listeners who love their folk music to be easy listening, traditionally based with imaginative ‘story telling’ lyrics and strong melodies – Rough Diamonds is an essential purchase.


Alan Morley